Confirmed Tornado In Rhode Island Tuesday


From chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca..

Isolated severe thunderstorms passed through some communities Tuesday with hail, lightning, and a least 1 confirmed Tornado in Lincoln Rhode Island. The National Weather Service in Norton Mass. sent out a damage survey team yesterday in Lincoln Rhode Island . Significant damage pattern confirms it was a tornado. Additional specific survey will continue on Wednesday which include North Providence to see if the same tornado touched down in other towns too.

Reports of wind damage, funnel clouds and waterspouts yesterday…

Radar data from yesterday gave the Pinpoint Weather Team enough confidence yesterday to interrupt local  TV programing to warn viewers. One of the radar products we use is called a “Velocity Scan”. This allows us to see the strength and more importantly the direction of winds within a severe thunderstorm.  During the 3PM hour yesterday,  velocity data was showing winds starting to rotate within a strong thunderstorm moving through northern Rhode Island.  This “red flag” gave our team enough confidence to issue a “weather alert” and cut into local TV programing with updates.


The next few radar images shows the northern Rhode Island storm approaching Lincoln and North Providence RI

Doppler Radar  330PM  Tuesday..strong storm over Greenville RI showing signs of rotation

Doppler Radar 3:35PM Tuesday..storm continues to intensify as it approaches Lincoln and North Providence RI

Doppler Radar Velocity Scan 3:35pm Tuesday. The red and green “couplet” indicates some strong rotation within the thunderstorm. The green shading represents the component of wind blowing towards the radar..the red color showing winds moving away from the doppler radar site.  This in turn shows rotation and 1) possible tornado formation or  2) a tornado is actually on the ground. In this case the tornado was making ground contact in Lincoln RI

Doppler radar 340pm Tuesday. The shape of the radar image will give clues to a possible tornado. Note the “elbow” or “hook” shape to the red  colored imagery. We call this signature a “hook echo”. This image near route 146 yesterday was a classic hook echo on radar

Other locations had reports of waterspouts and or funnel clouds including Middletown. Little Compton and Cape Cod

Damage from Lincoln RI yesterday…

Large trees either snapped or uprooted

Small pea sized hail in Lincoln RI. Fortunately these hail stones were not very large, but still significant.

Stay tuned for updates as we gather more pictures Today,  plus new information from the National Weather Service damage survey team continues on Wednesday. Damage has been reported in parts of southeast Massachusetts as well

Tony Petrarca….updated Wednesday 1:35 AM

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