What a year it has been for tornadoes in the Philly region this summer. Growing up around here, I remember tornadoes being rare. You hardly ever heard of them, even when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning. If they did occur, they’d generally spin up fast then die right away.
This summer seems to have had larger and stronger ones. Multiple EF-3s within a month. The first of which was the strongest in the area since 2004. Radar has been showing legit supercells with legit looking couplets. Some of them have looked like they belong in the Midwest.
It appears that they were fairly long tracked tornadoes too. Persistent velocity couplets and debris balls on radar.
I guess it yet again debunks the myth that a dying tropical system can only spin up weak tornadoes. I wouldn’t call a 150 mph EF-3 weak by any means, and those with destroyed property would agree.
It was so strange seeing all the warnings with a confirmed large tornado on the ground. Of course, there are more spotters now and easier and faster communications than ever before, so they can get reports more quickly.
Even an EF-2 hit down near Oxford, which is much closer to where I call home. Still a good distance away, but fairly close when considering the rarity of tornadoes here.
There are some pretty wild videos of these tornadoes in various places on the internet. One of the interesting ones was of a truck with a dash cam being in one of the Pennsylvania tornadoes. You can see the winds picking up and the truck beginning to lift a little before it gets blown over.
It really was wild and captivating to see this happen around here, where it’s just rare. Of course, it’s sad to see people got killed or injured and more lost everything, but that’s the part of life.