July 6th, 1999 Severe Weather Outbreak Report
Severe Weather Outbreak Report for Tuesday July 6th, 1999
by: Robert Macedo, ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton
Tuesday July 6th proved to be an interesting day for many parts
of Southern New England particularly in Massachusetts and Southern
New Hampshire. The Fourth of July weekend featured steamy weather
with the threat of MCS's or Mesoscale Convective Systems during
the overnight hours. These MCS's either weakened or missed
Southern New England throughout the period.
Forecasters were at first not very confident of this severe weather
outbreak. I had spoken with Warning Coordination Meteorologist,
Glenn Field, first thing Tuesday Morning and he suspected that there
would be at least some severe weather but he was unsure of the severity
and how widespread it would be. A page was sent out to the pager
contact list and coordinators contacted in Western Massachusetts
concerning the severe weather threat. The Storm Prediction Center
had the region at a slight risk for severe thunderstorms for Tuesday.
By early Tuesday Afternoon, it was becoming evident that the severe
weather threat was rapidly increasing. A line of thunderstorms was
beginning to form from Southern Canada all the way down to Northwest
Pennsylvania. This huge squall line was taking aim on a area from
Central New York eastward into New England. A coordination call
with Meteorologist-in-Charge, Bob Thompson indicated a need
for amateur radio ops at the weather office by 3:30 PM, and a need to
have Southwest New Hampshire, Western Massachusetts, and Northern
Connecticut in stand-by alert status mode by 2 PM, with areas from
Worcester County eastward in alert status by around 4 PM.
Ray Weber, KA1JJM, was contacted along with Harvey Broverman, K1PZS
for Connecticut, and Dawn Cummings, K1TQY for Cheshire County New
Hampshire. Hillsborough County New Hampshire SKYWARN was also activated
to alert status mode along with Worcester County through Ted Agos,
Carl Aveni, N1FYZ, was asked to go to the NWS Office in Taunton. I
planned to show up between 5 and 6 PM unless the situation was worse
than expected than I would show up sooner to assist Carl. With squall
lines, you tend to have a high amount of reports from a wide area
in a relatively short period of time, so I wanted to be cognizant of
that fact during the activation.
By 3 PM, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued by the Storm Prediction
Center in Norman Oklahoma for all of Connecticut all of Massachusetts
except for the South Coast of Mass./RI and Cape Cod and the Islands,
and for Southern New Hampshire. A page was sent out to all on the
list to activate in stand-by alert status mode in areas under the
watch and people in areas near the watch were asked to monitor
By around 3:45 PM, the first Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were
issued for Franklin County Massachusetts and Cheshire County
New Hampshire. I took a look at the radar from work and was
beginning to realize that this was a much stronger event that
originally anticipated. A powerful squall line was gonna slam
the region. I quickly got into position to leave work early.
Meantime, Carl, N1FYZ, did a terrific job of handling reports
from Worcester County SKYWARN and Tom Pratt, N1KKY, along with
K1TQY, Dawn Cummings from Cheshire County New Hampshire SKYWARN.
Jim Bernotas, N1VMH, along with Ray Weber, KA1JJM, and Brian
Skalarski, N1VRK, came in with many reports of tree damage
in Hatfield and Whatley Massachusetts along with numerous
areas in Franklin county including Greenfield and Northfield
By 4:30 PM, more warnings were issued for portions of Northern
Worcester, Northern Middlesex Counties in Massachusetts, and
Hillsborough County in New Hampshire. Also at this time, I left
work to assist Carl at the NWS Taunton station. As I arrived,
we requested a formal net on the 146.64 Waltham Repeater, continued
working reports on the 146.925 Worcester Repeater, and established
liaison with the 443.350 Pack Monadnock Repeater in Hillsborough
County New Hampshire.
Graphic reports of trees up to 2.5 feet in diameter were blown down.
Trees were blown down on several major routes in Worcester County.
KB1DFE, Marc Slater, had several reports of tree damage out of the
Nashua and Mason New Hampshire areas. We also had reports of roof
damage from KB0UYO, William Dohr, as part of the roof was blown
on to a major road just to the north of Worcester. Tom Pratt, N1KKY,
also reported tree damage in Athol, Massachusetts. KE1FO, Al, and
Paul, W1SEX also came in with numerous reports of wind damage.
K1VSG, Dennis Zonia, Western Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency
Coordinator also checked into the net and monitored activity.
The action pushed eastward into Northeast Massachusetts. A peak
wind gust of 62 MPH was reported by Frank Bunker in Tyngsboro
and is a ham operator by the call of N1KMW. Reports of large tree
branches up to 6" in diameter being blown down were reported. Also,
reports of trees down were reported in by K1JE, Mike Joens right
at the same time Philip Knight, N1HWA estimated of wind gust of
60 MPH in the same town of Beverly, Mass. in Essex County Mass.
Numerous reports of wind damage were reported in Middlesex and
Essex County. Reports were handling by two top notch Net Control
Stations in Bill Fernandez, KB1CIE, and Bill Ricker, N1VUX on
the 146.64 Waltham Repeater. Steve Woodward, N1VDX, from
Haverhill SKYWARN jumped in and reported Nickel Size hail
in Wilimington Massachusetts and that a MBTA switch from
New Ipswich to Salem to Beverly had lost power.
The action moved south into Southern Worcester, Norfolk
and Suffolk Counties with more Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
issued for thar region. The Norfolk County SKYWARN Net was
active through the efforts of K1HRV, Dave Doe on the 146.895
Walpole Repeater. Dave would later suffer damage to his weather
stations from a nearby lightning strike that same evening. The storms
grew much stronger and more active as they got into Norfolk County.
There were several reports of dime sized hail in Norfolk County, along
with wind damage with trees and wires down and a power outage of up to
3 hours reported in the Walpole area. The action would get more intense
though, as Lou Harris, N1UEC, ARES DEC for Southeast Massachusetts, and
Dave Doe, K1HRV, both spotted a wall cloud. No rotation, but a wall
cloud was spotted indicating the potential for a tornado. What was
worse was the wall cloud showed a tendency to slowly be dropping from
the thunderstorm cell.
Other severe thunderstorms had already reached Northern Plymouth
County Massachusetts where more Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
were issued. As the thunderstorm cell with the wall cloud feature
moved through Norfolk County, rotation could be seen on the Doppler
Radar. Tornado Warnings were now issued for Norfolk and Plymouth
Two storm chaser spotters were sent to the Avon area as the tornadic
cell was expected to be in that area. Gil Follett, WA1GDJ, South
Shore SKYWARN Coordinator, raced out to the area, but first while
at a shopping plaza in Brockton, he broke through the hail core
of the storm. Dime to Quarter sized hail was falling in that
area and you could hear the hail banging off his vehicle as
he reported it on the South Shore SKYWARN net on the 147.180
Bridgewater Repeater. As he moved into the Avon area, little
or no activity or damage could be found. Dime Sized hail was
reported in that area earlier in the evening.
Meantime, widespread reports of wind damage were received in
Hanson, Plympton, Bridgewater, and Middleboro. Trees as much
as 16-18" in diameter were snapped in half making roads
impassable. Winds for many of these storms across all of
Southern New England were estimated to be 60-80 MPH. Net
Controls, Ted McCaw, N1WAI, and Ray Wall, N1KXJ did a fine
job managing a level 1 formal activation of South Shore SKYWARN.
Another spotter was sent to the Bay Road area near Mansfield
to hunt for the possible tornado. Once the spotter got to
that area, she found no damage and no signs of any issues
in that vicinity.
The signs of rotation with the storm ceased so the tornado
warning was cancelled and in place of it another Severe Thunderstorm
Warning was issued. Hail was now becoming the issue of concern as
the Doppler Radar was indicating that very large hail may fall out
of the severe thunderstorm.
Further reports of wind damage continued to stream in from Plymouth
County. Ping-Pong Ball Sized hail was later reported in Hanson Mass
that evening. I shifted to the 146.685 Plymouth Repeater and a
net control, WB1FLA, Tom Bolus, was about ready to start a weekly
Genesis Amateur Radio Club Net when he heard my call for reports of
severe weather in the Plymouth area. He immediately held the net up and
asked for severe weather reports in the Plymouth area. Dime sized
hail was later reported on that frequency by a station in
Cedarville Massachusetts. Special thanks to Tom for relaying this
report to us.
The action later moved off the coast of Massachusetts near Sandwich
where numerous reports of tree damage and hail up to 3/8" in diameter
were received from that area.
Carl Aveni, N1FYZ, and I handled an unbelievable amount of reports
during this timeframe utilzing 6 meters through the 53.31
Mount Wachusett Repeater that is jointly shared by ARES, RACES
and SKYWARN, 2 meters and 440 MHz. Carl and I handled about 5 to
6 pages with of storm logs to the forecasters. Also pages were
sent to me to recoup reports and fine tune other reports that
were made. In those periods, Carl would step in and operate
when I could not and manned the 6 meter radio as needed to
get reports or talk to stations. Also, between Carl and I
we had an extra person to run and grab warning and other pertient
information. It was very good to have two operators manning the
station for this activation. As the first swath of cells moved
out of the area, Carl left to assist South Shore SKYWARN for
activity that would move through later that evening. Again,
Special thanks to Carl Aveni for his help that evening.
The night was not over yet. More action was threatening Southern
New England. More severe weather was occurring in Southeast
New York and while the Severe Thunderstorm Watch was expiring at 9 PM,
more severe weather was possible, leaving many nets in alert status
mode until as late as 12 AM.
Action would move into Connecticut with KD1LD, Jim Mcbride, K1PAI,
Roger Jeanfaivre, and K1PZS, Harvey Broverman, manning activities
for the state of Connecticut. Reports of some wind damage in Somers
and Warehouse Point Connecticut were received an relayed into NWS.
The strongest action would once again occur in Eastern Massachusetts.
Activity picked up in the Marlborough Massahcusetts area as activity
that had moved through Western and Central Massachusetts gained
further intensity as it moved into Eastern Massachusetts. In Holliston,
Massachusetts, police and amateur radio reported numerous trees down,
as a new storm formed and gained strength moving once again into
Norfolk County Massachusetts.
Dave Doe, K1HRV, was about to start the net on the 146.895 Walpole
Repeater when he suffered lightning damage and had to secure. Lou
Harris, N1UEC, ARES DEC for Southeast Massachusetts took net control.
K1ODW, Bob Smith, chased down the storm after it did damage in both
Holliston and Sharon, Massachusetts with a report of trees down in
Sharon. Many reports of lightning damage were sent in as well
through Roger Turner, W1ZSA, SKYWARN Spotter and Walpole EMA director
and trustee of the Walpole Repeater. The storm then moved into Plymouth
County and South Shore SKYWARN once again activated through the efforts
of Gil Follett, WA1GDJ, and Carl Aveni, N1FYZ.
Pea sized hail was reported by Carl, N1FYZ as the storm moved through
the Brockton area. As the storm moved through Weymouth, and Hingham,
major damage was reported. Many trees were downed in numerous areas,
blocking roads with power outages reported for several hours. Trees
damaged houses and made roads impassable. Roof damage was sustained
by one amateur who assists with Braintree Emergency Management.
Quarter sized hail was reported by the Hingham EMA Director, Mark
Duff. Also numerous trees were downed in North Abington, Massachusetts.
The last of the activity that moved out of Connecticut, and into
Rhode Island. SKYWARN was active in Rhode Island through the
efforts of Martin Mendelson, N1JMA, and Joe Farrington, KB1CMD.
A report of pea sized hail was sent in by an amateur travelling
through Gloucester Rhode Island. The activity eventually weakened
and died out as it crossed through Rhode Island.
Activity threatened to move into the Provincetown/Truro areas of
Barnstable County Massachusetts and Frank Laughlin, WQ1O monitored
activity with me at NWS Taunton on the 146.955 Barnstable Repeater, but
the strongest activity missed the region and the net was secured just
prior to 12 AM.
Overall, the evening had one Severe Thunderstorm Watch, 26 severe
weather warnings, 2 of which were tornado warnings, and 67 reports
of severe weather. Of those 67 severe weather reports, amateur
radio operators were responsible for 49 of the 67 reports making
amateur radio responsible for 73.5% of the reports handled that
evening. An unprecedented achievement for the NWS Taunton SKYWARN
program. SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL COORDINATORS, NET CONTROLS AND
SPOTTERS THAT MADE THIS HAPPEN!!!
Individual SKYWARN logs sent into me follow below:
Bill Ricker, N1VUX, Waltham SKYWARN:
5:45ET (1745ET 2145Z) -- N1VUX/M parked Cambridge NCS
N1HWA Beverly WG60 est (40 deg angle on 1ft diam? tree)
KB1DSK/M Rt 2 Crosby Corner
K1JE Beverly. Hvy Rain, trees down, roads closed
KB1CIE 1"Rain in 12 Minutes, wind dropped off
HAVERHILL NET -- Nickel Hail WIlmington @ 5:35
5:48ET KD1CY/NWS reports on Lynnfield, Peabody?
KB1KCU/M Bedford 4" Branch(es) down on Rt. 4
BB1CIX (/M Bedford->Acton), in in Carlisle 5" branch in
Road, many 2" br's N1XKB
5:52ET KB1CIE -- Billerica Power out
W3EVE Westwwod Center, Wind close to 40mph
NF1A (NS1A?) Lowell checking in
5:55ET N1HJE Somerville 20g40, Lightning
KA1HIH Weston 1/2" Branches down.
W3EVE Lightning on power line, power wout Westwood,
5:57ET NF1A/NS1A Lowell Highlands, 1"-6" branches in road, traffic
W3EVE Westwood Ctr. est 1"/hr rate as 1/4" on road;
5:59ET? N1VUX returns NCS to KB1CIE, Cell overhead in
Noteworthy heard during KB1CIE control: 6pm-6:30"
* MBTA Signals down n. of Ipswitch, all Crossings affected.
* Boston station reported after-the-fact (after Avon
"funnel-in-contact" media reports) that he had had a great view from
apartent over harbor and thought he'd seen rotation in cloud base
* Storrow Dr. & Mem.Dr tunnels flooded
* Between 7:15 and 7:45 N1VUX visually tracked a series of growing and
full Anvil cumulonimbus cells to the south/south-east of eastern
Watertown, some with overshooting tops. Visual height 25 degrees;
depending on tropopause height, 5-20 miles. Wish I'd had a camera
... KB1CIE attepted to relay to NWS via 800, but phone line busy.
N1QIR saw same to SE (from Mass Ave bridge "between Pru and Hancock
* Station (N1SAR?) in Hull/Hingham/Scituate area reported something
(hail?) on Waltham. I suggested he try to check into Walpole, if it
was still functioning, as well as KB1CIE trying to phone it in.
* Around 8:30, NWR was on a very short loop with human voice, no
forecast, just conditions.
8:45-9:05 -- spoke with K1HRV & W1ZSA on Walpole about line of cells to
SE of Boston, probably related to anectdotal reports of lightning
then over Hull/Hingham, looked in good form.
9:11ET KD1CY: May have more SVR in 1-2 hrs, but no watch expected
KB1DOX -- 16" branch in Newton Beacon st (from prior)
9:16ET N1VUX gave interim report to EM Public Saftey Net,
9:50ET N1VUX Dorchester 1/2" in guage.
N1VUX NCS Dorchester.
Almost all reports include vivid lightning (or more
9:53ET KD1OA Mike Marlboro , H.Rain.
K1ODW Hopkinton. H.Rain.
WB8TSL bearing to SW of franklin
N1VSJ Littleton H.Rain
N1HJE Radar: highest @ Franklin
9:56ET KB1EFU Shrewsbury, rain just past
N1HJE Radar: Cell 2-10mi E of Worc., another due N of
KB1EEV Lexington, bearing to south
9:59 KD1CY req Marlboro?
KD1OA Modt.R Vivid Lightning now to south, formerly
overhead, no wind.
KA1CCU no criteria at Sudbury
KB1DOX 15 strokes/in Newton
KA1NOJ Modt. R, no wind.
KD1CY Ashland, Westboro?
K1ODW/M will vector to seek damage on ground.
K1KMN Framingham nr Sudbury. Light R.
KD1OA -- bearing SE of Marlboro
KB1CIE liase to Marlboro MMRA-61, no reports.
KA1KCU liase to Framingham FARA-15, and the .27 machine
also; no reports.
K1KMN -- bearing over Natick? Calm, modt rain
N1KO Sudbury, slight wind damage, Branches 3/4", rain
10:14ET KD1CY/NWS SVR TSTORM WARNING Central NORFOLK to 1045. QSY Walpole.
K1ODW/M Bob enroute. Half way to Holliston
(from Hopkinton) twigs on road
WA1GEP Rt2@128 Lt.Rain, bearing to S
10:20 KA1HIH Waltham Modt R
WA1ZKH E.Boston Modt R
K1ODW/M Hopkinton FD said no damage earlier. HOlliston
(somewhere along here I let it lapse to informal standby)
10:40 N1ZKR radar Ch.25: CT Tolland Co. -> SE Mass track,
possibly Norfolk more likely south
WARNING N.Plymouth Co. until 11:15 / later extended to 1145
KB1DOX - N1XKB call
(N1VUX tested liase with N1UEC/NCS Norfolk-Skywarn --
propagation excellent, DFQ mobile's low power.)
10:57 N1UEC secures walpole
[ N1ODW/M reports headed home, tree down in Sharon;
[ Walpole reports no additional damage reports in final
role call. ]
11:00 N1VUX secures waltham
1/4" in guage in Dorchester.
Activity report for 06-July-99 Haverhill, MA
N. Middlesex / Essex County.
Skywarn Active from 4:40PM till 6:15PM (local)
Net Control Station: N1VDX
Received many reports of heavy rain, lighting, wind below 40MPH.
Two (2) reports forwarded to NWSFO Taunton.
1) 5:35PM: Hail (nickel size) in Wilmington, (intersection of
interstate 93 & Concord Street).
2) 5:45PM: Power loss on the MBTA Commuter train system from
Beverly/Ipswich north into Cape Ann. All signals and road crossings
This Skywarn Net did forward the NWS "Special Marine Warnings" issued
at 4:55PM to a group of amateur radio operators fishing off the coast
of Plum Island. They did heed the warning and made for shore, and
docked minutes before a cell hit Newburyport. This is a good example
of how important the Nets are for issuing information to the amateur
radio community, as it is in gathering information for the National
Many reports of power outages in the Rockingham County area on New
(Gray Maine District)
Steve Woodward N1VDX
Report from Mark Duff, Hingham EMA Director:
T/S 7/6/99, 1821 hrs.
3 houses struck by lightning.
149 East St. Minor damage
14 Brewster Rd, Minor damage
5 Seal Cove Rd, Minor Damage
Very minor tree damage throughout town.
T/S [possible micro-burst] 7/6/99, 2245 Hrs.
Major tree damage in areas of Cushing St,
Libery Pole Area
Plymouth River Rd.
Many trees of all sizes damaged/destroyed/uprooted.
Many very large trees distroyed.
Several houses struck and seriously damaged by fallen trees.
Several vehicles damaged/distroyed.
Several street impassable.
1/3 of town without power for several hours.
Major cleanup in effected area required by DPW.
No reported injuries.
Most Cable TV/Phone Service remained in operation.
Emergency Shelter at Town Hall opened but not utilized.
Report from Harvey Broverman, K1PZS, and Roger Jeanfaivre, K1PAI for
Soapstone CT SKYWARN Net:
This is just a summary of the end of the net last night.
KD1LD started a net for Windham County at request of NWS on the 147.
225 repeater. Started at 10:45pm, secured at 11:25pm.
N1JTB opened an informal net for New Haven County at 10:45pm and
secured at 11:30pm.
I called NWS to relay info from the following reports:
N1WRG reported power out in Warehouse Point
KB1DIW reported debris from tree damage on one street in Somers.
I secured the Soapstone Net at midnight since KD1LD and I concurred
that there was no activity left in Connecticut.
THANKS ONCE AGAIN TO ALL WHO HELPED OUT DURING THIS WIDESPREAD
Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
SEMCARES Emergency Coordinator
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
Packet Address: KD1CY @ AA1FS
Back to the Eastern Mass. ARES/RACES/SKYWARN homepage