Plymouth, MA F0 Waterspouts of August 20, 1997

Plymouth County

Figure 1 depicts the surface observations at 8:00 am EDT, which shows showers developing across the northeast United States. Showers developed in southeastern Massachusetts during the afternoon, which ultimately led to three waterspouts.

Figure 1. Surface weather map for August 20, 1997 at 8:00 am EDT (NOAA, 2020).

The Plymouth, MA F0 waterspouts of August 20, 1997 impacted Plymouth County in Massachusetts. According to NOAA (2019), the F0 waterspouts caused no fatalities, injuries or property damage. A tornado touched down near Plymouth at 1:27 pm EDT. The tornado travelled for 0.1 mile and had a maximum width of 5 yards, before moving over water and forming several waterspouts.

Figure 2. Episode narrative for August 20, 1997 (NOAA NCEI, 2020).


NOAA Central Library. (2020). U.S. Daily Weather Maps. Wednesday August 20, 1997 [PDF]. Retrieved from

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (2020). Storm Events Database. Retrieved from: