A tornado touched down in Connecticut during a severe thunderstorm leaving behind damaged trees, missing shingles, and two destroyed vehicles.
The tornado rated an EF-0 (the weakest of the five levels on the Enhanced Fujita Scale), touched between 6:11 p.m. and 6:18 p.m., Sunday, July 18, in the Town of Somers, located in Tolland County near the Massachusetts border, according to the National Weather Service.
The tornado was first reported by amateur radio operators on a tip from a trained Skywarn Weather Spotter, the service said.
The tornado, which traveled for about 1.9 miles, first touched down on Colonial Drive, then traced to the north-northeast, impacting Lake Drive, just south of Shady lake, Kibbee Drive, a portion of Main Street, Battle Street, and ended in the area of Hickory Hill Drive.
The weather service estimates winds to be at 75 to 80 miles per hour, which puts the storm in the mid-to upper-end of the EF0 category on the Fujita Scale used to measure tornados.
Damage included several large pine trees were downed, two vehicles were destroyed by falling trees, 19 trees were snapped, twisted, and uprooted on Lake Drive, the service said.
"A resident of Lake Drive heard a loud whirring noise and observed the tops of trees flying by the house," the service said.
Shingles were also missing, and a playscape was lifted up and landed about 50 feet away.
On Main Street, a small corner of a roof was exposed, and farther northeast a few large oak trees were snapped on Hickory Hill Drive.
The storm did not possess any lighting, the service said. But did have just enough atmospheric conditions and high humidity and wind shear to cause the tornado.
Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into five categories:
- EF0 - Weak, winds of 65 to 85 mph
- EF1 - Weak, winds of 86 to 110 mph
- EF2 - Strong, winds of 111 to 135 mph
- EF3 - Strong, winds of 136 to 165 mph
- EF4 - Violent, winds. of 166 to 200 mph
- EF5 - Violent, winds of more than 200 mph
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