Tornado Hits Warren County

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WARREN, Pa. — A tornado touched down in Warren County on Tuesday.

A crew from the National Weather Service in State College accompanied by Warren County Public Safety Director Todd Lake investigated a location in Freehold Township near Route 958 north of Kidder Road for a couple of hours Friday morning.

They found evidence of a tornado.

According to NWS Meteorologist Pete Jung, an EF1 tornado touched down around 3:43 p.m. Tuesday. It remained on the ground for about a minute and left in its wake a swath of destruction 0.85 miles long and 75 yards wide.

The peak wind speeds in the tornado were estimated between 95 and 105 miles per hour. An EF1 tornado is one with winds of 86 to 110 miles per hour. The weakest category of tornadoes, EF0, includes those with winds of 65 to 85 miles per hour, Jung said.

“We had a lot of ingredients come together,” Jung said of the storms that spawned 14 tornadoes throughout the state on Tuesday. “The ingredients for tornadoes are instability — which allows storms to grow big in the atmosphere — and wind shear — which gives you that rotational component.”

“This was one of those days when both components were present,” he said.

The National Weather Service had already declared Tuesday the fourth worst day in Pennsylvania history in terms of tornadoes in one day.

The addition of the Lottsville tornado to the list of 13 others already known does not change that status.

National Weather Service officials are out checking areas that may have had tornado activity. “We’ve got the survey crew out looking for more damage,” Jung said.

Even if they find more, it is unlikely they will find enough to move up the list.

“We would have to get to 21,” Jung said. “We had 21 on May 31, 1985.”

The worst day ever in those terms was more recent. In a 24-hour period including May 31 and June 1 of 1998, there were 23 tornadoes in the state, he said.

October is not a peak tornado month.

“Statistically, we average less than one tornado in the month of October,” Jung said. In Pennsylvania, only December, January, and February average fewer.

According to Lake, there were no injuries related to the tornado and property damage was limited to numerous downed trees and a chimney knocked off of a house.

by The Post-Journal (2018, October 6)

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Kyrie Wagner