A National weather storm survey of storm damage has reached a preliminary conclusion that multiple wet microbursts affected Marblehead Neck and the adjacent waters between approximately 357 PM and 430 PM on Tuesday July 11th.
This survey included visual assessment... interviews with many along the primary damage path... receipt of wind instrument winds speeds... newspaper accounts and correlation with National climatic data center /ncdc/ archived Taunton radar reflectivity...
velocity and spectrum width data.
Westerly winds of about 90 miles an hour occurred in the core damage zone centered from Marblehead Harbor southwest of the corinthian yacht club /cyc/ cutting across corinthian Lane then across the southern portion of Barker Lane and out to sea. The land damage path was short... primarily because the land is only about 700 feet wide from the Point of impact and exit across Marblehead Neck.
There were no known injuries.
The main damage path was approximately 150 feet wide. It consisted of primarily tree damage and comparatively minor structural damage along with substantial damage to sailing vessels and at least one auto.
Sporadic tree damage occurred about 600 feet north of the street surveyed core damage path... near Manley street... as well variable distances to the south and southwest of the core path... beginning on Foster street near The Harbor Avenue intersection then up to
the eastern yacht club finally to ocean Avenue near its intersection with Harbor Avenue.
There was a tight gradient to the primary damage core.
Taunton radar implied strong rotation via velocity data... and also strong shear in spectrum width data... indicating turbulent flow aloft in the interface between a portion of the updraft and the wet microburst downdraft from a constantly enlarging storm system.
Multiple eyewitness accounts spoke of a wind driven damage from west to east.
There was one report of a waterspout from a patron at restaurant across The Harbor but we were not able to interview that person.
This 4 PM storm reportedly did have hail preceding it... estimated 1.5 inch diameter at approximately 355 PM... but this was clearly a separate storm from the 305-320 PM three inch diameter hailstone storm... the second largest diameter hailstones known to have occurred in Massachusetts.
possible... after more data arrives... including evaluation of storm relative motion data... barographs... additional wind damage data and further visual accountings... that an updated Post event evaluation would reveal a rain wrapped tornado was embedded in the initial violent westerly wind. However the preponderance of information gleaned through 3 PM Friday July 14th... suggests that was a straight line wind event.
The following is time approximate and may need to be adjusted in the final report found in the National climatic data center document titled... storm data. Storm data will also reflect later updated time information on the events already listed.
At about 340 PM to 345 PM... apparent northeast wind storm outflow from storms traveling west to east... just north of Marblehead... arrived at the mouth of Marblehead Harbor causing sea spray. For those reviewing velocity data in the 0.4 degree slice...
the Centerpoint of the Taunton radar beam at this distance intersects the atmosphere/storms at about 2000 feet. The northeast surface outflow probably was much shallower and undercut the wind fields seen at 2000 feet.
Sometime between 357 PM - 4 PM... a white tempest was reported to have developed over Marblehead Harbor on the neck side of The Harbor... estimated by the cyc race chair to begin about 300 yards upstream from The Dock... and advanced toward the corinthian yacht club /cyc/ lifting 30 foot sailing vessels approximately 20 feet in the air and catapulting them end over end toward The Dock. An anemometer on the cyc dock was viewed to reach 95 mph before it blew off its mast. A sailing regatta had just finished and there were reports of people being pinned to the yacht club porch wall by the wind as safety was sought by many. At the club itself an anemometer topped out at 60 mph.
One anemometer on corinthian
Lane at 401 PM recorded 74 mph... time approximate... while a family member was watching branches Peel off a tree at about 414 PM... again time estimated.
Police logs indicate the first call for trees down was at 416 PM.
Wind and or debris blew out some windows on homes along corinthian Lane and much of the shorn tree damage with branches estimated 9 inches to a foot in diameter... were torn off the mid and upper portions of trees either side of corinthian Lane and then across Harbor Avenue onto properties south of Barker Lane.
There were many reports of excessively heavy rain accompanying or just following this burst of damaging wind... visibility down to 5 feet... windows fogging and at least one report ears popping... the latter possibly related to a rapid change in air pressure near the time of this event.
Enhanced fujita scale estimates for both hard and softwood combined with anemometer readings that were
not checked for calibration both in time and wind speed... strongly imply wind speeds of near 90 miles an hour.
That was the first microburst...
Winds continued to blow strong after the initial damage burst..then there was at least one report of a sudden shift to a southerly wind component probably sometime between 420 PM and 425 PM causing further damage on corinthian Lane and possibly confusing debris pattern assessment. The report below also supports this secondary microburst event.
Reports from weatherflow wind instruments on children's island about 1 mile to the northeast of Marblehead Neck and kindly shared with the National Weather Service were as follow...
We will continue to accept baraograph traces... detailed anemometer information and eyewitness accounts both verbal and
We extend appreciation to the numerous officials /police-fire/ Skywarn support... eyewitness accounts-reports from the corinthian... eastern and pleon yacht clubs as well as those along corinthian and Barker lanes who willingly shared a recounting of events toward a better understanding of the processes involved.
Now to the tornado in Wendell Massachusetts below...
... Microburst and F2 tornado confirmed in Wendell Massachusetts on Tuesday July 11...
A damage survey was conducted in Wendell Massachusetts today by the National Weather Service in Taunton... in cooperation with the Skywarn amateur radio coordinator for western Massachusetts... the Massachusetts emergency management agency... the Massachusetts department of conservation and recreation... and the Athol Fire Department.
Based upon the damage survey... interviews with eyewitnesses and Doppler radar data... the severe thunderstorm
produced a combination of straight line wind damage and a tornado... which has been rated as a strong F2 with wind speeds near 155 mph.
Damage began around 230 PM EDT... about 200 yards west of Montague Road. Straight line wind damage extended from Montague Road 1.5 miles east to wicket pond in the Wendell State Forest. Large Oak... Maple and Pine trees were uprooted and snapped in this area. Some Oaks just over two feet in diameter were snapped about 10 to 15 feet from the ground. Damage from the microburst extended along a path of one and a half miles in length... and anywhere from 50 to 300 yards wide. Wind speeds were estimated as high as 90 mph.
Tornado damage first appeared on the northeast corner of wicket pond. An eyewitness reported seeing a 6 foot wave form on The Pond. In addition... the park supervisor reported that the level of The Pond was lowered 6 to 8 inches by the storm. On the west side of wicket pond
many trees snapped 15 to 20 feet above the ground... with debris in a chaotic pattern.
The next area of damage was on wicket pond Road where the most severe damage occurred. Trees as large as 3 feet in diameter were uprooted. Bark was stripped off trees and a house had part of its roof torn off. The tornado tracked to the east along wicket pond Road... passing over depot Road which is in Wendell center. Part of a roof was torn off an old barn and many trees were uprooted.
After crossing depot Road... the tornado continued to track to the east... passing north of Morse Village Road. A construction storage trailer was completely destroyed and its roof was wrapped around a tree. Trees were also uprooted or snapped in this area. Damage came to an end about one half mile east of New Salem Road near a power line.
The path length of the tornado was approximately 2.9 miles long. Its average width was 200 yards... varying
from 100 to 300 yards.
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