EF1 tornado hit along Fayette-Westmoreland border, weather service confirms

·2 min read

Jul. 30—A tornado touched down Thursday along the border of Fayette and Westmoreland counties, according to the National Weather Service in Moon.

The tornado was EF1 and had wind speeds between 100 and 105 mph, according to meteorologist Jason Frazier.

The agency sent survey crews there Friday to evaluate damage and determine whether a tornado had struck. They found trees snapped and uprooted and building damage, Frazier said.

Additional information about the exact path and distance will be available later, but a preliminary evaluation showed the tornado hit south of Acme in Westmoreland and north of White in Fayette, he said. That is just south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and not far from Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

That area was subject to a tornado warning Thursday afternoon. It also was the site of an EF1 tornado in 2018, when one hit 3 miles west of Stahlstown near the border between Donegal and Mt. Pleasant townships. At the time, Westmoreland County had the most tornadoes in the state.

The most recent tornadoes in Westmoreland County came last year in New Kensington and Lower Burrell.

In Fayette County, 13 tornadoes have been reported since 1950, including one in 2018 in Uniontown. In the same time period, Westmoreland has experienced 40 tornadoes, according to weather service data.

Survey crews visited a couple of other locations in Ohio on Friday to investigate possible tornadoes. Damage in Indiana County will be investigated in the coming days to determine whether a tornado hit there, too, Frazier said.

Meteorologist David Shallenberger said temperatures in the mid- to high 80s on Thursday "led to the perfect situation to what we experienced."

He noted hail was reported in Ohio and winds reached between 60 and 70 mph across the region.

Two tornadoes were reported in Ohio, Shallenberger said, in Harrison County near New Athens and in Jefferson County near New Alexandria. On the other side of Pennsylvania, a tornado was reported in the Philadelphia suburb of Bensalem, NBC News reported. Five people reported minor injuries.

Meteorologists on Thursday said cooler temperatures and less humidity were expected to follow the storms. Over the next week, highs, normally around 82 degrees at this time of year, will remain in the upper 70s.

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