Needham, MA F1 Tornado of August 9, 1972

Figure 1. Norfolk Road in Brookline just after the tornado hit. Jack Connolly/ Globe Staff (Boston Globe, 2014).

Figure 2 depicts the surface observations at 8:00 am EDT, which shows an occluding front across the Great Lakes and a warm front near Massachusetts. The warm front became the focus for intense thunderstorms throughout the day on August 9th, which ultimately led to three tornadoes across the state.

Figure 2. Surface weather map for August 9, 1972 at 8:00 am EDT (NOAA, 2019).

The Needham, MA F1 tornado of August 9, 1972 impacted Norfolk County in Massachusetts. According to NOAA (2019), the F1 tornado caused 1 fatality, 6 injuries and caused $25 thousand dollars in property damage. The tornado touched down south of Needham at 3:30 pm EDT. The tornado travelled for 4.9 miles and had a maximum width of 30 yards.


Boston Globe. (Aug. 13, 2014). 1972 Summer Tornadoes. Retrieved from

NOAA Central Library. (2019). U.S. Daily Weather Maps. Wednesday August 9, 1972 [PDF]. Retrieved from

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (2019). Storm Events Database. Retrieved from: