By Steven Strouss
It’s been over 10 years since Philadelphia county had a confirmed tornado. Today, near the intersection of Red Lion Road and Northeast Ave an EFO tornado caused damage to several buildings in the area around 2pm. According to the National Weather Service, the winds were estimated at 75 mph and the path of the tornado was 100 wide and 300 feet long. 2 people were injured.
The scale for measuring tornadoes is called the Fujita scale, which was modified in 2007 to better align wind speeds with associated damage. It is now called the Enhanced Fujita scale and ranges from EFO (wind speeds between 65-85 mph) to EF5 (wind speeds greater than 200 mph).
Today’s tornado was spawned by a stubborn area of low pressure spinning through the Mid-Atlantic region. The combination of this low and warm, humid air with high instability led to the formation of storms this afternoon. With these conditions it is not uncommon to have severe weather outbreaks, but tornadoes in Philadelphia do not occur that often. Looking through the history books, there have only been 5 other tornadoes in the county during the last 26 years and none have been stronger than an EF2.
The pattern of unsettled weather will break down over the next few days as high pressure moves back into the Delaware Valley. We may be paying the price now with the damp, dreary and stormy days but sunshine will return just in time for the weekend.
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