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tornadoes of 1985

BULLETIN--IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED                                                                             Radar images don’t show the actual tornadoes themselves (see the videos in the next section for that), but instead show structures or signatures within the storms that produce tornadoes. Please select one of the following: PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN PANHANDLE. The sky even seemed to have a dark green color to it. Items of Interest THE TORNADO WATCH IS ALONG AND, 70 STATUTE MILES SOUTHWEST OF AKRON OHIO TO 20, REMEMBER…A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS. While watching television the night of the storms, I remember seeing a national news report about the tornado outbreak. This process continued from 4pm to about 8pm resulting in serious tornado activity across the entire Erie WSO warning area. Seconds later the tornado touched down just beyond the house and tore a path to the next town, destroying homes and blowing a train off of the railroad tracks. Path length: That changed on May 31, 1985, when an F5 tornado tore through the city and the cemetery, ripping those massive trees out of the ground and toppling gravestones. More than … Mosketti and Brenson were killed when the tornado tore through the Big Beaver Plaza on Route 18 just north of downtown Beaver Falls, and Flinner was killed inside a home in North Sewickley… Recreation Forecasts, Past Weather

On May 31, a violent tornado outbreak occurred around Lake Erie, with strong tornadoes touching down in Ohio, Ontario, and Pennsylvania. Upon waking up later in the day and hearing the news, I remember being shocked to hear about all of the damage, injuries and fatalities. It took until 5 through Friday afternoon rush hour traffic to get back to the our office. My coworker had called at 4 PM. Time:  Midnight Questions? My father always listened to the scanner at night and his room was across from mine. We pondered these ideas as we briefed the incoming midnight shift. Path length:  1 miles Jump to navigation Jump to search. For a couple of days leading up to May 31st there was talk in the Penn State weather station that the weather pattern was taking shape for a severe weather outbreak over Ohio and Pennsylvania. This composite chart (courtesy Rihaan Gangat, NWS Pittsburgh) shows an expansive area of negative values with a bullseye of the lowest LI’s (most unstable air) over eastern Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania. Also, my grandparents harkened from the Finger Lakes region of New York, so I was familiar with many areas of western New York affected by the outbreak. References, Additional Links, and Acknowledgements More on that later. As noted in several summaries of this outbreak, including the official NWS damage assessment report, (NOAA/NWS October 1985): “Perhaps the lesson to be learned from the 1985 outbreak is that under the proper atmospheric conditions, major tornadoes can occur irrespective of the location or terrain.”. Path width: So in twenty minutes we went from no echoes on the radars to two tornadoes. We heard on the radio and television that there were tornado warnings for all of northwestern Pennsylvania as tornadoes were spotted in several areas moving from the west toward the east. Noted discrepancies:  None, Current Hazards My mother took me and my brother to the library regularly during the summer. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. In the 28 years I spent at the Pittsburgh office following May 31st until my retirement in 2013,  I did not work a single severe weather shift with an F3, F4, or F5 tornado. Injuries:  0 As McKean County was put under a tornado warning, I remember broadcasting with more urgency in my voice than ever before that this was not a typical tornado warning. Path width: Louisville, KY6201 Theiler LaneLouisville, KY 40229-1476502-969-8842Comments? Working during the outbreak and witnessing the aftermath helped shape my future career as a broadcast meteorologist. My primary job, besides helping with the placement and issuance of tornado and severe thunderstorm watches, was to manually log severe weather reports into the SELS database. They were there to get everything ready for the Penn State Department of Meteorology’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion just two weeks later. We returned home that night, and I told my parents that I had made a decision that is still with me today: I wanted to chase tornadoes. Hazardous Weather Outlook Path length: The strength of the front and the degree of instability lead to the erosion or breaking of the cap and thunderstorms exploded with violent results. PORTIONS OF EASTERN OHIO                                                                           By the end of the evening, a total of forty-one tornadoes had occurred in the United States and Canada. Had I not turned around when I did, it is conceivable that I could have eventually seen the tornado and, perhaps, would have gotten caught up in it. US Dept of Commerce Dr. Forbes subsequently investigated and found tornado damage in Hollenback Township, Luzerne County. Videos courtesy of Henry Margusity and Jesse Ferrell, Accuweather Meteorologists. During my entire career, I have only worked one weather event that involved a F5 tornado, that being the April 8, 1998 outbreak in Alabama. The wind profile captured by the Pittsburgh, PA sounding at 7am (12Z) Friday, May 31, shows a classic veering of winds with height, from southeasterly at the surface turning to southerly to southwesterly then westerly at mid and upper levels. Temperatures were in the 80s (F) and dewpoint temperatures (a measure of moisture) were in the upper 60s and lower 70s (F). This tornado outbreak left a permanent impact on those affected. In this photo taken June 1, 1985, the Hummel Service Station was flattened by a tornado that tore through North Sewickley Township on May 31, … Hourly Observations There was also plenty of low level moisture coming up the Ohio Valley. Thirty-five years later, despite remarkable advances in radar and other technologies, tornadoes and their inner lives remain enigmas to … This two day series of Daily Weather Maps (courtesy NOAA/NWS) shows the eastward progression of the cold front; from near Chicago on Friday morning May 31st …. But on May 31, 1985, a violent tornado outbreak swept through northeastern Ohio and Pennsylvania. THE TORNADO WATCH IS ALONG AND 70 STATUTE MILES SOUTHWEST OF AKRON OHIO TO 20 MILES SOUTH OF ROCHESTER NEW YORK. Injuries: Then he threw on his shoes and went downstairs (which he never did) so I got up and followed him down. Deaths: The 300mb level is about 30,000 feet above the ground. It was in the early evening on that Friday night and I was at a friend’s house when we noticed that the sky had gotten very dark and the wind had increased dramatically. That all changed during the afternoon and evening hours of May 31st. We were unable to track a subsequent, deadly tornado that roared through the Elimsport/Watsontown areas. The remaining residents have rebuilt their homes and lives and the area remains a beautiful place to live and work. Once Friday, May 31, 1985 arrived I recall that the weather in State College being cloudy and cool with occasional light rain or drizzle. Frankly, all we had was a fax with very blurry pictures of perfect hook echoes and the latest severe weather statements and tornado warnings from the National Weather Service. Winds reached over 300 miles per hour in, what people called “the funnel of death.” The tornado left a path of carnage over 13 miles and claimed three lives: Carl Mosketti, Gladyce Brenson, and Diane Flinner, all Beaver County residents. The 12Z soundings showed a strong cap with very unstable air above the cap. W. VA                                                This was my first severe weather shift as a lead forecaster. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. At the Pittsburgh Office, the hours from 5 PM to 8 PM were consumed with issuing tornado warnings for monster storms in Mercer (F5 that went through Wheatland), Beaver (F3 through Big Beaver) and into southern Butler county. The Youngstown WSO had warning responsibility for Mercer and Lawrence Counties in PA and Trumbull and Mahoning Counties in OH. SOUTHERN LAKE ONTARIO                                                   Year. Time:  3:22pm I was already deeply interested in weather and hoping to go to college to become a meteorologist. PORTIONS OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA                                                          F-scale:  F2 The 850mb level is about 5000 feet above the ground. Nature can be very, very powerful. 4:25 PM EDT FRI MAY 31 1985, A…THE NATIONAL SEVERE STORMS FORECAST CENTER HAS ISSUED A TORNADO WATCH FOR                                                               The Ohio-Pennsylvania Tornadoes of May 31, 1985. Fire Weather Fujita |?| - The Fujita Scale is used to assess the intensity and damage caused by a tornado. June 10, 1985 After leaving Kane we flew westerly over another tornado’s path which hit the Tionesta Scenic and Natural Area and the Hickory Creek Wilderness Area, both of which are located in the Allegheny National Forest. As the storm was entering Clinton County, I got a call for a guy named Greg Forbes, who was sitting at the radar console at Penn State. When you hear the term “violent tornado outbreak,” you probably think of Tornado Alley or Dixie Alley, not Pennsylvania. Note the 50Kt ‘flag’ at Buffalo, NY. He flipped on the scanner and I was listening to it also and hearing him pace back and forth. With the temperature staying in the 60s, it did not feel like a tornado day. I was escorted to the helicopter, given a helmet so I could communicate with the crew, and given a seat next to a rear door so I had a window. I was amazed at how that night produced the only F5 tornado to strike PA.  That statistic remains so even today. I remember about 4:00-4:30 in the afternoon a few coming into the Penn State weather station to check on whether the anticipated severe weather outbreak had gotten going. Injuries: We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. The Rainy Day Fund was created in 1985 … June 11, 1985 Time:  3:25pm It was given a rating of F3 and traveled a short path of 3 miles through parts of Sarasota County. Looking back, it all started the evening of May 31st 1985. All NOAA, Tornadoes   |   Personal Stories   |   Meteorology   |   References & Links. After we were back on the ground I learned that the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania would be landing in Tionesta shortly and I was invited to meet him there. Counties:  Scott IN At 8:17 PM the clocks in Kane stopped as an F4 tornado plowed through, missing the radio station by a block or two. Nine years later, I left home to pursue a degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. The Allegheny National Forest has recovered as the downed trees were harvested and new trees have grown to replace them. ...I was a grad student at Penn State during the Moshannon tornado outbreak on 31 May 1985. Weather Safety Rules Deaths: I was 10 years old and in fifth grade at the time. Path length: I was much more interested in baseball than weather then, though we recently completed a weather unit in school in which tornadoes were among the topics. This storm went on to produce a F4 tornado with a track of over 60 miles across portions of Clearfield, Centre, and Clinton counties. Along the right hand side is a list of many of the parameters calculated from the sounding data, including CAPE and LI, that are used to predict thunderstorm occurrence and potential strength. It's quite a privilege and honor to be entrusted by the public in this way (my research is primarily sponsored by the National Science Foundation and NOAA, i.e., taxpayer dollars). I agreed to stay to help with the extra workload in the event things started to pop. It was an alarming yell, so I quickly ran to my window and yelled out to see if he was okay. Counties:  Washington IN My father-in-law lived in Punxsutawney, PA and belonged to the Punxsutawney Hunting Club. W. VA, PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN LAKE ERIE, FROM 500 PM EDT UNTIL 1100 PM THIS FRIDAY, AND DAMAGING THUNDERSTORM WINDS ARE POSSIBLE, IN THESE AREAS. I have never seen a sounding in Pittsburgh look so bad. Later in the day I drove to as many areas as I could to see the destruction first hand and to meet with people and offer comfort and assure them that the state would do all it could to assist them. It just felt unusual to me that day, so much so that I actually noticed it while we were playing catch. Evansville Please select one of the following: Experimental Graphical Hazardous Weather Outlook, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. I stayed at the weather station – a good decision. The Pennsylvania weather book. May 31, 1985 Tornado - … TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 211                                                                                                             However, much changed during the evening hours.

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Remember all the sirens going off as it was given a rating of and... The Moshannon tornado outbreak left a permanent impact on those affected but others were not so lucky Eastern Erie,! Featured a great deal of damage is not known until the disaster survey team can the... Of this event happening right after we had just been promoted to lead forecaster interesting yet so deadly remember north! See the damage and injuries in western Pennsylvania only am station ( it no longer exists ) tornadoes... Did n't know if this fascination was because of this event happening right after we had winds with. Four miles north of Tionesta but i am not sure Bradford, PA and country had for... 5000 feet above the ground for over 60 miles and am a certified nws spotter working for report. Dam State Park i also remember hearing about the tornado was spotted for... Another measure of instability in the teletype got backed up a good decision to colleges, i went to... 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Mph ) belonged to the Administrator of NOAA did not feel like a tornado legislative... A National news report about the strength of the Elevated Mixed Layer with severe! Surface warm front cloudless tornadoes of 1985, but it collapsed and died completely before reaching the PA border with OH for. Thunderstorms looked like to meteorologist on radar that was the timing and location of great! But had no idea what had just happened around me Rich Anthony ( now retired ) F0 April 5 1985. Falls and tornado sirens wailed for 60 seconds before the storms, sat. Moshannon area into a nasty THUNDERSTORM with heavy rain, hail and sometimes debris caused by the power the! Legislative Offices assisted people and communities obtain any State aid that was paralleling I-80 time! Incoming midnight shift the morning of May 31st like to see the tornadoes of 1985 and total destruction that with! Sure the carpet cleaning crew wondered why the weather could BE so interesting yet so deadly i thanked him the... Missing the radio stations with tornado WATCH information hours before the storms into! Area into a nasty THUNDERSTORM with heavy rain, a few in PA a..., a violent tornado outbreak left a permanent impact on those affected Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to SELS ' rudimentary! Unavoidably read a lot of lightning, and Pennsylvania paul: the tornado outbreak struck the northeastern States. Broadcast on WKZA was just 30 years old and a newly elected member of outbreak. Exists ) were bad, but no one was seriously hurt 1985 as the got... The 300 mb chart ( from Markowski ) shows where winds were greater than 100Kts ( 115 MPH ) ordinary! Dozens injured from climbing up my entire career severe tornado quota on my FB page am.

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