Maine’s First Tornado of The Year

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Photo taken from Houlton by Robin Bickford

Ludlow  Maine in Aroostook County is the location of Maine’s first confirmed tornado of the season. A weak EF0 with max winds estimated  around 70 mph touched down for a short period around 1:50 PM Monday.  Its maximum path width was about 180 yards and traveled about the length of two football fields.   The survey team from NWS Caribou reports minor tree damage was evident on both sides of Ludlow Rd, with trees either split or uprooted in a convergent pattern. The damage was supported by an eyewitness who was present at the time of the event, as well as photo evidence of the funnel take by a person south of Houlton.
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Photos From NWS Caribou

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Earlier in the day several spotters reported a funnel cloud in another cell in Aroostook County.  Here’s one photo from around 11:20 AM.
Funnel_Cloud
Photo by Michael Kistner

While rare, Maine is no stranger to tornadoes. The state averages about two confirmed annually but the number has been slightly higher in recent years. Here are a few stats about tornadoes in Northern New England.

  • Peak tornado activity occurs between June and August
  • Most tornadoes occur between 3PM and 9PM
  • Most tornadoes have a forward speed of about 30 mph.
  • During a 40 year period, 74 tornadoes occurred in Maine
  • Vacationland averages about 2 tornadoes per year
  • Average tornado path length is about 1.08 miles
  • Strongest tornado observed in Maine was an EF2

Here’s a list of tornadoes reported in Maine and New Hampshire for a 15 year period between 1995 and 2010.

EF2/F2

     Jul 08 1996  Cobbosseecontee Lake, Maine
     Jul 03 1997  Greenfield, New Hampshire
     May 31 1998  Antrim, New Hampshire
     Jul 06 1999  Pittsfield/Barnstead/Strafford, 
                  New Hampshire
     Aug 09 2000  Cornville, Maine
     May 21 2006  Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
     Jul 24 2008  Deerfield to Freedom, New Hampshire 
                  (50 mile path length)

EF1/F1
     Jul 23 1995  New Hampton, New Hampshire
     Jun 21 1997  Rome, Maine
     Jul 03 1997  Swanzey, New Hampshire
     Oct 01 1998  South Paris, Maine
     Aug 13 1999  Sweden, Maine
     Aug 13 1999  Plainfield/Enfield, New Hampshire
     Jul 18 2000  Newry/Hanover, Maine
     Jun 17 2001  Newry/Hanover, Maine
     Jul 24 2001  Penobscot County (16 miles northwest of
                  Patten)
     Jul 24 2001  Oakfield, Maine
     May 31 2002  West Paris, Maine
     Jul 04 2002  Aroostook County (8 miles west of
                  Littleton)
     Nov 24 2005  Phippsburg, Maine
     Sep 29 2006  North Berwick, Maine
     May 24 2009  Eagle Lake, Maine
     May 31 2009  Westfield, Maine
     May 31 2009  Easton, Maine
     Aug 21 2009  Norway to Hartford, Maine
                 (up to 700 yards wide)
     Jun  5 2010  South Paris, Oxford, Hebron, Maine
     Jul 21 2010  Newfield to Limerick, Maine
     Jul 21 2010  Buxton to Gorham, Maine
     Jul 21 2010  Shapleigh to Alfred, Maine 

EF0/F0
     Jul 28 1997  Ft. Kent, Maine
     Aug 27 1997  Charleston, Maine
     Jul 23 2002  Aroostook County (7 miles northwest of
                  Knowles Corner)
     Aug 08 2004  Sebago Lake, Maine 
     Aug 13 2004  Sanbornton/Meredith, New Hampshire
     Aug 01 2005  North Twin Lake, Maine
     Nov 24 2005  Brunswick, Maine
     Sep 29 2006  Effingham, New Hampshire
     Jul 15 2007  Long Lake in Aroostook County, Maine
     May 31 2009  Oxbow, Maine
     Jun 26 2009  Stockholm, Maine
     Jul 18 2009  East Bethel, Maine
     Jun  2 2010  Shin Pond, Maine
     Jun  5 2010  Gorham, New Hampshire

If you find yourself in a tornado warning, here are a few facts and safety tips.

  • Flying debris causes most deaths and injuries in tornadoes
  • The safest place in your home during a tornado is your basement
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of vehicles or mobile homes, they offer little protection. Seek shelter in a substantial building.
  • Do not seek shelter under a bridge overpass. Bridge overpasses offer little, if any protection from wind driven debris.
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Charlie Lopresti

About Charlie Lopresti

Charlie makes up the "Weather Part" of CBS News 13s evening edition. A native New Englander, he grew up enjoying the area's exciting and sometimes wild weather.