No tornado warnings issued for most recent Mass. tornadoes

Distance from the nearest radars makes tornado detection difficult in WMass

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Over the past week, three tornadoes have formed in New England, one in Connecticut and two in Massachusetts. For the tornadoes in the Bay State, no tornado warnings were issued before the tornadoes caused damage on the ground.

“Yah that’s kind of scary. I just hope they don’t happen again,” said Donald Siano from Easthampton.

Both Albany and Boston National Weather Service offices issue warnings for western Massachusetts, but the distance between us and our nearest radars may have meant the Dalton tornado was missed.

“The beam at its lowest scan is between five or six thousand feet which is fairly high up when we’re talking about shallow thunderstorms like we tend to have here so in this case the rotation really wasn’t evident to us,” said Joe Dellicarpini, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Boston.

A radar closer to the storm in Dalton might have detected the lower level rotation better. As for the Revere tornado, the storms rotation tightened up so quickly that by the time it was picked up on radar; the tornado was already on the ground.

Currently the National Weather Service radars scan every four or five minutes in the lowest level of the atmosphere, potentially missing quick developments with storms, but new technology should change that.

In the next few weeks, the radar in Taunton will be upgraded to scan the lowest levels twice as fast, providing updates every 2 minutes.

This is a great example of why you should always be weather aware, listening to warnings, but not solely relying on them.

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