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Massachusetts Natural Disasters and Weather Extremes

 
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The chance of earthquake damage in Massachusetts is lower than the national average. The risk of tornado damage in Massachusetts is lower than the national average.

Topics:Earthquake IndexVolcano IndexTornado IndexOther Weather Extremes EventsVolcanos NearbyHistorical Earthquake EventsHistorical Tornado Events

Earthquake Index, #15

Massachusetts
0.70
U.S.
1.81

The earthquake index value is calculated based on historical earthquake events data using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the earthquake level in a region. A higher earthquake index value means a higher chance of an earthquake.

Volcano Index, #14

Massachusetts
0.0000
U.S.
0.0023

The volcano index value is calculated based on the currently known volcanoes using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the possibility of a region being affected by a possible volcano eruption. A higher volcano index value means a higher chance of being affected.

Tornado Index, #32

Massachusetts
87.60
U.S.
136.45

The tornado index value is calculated based on historical tornado events data using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the tornado level in a region. A higher tornado index value means a higher chance of tornado events.

Other Weather Extremes Events

A total of 4,948 other weather extremes events from 1950 to 2010 were recorded in Massachusetts. The following is a break down of these events:

TypeCountTypeCountTypeCountTypeCountTypeCount
Avalanche:0Blizzard:5Cold:31Dense Fog:0Drought:4
Dust Storm:0Flood:486Hail:946Heat:49Heavy Snow:241
High Surf:1Hurricane:0Ice Storm:18Landslide:1Strong Wind:469
Thunderstorm Winds:1,960Tropical Storm:4Wildfire:0Winter Storm:100Winter Weather:46
Other:587 

Volcanos Nearby

No volcano is found in or near Massachusetts.

Historical Earthquake Events

A total of 1 historical earthquake event that had a recorded magnitude of 3.5 or above found in Massachusetts.

DateMagnitudeDepth (km)LatitudeLongitude
1963-10-164.52042.5-70.8

Historical Tornado Events

A total of 44 historical tornado events that had recorded magnitude of 2 or above found in Massachusetts.

DateMagnitudeStart Lat/LogEnd Lat/LogLengthWidthFatalitiesInjuriesProperty DamageCrop DamageAffected County
1953-06-09442°28'N / 72°10'W42°18'N / 71°31'W34.90 Miles900 Yards901228250.0M0Worcester
1973-08-28442°22'N / 73°25'W42°16'N / 73°23'W6.40 Miles313 Yards43625.0M0Berkshire
1953-06-09342°10'N / 71°46'W42°06'N / 71°29'W14.90 Miles667 Yards012.5M0Worcester
1953-06-09342°06'N / 71°29'W42°03'N / 71°14'W13.10 Miles667 Yards0152.5M0Norfolk
1953-06-09342°03'N / 71°14'W42°03'N / 71°12'W012.5M0Bristol
1970-10-03342°20'N / 72°10'W42°33'N / 71°32'W35.40 Miles60 Yards00250K0Worcester
1970-10-03342°33'N / 71°32'W42°34'N / 71°31'W10250K0Middlesex
1971-09-13342°20'N / 72°40'W0.50 Mile7 Yards0025K0Hampshire
1974-09-29342°36'N / 71°14'W42°37'N / 71°12'W01250K0Middlesex
1981-06-22342°30'N / 72°02'W42°33'N / 71°54'W7.10 Miles167 Yards0325K0Worcester
1951-08-21242°42'N / 71°08'W42°46'N / 70°58'W9.30 Miles100 Yards003K0Essex
1951-12-18241°22'N / 70°32'W000K0Dukes
1955-07-05242°26'N / 72°34'W003K0Franklin
1955-07-12242°06'N / 73°22'W0.50 Mile33 Yards000K0Berkshire
1956-11-21242°24'N / 71°42'W0.10 Mile17 Yards002.5M0Worcester
1956-11-21242°48'N / 71°00'W0.80 Mile17 Yards0025K0Essex
1956-11-21242°10'N / 71°10'W0.10 Mile17 Yards003K0Norfolk
1957-07-05242°32'N / 71°45'W0.50 Mile20 Yards003K0Worcester
1958-07-11242°35'N / 72°30'W1.00 Mile100 Yards003K0Franklin
1958-07-11242°30'N / 71°18'W1.50 Miles17 Yards00250K0Middlesex
1958-08-14242°19'N / 72°38'W1.00 Mile67 Yards00250K0Hampshire
1958-08-25242°32'N / 71°00'W1.00 Mile50 Yards003K0Middlesex
1961-07-21242°22'N / 72°38'W42°18'N / 72°34'W4.90 Miles167 Yards0025K0Hampshire
1962-10-12242°08'N / 71°58'W42°05'N / 71°54'W4.10 Miles133 Yards0025K0Worcester
1963-05-20242°24'N / 72°36'W42°25'N / 72°34'W0025K0Franklin
1963-05-20242°18'N / 72°12'W42°21'N / 72°08'W3.80 Miles17 Yards0025K0Worcester
1963-05-20242°24'N / 71°42'W1.50 Miles33 Yards0025K0Worcester
1963-05-20242°24'N / 71°36'W0.30 Mile50 Yards003K0Worcester
1965-08-28242°42'N / 71°20'W2.00 Miles33 Yards00250K0Middlesex
1966-03-01242°39'N / 73°09'W0025K0Berkshire
1966-08-11242°03'N / 73°14'W42°06'N / 73°05'W8.00 Miles33 Yards0025K0Berkshire
1966-08-11242°12'N / 72°38'W42°16'N / 72°33'W5.60 Miles67 Yards00250K0Hampden
1966-08-31242°18'N / 71°48'W1.00 Mile67 Yards000K0Worcester
1967-11-18241°58'N / 70°54'W0.10 Mile17 Yards000K0Plymouth
1970-08-28241°36'N / 70°54'W1.00 Mile33 Yards0025K0Bristol
1972-07-21242°41'N / 71°25'W42°35'N / 71°20'W7.60 Miles37 Yards042.5M0Middlesex
1972-08-09242°33'N / 72°08'W42°41'N / 72°03'W9.70 Miles10 Yards0125K0Worcester
1972-08-27242°30'N / 72°30'W1.00 Mile100 Yards0025K0Franklin
1975-07-13242°29'N / 73°10'W0.30 Mile27 Yards0025K0Berkshire
1975-07-24242°06'N / 72°40'W0.30 Mile33 Yards0025K0Hampden
1979-08-10242°19'N / 72°08'W42°19'N / 71°56'W9.70 Miles30 Yards222.5M0Worcester
1997-07-03242°10'N / 73°13'W42°13'N / 73°09'W4.50 Miles600 Yards001.5M0Berkshire
 Brief Description: On July 3, a fast moving cold front crossed Berkshire County during the afternoon and evening hours. The front initiated four tornadoes. The Richmond F1 tornado is a continuation of the F2 tornado which occurred in Columbia County. This tornado downed trees and produced minor damage to one house as it diminished in the Richmond area. The tornado in the Town of Florida began at the intersection of South County Road and Savoy Road. The F1 tornado tracked eastward and terminated just south of Florida near state route 2. The tornado removed all the shingles off the roof of a residence and a prefabricated steeple was blown off a church. Many trees were also downed along its path. The F2 tornado which began in the Monterey area started at the intersection of Wellman Road and New Marlborough Road. The tornado tracked northeast across state route 23 and Lake Garfield to Hayes Pond where it merged with the second tornado. At the north end of Hayes Pond the tornado diminished. This tornado downed hundreds of trees, damaged ten to twenty homes and destroyed two vehicles. The damage was most extensive along the north shore of Lake Garfield at Elephant Rock Road, Hopi Road, Mt. Hunger Road and Norwalk Acres Road. The second F2 tornado began near the intersection of Tyringham Road and West Center Road. It then tracked across Hayes Pond where it momentarily merged with the other tornado. The tornado then proceeded northeast where it ended near the intersection of state route 8 and Merrit Road. This tornado produced extensive tree damage, destroyed one vehicle and damaged fifteen to twenty homes. The most extensive damage occurred along West Center Road near Hayes Pond. Baseball size hail was also observed at Hayes Pond with this storm. Two people were struck by lightning at the Great Barrington Fairgrouds. They were both hospitalized and released.
1997-07-03242°11'N / 73°10'W42°14'N / 73°06'W3.70 Miles600 Yards001.5M0Berkshire
 Brief Description: On July 3, a fast moving cold front crossed Berkshire County during the afternoon and evening hours. The front initiated four tornadoes. The Richmond F1 tornado is a continuation of the F2 tornado which occurred in Columbia County. This tornado downed trees and produced minor damage to one house as it diminished in the Richmond area. The tornado in the Town of Florida began at the intersection of South County Road and Savoy Road. The F1 tornado tracked eastward and terminated just south of Florida near state route 2. The tornado removed all the shingles off the roof of a residence and a prefabricated steeple was blown off a church. Many trees were also downed along its path. The F2 tornado which began in the Monterey area started at the intersection of Wellman Road and New Marlborough Road. The tornado tracked northeast across state route 23 and Lake Garfield to Hayes Pond where it merged with the second tornado. At the north end of Hayes Pond the tornado diminished. This tornado downed hundreds of trees, damaged ten to twenty homes and destroyed two vehicles. The damage was most extensive along the north shore of Lake Garfield at Elephant Rock Road, Hopi Road, Mt. Hunger Road and Norwalk Acres Road. The second F2 tornado began near the intersection of Tyringham Road and West Center Road. It then tracked across Hayes Pond where it momentarily merged with the other tornado. The tornado then proceeded northeast where it ended near the intersection of state route 8 and Merrit Road. This tornado produced extensive tree damage, destroyed one vehicle and damaged fifteen to twenty homes. The most extensive damage occurred along West Center Road near Hayes Pond. Baseball size hail was also observed at Hayes Pond with this storm. Two people were struck by lightning at the Great Barrington Fairgrouds. They were both hospitalized and released.
2006-07-11242°33'N / 72°24'W42°33'N / 72°24'W2.90 Miles200 Yards00200K0Franklin
 Brief Description: Brief F2 Touchdown in Wendell Hot and humid air in place over southern New England set the stage for severe thunderstorms throughout the Bay State during the afternoon and early evening. Although storm damage was reported from the Connecticut Valley region to the Worcester Hills and Merrimack Valley, damage was especially severe in eastern Franklin County as well as Boston's North Shore. Early in the afternoon, one cluster of thunderstorms formed in Franklin County and rapidly became severe, causing considerable damage in Montague and especially Wendell. A damage survey conducted by the National Weather Service concluded the damage in Wendell was caused by a combination of straight-line wind damage and a tornado, which was rated as a strong F2 on the Fujita Scale with winds estimated near 155 mph. Damage began around 230 pm EDT, about 200 yards west of Montague Road. Wind damage extended from Montague Road about 1.5 miles east to Wicket Pond in the Wendell State Forest. Large oak, maple, and pine trees were uprooted and snapped in this area. Some oaks over two feet in diameter were snapped about 10 to 15 feet from the ground. Damage from this microburst extended along a path of one and a half miles in length, and anywhere from 50 to 300 yards in width. Wind speeds were estimated near 90 mph. Tornado damage first appeared on the northeast corner of Wicket Pond. An eyewitness reported seeing a six foot wave form on the pond. On the west side of the pond, many trees were snapped 15 to 20 feet above the ground, with debris left in a chaotic pattern. The next area of damage was on Wicket Pond Road, which is where the most severe damage occurred. Trees as large as 3 feet in diameter were uprooted. Bark was stripped off trees and a house had part of its roof torn off. The tornado tracked to the east along Wicket Pond Road, passing over Depot Road which is in Wendell Center. Part of a roof was torn off an old barn and many trees were uprooted. After crossing Depot Road, the tornado continued to track to the east, passing north of Morse Village Road. A construction storage trailer was completely destroyed and its roof was wrapped around a tree. Trees were also uprooted or snapped in this area. Damage came to an end about one half mile east of New Salem Road. The path length of the tornado was approximately 3 miles. Its average width was 200 yards, varying from 100 to 300 yards. A little more than one hour later, another cluster of severe thunderstorms brought significant damage to Cape Ann, in particular Marblehead Neck and the adjacent coastal waters. Initially, the storms produced hail as large as 3 inches in diameter - just larger than baseball size - which are considered to be the second largest hailstones reported in Massachusetts. A National Weather Service storm survey concluded that multiple wet microbursts, or sudden outflow of damaging straight-line winds combined with torrential rainfall, impacted the area around Marblehead Neck between 357 pm and 430 pm EDT. The survey noted that westerly winds gusting as high as 90 mph occurred in an area centered from Marblehead Harbor across Corinthian Lane and Barker Lane, and then out to sea. The land damage path was short, primarily because the land is only about 700 feet wide in that area. The main damage path was about 150 feet wide. It consisted of tree damage and minor structural damage, although substantial damage was noted to sailing vessels and at least one car. Damage was more sporadic near Manley Street, about 600 feet farther north, and also to the south and southwest on Foster Street, Harbor Avenue, and Ocean Avenue. Interviews with eyewitnesses provide more detail as to how the storms affected the area. Between 340 pm and 345 pm EDT, winds shifted to the northeast and produced sea spray at the mouth of Marblehead Harbor. This was the result of earlier thunderstorms passing north of the area. Then, from 357 pm to 405 pm EDT, a white tempest developed over Marblehead Harbor on the neck side of the harbor, estimated by the Corinthian Yacht Club chair to be about 300 yards upstream from the dock. This curtain of water and high winds advanced toward the yacht club, lifting 30-foot vessels approximately 20 feet in the air and catapulting them end over end toward the dock. An anemometer on the dock was viewed to have reached 95 mph before it blew off its mast. Damage was less severe, but still significant, from the Connecticut Valley to the Worcester Hills and Merrimack Valley. There were many reports of downed trees, large branches, and hail up to the size of quarters from the Springfield area to Grafton, Westborough, and Framingham as well as farther northeast into Hardwick, Wilmington, and Boxford. Torrential rainfall caused significant urban flooding, especially in Springfield, Oxford, Wakefield, and Beverly. In Salem, two cars on Pope Street were submerged by up to 3 feet of water when about 2 inches of rain fell in 20 minutes. Other cars were flooded in Salem and Lynn due to other roads being flooded, including a stretch of Route 129. Lightning struck Athol Memorial Hospital, causing minor damage to the facility.


* The information on this page is based on the global volcano database, the U.S. earthquake database of 1638-1985, and the U.S. Tornado and Weather Extremes database of 1950-2010.


 
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