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Storm Damage Information from
July 21st, 2003

A devastating severe weather event struck Northern and Central Pennsylvania during the afternoon of July 21, 2003. The worst damage occurred over the Northern Pennsylvania Counties of McKean and Potter. Below are some preliminary images showing the damage, and two radar loops from the State College National Weather Service Doppler Radar. A more formal assessment of this event is underway. The Text of the Preliminary Storm Damage Survey Reports (issued as "Public Information Statements") from that day's more significant areas of damage follow after the picture links.

A second day of severe weather followed on the 22nd, producing very large hail, and a weak tornado a few miles north of Harrisburg in Dauphin County. This Storm Damage Survey Report (and links to a few pictures of the damage) are also included here.


Pictures of damage in the town of Ellisburg, Potter County which is northeast of Coudersport, PA. This damage was caused by an F3 tornado. The Slide Shows and Pictures will take a very long time to download. Please be patient.

PPT Slide Show 1 (Northern Potter County) (1.1 Mb)

PPT Slide Show 2 (Northern Potter County) (0.5 Mb)


Pictures of damage (PPT) (0.4 Mb) in the borough of Coudersport, PA

Pictures of damage (PPT) (0.4 Mb) in Austin, PA which is southwest of Coudersport.

Pictures of damage (PPT) (4.8 Mb) in McKean County including the Kinzua Bridge collapse.


The radar loops below may also take some time to download especially with a dial-up connection.

Here is a loop of radar reflectivity (2.5 Mb) of the storms in progress as they swept across McKean and Potter counties. This loop ranges from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Another loop of storm relative velocity (1.0 Mb) of the storms in progress as they swept across McKean and Potter counties. This loop ranges from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Green colors show wind flow towards the radar (located to the south of these images) and red colors show wind flow away from the radar.

Here is a link to a Java Image Loop of the Radar Reflectivity on Monday the 21st.


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
545 PM EDT TUE JUL 22 2003

...F3 TORNADO CONFIRMED IN POTTER COUNTY ON MONDAY JULY 21...

A TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN STATE COLLEGE 
SURVEYED DAMAGE AND INTERVIEWED RESIDENTS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT 
OFFICIALS IN POTTER COUNTY TODAY. THE TEAM DETERMINED THAT AN F3 
TORNADO DID TOUCH DOWN IN POTTER COUNTY AROUND 400 MONDAY AFTERNOON.

THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN ABOUT 2 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE TOWN 
OF ELLISBURG...WHERE IT DOWNED HUNDREDS OF TREES. THE TORNADO 
CONTINUED TO THE NORTHEAST...WHERE IT HIT THE SMOKER FARM. THE BARN 
AND HOUSE WERE COMPLETELY DESTROYED...AND ONE OF THREE SILOS WAS 
TIPPED OVER. A SECOND HOME ON SMOKER ROAD WAS ALSO EXTENSIVELY 
DAMAGED AND IS UNINHABITABLE. IN ADDITION...A CAR WAS PICKED UP AND 
THROWN 600 YARDS. A FARM TRACTOR WAS LIFTED INTO THE TREES.

THE TORNADO PATH WAS 2 1/2 MILES LONG...WHILE THE WIDTH WAS ABOUT 
200 YARDS. BASED ON THE DAMAGE...THE TORNADO WAS MAINLY AN F2...BUT 
RATED AS A WEAK F3 AT ITS PEAK..WITH WINDS OF 160 MPH.

THE FUJITA SCALE RATES TORNADOES ON WIND SPEED AND DAMAGE. THE SCALE 
FOLLOWS:

F0...LESS THAN 73 MPH.
F1...73 MPH TO 112 MPH.
F2...113 MPH TO 157 MPH.
F3...158 MPH TO 206 MPH.
F4...207 MPH TO 260 MPH.
F5...261 MPH TO 318 MPH.



*******************************************************************

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
520 PM EDT TUE JUL 22 2003

...STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE FOUND IN DAUPHIN COUNTY FROM JULY 21 
STORM...

A TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN STATE COLLEGE 
SURVEYED DAMAGE AND INTERVIEWED RESIDENTS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT 
OFFICIALS IN DAUPHIN COUNTY TODAY. THE TEAM DETERMINED THAT DAMAGE 
IN THE HARRISBURG AREA WAS CAUSED BY STRAIGHT LINE WINDS. 

THE THUNDERSTORM PRODUCED WIND GUSTS OF 65 TO 70 MPH IN THE GREATER 
HARRISBURG AREA...DOWNING 30 LARGE TREES AND AN ADDITIONAL NUMBER OF 
SMALLER TREES. ABOUT 40 CARS WERE DAMAGED BY THE FALLING 
TREES...ALONG WITH SOME DAMAGE TO HOMES. THE DAMAGING WIND OCCURRED 
BETWEEN 1000 AND 1015 PM.


*******************************************************************

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
515 PM EDT TUE JUL 22 2003

...F1 TORNADO CONFIRMED IN MCKEAN COUNTY ON MONDAY JULY 21...

A TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN STATE COLLEGE 
SURVEYED DAMAGE AND INTERVIEWED RESIDENTS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT 
OFFICIALS IN MCKEAN COUNTY TODAY. THE TEAM DETERMINED THAT AN F1 
TORNADO DID TOUCH DOWN IN MCKEAN COUNTY BETWEEN 315 PM AND 330 PM 
MONDAY AFTERNOON.

THE THUNDERSTORM WHICH SPAWNED THE TORNADO FIRST STARTED PRODUCING 
DOWNBURST WIND DAMAGE 2 MILES WEST OF KANE. IT CONTINUED TO THE 
NORTHEAST FOR 15 MILES...BEFORE THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 1 MILE WEST 
OF THE KINZUA VIADUCT IN A WOODED AREA. THE TORNADO CONTINUED 
NORTHEAST...PRODUCING A DAMAGE PATH 3 1/2 MILES LONG...AND ABOUT 1/3 
MILE WIDE. WINDS WERE ESTIMATED AT 100 MPH...WHICH CLASSIFIES THE 
TORNADO AS AN F1 ON THE FUJITA SCALE. THE TORNADO CAUSED THE 
COLLAPSE OF THE HISTORIC KINZUA VIADUCT BRIDGE. NINE OF THE 20 
BRIDGE SUPPORTS WERE DESTROYED...LEADING TO THE COLLAPSE OF THE 
BRIDGE. THOUSANDS OF TREES WERE ALSO DOWNED ALONG THE PATH OF THE 
TORNADO.

THE TORNADO THEN LIFTED UP ABOUT 2 1/2 MILES NORTHEAST OF THE 
BRIDGE. DOWNBURST WIND DAMAGE CONTINUED TO ABOUT 2 MILES NORTH OF 
SMETHPORT...WHERE THE TORNADO ONCE AGAIN TOUCHED DOWN. THE TORNADO 
CONTINUED ON A NORTH-NORTHEAST PATH UNTIL IT LIFTED AGAIN ABOUT 1 
MILE NORTH OF FARMERS VALLEY...NEAR THE INTERSECTIONS OF ROUTES 46 
AND 446. TOP WIND SPEEDS DURING THE SECOND TOUCHDOWN WERE ESTIMATED 
AT 80 TO 90 MPH...AGAIN CLASSIFYING THE STORM AS AN F1 IN INTENSITY. 
THE PATH OF THE SECOND TOUCHDOWN WAS ABOUT 3 MILES LONG...WITH A 
WIDTH OF ABOUT 150 YARDS.

THIS SECOND TOUCHDOWN DAMAGED 2 BARNS...AND DESTROYED A THIRD. TWO 
HOMES AND A CHURCH WERE ALSO DAMAGED. NO INJURIES OR DEATHS WERE 
REPORTED. 

THE FUJITA SCALE RATES TORNADOES ON WIND SPEED AND DAMAGE. THE SCALE 
FOLLOWS:

F0...LESS THAN 73 MPH.
F1...73 MPH TO 112 MPH.
F2...113 MPH TO 157 MPH.
F3...158 MPH TO 206 MPH.
F4...207 MPH TO 260 MPH.
F5...261 MPH TO 318 MPH.


*******************************************************************


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
250 PM EDT WED JUL 23 2003

...F1 TORNADO CONFIRMED IN LYCOMING COUNTY ON MONDAY JULY 21...

A TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN STATE COLLEGE 
SURVEYED DAMAGE AND INTERVIEWED RESIDENTS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT 
OFFICIALS IN LYCOMING COUNTY TODAY. THE TEAM DETERMINED THAT AN F1 
TORNADO DID TOUCH DOWN IN LYCOMING COUNTY ABOUT 530 PM MONDAY 
AFTERNOON.

THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN ON FUNSTON ROAD IN LAIRDSVILLE WHERE 
IT DID MOST OF ITS DAMAGE...TEARING A ROOF OFF A BARN AND CAUSING 
MINOR DAMAGE TO A FEW HOMES. THE TORNADO THEN CROSSED ROUTE 118 AND 
LITTLE MUNCY CREEK AND CONTINUED ALONG BEAVER RUN ROAD. THE DAMAGE 
PATH ENDED ON SAVAGE HILL ROAD AS THE TORNADO LIFTED OFF THE GROUND. 

THE TORNADO PATH WAS 5 MILES LONG. THE TORNADO REACHED ONE HALF MILE 
WIDE AT ITS WIDEST POINT. BASED ON THE DAMAGE...THE TORNADO WAS AN 
F1 WITH WINDS UP TO 90 MPH.
See Pictures of the damage from this storm.Picture 1 |Picture 2
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TEAM ALSO INVESTIGATED OTHER DAMAGE IN 
NEARBY MUNCY AND ACROSS THE RIVER IN LEWISBURG IN UNION COUNTY. THE 
DAMAGE IN BOTH LOCATIONS WAS DUE TO A COUPLE OF DOWNBURSTS. THE 
DAMAGE IN MUNCY WAS LIGHT AND SPORADIC AND CONFINED TO FALLEN TREES.

IN LEWISBURG...THE DAMAGE WAS FAR MORE EXTENSIVE. HUNDREDS OF TREES 
FELL IN LEWISBURG AND MANY OF THEM FELL ON HOMES. THERE WERE EVEN A 
FEW HOMES THAT SUSTAINED WIND DAMAGE TO THEIR ROOF THAT WAS NOT DUE 
TO TREES FALLING ON THEM. THE AMERICAN RED CROSS AND ANOTHER 
BUSINESS LOST PART OF THEIR ROOF AS WELL. 


*******************************************************************


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
330 PM EDT FRI JUL 25 2003

...AN F1 TORNADO OCCURRED IN JUNIATA COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA ON MONDAY 
JULY 21...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STATE COLLEGE AND JUNIATA COUNTY 
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS SURVEYED STORM DAMAGE AND INTERVIEWED 
RESIDENTS IN CENTRAL JUNIATA COUNTY ON JULY 24. THE TEAM DETERMINED 
THAT AN F1 TORNADO WITH PEAK WINDS OF UP TO 80 MPH DID TOUCH DOWN IN 
CENTRAL JUNIATA COUNTY NEAR EAST SALEM FROM ABOUT 500 TO 505 PM 
MONDAY AFTERNOON JULY 21.
 
EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE OCCURRED ALONG THE TORNADO PATH.  THE ROOF OF 
A HOME WAS LIFTED OFF AS WELL AS PARTIAL DAMAGE TO ROOFS OF SEVERAL 
BARNS.  IN ONE LOCATION A TREE LIMB WAS DRIVEN INTO A BARN DOOR.  
EYEWITNESSES DESCRIBED A ROARING HORIZONTAL WIND WITH BLINDING 
VISIBILITY LASTING ONLY A MINUTE OR SO AT THE TIME DAMAGE OCCURRED.  
THERE WERE NO REPORTED INJURIES.

THE TORNADO APPEARED TO FIRST TOUCH DOWN IN WESTERN DELAWARE 
TOWNSHIP JUST LESS THAN TWO MILES SOUTHWEST OF EAST SALEM.  THE 
TORNADO CONTINUED EAST-NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS ROUTE 333 FOR ABOUT 
ANOTHER MILE BEFORE DISSIPATING.  

THE TORNADO PATH WAS ABOUT 3 MILES LONG AND SEVERAL HUNDRED YARDS 
WIDE WITH PEAK WINDS TO 80 MPH BASED ON VISIBLE DAMAGE.  AN F1 
TORNADO ON THE FUJITA SCALE HAS A RANGE OF WIND SPEEDS BETWEEN 73 
AND 112 MPH.


*******************************************************************

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
634 PM EDT WED JUL 23 2003

...F0 TORNADO CONFIRMED IN DAUPHIN COUNTY ON TUESDAY JULY 22...

A TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN STATE COLLEGE 
SURVEYED DAMAGE AND INTERVIEWED RESIDENTS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT 
OFFICIALS IN DAUPHIN COUNTY TODAY. THE TEAM DETERMINED THAT AN F0 
TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN DAUPHIN COUNTY AROUND 4 PM TUESDAY AFTERNOON.

THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN ALONG ROUTE 147 JUST SOUTH OF PAXTON IN 
DAUPHIN COUNTY. THE TORNADO PATH WAS ABOUT 1.5 MILES LONG AND THE 
WIDTH WAS ABOUT 150 YARDS. THE TORNADO KNOCKED DOWN 2 DOZEN TREES 
AND SNAPPED OFF AN ADDITIONAL DOZEN TREES.

THE TORNADO LIFTED AS IT MOVED EAST BUT THE STORM PRODUCED LARGE 
HAIL. A TRAILER COURT JUST SOUTH OF MILLERSBURG WAS HIT BY GOLF BALL 
TO TENNIS BALL SIZE HAIL. THE NORTH SIDES OF THE TRAILERS WERE 
DENTED FROM THE HAIL AND MANY TRAILER SKIRTS HAD HOLES FROM THE 
HAIL. A FORD DEALERSHIP NEAR MILLERSBURG REPORTED 300 CARS DAMAGED 
BY HAIL. DAMAGE TO CARS RANGED FROM DENTS...TO BROKEN TAIL 
LIGHTS...TO A FEW CARS WITH WINDOWS BROKEN OUT BY THE HAIL. 
See Pictures of the hail damage from this storm.Picture 1 | Picture 2 | Picture 3.

 
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