National Weather Service: Tornado ‘Fluctuated’ On Path
HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Inspectors from the National Weather Service went to Westmoreland County to survey the damage from the tornado.
The storm traveled six to seven miles and left behind a trail of destruction. Each snapped tree and battered home was like a clue for the inspectors.
Rich Kane, a severe storms expert with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, says the goal was to gauge the path, width and strength of the tornado.
The damage to the backs of homes and the debris scattered across the street is a clear sign of cyclonic rotation.
A piece of wood embedded into a house was a testament to the power of the winds.
“This is the worst storm in my career in the county – 24 years,” Dan Stevens, with Westmoreland County Public Safety, said.
The fact that no one was hurt is a testament to preparedness, according to Stevens.
After processing the damage, Kane and his crew determined the storm was a sporadic EF2 with winds of up to 120 miles per hour.
He says the storm fluctuated.
“And even down in Fort Allen and by the high school, you can see where the path actually was narrower and actually got larger and then it narrowed down again,” Stevens said.
The National Weather Service says this is the biggest storm they’ve had in this area since 1997.
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