West Upton, MA EF1 Tornado of July 26, 2018

Figure 1 depicts the surface observations at 11:00 pm EDT, which shows an approaching cold front with warm/humid air in place across Massachusetts. This front triggered thunderstorms across the state in the early morning hours of July 26th, which ultimately led to two EF1 tornadoes.

Figure 1. Surface analysis at 03Z on July 26, 2018 showing mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) contours, surface observations, fronts and pressure centers (WPC, 2017)

The West Upton, MA EF1 tornado of July 26, 2018 impacted Worcester County in Massachusetts. According to NOAA (2020), the EF1 tornado caused no fatalities or injuries, but caused $40 thousand dollars in property damage. The tornado touched down near Hartford Avenue South at 2:41 am EDT. The tornado travelled for 1.04 miles and had a maximum width of 100 yards.

Figure 2. Episode narrative for July 26, 2018 (NOAA NCEI, 2020).


NWS Weather Prediction Center Surface Analysis Archive. (2017). Surface analysis 03Z Thu Jul 26 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:

At 1:41 AM EST, the parent thunderstorm of the Douglas tornado generated a second tornado that touched down in western Upton. The tornado touched down on Hartford Avenue South, crossed state route 140, and and produced most of its damage in the neighborhood of Ephram's Way. The tornado then moved northeast, lifting in Upton State Forest. Winds were estimated at 100 mph on Ephram's Way. The path length was about 1 mile, with a maximum width of 100 yards. The tornado was rated an EF-1.