*July 23rd, 2002 Severe Weather Outbreak Report

Severe Weather Outbreak Report for July 23rd, 2002

by: Robert Macedo, KD1CY, ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton


The largest Severe Weather Outbreak of the 2002 season occurred on

Tuesday July 23rd, 2002 as a traditional New England Squall Line

went through a large part of Southern New England From Eastern

Massachusetts through Southern New Hampshire, west through the

Berkshires and south into Northern Connecticut and Northern Rhode



SKYWARN was activated with Ops at NWS Taunton at 1 PM with Carl, N1FY,

and I as the operators for the event. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch

was posted for the region until 7 PM. The IRLP link from the 147.105

Wilbraham Repeater to the 448.175 Framingham Repeater was activated

with Ray Weber, KA1JJM, Jim Bernotas, N1VMH, and Eric Tuller, N1QKO

active on the frequency. The squall line took shape across Southern

Vermont, Western Massachusetts and Southeast New York and took aim

on Southern New England.


Activity began in Berkshire County with Dime Sized Hail reported in

on the Monterey-Great Barrington Mass. line at 2:10 PM. Activity

also surged into Cheshire County New Hampshire with, WA1YZN, Bruce

Bohannon active on the 146.805-Keene, NH Repeater. Activity across

Southern New Hampshire was intense and at 2:20 PM, trees and wires

were blown down in Keene, NH and at 2:31 PM trees were blown down

on wires in Harrisville, NH at 2:31 PM with 1-2" branches blown down

on Old Dublin Road in Peterborough, NH. The 443.350 Pack Monadnock

Repeater was linked into Cheshire County for relaying reports out

of Cheshire County to NWS Taunton.


Activity intensified rapidly in Western Massachusetts while severe

activity continued across Southern New Hampshire. At 2:10 PM on 98

North Street, trees were blown down on wires in Northfield, Mass per

KB1FTT-Scott a spotter in the area along with trees down on Route

10. At 2:43 PM, 2-2.5 foot diameter trees were blown down in

Easthampton, Mass. and at 2:45 PM, an Amateur Radio Spotter reported

a peak wind gust of 71 MPH measured in Easthampton, Mass. At 2:51

PM, several trees were blown down in Northampton, Mass. In West

Springfield, Mass, 8-9 trees were blown down with a peak wind gust

of 59 MPH measured at Ray-KA1JJM's location with these events

occurring between 2:52-2:55 PM. At 2:52 PM, trees were blown in

Southwick, Mass. per Southwick EMA Director, K1II, Charlie Dunlap.

At 2:53 PM, more trees were blown down in Easthampton, Mass. At

2:55 PM in New Salem, Massachusetts, large trees were blown on

wires. SKYWARN was active on the 146.91 Mount Greylock Repeater

through the efforts of K1TTT, Dave, and KB2SAE George. SKYWARN was

also active on the 146.94-Mount Tom Repeater and the

146.985-Greenfield Repeater through the efforts of Ray-KA1JJM, Jim-

N1VMH and Eric-N1QKO. It would later be found out that trees were

blown down on Route 20 in the center of Huntington at 2:25 PM and

that in the Round Hill Road area of Chester, Mass. large trees were

blown down. Also at 3:10 PM, trees were blown down on wires in the

town of Orange, Mass.


Activity continued across Southern New Hampshire with activity moving

into Hillsborough County, NH. WA1VQP-Ken and K1CKL-Sid were on the

443.350-Pack Monadnock Repeater to assist in the activation. At 3:15

PM, trees were blown down in Manchester, NH and at 3:25 PM, trees

were blown down on Message House Road in Jaffrey, NH.


Further activity formed on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state

border along the squall line resulting in wind damage in the extreme

Northwest Corner of Middlesex County. At 3:04 PM, 4 large trees were

blown down in Pepperell, Mass. and at 3:20 PM, 2 trees were blown

down on New Ipswich Road in Ashby, Massachusetts. Reports were

received by Ray Dean, KB1FXP who assisted during this event and

traversed an area from Central Worcester County to Southeast New



Activity intensified rapidly in Central Worcester County where some

of the most significant damage of this event was done. At 3:35 PM,

numerous reports of large branches, trees and wires down were received

in Brookfield and West Brookfield, Mass. About 30 minutes later,

it was reported that public safety toned out a message that a

signficant microcburst or possible tornado occurred in West Brookfield.

That information was forwarded by Mike Baril, N1PSE.

This later prompted a damage survey by NWS Taunton Warning Coordination

Meteorologist, Glenn Field, KB1GHX who was accompanied by Ray Weber,

KA1JJM. After much consultation with other weather offices and an

initial assessment that the event was a F1 Microburst, it was called

a F1 Tornado and Microburst and was labeled a Gustnado which is a

rare tornado that spun up from the strength of the microburst

and resulted in a tornado that ripped the roof off of a building and

formed over a lake in West Brookfield. The same cell resulted in

a F1 microburst in Spencer, Massachusetts where numerous trees and

wires were blown down and a cinder block building at the Spencer

Fairgrounds was partially ripped apart by severe winds. The report

and pictures of the damage were received by KB1FXP, Ray Dean.


At 3:42 PM, 8-10 trees were blown down on Route 31 some

up to 1 foot diameter in Holden, Mass. Between 3:45 and 4 PM, WX1L,

Jim Colonies, from Shrewsbury Fire reported three separate incidents

of large trees down in the town of Shrewsbury. In Liecester, Mass.

at 3:45 PM, trees up to 2 feet in diameter were blown down. All

reports came from the 146.925-145.37 Worcester-Templeton linked

repeater system. W1SEX, Paul Topolski, Gardner EMA Director and

ARES DEC filled in for N1KKY, Tom Pratt for this event. At the

same time these events occurred, activity continued across

Western Massachusetts.


At 3:36 PM, a large tree and wires were blown down in Westfield,

Mass per Pioneer Valley REACT and at 3:41 PM, trees were blown down

in Monson, Mass. Reports were received via Ray, KA1JJM as

SKYWARN remained active on the 146.94 Mount Tom Repeater.

CT SKYWARN was also active with Harv, K1PZS, active on the

147.000 Soapstone Repeater. Trees were blown down in Simsbury, CT

per a report he received on the Soapstone SKYWARN Net. It would

later be found out that numerous other wind damage events occurred

including trees down on a car in Bloomfield, CT.


Activity moved into Eastern Massachusetts. Mike, W1MPN, attempted to

activate on the 146.64 Waltham Repeater but the repeater was not

running properly. He went to back-up repeaters including the 145.23

Boston Repeater and the 146.955-Westford Repeater and also monitored

the 145.47 Danvers Repeater. Mark Roope, W1MAR and Jim Thomson, KA1BSH,

monitored for SKYWARN on the 146.625-Haverhill Repeater. Jeff

Arnold, N1FWV, was on the Danvers Repeater and as the storms

approached Essex County Mass. numerous severe criteria reports

were received.


In Peabody, Massachusetts, several trees were blown down inlcuding

a tree down on wires at 4:10 PM. Trees were blown down in South

Peabody and Danvers Mass. at 4:15 and 4:16 PM. At 4:20 PM, scaffolding

was blown down at the New England School of Law on Stuart Street. Also

at 4:20 PM, siding was ripped off a house. At 4:22 PM, trees and wires

were blown down in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Activity then moved off

the Northeast Massachusetts coast.


Across Rhode Island and interior Southeast Massachusetts, wind damage

occurred across portions of the area and SKYWARN was active on the

146.76-Scituate, RI Repeater through the efforts of John-N1EGS, and

Martin-N1JMA. On the Walpole Repeater, SKYWARN was active on the

146.895 Repeater through the efforts of Roger Turner-W1ZSA and Dave

Doe-K1HRV. SKYWARN was also active on the 147.18-Bridgewater Repeater

through the efforts of Gil Follett-W1GMF.


Reports from these nets inlcuded trees down on Waldo Street at 4:45 PM

with large trees down on East Foxboro Street in Sharon, Mass. at 4:45

PM. Mark Duff, KB1EKN, Hingham EMA Director reported 6" Diameter

Branches down at 5 PM in Hingham. At 5:05 PM, trees were blown down

in Scituate RI. At 4:35 PM, trees were blown down on wires on Sisson

Road in West Coventry RI. Activity then began to move into South

Coastal Massachusetts but no reports of Severe Weather were received

in these areas as the coastal waters weakened the storms.


SKYWARN was secured at 6:15 PM as all storms moved out of the area.


This was the largest Severe Weather Outbreak of the 2002 season

resulting in several microbursts, and a F1 Tornado (Gustnado) event

mixed in with a microburst in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.


Special Thanks to all SKYWARN Spotters and Coordinators who assisted

in this severe weather outbreak!


Respectfully Submitted,


Robert Macedo (KD1CY)

ARES SKYWARN Coordinator

SEMCARES Emergency Coordinator

Pager #: (508) 354-3142

Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)

Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503  (After 6 PM)

Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929  (8 AM-5 PM)

Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com





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