EF-1 Tornadoes Confirmed in Lincoln, Norton; EF-0 Confirmed in North Providence

By: Tim Studebaker

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LINCOLN, R.I. (WLNE) – Cleanup is well underway after two tornadoes in southern New England on Tuesday.  One touched down in two towns in Rhode Island, North Providence and Lincoln.  The other hit Norton, Massachusetts.  The National Weather Service confirmed those tornadoes after spending much of the day surveying the damaged areas.

Luckily, no injuries were reported after that severe weather, but the damage was intense in Lincoln.  Trees were knocked down, shingles were ripped off of roofs, and houses and cars were damaged.

That’s exactly what National Weather Service crews looked at on Wednesday.  After a storm like this, a survey team uses the damage to confirm that it was indeed a tornado, rather than straight line winds, that caused the damage.  Then, they can estimate the strength of the tornado’s winds.  From that, they can rate the tornado on the Enhanced Fujita, or EF scale.

In Lincoln, near Angell Road, Riata Drive, and Elden Court, a little more than a half mile southwest of Twin River, the level of damage along the tornado’s path indicates winds between 90 and 100 miles per hour.  The tornado has been rated as an EF1 tornado.

NWS Boston Meteorologist Joe DelliCarpini says, “Every year in New England, we get a handful of tornadoes.  They’re not uncommon.  A lot of them are very quick, weak tornadoes.  This is probably about an average one, believe it or not.  Most of them occur in July or August.  To have one in October is rare, but not unheard of.”

The National Weather Service says they’ll be able to look back at this rare October tornado event with the hopes of learning from it so they can better predict tornadoes in the future.

The tornado’s path was a mile and a half long and 250 yards wide.  Lincoln got the worst of the damage, but it was actually the second place the tornado hit.  First, it touched down as an EF-0 tornado in North Providence, then it lifted off the ground before touching down again in Lincoln as an EF-1.  A second EF-1 tornado was confirmed in Norton, Massachusetts.

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