WATCH: Tornadoes Touch Down in Boston, Denver

By Jordan Root, Meteorologist
July 30, 2014; 12:17 AM ET
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Severe thunderstorms blasted through many communities late this weekend into early this week, causing significant damage across some areas and creating travel delays and cancellations across others.

A storm system dipped across the Midwest and into Northeast Saturday through Monday and brought an unusual cool push of air with it. That air met with warm and humid air that was already in place, setting off severe thunderstorms across much of the region.

These storms brought just about everything. Tornadoes, hail, damaging winds, and flash flooding were all observed through the period. Lightning was an issue in some places as well.

The bulk of the storm reports occurred across the Great Lakes, Tennessee Valley and Northeast, but other areas, including the Southeast and eastern Colorado, were targets for severe storms as well.

Below is a recap of some of the severe activity that occurred Sunday through Monday.


The atmosphere turned ripe for tornadoes on Sunday with upper-level energy diving into the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.

Wind shear, the change of wind speed and direction with height that promotes twisting and turning of storms, accompanied that energy.

Combined with the heat and humidity that was in place, thunderstorms were able to turn severe and produce tornadoes across Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Storm clouds near Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. (Photo/Twitter user @logan_newton)

Several twisters spun through Tennessee including one in the Church Hill area. Numerous trees and power lines were torn down with moderate damage to some homes.

In Colonial Heights, Tennessee, a tornado damaged or destroyed several homes and other structures and brought down large trees. Ten homes were also destroyed in Speedwell, Tennessee, from a separate tornado.

New England was the site for two tornadoes between Sunday and Monday. An EF-0 tornado touched down in Wolcott, Connecticut.

According to a report by the NWS in New York, large fixed sports equipment was thrown across a field. Several trees were also topped. Wind speeds were estimated to be between 80 to 85 mph. Thankfully, no injuries or fatalities occurred.

Another tornado touched down on Monday in New England. A severe thunderstorm blasted through Revere, Massachusetts, on Monday morning and produced an EF-2 tornado. Revere is just north of Boston.

The twister was estimated to have traveled around 2 miles with maximum wind speeds of 120 mph. Trees in the path of the twister were uprooted and tossed, some eventually landed onto cars and houses. Several in-town structures were damaged. Although the twister caused extensive damage, no injuries or fatalities were reported.

Also on Monday, two tornadoes spun up near Denver, Colorado. One of the tornadoes touched down near the airport, forcing passengers to take shelter until the threat had passed.

A tornado formed next to Denver International Airport on Monday, July 28 as airline officials moved passengers into safe areas of the airport. (Photo/Sara McCook)

Hail and Damaging Wind

Several states were the target of hail on Sunday and Monday. Much of the hail activity occurred on Sunday though.

Michigan was pelted with large hail, especially around the Midland area where 3-inch diameter hail was reported.

Severe storms left damage behind in Gray, Tennessee. (Photo/Twitter user Jordan Walker)

Near Lexington, Kentucky, hail caused significant damage to corn, soybean, and tobacco crops at a University of Kentucky research farm.

Damaging winds also blasted areas and brought trees and power lines down. By Sunday night, over 32,000 customers were without power in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area due to high winds.

A flagpole was snapped in half in Michigan and apple trees were uprooted in Ohio due to gusty winds.

Winds were measured to be around 75 mph in Martinsville, West Virginia.

The wind and hail threat shifted to New England and the Southeast on Monday. Vehicles were reportedly damaged near Havelock, North Carolina, due to hail.

According to Maine State Police, Somerset County received widespread damage due to powerful winds from storms in the evening.

Flash Flooding

These storms also brought torrential rainfall in a short amount of time which caused flash flooding and travel issues for many.

A nursing home in Geauga County, Ohio, sustained major flooding. Meanwhile, a water rescue was conduced on College Drive in Pottstown.

An apartment building in Philadelphia was evacuated due to rain collapsing the roof.

The New York State Thruway was closed on Monday morning in Monroe County due to high water. Several roads were impassible across Vermont as well.


Many caught a glimpse of a tremendous lightning show as these storms blasted through. The lightning did cause some issues for a few people though.

Shawn Leightcap caught this snapshot of lightning in Reading, Pennsylvania, on Sunday night.

One person was injured in Grand Ridge, Florida, when a car was struck by lightning on I-10.

A bolt of lightning struck a house in State College, Pennsylvania, setting it on fire. Several fire crews responded and put the blaze out. Nobody was injured during the incident.

Lightning strike causes fire in State College, Pennsylvania, home. (Video by Meteorologist Jesse Ferrell)

The Week Ahead

The threat for flash flooding will target the Front Range through the Plains during the middle of this week. Elsewhere, widespread severe weather is not expected.


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