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TORNADO OUTBREAK OF APRIL 2002

 

 

 

Click on the county name below for a brief listing of statistics for each tornado.

 

TORNADOES RAKE ACROSS WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA AND THE NORTHERN PANHANDLE OF WEST VIRGINIA ON 28 APRIL 2002.


ON SUNDAY, 28 APRIL 2002, SEVEN SEPARATE TORNADOES OCCURRED IN NINE DIFFERENT COUNTIES ACROSS WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA AND THE NORTHERN PANHANDLE OF WEST VIRGINIA. THIS IS THE MOST PROLIFIC OUTBREAK OF TORNADOES ACROSS OUR REGION SINCE 2 JUNE 1998. ON 2 JUNE, NINE TORNADOES CROSSED THE AREA. THE FOLLOWING REPRESENTS A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EACH TORNADO.

-MERCER COUNTY, PA

 

1) AN F0 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN NEAR HERMITAGE ABOUT 235 PM AND MOVED EAST FOR ABOUT 6 MILES. IT THEN DISSIPATED ABOUT 240 PM ROUGHLY 5 MILES NORTHWEST OF MERCER. THE MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH WAS APPROXIMATELY 150 FEET AND THE MAXIMUM ESTIMATED WINDS WERE ABOUT 70 MPH.

A FIRE TOWER WAS DOWNED NEAR HERMITAGE. THE WINDWARD SIDE OF A BARN IN JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP WAS BLOWN APART AND THE ADJACENT BUILDING EXHIBITED LARGE HOLES IN THE METAL SIDES FROM FLYING DEBRIS. A GARAGE THAT WAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION ALSO SUFFERED MAJOR DAMAGE. NUMEROUS TREES AND TELEPHONE POLES WERE EITHER TOPPLED OR SNAPPED ALONG THE PATH OF THE TORNADO. THERE WERE ALSO SOME TREES TOPPLED ONTO HOUSES.

2) THE SAME STORM CONTINUED EAST AND PRODUCED AN F1 TORNADO WHICH TOUCHED DOWN ABOUT 5 MILES NORTHEAST OF MERCER NEAR LAKE LATONKA ABOUT 245 PM. IT MOVED EAST-NORTHEAST ALONG ROUTES 65 AND 965. IT CONTINUED ALONG THIS PATH CROSSING THE VENANGO COUNTY LINE WEST OF MT. PLEASANT ABOUT 300 PM. IT THEN TRAVELED EAST-NORTHEAST AND CROSSED SOUTH OF POLK, FINALLY DISSIPATING ABOUT 2 MILES SOUTHWEST OF FRANKLIN ABOUT 306 PM. EVEN THOUGH THE TORNADO DISSIPATED, SPORADIC DOWNBURST (STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE) CONTINUED FOR SEVERAL MORE MILES IN VENANGO COUNTY. THE PATH LENGTH OF THIS TORNADO WAS ABOUT 10 MILES IN MERCER COUNTY AND ANOTHER 6 MILES IN VENANGO COUNTY FOR A TOTAL OF ABOUT 16 MILES. MAXIMUM ESTIMATED WINDS WERE 105 MPH WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF ABOUT 200 YARDS.

THERE WAS STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO SEVERAL HOUSES AT LAKE LATONKA. ALSO, THERE WERE SEVERAL DECKS AND PORCHES DESTROYED. SOME SHEDS AND SMALL GARAGES WERE DAMAGED, AND THERE WERE NUMEROUS TREES TOPPLED OR SNAPPED. ONE BOAT WAS BLOWN OVER, AND SIDING AND SHINGLES WERE BLOWN OFF HOUSES. NEAR JACKSON CORNERS, THERE WERE NUMEROUS LARGE TREES DOWNED AS WELL AS, POWER LINES AND TELEPHONE POLES. ALSO, SEVERAL TREES WERE TOPPLED ONTO HOUSES. SIGNS WERE DESTROYED, AND ROOFS, SIDING AND SHINGLES WERE RIPPED FROM SEVERAL HOUSES AND OUT-BUILDINGS. THE FISH HATCHERY BUILDING HAD ABOUT A 100 SQUARE FT PIECE OF ITS METAL ROOF RIPPED OFF AND THROWN SEVERAL HUNDRED YARDS. A RELATIVELY NEW GARAGE WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED. ALSO, A WOODEN BOARD (2x4) WAS FOUND THROWN INTO A MOBILE HOME AND PIECES OF WOOD WERE ALSO DRIVEN INTO THE FRONT OF A CAR. AS THIS TORNADO APPROACHED THE MERCER COUNTY LINE, THE DAMAGE PATTERN WIDENED CONSIDERABLY. THOUSANDS OF TREES AND BRANCHES WERE SNAPPED OR TOPPLED. THE PATH WIDTH OF DAMAGE STRETCHED TO NEARLY ONE HALF MILE. AT THIS POINT THE TORNADO TRACK WAS JOINED BY MICROBURST DAMAGE (STRAIGHT LINE WIND) WHICH RESULTED IN THE WIDENING OF THE DAMAGE PATH.

 

-VENANGO COUNTY, PA

 

THIS TORNADO CAUSED MINOR DAMAGE TO 3 HOMES, MODERATE DAMAGE TO ANOTHER, AND TOTALLY DESTROYED 4 BARNS. THERE WERE ALSO 2 TREE FARMS THAT SUFFERED MAJOR DAMAGE AND ONE-HALF OF A DOUBLE-WIDE HOME WAS TURNED COMPLETELY OVER ON ITíS ROOF.

 

-ARMSTRONG COUNTY, PA

 

3) IN ARMSTRONG COUNTY AT ABOUT 345 PM AN F0 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN ABOUT 1 MILE SOUTH OF SPRING CHURCH. IT TRAVELED ABOUT 3 MILES AND CROSSED INTO INDIANA COUNTY, FINALLY DISSIPATING NEAR THE TOWN OF ISELIN ABOUT 352 PM. THE MAXIMUM ESTIMATED WINDS WERE ABOUT 70 MPH WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF ABOUT 150 YDS.

NUMEROUS TREES WERE TOPPLED OR SNAPPED. A SMALL STEEPLE WAS TOPPLED, AND A SWIMMING POOL WAS DESTROYED. THERE WERE SEVERAL TREES ON TOP OF HOUSES, AND SOME HOUSES SUFFERED MINOR WIND DAMAGE. A GARAGE WAS DAMAGED, AND A HOUSE UNDER CONSTRUCTION WAS LIFTED OFF THE FOUNDATION.

 

-INDIANA COUNTY, PA

 

THIS SAME TORNADO CROSSED INTO INDIANA COUNTY ABOUT 352 PM AND FINALLY DISSIPATED NEAR THE TOWN OF ISELIN ABOUT 355 PM. THERE WERE NUMEROUS DOWNED AND SNAPPED TREES AS WELL AS, DOWNED POWER LINES.

4) APPROXIMATELY AT 400 PM AN F2 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN CENTER TOWNSHIP ABOUT 6 MILES SOUTHWEST OF INDIANA (THIS WAS THE SAME STORM THAT CROSSED SOUTHERN ARMSTRONG COUNTY, BUT WITH A NEW TORNADO). THE PATH LENGTH WAS ABOUT 5 MILES WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF ABOUT 250 YDS. THE ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WINDS WERE ABOUT 135 MPH. IT DISSIPATED ABOUT 406 PM JUST SOUTH OF INDIANA.

THE MOST INTENSE DAMAGE OCCURRED IN CENTER TOWNSHIP WHERE ONE HOUSE WAS TOTALLY DESTROYED, AND DEBRIS WAS BLOWN DOWNWIND. IN THIS SAME AREA A CAR WAS TURNED OVER, AND TREES WERE STRIPPED OF LEAVES. AN ADJACENT HOUSE EXHIBITED DAMAGE FROM HAIL OR FLYING PROJECTILES ON SEVERAL SIDES. THE HOUSE IMMEDIATELY TO THE NORTH OF THE DESTROYED HOUSE LOST PART OF ITS EAST-FACING ROOF. THIS WAS STRONG EVIDENCE OF CYCLONIC MOTION (TORNADIC ACTIVITY). THERE WERE AN ADDITIONAL 6 HOUSES DAMAGED (ROOFS, SHINGLES, SIDING ETC.). SEVERAL GARAGES AND BARNS WERE EITHER PARTIALLY OR TOTALLY DESTROYED. NUMEROUS TREES WERE EITHER TOPPLED OR SNAPPED. ONE MODERATE INJURY WAS REPORTED WITH THIS TORNADO.

5) ABOUT 410 PM, AN F1 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN NEAR THE SMALL TOWN OF DECKERS POINT (ABOUT 7 MILES NORTHEAST OF CLYMER). IT TRAVELED ABOUT 2 MILES AND DISSIPATED ABOUT 413 PM. THE MAXIMUM ESTIMATED WINDS WERE ABOUT 90 MPH WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF ABOUT 100 YDS.

THERE WAS ONE INJURY WITH THIS TORNADO. WIND BLEW THE DOORS OFF OF ONE HOUSE AND CAUSED THE OPPOSITE WALL TO PUSH OUT, WHILE LIFTING UP THE ROOF. A 100 YEAR OLD HOUSE LOST ITS ENTIRE ROOF WHICH WAS BLOWN OFF AND DEPOSITED ABOUT 150 YDS AWAY. ADDITIONALLY, THE GARAGE WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED WITH CINDER BLOCKS THROWN NEARLY 100 YDS. THERE WERE NUMEROUS TREES, POWER LINES, AND TELEPHONE POLES DOWNED. SHEDS AND SMALL GARAGES WERE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED, AND ONE WOODEN GARAGE WAS PICKED UP AND MOVED OVER THE CAR THAT WAS PARKED INSIDE..

 

-BUTLER COUNTY, PA

 

6) AN F1 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN AROUND 301 PM ABOUT 10 MILES EAST OF BUTLER. IT TRAVELED EAST-NORTHEAST AND DISSIPATED AROUND 306 PM ABOUT 2 MILES NORTHWEST OF BUTLER. THE PATH LENGTH WAS ABOUT 7 MILES WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF 50 YDS. THE ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WINDS WERE ABOUT 105 MPH.

ROOFS WERE BLOWN OFF SEVERAL HOUSES WITH ONE BEING DEPOSITED ABOUT 75 YDS AWAY. OTHER HOUSES LOST SIDING, AND A BARN LOST PART OF ITS ROOF. LARGE SWATHS OF TREES WERE DOWNED. SOME OF THE TREES WERE LAYING IN A CIRCULAR OR CONVERGING PATTERN WHICH INDICATED CYCLONIC MOTION. SOME TREES WERE ALSO SNAPPED OR SHEARED OFF.

 

-MARSHALL COUNTY, WV

 

ABOUT 315 PM AN F1 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN ABOUT ONE-HALF MILE NORTHEAST OF THE TOWN OF ST. JOSEPH IN SOUTHEAST MARSHALL COUNTY. IT TRAVELED ABOUT 1 MILE BEFORE DISSIPATING AROUND 320 PM. THE ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WINDS WERE ABOUT 100 MPH WITH AN MAXIMUM WIDTH OF ABOUT 150 YDS.

THE TORNADO DESTROYED A BARN AND DAMAGED SEVERAL OTHERS. SHINGLES WERE BLOWN FROM A HOUSE. THERE WERE NUMEROUS TREES TOPPLED OR SNAPPED. THIS STORM ALSO PRODUCED VERY LARGE HAIL OF UP TO 2.5 INCHES IN MONROE COUNTY, OHIO AND BASEBALL SIZE IN MUSKINGUM COUNTY OHIO.

 

SYNOPSIS

TORNADO 1 (MERCER COUNTY)

F-SCALE = F0

PATH LENGTH = 6 MILES

MAXIMUM WIDTH = 150 FT

EST WIND = 70 MPH

TIME = 235-240 PM

START AND END POINTS = HERMITAGE TO 5 MILES NW MERCER

 


TORNADO 2 (MERCER AND VENANGO COUNTY)

F-SCALE = F1

PATH LENGTH = 16 MILES

MAXIMUM WIDTH = 200 YDS

EST WIND = 105 MPH

TIME = 245-306 PM

START AND END POINTS = 5 MILES NE MERCER TO 2 MILES SW OF FRANKLIN

 


TORNADO 3 (ARMSTRONG AND INDIANA COUNTY) 

F-SCALE = F0

PATH LENGTH = 3.5 MILES

MAXIMUM WIDTH = 150 YDS

EST WIND = 70 MPH

TIME = 345-355 PM

START AND END POINTS = 1 MILE S OF SPRING CHURCH TO ISELIN

 


TORNADO 4 (INDIANA COUNTY) 

F-SCALE = F2

PATH LENGTH = 5 MILES

MAXIMUM WIDTH = 250 YDS

EST WIND = 135 MPH

TIME = 400-406 PM

START AND END POINTS = 6 MILES SW OF INDIANA TO 1 MILE S OF INDIANA

 


TORNADO 5 (INDIANA COUNTY) 

F-SCALE = F1

PATH LENGTH = 2 MILES

MAXIMUM WIDTH = 100 YDS

EST WIND = 90 MPH

TIME = 410-413 PM

START AND END POINTS = 7 MILES NE CLYMER TO 9 NE CLYMER

 


TORNADO 6 (BUTLER COUNTY PA) 

F-SCALE = F1

PATH LENGTH = 7 MILES

MAXIMUM WIDTH = 50 YDS

EST WIND = 105 MPH

TIME = 301-306 PM

START AND END POINTS = 10 MILES E BUTLER TO 2 MILES NW BUTLER

 


TORNADO 7 (MARSHALL COUNTY WV) 

F-SCALE = F1

PATH LENGTH = 1 MILES

MAXIMUM WIDTH = 150 YDS

EST WIND = 100 MPH

TIME = 315-320 PM

START AND END POINTS = 0.5 MILES NE ST. JOSEPH TO 1 MILE NW MILLSBORO


 


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