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
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
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!
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: email@example.com