Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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NOUS41 KCAR 030637

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Caribou ME
237 AM EDT Thu May 3 2018

...Severe Weather Preparedness Week Continues...

The National Weather Service has declared the week of April 30
through May 4th, SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK in New England.
This is the forth in a series of five Public Information
Statements on various topics related to severe weather awareness.

Tornadoes are nature`s most violent storm.  By definition, a tornado
is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of
the thunderstorm cloud to the ground.

In addition to the three basic ingredients needed for the formation
of thunderstorms and severe thunderstorms (low-level moisture, an
unstable atmosphere, and a source of lift), winds at various levels
in the atmosphere factor into the development of tornadoes.

Usually, prior to the development of a tornado, a pre-tornadic
thunderstorm develops a circulation, that is, it starts rotating (a
meso-cyclone).  As this rotation becomes stronger, the chance that a
tornado may develop also increases.  Although the National Weather
Service`s Doppler RADAR generally cannot see the actual tornado, the
RADAR does detect rotation of the thunderstorm cloud, and thereby
gives some indication of the possibility that a tornado may be
forming or has formed.

The scale used to measure tornado damage is the Enhanced Fujita
scale (named after Theodore Fujita, a famous tornado damage expert).
 This scale is commonly referred to as the E-F scale.  Based on
scientific studies of tornado damage, the original Fujita scale was
modified and the new "Enhanced Fujita Scale" was officially
implemented in 2007.

  EF-0 - Light damage (winds 65 to 85 mph)
  EF-1 - Moderate damage (winds 86 to 110 mph)
  EF-2 - Considerable damage (winds 111 to 135 mph)
  EF-3 - Severe damage (winds 136 to 165 mph)
  EF-4 - Devastating damage (winds 166 to 200 mph)
  EF-5 - Incredible damage (winds over 200 mph)

Peak tornado activity in northern New England occurs between June
and August, but tornadoes have occurred as early as May and as late
as November.  Most tornadoes occur between 3 and 9 pm and have an
average forward speed of about 30 mph.  For the 40 year period
between 1950 and 1990, 74 tornadoes occurred in Maine.  Based on
these data, each state had averaged about two tornadoes per year.
During this period, the average path length of the tornadoes was
1.08 miles for Maine.  The strongest tornado observed in Maine was
an F2.

During 2017, there were 7 confirmed tornadoes in Maine (5 in one

Here is a list of documented tornadoes in Maine since 1995.

 Aug 09 2000  Cornville, Maine

     Jun 21 1997  Rome, Maine
     Oct 01 1998  South Paris, Maine
     Aug 13 1999  Sweden, Maine
 Jul 18 2000  Newry/Hanover, Maine
     Jun 17 2001  Newry/Hanover, Maine
     Jul 24 2001  Penobscot County (16 miles northwest of
     Jul 24 2001  Oakfield, Maine
 May 31 2002  West Paris, Maine
     Jul 04 2002  Aroostook County (8 miles west of
     Nov 24 2005  Phippsburg, Maine
 Sep 29 2006  North Berwick, Maine
 May 24 2009  Eagle Lake, Maine
     May 31 2009  Westfield, Maine
     May 31 2009  Easton, Maine
     Aug 21 2009  Norway to Hartford, Maine
                 (up to 700 yards wide)
     Jun  5 2010  South Paris, Oxford, Hebron, Maine
     Jul 21 2010  Newfield to Limerick, Maine
     Jul 21 2010  Buxton to Gorham, Maine
     Jul 21 2010  Shapleigh to Alfred, Maine
     Jun  1 2011  Bryant Pond, Maine
     Jun  1 2011  New Portland to Embden, Maine
     Jul 15 2014  Saint Albans, Maine
     Jul 28 2014  Limington, Maine
     Jul 01 2017  Bridgton, Maine
     Jul 01 2017  Denmark, Maine
     Jul 01 2017  Bridgton, Maine
     Aug 05 2017  Millinocket, Maine
     Aug 05 2017  Sherman, Maine

     Jul 28 1997  Ft. Kent, Maine
     Aug 27 1997  Charleston, Maine
     Jul 23 2002  Aroostook County (7 miles northwest of
                  Knowles Corner)
     Aug 08 2004  Sebago Lake, Maine
     Aug 01 2005  North Twin Lake, Maine
     Nov 24 2005  Brunswick, Maine
     Jul 15 2007  Long Lake in Aroostook County, Maine
     May 31 2009  Oxbow, Maine
     Jun 26 2009  Stockholm, Maine
     Jul 18 2009  East Bethel, Maine
     Jun  2 2010  Shin Pond, Maine
     Jun  8 2011  Little Madawaska Lake, Maine
     Jun  8 2011  Aroostook County, Maine
     Jun  9 2011  Aroostook County, Maine
     Jul 24 2012  Woolwich, Maine
     Jun  2 2013  Pleasant Ridge Plantation, Maine
     Jul 17 2013  Danforth, Maine
     Jul 19 2013  14 miles north of Chamberlain Lake, Maine
     Sep 11 2013  15 miles east of Churchill Dam, Maine
     May 26 2014  Ludlow, Maine
     Jul 27 2014  Sebago Lake, ME (Waterspout)
     Jul 18 2016  Hanford, Maine
     Jul 01 2017  East Sebago, Maine
     Jul 01 2017  Otisfield, Maine

To alert the public to the threat of tornadoes, the National Weather
indicates that atmospheric conditions are favorable for the
development of tornadoes.  A TORNADO WARNING indicates that a
tornado is imminent or is already occurring. If you hear that a
TORNADO WARNING has been issued for your area, seek safe shelter
immediately if you are in the path of the storm.

Due to the usual short life-span of tornadoes in northern New
England, there is often little, if any, advance warning.  Tornadoes
in New England generally touch down and then lift off the ground
very quickly.  Many of the tornadoes that have occurred in the past,
have occurred while severe thunderstorm warnings have been in
effect.  If you hear that a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect
for your area, be alert for the possibility of a tornado.  A low
rotating cloud, large hail, and/or a load roar are all signs that
may precede the touchdown of a tornado.

Here are some tornado facts and safety tips.

   *  Flying debris causes most deaths and injuries in tornadoes

   *  The safest place in your home during a tornado is your

   *  Stay away from windows.

   *  Get out of vehicles or mobile homes, they offer little
protection.  Seek shelter in a substantial building.

   *  Do NOT seek shelter under a bridge overpass.  Bridge
overpasses offer little, if any, protection from wind-driven debris.


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