Severe weather battered much of the northeastern United States this weekend. Here in New York City, strong thunderstorms spawned two confirmed tornadoes.
The first twister touched down in Breezy Point, Queens. With wind speeds of 70 mph, it was rated an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Minutes later, a more powerful EF-1 storm tore through the neighborhood of Canarsie, Brooklyn. Winds blowing at 110 mph ripped branches from trees and damaged numerous homes. Luckily, no fatalities have been reported.
Tornadoes are rare in New York City, but they can form anywhere given the proper conditions. This weekend, an intense cold front overtook the city’s existing warm, humid air mass, which created an atmosphere unstable enough to power these violent storms.