Hamden Tornado Anniversary


21 years ago I was on Cape Cod with my family absolutely beside myself that I missed the big tornado back home. I don’t remember which Boston television station we were watching that showed the damage in Connecticut but I was furious that I had missed the biggest New England tornado outbreak in decades. I was 6 and clearly a huge weather dork already.

The 1989 tornado outbreak featured an exceptionally unstable and volatile atmosphere. The atmosphere that day was “capped” and needed a trigger to break through and release the instability.

3 or 4 supercells developed that day, the most severe of which was a long duration supercell that dropped multiple tornadoes over a path nearly 150 miles long. The first tornado associated with this supercell was west of Albany in Montgomery County and into Schoharie and Greene County. Damage as significant as F4 occured in Schoharie County with nearly 20 million in damage reported. That same storm produced a tornado in Litchfield County from West Cornwall near Mohawk Mountain southeast into Litchfield, Morris, Watertown and Waterbury. Substantial damage in the Milton and Bantam sections of Litchfield was rated F2.

The thunderstorm tracked south toward Hamden where a violent F4 tornado developed near the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Hamden and continued south toward New Haven.

This tornado outbreak also produced tornadoes in Putnam County, New York, northern New Jersey, and eastern Massachusetts.

Read more here at a story I posted on NBCConnecticut.com.


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