Two tornadoes touched down Thursday afternoon in Geauga County with one entering into Trumbull County. Severe weather was not in the forecast from the Storm Prediction Center or any local outlets.
The National Weather Service confirmed two EF-1 tornadoes after doing damage surveys. Winds near 95 mph were estimated near the Middlefield area, but peak winds inside of the tornado could have reached up to 110 mph.
The first tornado touched down around 2:20 p.m. about 3 miles north of Middlefield, according to NWS. From the area of Durkee Road, the tornado went southeast along State Route 528, ending near the intersection of State Route 528 and State Route 87. The image below shows a very visible wall cloud near Chesterland minutes before it produced a funnel and the tornado touched down.
A building under construction near State Route 528 and Nauvoo Road sustained significant damage, NWS said. Several trees were also damaged.
The storm took a very impressive look to it on radar. The supercell thunderstorm was textbook with a defined hook echo like you would see out in the Plains. Neoweather and most other weather outlets did not have anything more than an isolated shower or rumble in the forecast, let alone a tornadic storm. Several ingredients had to come together at the right time. Many times when you hear “the storm struck without warning” it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Notice the red box in the image below. The storm was warned, but just a few hours before Northeast Ohioans were not really expecting stormy weather.
A lake breeze boundary pushed inland off Lake Erie. There was some energy over the lake with a few storms. The storms headed southeast and produced their own wind field known as an outflow boundary. These multiple wind fields came together in the same area and were ingested by the storm. This caused strong localized wind shear (change of wind speed and direction with height). This was plenty of spin to create the twister.
A second tornado touched down around 2:30 p.m. about 3 miles northeast of Middlefield near Nauvoo Road and Hayes Road.
As the tornado moved southeast, two single-wide mobile homes were significantly damaged near the intersection of State Route 87 and Bundysburg Road, NWS said. Otherwise, the damage from the second tornado was mainly confined to trees.
The tornado continued into Trumbull County where it dissipated just northwest of Farmington, near the intersection of Clark and Girdle Road
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