4/21/21 NY/CT Storm Chase

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On April 21, 2021 a low end severe threat was set to materialize in southern New England with a linear storm mode and wind being the primary threat. Although the probabilities were extremely low, a tornado or two could not be quite ruled out.

My initial target was somewhere within the blue circle in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. However as the morning progressed my intended target kept progressing farther and farther south with each new model run.

I started positioning farther south along the NY/CT border as the line moved northeast in my general direction, with the most intense parts down around Philadelphia and New York City.

As the line progressed closer I noticed that a particular portion of the line that was moving in my general direction was growing stronger than the rest. I decided to find a spot and get ready for my one intercept opportunity of the day.

As the storm grew closer it continued to strengthen so I got my drone in the air to record an aerial timelapse and to hopefully get some lightning shots.

My two best lightning shots that I got from my drone.

As the storm was directly over top of me I got tornado warned but unfortunately there was no way that I was going to be able to catch back up to it.

There was actually two tornadoes being produced almost simultaneously and you can see both of them in the radar screenshot. The northern area of rotation by Amenia produced an EF-1 while the southern one just to my southeast produced a brief EF-0.

After the rain finished I once again flew my drone to try and find damage and I found some minor damage as in trees down across roads and leaning on powerlines.

My full video documenting the entire chase is on my YouTube channel if you are interested.

Community Comments

Travis Farncombe Travis Farncombe   •   April 24, 2021 1:25 pm

Hey Colton - great chase account. And good job landing in the tor warning - needle in a haystack! Are the drone lightning shots (they're awesome) stills from video?..

Colton Flint Colton Flint   •   April 25, 2021 2:00 pm

Thanks! Yeah the drone lightning shots were just screenshots from a video.

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