A pool of cold air in the middle levels of the atmosphere, an incredibly strong jet stream level disturbance, changing wind direction with height and the overturning of unseasonably warm air as a cold front approached with a shot of more typical November chill all combined for a setup that delivered about as many tornadoes in one small geographic area of the coastal northeast corridor as you’ll see in a severe weather event.
Here are the details on the eight tornadoes confirmed to have touched down Saturday evening on Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Huge thanks to the Skywarn Spotters and public who relay your reports, and to the National Weather Service for conducting the damage surveys to confirm the tornadoes and composing each of these storm survey reports!
Below is National Weather Service survey information for the tornadoes on Saturday, Nov. 13:
Stonington, Connecticut to Westerly, Rhode Island tornado
Start Location: Stonington in New London County, Connecticut End Location: Westerly in Washington County, Rhode Island Date: Nov. 13 Estimated Time: 4:54-5 p.m. Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF-1 Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 90 mph Maximum Path Width: 100 yards Path Length: 1.35 miles Beginning Latitude/Longitude: 41.2256/71.5011 Ending Latitude/Longitude: 41.2348/71.4907 Fatalities: None Injuries: None Summary: At approximately 4:54 p.m., a tornado touched down on Robinson Street in the Pawcatuck neighborhood of Stonington, Connecticut. Several hardwood trees were uprooted or snapped about half way up the trunk. A gutter was ripped off of one home while shutters were ripped off of another. Several trampolines were lifted, with one becoming stuck on a power line approximately 20 feet in the air. On Robinson Street, crossroad Race Street, a metal shed was lifted and flipped before being crushed by a large maple branch, with an approximate diameter of 15 inches. Several street signs were also snapped at their base. The tornado then continued on a northeast track into Westerly, Rhode Island, where it crossed Route 78 onto Center Street, where approximately 20 large, healthy hardwood trees were uprooted. A wood outbuilding was also flipped onto its side. The tornado then crossed onto Hillview Drive before lifting at approximately 5 p.m. The basis for the EF-1 rating was the metal shed that was flipped prior to being crushed, as well as the shearing of gutters and shutters off of homes. The maximum estimated wind associated with this tornado was 90 mph.
North Kingstown, Rhode Island tornado
Start Location: North Kingstown in Washington County, Rhode Island End Location: Wickford in Washington County, Rhode Island Date: Nov. 13 Estimated Time: 5:18-5:24 p.m. Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF-0 Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 80 mph Maximum Path Width: 150 yards Path Length: 1.5 miles Beginning Latitude/Longitude: 41.3356/71.2852 Ending Latitude/Longitude: 41.3476/71.2734 Fatalities: None Injuries: None Summary: At approximately 5:18 p.m., a tornado touched down just southwest of Dillon Avenue in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Several large, healthy, hardwood trees were uprooted or snapped; while a few standing trees were sheared at the top. The tornado then crossed over Route 102 onto Himes Street. In addition to numerous downed hardwood trees on Himes Street, approximately four to five power poles were snapped in half and a fallen tree caused window and roof damage to a home. The tornado then continued to track northeast toward Juniper Drive, where large branches, diameter approximately 15 inches, were downed across the neighborhood. Smaller downed branches were also visible along Route 1 as the tornado moved northeast. At approximately 5:24 p.m., the tornado lifted over Hopedale Ave in Wickford, Rhode Island. The basis for the EF-0 rating lies in several uprooted or snapped hardwood trees, and minor shearing of treetops on a few standing trees. No major structural damage was observed aside from the building on Himes Street, which was caused by a downed tree.
Plainfield, Connecticut to Foster, Rhode Island tornado
Start Location: Plainfield in Windham County, Connecticut End Location: Foster in Providence County, Rhode Island Date: Nov. 13 Estimated Time: 4:48 to 5:02 p.m. Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF-0 Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 80 mph Maximum Path Width: 100 yards Path Length: 6.13 miles Beginning Latitude/Longitude: 41.4214/71.5159 Ending Latitude/Longitude: 41.4520/71.4548 Fatalities: None Injuries: None Summary: Based on definitive radar confirmation of a tornado debris signature and video footage from our media partners we confirm that an EF-0 touched down in Plainfield, Connecticut at approximately 4:48 p.m. Several hardwood trees were uprooted on a hilltop on Sterling Hill Road near Goshen Road. The tornado then proceeded along a northeast track into Rhode Island, where it made intermittent contact with the ground for six miles; ending at the Cucumber Hill Farm in Foster, Rhode Island, at approximately 5:02 p.m. Sheared trees and downed hardwood trees were observed on the farm. A heavy, large red trailer was also moved approximately 50 feet. EF-0 determination was based on downed and uprooted hardwood trees, as well as radar data.
Cheshire, Connecticut tornado
Start Location: Cheshire in New Haven County, Connecticut End Location: Cheshire in New Haven County, Connecticut Date: Nov. 13 Estimated Time: 3:30 to 3:34 p.m. Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF-0 Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 75 mph Maximum Path Width: 100 yards Path Length: 3.5 miles Beginning Latitude/Longitude: 41.48751, -72.9355 Ending Latitude/Longitude: 41.51865, -72.88036 Fatalities: None Injuries: None Summary: A National Weather Service storm survey team has confirmed an EF-0 tornado in Cheshire, Connecticut. A narrow tornado path of 25 yard width began along Mountain Road, just south of Higgins Road, and continued northeast, with sporadic tree damage. More significant tree damage occurred on the grounds of the Legion of Christ College of Humanities on Oak Road, where the damage path also widened to 100 yards. The tornado path narrowed to 25 yards thereafter, with uprooted hardwood trees along Warrent Street. The damage path continued northeast to the back of the Maine Street Caffe and along Main Street to the intersection of George Avenue and Mueller Avenue, where an SUV and an RV were crushed, respectively. The damage path became more sporadic past that point and ended near Fairwood Drive.
Branford, Connecticut tornado
Start Location: Branford in New Haven County, Connecticut End Location: Branford in New Haven County, Connecticut Date: Nov. 13 Estimated Time: 3:44 to 3:46 p.m. Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF-0 Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 85 mph Maximum Path Width: 300 yards Path Length: 1.94 miles Beginning Latitude/Longitude: 41.27758, -72.79514 Ending Latitude/Longitude: 41.29436, -72.76501 Fatalities: None Injuries: None Summary: A National Weather Service storm survey team has confirmed an EF-0 tornado in Branford, Connecticut. A narrow tornado path of 25 yards width began near Pine Orchard and Oak Hollow Roads and continued northeast, with uprooted hardwood trees showing evidence of a convergent damage pattern. The damage path widened to 300 yards at the Francis Walsh Intermediate School field, where several light tower generators were all toppled by straight line winds. While the eastern 100 yards of this area along Sunset Hill Drive continued to show a convergent damage pattern, the tornado continued on toward the top of Whiting Hill Road, where the path narrowed to about 75 yards and where the most intense damage occurred, where some pine trees in a loop at the top of the road were snapped in two. The damage path continued northeast to Gould Road, where the tornado apparently lifted just before reaching the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike.
Shirley to Manorville, New York tornado
Start Location: Shirley in Suffolk County, New York. End Location: Shirley in Suffolk County, New York Date: Nov. 13 Estimated Time: 3:42 to 3:50 p.m. Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF-1 Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 110 mph Maximum Path Width: 50 yards Path Length: 3.5 miles Beginning Latitude/Longitude: 40.798227, -72.871182 Ending Latitude/Longitude: 40.853652, -72.810073 Fatalities: None Injuries: None Summary: A National Weather Service storm survey team confirmed an EF-1 tornado in Shirley, New York. A tornado likely touched down just southwest of Francine Place and Mastic Boulevard, traveling east-northeast along the Long Island Railroad tracks and adjacent backyards. Numerous oak, maple and pine trees were uprooted and laying in a northerly direction. Several trees were also snapped at the trunk or had large branches sheared off along this path. In addition, minor roof and siding damage was observed for several houses, as well as leaf splatter on south and east sides. The damage swath at this point was only about 25 yards wide. The tornado then hooked northeast over the LIDL Supermarket (southwestern corner of the shopping center complex), flipping over 5-ton air handler unit on the roof before tearing off the parapet and collapsing the covered walkway of the Chipotle Mexican Grill on the northeast corner of the shopping center. Damage path remained about 25 yards, but damage was consistent with EF-1 winds of 95 to 105 mph. Public video showed the apparent tornadic circulation lifting northeast across the intersection of William Floyd Parkway and Montauk Highway toward the Applebees shopping center, with debris being thrown in one direction then another. Siding and shingles from the Chipotle were thrown northeast about 250 yards across this interseciton and into the Applebees shopping center. Other than the debris, some small trees were uprooted in the parking lot and laying to the northeast and flashing was ripped off the south side of the Applebees and unoccupied adjacent retail store. The tornadic circulation may have briefly lifted at this point, with about a 50 yard swath of 65 to 75 mph straight line winds across this shoppin center. The tornadic circulation then touched down once again to the northeast of the Applebees shopping center, lifting the entire roof off a 2-story multi-family residents on the corner of Grand Avenue and McGraw Street. The roof was tossed as far as 150 yards to the north, into the backyard of neighboring houses to the north on Grand Avenue. One section of this roof actually impaled itself into the side of a neighboring house to the north and made such a strong impact that it skewed the vertical structure of that house. Based on the extent of structural damage to these houses and an adjacent 50-yard swatch of uprooted, snapped or sheared large trees, this damage was consistent with EF-1 winds of around 110 mph. The tornado strength likely peaked at this point. The entirety of the EF-1 tornadic damage path to the southwest and northeast of Montauk Highway was around 1/4 mile. The tornado would then make its way north across Sunrise Highway, skipping its way norhteast for the next 4-1/2 miles, with areas of damage consistent with an EF0. On its path, it continued northeast over Brookhaven Calabro Airport, flipping over or shifting a few small engine planes. Thereafter, it moved northeast through Pancho Drive, Titmus Drive, Abbot Avenue and Burney Boulevard just to the east-northeast of the airport. Several large trees were uprooted, trunks snapped or branches sheared in an approximately 50-yard path, with accompanying minor roof, siding and fencing damage in this area. The tornado likely skipped north to the intersection of Barnes Road and Moriches-Middle Island Road with a small area of additional tree damage, before making a final nearly mile-long and 50-yard wide tornado damage path northeast across Foreston Circle, Eagle Lane, Nestledown Avenue, Wading River Road, Tupelo Street and then across to the intersection of Silas Woods Road and South Street before finally lifting. Several dozen large hard and soft wood trees were uprooted and laying in a northerly or northeast direction as compared to the east-northeast direction of storm movement. In addition, numerous tree tops were sheared and tree trunks snapped, with minor roof, siding and fencing damage observed for numerous houses along this path. A large north/south facing camper on Tupelo Drive was rolled onto its side. The described 50-yard convergent tornadic damage pattern was consistent with an EF-0 tornado, with 85 mph winds, and was flanked to the southeast by a 500-yard path of scattered tree and power line damage and minor structural damage consistent with 65 to 75 mph southwesterly straight line winds.
East Islip, New York tornado
Start Location: East Islip in Suffolk County, New York End Location: Oakdale in Suffolk County, New York Date: Nov. 13 Estimated Time: 3:20 to 3:22 p.m. Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF-0 Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 85 mph Maximum Path Width: 50 yards Path Length: 900 yards Beginning Latitude/Longitude: 40.717779, -73.197229 Ending Latitude/Longitude: 40.723105, -73.190136 Fatalities: None Injuries: None Summary: A National Weather Service storm survey team confirmed an EF-0 tornado in East Islip, New York. A narrow tornado of 50-yard width likely touched down at the southwestern end of Hollins Lane and then continued northeast over Brushwood Court, Bayview Avenue, Josephine Lane and then finally over Kay Court before lifting over the Joseph F. Kennedy Elementary School sport fields. A few dozen large oak, maple and pine trees were uprooted and laying in an east or northeast direction. Several trees were also snapped at the trunk or had large branches sheared off along this path. In addition, minor roof and siding damage was observed for several houses, as well as leaf splatter on the south and east sides of several houses. This tornadic circulation was likely on the northwest side of a 400-yard swath of 65 to 75 mph west to southwest straight line winds, causing isolated large trees to be uprooted and several large limbs broken. As mentioned, the tornado likely lifted over the John F. Kennedy Elementary School sport fields, becoming a funnel cloud. This funnel cloud may have briefly touched down as a weak tornado in the Frog lane and Jade Street area of Oakdale, resulting in a very large but partially rotted oak tree to topple onto and destroy a home. The funnel cloud was videotaped by the public, looking southwest from the Old Navy department store on Johnson Avenue (just north of Sunrise Highway), but no further damage was noted with this storm. Based on radar velocity signatures and damage orientation in relation to the general northeast motion of the parent storm, this was determined to be tornado damage, with degree of damage indicating EF-0 damage.
Nassau County, New York tornado
Start Location: Woodmere in Nassau County, New York End Location: Levittown in Nassau County, New York Date: Nov. 13 Estimated Time: 2:37 to 2:55 p.m. Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF-0 Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 85 mph Maximum Path Width: 50 yards Path Length: 0.25 miles Beginning Latitude/Longitude: 40.62490, -73.71979 Ending Latitude/Longitude: 40.73421, -73.51465 Fatalities: None Injuries: None Summary: The National Weather Service completed a sotrm survey in Nassau County, New York, and found that a tornado briefly touched down in a few locations. The first report of a touchdown was in Woodmere, where several trees and power lines were down. From there, the tornado lifted and skipped a few locations as it traveled nearly 50 mph to the northeast toward Hempstead, Uniondale and Levittown. Here, damage reports were sporadic, but in Uniondale, New York, the tornado touched down again and tore a roof off a 2-story colonial building on Liberty Street, which landed on a nearby house. Scattered debris, including shingles, insulation and twisted siding, was thrown into the next block up, inculding the intersection of Emerson and Goodrich streets. Signficant damage was also noted near Clover Lane in Levittown, where a large tree was felled onto a house before the tornado lifted.