Massachusetts does have a history of tornadoes, including the fourth-worst in recorded history. So this is not unheard of, but it’s still unusual for the state to see such powerful tornadoes. News reports say that at one point, the tornado that slammed Springfield was the size and strength of the Tuscaloosa tornado that so recently devastated the South:
Multiple tornadoes slammed western and central Massachusetts Wednesday, leaving a path of destruction that destroyed buildings, flipped vehicles and left at least four people dead and an unknown number injured.
At least three tornadoes struck the city of Springfield, Mass., alone, with a fourth unconfirmed twister possibly touching down in the city, Mayor Dominic J. Sarno said. Many of those storms also blasted the areas surrounding the city of more than 150,000 residents situated 90 miles west of Boston.
According to the National Weather Service, seven tornadoes touched down in Massachusetts Wednesday.
The twisters hit as unstable weather threatened the entire Northeast, bringing tornado watches to Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Golf Ball size hail was reported from New York to Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire, while thunderstorms produced wind gusts from 60 to 70 miles per hour across New England.
The situation in Massachusetts was so bad that Gov. Deval Patrick declared a statewide state of emergency, calling up 1,000 members of the National Guard.
By the way, Northern California was also hit by a tornado yesterday, as was Maine.
2 thoughts on “Massachusetts tornadoes”
It was pretty crazy all over the place here last night. The cell with the embedded Springfield and Sturbridge tornadoes (at around 5:00 PM) first looked like it was heading towards the southern parts of metro Boston before it turn south and hit Scituate instead. It’s true it’s not unheard of, but it’s quite rare for squall lines to be only partially broken by the Berkshires and then re-form so strongly on this side of the state.
And then there was the super cell in northern Worcester county last night as well. And the final squall that came through with the front last night was a very very serious storm for everyone. The house was shaking from all the lightning strikes and the air smelled of sulphur, and it took a long time (it seemed like an hour to me almost) for all the energy to discharge and the storm to move through. Very very unusual for this part of the world!
There has been micro bursts that have knocked over trees and power lines, but the last tornado since the Worcester tornado in June 1953 was in Great Barrington May 1995. Then Governor Weld received criticism for not visiting the disaster zone despite the deaths of 3 people. Too busy with some Republican event.
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