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Norton, MA EF1 Tornado of October 23, 2018


Figure 1 depicts the surface observations at 2:00 pm EDT, which shows a warm front extending along the northeastern United States, which provided the focus for thunderstorm development in the early afternoon hours of October 23rd, which ultimately led to this tornado.

Figure 1. Surface analysis at 18Z on October 23, 2018 showing mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) contours, surface observations, fronts and pressure centers (WPC, 2017)

The Norton, MA EF1 tornado of October 23, 2018 impacted Bristol County in Massachusetts. According to NOAA (2020), the EF1 tornado caused no fatalities or injuries, but caused $20 thousand dollars in property damage. The tornado touched down near Freeman Street at 4:13 pm EDT. The tornado travelled for 0.8 miles and had a maximum width of 170 yards.

Figure 2. Episode narrative for October 23, 2018 (NOAA NCEI, 2020).

Sources

NWS Weather Prediction Center Surface Analysis Archive. (2017). Surface analysis 18Z Tue Oct 23 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/archives/web_pages/sfc/sfc_archive.php

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

National Centers for Environmental Information reports:

The same storm cell that produced the North Providence and Lincoln, Rhode Island tornado spawned another tornado, which touched down in Norton, MA at approximately 413 PM EDT. The tornado began on Freeman Street, just north of West Main Street (Route 123). It traveled to the northeast, cutting across the extreme southern portion of Norton Reservoir and Mansfield Avenue (Route 140), and lifted at the southernmost portion of Reservoir Street around 415 PM EDT. On Freeman Street, an oak tree was downed with large branches leaning on a house. Between the reservoir and Mansfield Avenue, numerous oak and pine trees were snapped near their bases. A tree fell onto a garage causing significant structural damage. There was some damage to a home, but it was spared any significant damage. There was very pronounced convergence in the downed trees with some downed from southwest to northeast and others from southeast to northwest.