Are There Tornadoes In Massachusetts? Tornadoes in the United States Northeast New England Area and Region

Map of Tornadoes in the United States for the Year 2011

Source

2011 A Record Year For Devistating Tornadoes in the U.S.

When I think of tornadoes, I think of the movie “The Wizard of Oz” when Judy Garland speaks that famous line, "We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!" In fact, I never realized that there were so many tornadoes throughout the country of the United States. Some of the states affected recently this year are Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, and Minnesota.

According to Wikipedia, there have been 1383 tornado reports within the United States in 2011, of which 995 are confirmed, and we are just entering the sixth month of 2011, so that number is sure to rise. The number of deaths in the United States alone is approximately 520 this year. This has been a record year so far for tornadoes in the United States. This has been the most deadly year since 1936, which had a total of 322 deaths attributed to tornado activity.

It seems like every day as we watch the news on television we see images of people in despair. These tornadoes are very similar to fires because once they are started anything in their path gets completely destroyed. It is very sad to see and the worst part about the whole situation with tornadoes is that you don't know when they are coming as they appear instantly, and disappear just as quickly.

Crazy Thunder Storm!

History of Tornadoes In New England

While I was doing my research for this article I came across some very interesting information. I never knew that there was a history of tornadoes in New England, let alone right near where I live! So I decided to do some further research. One of the most interesting things that I learned was that one of the earliest reports of a tornado in American History occurred approximately 8 to 12 miles from where I live. That tornado occurred in Rehoboth, Massachusetts in August of 1671. Luckily, nobody died in that incident. Just outside of Boston on July eighth, 1680 Cambridge, Massachusetts suffered a tornado where one person died.

Massachusetts Tornado News Coverage

Another tornado whose path extended through Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire on August 15, 1787, claimed 15 injuries and killed two people. While doing my research I realized that the most destructive tornado in New England’s History was the tornado in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1953. It occurred on June 9 around 5:08 PM and was listed as an F-4/F-5 class tornado. Now these tornadoes in no way are anything like the tornadoes we read about right now, but I was stunned to find out that they were actually tornadoes that occurred in New England.

The Worcester tornado traveled 46 miles within 84 minutes through Massachusetts. 94 people died, 60 of them in Worcester alone. Approximately 1300 people were injured, around 10,000 homes were completely destroyed, and a lot of property, including buildings and cars were damaged or destroyed beyond repair. The monetary damage was estimated at $52 million, which would be equivalent to approximately just under $500 million in 2010 U.S. dollars. That was astonishing!

What surprised me the most while doing this research, was that during my lifetime, there were actually several tornadoes that appeared within my area. In the late evening on Memorial Day in 1995 a thunderstorm produced a tornado in Berkshire County in the town of Great Barrington. Three people were trapped in a car and were lifted several hundred feet up into the air and then dropped into the countryside. They all perished. Over 20 people were injured from flying glass alone. Just fewer than 80 homes were damaged and destroyed and the damage from this tornado was over $52 million, which would be approximately $550 million in 2010. Again, this is astonishing to me.

But a storm in New England that hits home the most was actually the most recent one. I have to clarify, however, that it was actually a Water Spout and not a full tornado. On the day after my half birthday, July 23, 2008 a Water Spout touched down in the town that I work in; Swansea, Massachusetts and continued into the neighboring town of Warren, Rhode Island via the Cole's River. Although there were some gusts as high as 90 mph, the average speed of this storm was 65 mph and the path of the water spout was 4.2 miles in length, and luckily was only 50 yards wide. Ironically, no injuries or deaths were ever reported. I can’t believe that I don’t recall hearing about this.

Suffice to say, no one is safe from a tornado in the United States. They do tend to have areas where they are most active, but they are very unpredictable, appear out of nowhere, and cause mass destruction. I hope that the future shows a down-trend in this weather activity.

Map of Massachusetts and New England Area

Anatomy Of A Tornado

Don't Be a Victim of Natural Disaster! Protect Yourself by Being Ready!

More by this Author


Comments 48 comments

ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 5 years ago from United States

Interesting info for New Englanders! Thanks for sharing!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

You are welcome, ThePracticalMommy! I was so surprised when I uncovered this in my research. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

JSMatthew~


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 5 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Very interesting. I live in Louisiana, and am no stanger to tornados, but this year is SCARING me.


shanaya profile image

shanaya 5 years ago from Living in my Own Dreams:)

Dear Sir J.S.MATTHEW! Very Informative & Useful HUB. Thanks for sharing.

UP, AWESOME, USEFUL.

With Respect

From SHANAYA:)


JadedLove 5 years ago

Living in the windy city has its fears, but i must say i find them amazing in itself. Very insightful. Thank you for the read. great Hub

Johnny Love


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida

Interesting article

I grew up in NH but never hears of a tornado. We did have the occasional earthquake, but they were very minor, just rattled the dishes a bit


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Great hub! I think tornadoes must be one of the most frightening of natural phenomena. I didn't realise either that the USA had suffered so many deaths from tornadoes - that is tragic!

Luckily in the UK tornadoes are rare, (I think maybe the south of England is where they may get them), - we get hurricanes and other destructive winds - and I believe in Scotland where I live, we don't get tornadoes at all -well at least I've never heard of them. Anyway, I found your hub absolutely fascinating, many thankns for sharing.


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

I'm from England, My sister wrote then telling me they had a tornado, but that was probably 20-25 years ago. This year they have had unusual exteremly strong winds that probably travelled over the Atlantic ocean from here.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

A very interesting article about tornados. I have never experienced a tornado myself, only seen it on TV. Here in Sweden we only have strong winds and a storm now and then!

It was horrible facts of deaths and disasters from tornados, it must be scary to be there when that kind of weather appears!

Tina


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 5 years ago from Boston

Guess what? I'm reading your article and there is a tornado watch in Massachusetts on the news! One touched down in Westfield, Ma. Your hub is timely.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@bayoulady: My prayers are with you for your safety. Thanks for commenting.

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@shanaya: Thanks for the wonderful comment! I appreciate you stopping by and voting!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@JadedLove: Thanks for reading and commenting!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@chefsref: We have had minor earthquakes here in Massachusetts as well, although nothing really major. The earth is rapidly changing and this can be scary! Thanks for reading and commenting.

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@ Seeker7: Yes, the US has been bombarded with these horrible storms lately. I hope things quiet down soon! We have an active hurricane season here as well. You are lucky to not have to worry about tornadoes! Thanks for commenting.

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@writer20: You too, are lucky to not have these devastating storms! I appreciate you reading and commenting!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@thoughtforce: I am glad that you enjoyed this article and left a comment! Sweden is on the list of generally tornado free areas. I am glad that I live up in the North East of US since we have very little tornado activity compared to the south. Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Carolyn2008: Isn't that ironic? The last time we had one was back in 2008 and then the day after I published this article one appeared. What a strange coincidence! Thanks for the comment.

JSMatthew~


wheelinallover profile image

wheelinallover 5 years ago from Central United States

My home state lucked out last year, up until a month or so ago the most destructive tornado in recorded history was in Pennsylvania. Now Missouri has that distinction. Within the past 5 years I have heard reports that they are even touching down in California.

I spend every year in tornado alley. I have actually watched them form on trips from Nebraska to Oklahoma city. The best rule of thumb I have heard to avoid them is live at least a mile above sea level. After exhaustive research there was no evidence one has every hit anywhere where the elevation is 6000 feet above sea level or higher.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

wheelinallover, thanks for the information and for sharing your experience. I would be scared to live out there. I have seen the destruction on TV and it makes me sad. I never knew that tornadoes don't hit above 6000 feet above sea level. Thanks for adding to this Hub!

JSMatthew~


thranax profile image

thranax 5 years ago from Rep Boston MA

That is a weird thing, publish a hub and get hit by a tornado! I think your keeping a secret from us Matt!

~thranax~


wheelinallover profile image

wheelinallover 5 years ago from Central United States

After reading your article I took a break and went off to socialize. I was truly surprised to hear a tornado had touched down in Mass. It superseded our own weather report tonight. I truly am sorry to hear the people there had to suffer through another one.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

wheelinallover, in less than 24 hours after I published this Hub, 5 tornadoes touched down in Massachusetts. Scary irony! Sadly, 4 people died.

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

thranax, isn't that so weird? I was a little in shock to tell you the truth. Thanks for the read and comment.

JSMatthew~


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

That really was a fascinating hub. l´ve only seen tornados on t.v. and they look to be very scary.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, Dim Flaxenwick. Tornadoes are very scary!

JSMatthew~


SUSIE DUZY profile image

SUSIE DUZY 5 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

Good information. I live in New England most of my life and really don't remember tornados.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks Susie Duzy! They are rare but as we saw this week, they do happen here. Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


Ken Barton profile image

Ken Barton 5 years ago

Nice Hub on tornado's, they're frightening and mesmerizing all at the same time. I've had over a dozen dreams of tornado's dating back to my early childhood. Why? Who knows. With over 500 dead in just these two months, it's frightening to realize we're just beginning the tornado season. We've also entered into the Hurricane season as well, which looks to produce a record number this year as well. Pray the Lord sustains us through the troubled times.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Ken Barton, thanks for reading and leaving a comment! That's odd about you having reoccurring dreams about tornadoes. I hope that the upcoming hurricane season is mild this year. This country can't take anymore natural catastrophe. I do pray that we are all safe. Thanks for stopping by.

JSMatthew~


scauthor1969 profile image

scauthor1969 5 years ago from Upstate South Carolina

I grew up in southeastern Mass and now live in South Carolina. I never thought of tornadoes in New England. It always seemed more of a mid-western/deep south type of weather. Interesting background that I did not know.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Dido, scauthor1969! I am in South Eastern Mass and I never knew about this phenomenon until recently! Thanks for reading and sharing your comment!

JSMatthew~


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Very interesting information. I was totally shocked when I learned a tornado had hit Massachusetts, so imagine how much more shocked I am to find it is not that abnormal. This was an excellent history lesson.

up/awesome


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks Fay Paxton! I was just as shocked as you and I live in Mass! I am glad that I could share this information with you, and as always, I appreciate your comments!

JSMatthew~


manthy profile image

manthy 5 years ago from Alabama,USA

Nice hub - according to the Weather Channel the 3rd worst tornado of all time hit about 2 miles from my house this year,it was a EF5 and stayed on the ground for over 200 miles,it destroyed Hackleburg Alabama, I wrote a hub about it. check it out.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Damn, that's scary manthy! I am not used to these forces of nature. Please share the link here in my comments so that I and others can read it! Thank for stopping by and I look forward to reading that Hub!

JSMatthew~


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Great hub JS very informative and useful information. Mother nature in all her destructive glory.

I got caught in a hurricane in 'England' and when I looked into it same as you found that there are hundreds every year. Shocking


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello molometer! I have lived here my whole life and didn't know about tornadoes here until recently. Mother Nature never ceases to surprise! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Hi JS, I was trying to put up a tent with my kids years ago and the wind was howling and we were dragged (in a funny way) all over the place. It wasn't until the next day that I saw the headlines. Hurricane passes off coastline! Boy was I surprised.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

That is very scary molometer! I am glad that you guys were safe. Anyone who lives in a region that experiences these storms should monitor the weather! They can come out of nowhere at any time!

JSMatthew~


bankscottage profile image

bankscottage 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Interesting. We had friends from Maine that were going to hike the 100 mile Wilderness on the Appalachian Trail one summer 4 or 5 years ago. They were all prepared, even having prepositioned supplies along the trail. The last thing they expected was a tornado in Maine. Not long after they started hiking the weather turned bad and tornado warnings were issued. I am not sure if a tornado ever formed or touched down, but they had to abort their trip in the middle of the hike.


Rock_nj profile image

Rock_nj 4 years ago from New Jersey

For some reason Massachusetts is a mini-tornando alley in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. Tornadoes and strong tornadoes occur more often in Massachusetts than other surrounding states. Not sure why? I would think where I live in New Jersey we'd get some twister action with all the hot humid air in the late spring and summer months, but they rarely occur; and certainly nothing like the devastating Worcester F4/F5 tornado has affected New Jersey in recorded history.

I think Massachusetts might be more prone to tornadoes and strong tornadoes due to its proximity to the northern jet stream in the warmer months and the fact that inland Massachusetts is shielded from the moderating affects of the ocean. A strong overhead jet stream helps tornadoes to form and grow when thunderstorms reach severe limits.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@bankscottag: Hello! I have hiked part of the Appalachian Trail in Maine and New Hampshire when I was 15! I did 50 miles, 2 years in a row. We did the trip in a week when I was in the Boy Scouts. We didn't have tornadoes but we had some really strong thunderstorms and rain! Thanks for sharing the experience of your friends. The weather can get really bad at high elevations. Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Rock_nj: Yes, around the Connecticut River area in Western Mass, there seems to a be a "Tornado Alley". Although Mass doesn't have a lot of tornadoes, we have experienced the largest amount of deaths from tornadoes because we are more populated than the areas that get hit more often in the Mid-West. I find weather in general to be strange and unpredictable. The Worcester F4/F5 storm was a really devastating one and not only 4 people died, there was millions of dollars in destruction. As someone born and raised in Mass, I am shocked because when I think of Twisters, I think of Alice in Wonderland, not Massachusetts! I appreciate your input and observations here. I think you are probably right about the jet stream. Thanks for adding your comment!

JSMatthew~


ElleBee 4 years ago

Well, us out n the 413 certainly learned that tornadoes can happen here in Mass last summer! When I moved frm MA to Omaha I remember being terrified about tornadoes, I wouldn't even leave my apartment building when there was a watch, and my Nebraskan friends thought I was a little bit crazy. Yet it wasn't til I moved back to Mass that I actually experienced a tornado!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Funny how it works isn't it ElleBee! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Tornadoes can occur anywhere in the right conditions. Scary yet true. Be safe!

JSMatthew~


Patty 3 years ago

That video is of the tornado aftermath is in Monson, MA. My house was hit by this tornado. It was unreal. I don't care what anyone says, NEVER IGNORE a tornado warning. No matter how "unlikely" you think it is!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Patty! I am so sorry to hear that you were a victim to this tornado. Before researching for this article I would never have believed that tornadoes occurred in Mass! I would never ignore a warning either. You just never know! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.

JSMatthew~

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working