3.4 The Revere, MA Tornado of July 28, 2014: A Case for Improving Warning Performance Through a Better Understanding of Northeast Tornado Environments

Monday, 3 August 2015: 2:15 PM
Republic Ballroom AB (Sheraton Boston )
Joseph W. Dellicarpini, NOAA/NWSFO, Taunton, MA; and M. L. Doody and H. M. Frank

On July 28, 2014 at about 9:30 AM EDT, an EF-2 tornado touched down for only about four minutes in Revere, Massachusetts, a highly urbanized area just north of Boston, and caused significant damage. It was the first tornado to occur in Suffolk County since record keeping began in 1950 and was the most destructive tornado of the season in southern New England. This particular tornado occurred without a Tornado Warning in effect from the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Taunton. This event was typical of most tornadoes that occur in the Northeast in that it occurred in a low CAPE, high shear environment where a low level boundary was present. It was one of a number of rapidly evolving short-lived tornadoes to occur within the county warning area of the WFO in the past few years. This presents a significant challenge for NWS forecasters to provide ample warning and lead time.

This presentation will feature a review of the synoptic and mesoscale environments prior to tornadogenesis and will be compared to an ongoing local study on Northeast tornado environments, which are markedly different than those typically associated with tornadoes in other parts of the country. An examination of radar images, including dual-polarization products, will be used to discuss whether there could have been advanced warning for this tornado in spite of the fact that it only exhibited the traditional signature of strong gate-to-gate shear at the time it touched down. Further research of these short-lived tornadoes will be proposed in order to increase the understanding of environments that are favorable for their occurrence, as well as to improve warning detection and lead time.

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