Tornado touch-down confirmed in Spofford

·2 min read

Jul. 21—SPOFFORD — A tornado touched down briefly Monday night off Route 63 near Spofford Lake, the National Weather Service confirmed Thursday.

The EF-1 tornado, the second least-severe of six categories, struck at 10:22 p.m. near Mill Pond Road, and traveled about a third of a mile north, according to a statement from the NWS in Gray, Maine. The twister reached estimated maximum wind speeds of 90 mph, and traveled in a path 250 yards at its widest before lifting about four minutes after it touched down.

"The tornado damaged approximately 200 trees with a few outbuildings being destroyed on the property," the NWS statement reads. "Tree damage included uprooted hardwoods and softwoods, along with snapped trees. Fortunately no permanent residential structural damage was reported besides debris clean up."

No one was injured in the storm, the NWS reported.

The tornado struck while a line of severe thunderstorms rolled through the area. Cheshire County was under a tornado warning at the time. The NWS said a warm front moved through the state Monday evening, putting southern New Hampshire in a "warm and unstable airmass" that contributed to rotating thunderstorms and led to the tornado.

This is the second tornado to hit the Connecticut River Valley this year. Another EF-1 storm with maximum winds of 90 mph touched down on May 16 in North Charlestown, near the Claremont town line. No one was injured in that storm, either.

The N.H. Department of Safety issued a news release Thursday afternoon citing the latest tornado as a reminder to be prepared for all types of severe weather.

"Know what to do to keep you and your family safe," Jennifer Harper, director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said in the release. Harper also encouraged Granite Staters to plan ahead for severe weather, make an emergency kit and sign up for NH Alerts, the state's public safety notice system.

"Know the difference between a watch and a warning," she added. "A watch means severe weather is possible and you should be prepared. A warning means severe weather is happening now or is imminent. Take action now."

People can learn more about developing emergency plans and kits at ReadyNH.gov.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.