UPDATE: Weather Service Find No Evidence of Tornado Activity
Damage consistent with straight-line wind gusts rather than circular patterns.
The National Weather Service (NWS) scout assessing the effects of Tuesday's storm reported finding only "straight line wind damage," indicating that there was no tornado activity.
Weather Service representatives were in Southbury and New Milford Wednesday looking for signs of circular, rotation damage that would signify a tornado had touched down.
In a report issued Wednesday evening, the NWS estimated wind speed got as high as 100 mph across an area 7 miles long and 1 mile wide, with the worst gusts between 6:55 and 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Original Story: 3:45 p.m.
Representatives from the National Weather Service (NWS) gathered in New Milford Wednesday afternoon to investigate reports of possible tornadoes touching down in the area during Tuesday’s brief but powerful storm.
The storm swept through Connecticut Tuesday evening, with winds and heavy rains taking down trees and power lines throughout the region. Worst hit were the towns of New Milford, Bridgewater and Southbury, which suffered from power outages well into Wednesday.
Crews will be looking at storm damage in Southbury and New Milford Wednesday to determine if it was caused by a tornado, NWS meteorologist George Maglaras confirmed.
Weather Service personnel will be assessing the damage Wednesday and making their determination as to whether it was a twister or just strong winds. To do so, they will be looking for damage in a circular pattern along a single path, rather than debris strewn in a straight line or fanned out, Maglaras explained.
“Even small tornadoes can be pretty obvious,” with damage in a circular rotation, he said, though, “On the weak end, it can be harder to differentiate.”
Once finished with their assessment, the NWS hopes to be able to issue a determination by Wednesday evening.
Tornadoes are rare in Connecticut, though funnel clouds have been reported during a few recent summer storms, including this one in Woodbury in 2011.