Princeton, MA F1 Tornado of July 10, 1989

Worcester County

Figure 1. Schenectady Gazette headline for July 11, 1989 (LaPointe, 2016).

The Forecast

Figure 2 depicts the surface observations at 8:00 am EDT, which shows a cold front moving through the Great Lakes and a warm front extending into western Massachusetts. The cold front moved southeast toward Massachusetts throughout the day, triggering thunderstorms, which ultimately led to several tornadoes across the state.

Figure 2. Surface weather map for July 10, 1989 at 8:00 am EDT (NOAA, 2020).

Figure 3 depicts the surface map at 5:00 pm (unclear which timezone the author used), which shows the cold front reaching Albany, NY in the late afternoon hours of July 10th. This front triggered pre-frontal storms, depicted as the black dashed line, which were responsible for a tornado outbreak across Massachusetts.

Figure 3. Surface weather map for July 10, 1989 at 5:00 pm depicting the cold front (blue), warm front (red) and pre-frontal thunderstorms (dashed line) (LaPointe, 2016).


The Princeton, MA F1 tornado of July 10, 1989 impacted Worcester 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 near Gregory Hill Road at 3:10 pm EDT. The tornado travelled for 0.3 miles and had a maximum width of 50 yards.

Figure 4. 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).


LaPointe, S. (March 15, 2016). Monday, July 10, 1989. Northeast Severe Weather – Tornado Outbreak. Retrieved from

NOAA Central Library. (2020). U.S. Daily Weather Maps. Monday July 10, 1989 [PDF]. Retrieved from

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