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Think We Don’t Get Tornadoes in New England? Think Again.

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With a violent tornado outbreak in the South and Midwest this week, it’s probably a good thing to remember: while they’re really rare, tornadoes can happen right here in New England, too.

This morning, a small earthquake was reported off the coast of Maine. Even more evidence that the “big stuff” like earthquakes, tornadoes and floods can happen here at home. Is this the end of the world? Not yet, but it never helps to be prepared!

Generally speaking, we’re pretty lucky when it comes to violent wind storms. We see moderate to severe thunderstorms in the summer months, but the supercells that can generate tornadoes are pretty rare. They can happen, though… and when they do, tornadoes have been known to touch down in New England states. National Weather Service data estimates that Maine gets one measurable tornado per 10,000 square miles each year. Maine has about 35,400 square miles, so we could average as many as 3 or 4 tornadoes in a year. Most are small, but even the smallest ones can do big damage.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service

The most famous in recent memory is the Springfield, Massachusetts tornado in 2011.  Captured by hundreds of people on video, the tornado crossed the Connecticut River and blew through town, caused around $140 million in damage, and killed three people.

Here are some videos of tornadoes in Massachusetts, and smaller storms from Western & Northern Maine:

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