Nine years later, I left home to pursue a degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. TORNADO SAFETY TIPS | PROTECT YOUR FAMILY. Next, the tornado hit an industrial complex (known then as Molson Park). It is the largest and most intense tornado outbreak ever to hit this region. Since May 31, 1985, only two tornado days have been deadlier in the entire United States. Reda shared pictures with Channel 11 that her family took after the tornado. On May 31, 1985, more than 40 tornadoes tore across three states and Canada, killing nearly 90 people, more than 5 dozen of them in Pennsylvania alone. I still had the elastic bands around my pant legs to keep the ticks from climbing up my legs. He could not understand why no thunderstorms had popped yet. The combination of moisture, instability, lift, and wind shear were present across a large area of the northeastern U.S. on May 31st. My father-in-law lived in Punxsutawney, PA and belonged to the Punxsutawney Hunting Club. Right after an F4 tornado ripped through Albion in Erie County, another F4 storm formed just west of the Ohio border in Kinsman Ohio. Temperatures were in the 80s (F) and dewpoint temperatures (a measure of moisture) were in the upper 60s and lower 70s (F). I was escorted to the helicopter, given a helmet so I could communicate with the crew, and given a seat next to a rear door so I had a window. At bit later, storm development southwest of the original tornado watch prompted the issuance of another that included much of the remainder of Ohio; a third watch was issued later in the shift into eastern Pennsylvania.
Summer president Brian Orzel updated all of the CWS’s radio stations with tornado watch information hours before the storms hit.
Office severe weather training presentation. PITTSBURGH — This month marks the 30th anniversary of one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in history, including in Pennsylvania. In spring 1993 I had the opportunity to drive through the path of the Moshannon tornado with fellow Penn Stater and NWS forecaster Bill Gartner. We assumed that this would be a dynamics driven event and the greatest dynamics were located closer to the surface low moving over Sault Saint Marie. Along the right hand side is a list of many of the parameters calculated from the sounding data, including CAPE and LI, that are used to predict thunderstorm occurrence and potential strength. Registering F5 on the Fujita scale, it remains the only F5 in Pennsylvania history, and was also the most violent tornado reported in the United States in 1985. The storm was developing aloft and remain aloft across all of Clarion County. Yet here we were at 3:30 in the afternoon and not one shower had popped yet on the radar. We pondered these ideas as we briefed the incoming midnight shift. The track moved from Debra Crescent to Joanne Court with more extensive damage.  Later rated at F4, this massive tornado tracked over 69 miles (110 kilometers) of mainly dense forest and wilderness in central Pennsylvania (some outbuildings were either damaged or destroyed early in its life). The conversation in our little church that following Sunday centered around the disaster. NWS Pittsburgh. Every tree, some with trunk diameters over 3 feet, had been sheared off about 15 feet above the ground. As noted in several summaries of this outbreak, including the official NWS damage assessment report, (NOAA/NWS October 1985): “Perhaps the lesson to be learned from the 1985 outbreak is that under the proper atmospheric conditions, major tornadoes can occur irrespective of the location or terrain.”. I was shaking so bad and didn't know where to go or what to do. This composite chart (courtesy Rihaan Gangat, NWS Pittsburgh) shows an expansive area of negative values with a bullseye of the lowest LI’s (most unstable air) over eastern Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania. The tornado season of 1985 saw very little action in the winter months, and even the spring wasn't particularly notable until the massive May 31 outbreak, one of the most intense and deadliest in modern American history, which saw 43 tornadoes kill 88 people in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario, Canada. It was in the early evening on that Friday night and I was at a friend’s house when we noticed that the sky had gotten very dark and the wind had increased dramatically. Map of tornado paths from the outbreak (Beaver/Butler County, Pennsylvania tornado listed as F4 here but most sources list F3 as rating). The Allegheny National Forest experienced a large amount of valuable timber loss from these two tornadoes. A major tornado outbreak occurred in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario on the last day of May. As the tornado struck an industrial area in Niles, large 30 foot tall metal petroleum storage tanks (each weighing 75,000 pounds) were torn from where they were anchored and thrown, some of which were tossed or bounced considerable distances. I attended PSU for a B.S. The Pittsburgh Office did not hear about any of the fatalities from the storms or the extent of the damage until well after 8 PM. “I saw everything.”. My primary job, besides helping with the placement and issuance of tornado and severe thunderstorm watches, was to manually log severe weather reports into the SELS database. Most of these tornadoes had conversely shorter paths than the earlier tornadoes, likely as a result of the parent thunderstorms beginning to weaken. So I was familiar with the Allegheny National Forest and some of the small towns in the area. At any rate, I immediately decided I wanted to be a meteorologist. The first of two F4 tornadoes to affect Erie County touched down just west of the Pennsylvania state line around 5 p.m. Many power lines and hydro towers were destroyed early in its lifetime (including those used to deliver electricity from the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station to northern and western parts of the Greater Toronto Area).  Even so, to this day there are still hints from the past of the tornadoes that day. My Senior year in High School, when it came time to apply to colleges, I only applied to ones that offered Meteorology. The tornado continued moving to the east-northeast, crossing Highway 400 into York region.
This was the first time I'd ever heard/seen the term "tornado watch," and I distinctly recall asking my parents what it meant (I think they gave a decent answer, though some of the details now escape me). "TORNADO!" ), This page was last edited on 15 June 2020, at 03:37. I recall being impressed by the very rapid development of the individual cumulonimbus clouds along two separate bands --- and the rapid spread of the storm anvils. At that point Brian, Heidi Sonen, and I split duties to make sure all radio stations received timely information. Unfortunately, the tornadoes that hit Warren, Forest and Venango Counties on that fateful night thirty years ago were very destructive in terms of property and life. It was the third costliest tornado outbreak in the history of the U.S., where it caused $600 million (2010 U.S. dollars) damage in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. 90 people were killed and nine tornadoes were F4 or stronger, including the F5 Niles-Wheatland tornado. Sorry, the location you searched for was not found. , Tracks of all tornadoes that touched down during the outbreak.
Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 2:25pm for Bruce County (complementing the special weather statement issued early that morning). According to Storm Data from the National Weather Service, the destruction of the town "resembled that of a bombed-out battle field." This is not uncommon in very severe outbreaks as communications and widespread power outages disrupt the flow of information. Thank you! Trunking not available at the time. I lived 45 minutes away from the office, and it took every bit of that to get back to my farm. It is the largest and most intense tornado outbreak ever to hit this region, and the worst tornado outbreak in Pennsylvania history in terms of deaths and destruction.. The end of May is a great time for a kid, as I was in that fifth month of 1985. One book led to another and another and another, and the rest is history. I went to the fire department and they told me that tornadoes had touched down near the communities of Tionesta, Marienville, and Tidioute and one had hit Kane directly.
Working during the outbreak and witnessing the aftermath helped shape my future career as a broadcast meteorologist. This tornado outbreak ranks among the Southern Ontario tornado outbreak of 2005 and the 1998 Ice Storm as one of the most costly weather disasters to strike Ontario. This process continued from 4pm to about 8pm resulting in serious tornado activity across the entire Erie WSO warning area. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Thirty-four years ago, 41 tornadoes ripped a deadly path through Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Ontario, Canada on May 31, 1985.The twisters left 88 people dead, including 65 in Pennsylvania.Play the video above to watch WTAE archive footage of the 1985 tornadoes. Yourga Trucking in Wheatland was hit beyond recognition in addition to the Amish community in Atlantic. Each severe weather report seemed worse than the one before it. Confirmed tornado total for the entire year 1985 in the United States. Brianna Chambers, Cox Media Group National Content Desk, Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk, Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk, National Weather Service - The Tornado Outbreak of May 31, 1985, How to protect your family from a tornado, President Trump, first lady host ‘Halloween at the White House’, Police investigate after dog attacks, kills infant sleeping with parents, 8-year-old girl hospitalized after attempting magic trick seen on TikTok. Also, my grandparents harkened from the Finger Lakes region of New York, so I was familiar with many areas of western New York affected by the outbreak. , In Ohio, it was the deadliest tornado since the Xenia F5 during the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974. 90 people were killed in the United States and Canada in the outbreak; the most for an outbreak since the 1974 Super Outbreak, and a mark that stood until the 2011 Super Outbreak. Some of the wooded areas that were affected are still a twisted mess, and some random debris still remains scattered in the bush to the east of Highway 400 in Barrie. The peak of the outbreak took place during the early evening hours where the strongest and deadliest tornadoes formed across western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. There was also plenty of low level moisture coming up the Ohio Valley.
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