Hanscom Air Force Base, MA F1 Tornado of August 7, 1986

Figure 1 depicts the surface observations at 8:00 am EDT, which shows a stationary front across southern Ontario and southerly winds across Massachusetts. Interactions with this front and possible sea-breeze could have helped trigger thunderstorms and ultimately, this tornado.

Figure 1. Surface weather map for August 7, 1986 at 8:00 am EDT (NOAA, 2020).

The Hanscom Air Force Base F1 tornado of August 7, 1986 impacted Middlesex County in Massachusetts. According to NOAA (2019), the F1 tornado caused no fatalities or injuries, but caused $250 thousand dollars in property damage. The tornado touched down over Airport Road at 3:10 pm EDT. The tornado travelled for 4 miles and had a maximum width of 73 yards.

Figure 2. This narrative was extracted from the historical 08/1986 Storm Data Publication. Please refer to the Database Details page for more information or the NCEI Image and Publication System for access to all NCEI publications (NOAA NCEI, 2020).


NOAA Central Library. (2020). U.S. Daily Weather Maps. Thursday August 7, 1986 [PDF]. Retrieved from https://library.noaa.gov/Collections/Digital-Collections/US-Daily-Weather-Maps

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (2020). Storm Events Database. Retrieved from: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/