Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | June 13, 2011

Deadly Twisters Rare In Northeast (That Much I Do Know! Lived In VT For 14 Years)

Deadly twisters rare in northeast: US

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Deadly tornadoes like the one that struck Massachusetts are unusual but not unheard of in the northeastern United States, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.

Massachusetts has seen an average of two tornadoes per year since 1950, when the US government began keeping records on the phenomena.

Prior to Wednesday’s tornadoes, which killed at least four people in the small northeastern state, there had not been a tornado in Massachusetts since a weak one touched down in the southeastern corner in 2008.

The last deadly tornado to hit Massachusetts was a potent level E4 storm with winds of 166-200 miles per hour (267-321 kilometers per hour) a full 16 years ago, according to NOAA spokesman Greg Carbin.

“The last killer tornado to occur in Massachusetts was on May 29, 1995 when three people were killed and 24 were injured by an EF4 tornado that left a 10 mile (16 kilometer) path of destruction across parts Berkshire County, in the western part of the state,” he said.

Massachusetts declared a state of emergency after about 20 communities throughout the state reported tornado touchdowns.

The latest tornadoes came just over a week after a massive funnel cloud struck the Missouri town of Joplin, killing 134 in one of the worst single tornadoes to strike the United States.


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