Severe Weather Outbreak Report for August 2nd, 2002
by: Robert Macedo, KD1CY, ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton
The third biggest severe weather outbreak of the year occurred on
Friday August 2nd, 2002 as a MCS or Mesoscale Convective System hit
much of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut with damaging
winds and large hail. The complex started from clusters of severe
thunderstorms across Eastern New York and turn into one large MCS
over much of the area before weakening and moving Southeast of the
NWS Taunton Operations began at 1:30 PM as a Severe Thunderstorm
Watch was issued until 7 PM for much of the area. Carl Aveni, N1FY,
was first on station followed by Delilah Maldonado, KB1IQC and I
around 2:15 PM. For Delilah, it was her first time ever at NWS
Taunton and she did a stellar job logging reports of severe weather
as they were received across much of the region.
The IRLP link was established between the 448.175 Framingham Repeater
and the 147.105 Wilbraham Repeater so reports could be received from
Western Massachusetts and Connecticut into NWS Taunton. Ray Weber,
KA1JJM, Eric Tuller, N1QKO, and Jim Bernotas, N1VMH, were all on
frequency from Western Massachusetts SKYWARN.
Activity began in Franklin County Massachusetts as thunderstorms became
severe in that area. Trees and wires were blown down in Bernardston,
Greenfield and Deerfield, Massachusetts between 2:13-2:20 PM. Reports
came in from N1VMH, Jim, and KB1FTT, Scott as they occurred in this
area. Trees were blown down on top of a car in Hatfield, Massachusetts
in Hampshire County Massachusetts. SKYWARN was active on the 146.985
Greenfield and 146.94-Mount Tom Repeaters.
Severe Thunderstorms also formed over portions of Central and Southern
Berkshire County has the convective system developed. Quarter Sized
Hail occurred in Lee, Mass. at 2:27 PM. Dime to Quarter
Sized hail occurred in Monterey, Massachusetts at 2:31 PM with large
bracnhes blown down in West Stockbridge, Mass. at 2:46 PM. SKYWARN
was active on the 146.91 Mount Greylock Repeater through the efforts
of Dave-K1TTT and George-KB2SAE. Meantime further damage reports
were received in Hampshire County Massachusetts on the 146.94 Mount
Tom Repeater as 8 Inch Diameter trees were blown down in Amherst
with a 1 foot diameter tree down in Belchertown, Massachusetts.
The storms continued working East-Southeast and affected the
Southeastern part of Hampshire and the Eastern part of Hampden County
Massachusetts. In Hadley, Massachusetts, 4" Diameter Branches were
blown down at 2:55 PM while in Ludlow, Massachusetts, Hampden County,
trees and wires were blown down along with trees down in Palmer,
Massachusetts at 3:05 PM.
Activity in Franklin County raced into North-Central Worcester County
Massachusetts. SKYWARN was active on the 145.37-146.925
Worcester-Templeton linked repeater system through the efforts of Tom
Pratt-N1KKY. On the Westminster/Fitchburg Mass. 5/8" hail fell per
N1ZYG, Mark at 2:45 PM and later grew to Dime Sized Hail in Fitchburg
Mass at 3 PM. In West Boylston and Boylston Massachusetts at 3:10 and
3:15 PM, trees and wires were blown as severe thunderstorms ripped
through Central Worcester County. In South Worcester, Dime Sized
Hail was reported along with large trees down. As activity occurred
in Central Massachusetts, activity from Berkshire County moved into
Hampden County Massachusetts. In Westfield, Massachusetts, Dime Sized
Hail occurred at 3:20 PM along with a report of trees down at 3:30 PM.
Also, 2.6" of rain in 15 minutes was recorded with the storm in
Westfield between 3:15 and 3:30 PM. Trees were blown down in West
Springfield, Mass. along with a gutter blown right off a house in
West Springfield as well. Numerous reports of Pea Sized hail were
also received during this timeframe.
Meantime, back in Worcester County Massachusetts, 3 large trees were
blown down in Southborough, Massachusetts along with three separate
areas of trees down reported by Shrewbsury Fire Department via
Amateur Radio at 3:34 PM through the efforts of Jim Colonies, WX1L.
Activity began to work into Connecticut and Eastern parts of
SKYWARN was active on the 146.64 Waltham Repeater through the efforts
of Mike Nielsen, W1MPN. 8 Inch Diameter Trees were blown down in the
town of Acton, Mass. at 3:30 PM as the activity in Worcester County
moved eastward. At 3:42 PM, wind gusts to 50+ MPH and small branches
were blown down in Hopkinton, Mass. Trees were blown down in Wayland,
Massachusetts at 3:52 PM. Rotation was cited with this activity and
this appeared to stem from the fact that as the clusters of severe
thunderstorms evolved into a Mesoscale Convective System, the system
rotates and that's why the rotation occurred. SKYWARN was also
active on the 146.625-Haverhill and 145.47 Danvers Repeaters to cover
Northern Middlesex and Essex Counties. This was done through the
efforts of Mike, W1MPN, Mark, W1MAR, and Jim, KA1BSH.
SKYWARN was active in Connecticut through the efforts of Harv, K1PZS.
Reports of a measured wind gust of 52 MPH and 6" Inch tree limbs
down on wires was reported in Manchester, CT at 3:55 PM. At 4 PM,
1.5" of rain fell in 15 minutes in Enfield, CT. Other reports
of wind damage received in Connecticut were at 3:25 PM, windows
blown out of a home in West Suffield, CT, trees down in Hartland
CT at 3:32 PM, 5-8" Diameter Limbs down in Windsor CT at 3:50 PM,
6" Diamter Limbs down in Suffield, CT at 3:56 PM, 8 Inch Diameter
Trees down in Willington, CT at 4:05 PM and 6-7" Diameter
limbs down in Ashford, CT at 4:12 PM. These reports were relayed
by Ray, KA1JJM, from non-Amateur SKYWARN spotters in those areas.
This activity maintained its intensity and moved into Northern and
Central Rhode Island from Southern Worcester County, Mass. and
Windham County CT. A few reports of Pea Sized hail were also
received during this timeframe.
MEMA Framingham (WC1MA) went on the air through the efforts of Tom
Kinahan-N1CPE. We forwarded information to Tom on currend damage
infromation from MEMA and they kept in touch with us in case they
received damage reports. The 53.31-Mount Wachusett Repeater was
utilized for that communication.
SKYWARN was active on 146.76 Scituate, RI Repeater through the efforts
of John Buco, N1EGS, Ralph Nahigian, KE1GL, and Martin Mendelson, N1JMA.
Small branches were blown down in West Foster, RI at 4:20 PM.
Reports from Ralph, KE1GL, had 1" hail and trees down in Smithfield,
RI at 4:15 PM along with wires being blown down in a few locations.
At 4:30 PM, telephone poles and wires were blown down
on Pontiac Avenue in Cranston, RI. Also, at 4:25 PM in Coventry, RI,
a 16" Diameter tree was blown down blocking Pembroke Lane with reports
of branches up to 6" in diameter blown down. TV Media had an unconfirmed
report of a tornado in Coventry, RI but this was proven wrong by John
Buco, N1EGS, who talked with people in the area of the possible
tornado and no damage occurred. Striaght line winds that bounced off
of trees and the terrain likely led the public involved with the
report to believe there was a tornado in the area. This highlights
the importance of spotters and coordinators to confirm damage and
also to disprove incorrect reports.
SKYWARN was also active on the 146.895 Walpole Repeater as activity
skirted Norfolk County Massachusetts. Dave Doe-K1HRV and Roger Turner-
W1ZSA were on frequency.
Activity refired in Western Massachusetts and Northwest CT as activity
was occurring in Rhode Island. In Colebrook, CT, several reports of
Quarter-Half-Dollar Sized Hail was reported at 4:30 PM. Quarter Sized
hail and trees were blown down in Winchester, CT as well. These
reports were relayed from the Litchfield County SKYWARN Net. The
Litchfield County SKYWARN Net was run by Dixie Delancey, KD1UK.
Berkshire County SKYWARN remained active as more severe thunderstorms
formed in the Central and Southeast parts of the county. At 4:18 PM,
trees were blown down in West Pittsfield, Mass. At 4:58 PM,
trees and wires were blown down in Otis Massachusetts. The activity
moved eastward and prompted a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Western
Hampden County where trees were blown down in Blanford at 5:05 PM. 3-5"
Diameter branches were blown down in Lenox, Mass. at 5:15 PM. SKYWARN
remain active on the 146.91 Mount Greylock and 146.94 Mount Tom
Activity continued in the Western parts of Hartford County, CT. At
5:15 PM, a dozen 2-3 foor diameter trees were blown down in Farmington,
CT. At 5:15 PM, trees and wires were blown down in Bristol, CT with
numerous roads blocked restricting travel significantly. At 5:20 PM,
trees and wires were blown down in Burlington, CT. Reports were
relayed to Ray Weber, KA1JJM, by John Bagioni a private meteorologist
who lives in Burlington, CT and checked out the three towns for
possible damage. John is also a trained SKYWARN Spotter. He reported
that soo many roads were blocked in Bristol, CT at one point that
it restricted his way to get home and some roads were not opened
until the next day.
Activity slowed down as the evening hours came and Carl, N1FY, secured
from the operation. Delilah, KB1IQC, and I remained on station for
a few more hours.
Activity refired in the Northwest part of Franklin County
Massachusetts were a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued. The
severe thunderstorm was in a very uninhabited area but went through
the Monroe State Park. At 7:18 PM, three trees were blown down per
the Monroe State Park official and relayed by Ray, KA1JJM. Activity
was monitored through the rest of Franklin County, Massachusetts by
Jim, N1VMH, but no further severe criteria reports were received.
The SKYWARN Activation was secured at 9:20 PM. Special thanks to
all those that assisted in this Severe Weather Outbreak.
Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
SEMCARES Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
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Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
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