It’s hard to believe that it’s been 7 years since the June 1st tornado. Some of the important facts about the June 1st tornado if you’ve forgotten the specifics of it:

  • Tornado touched down in Westfield just before 4:30 in the afternoon of June 1st.
  • Rated an EF-3 with winds up to 160 mph on the enhanced fujuita scale which measured tornado speed and intensity.
  • At its widest the tornado was a half mile wide.
  • The path length was 39 miles long, but interestingly this is not the longest tornado path in Massachusetts history. It’s second only to the famed Worcester tornado of 1953.

One important ingredient necessary for the formation of a tornado

One of the most important factors we look at when determining whether a tornado would develop is whether wind shear exists or not.

There are two types of wind shear.

Speed shear which is a change in wind speed with height.

Directional shear is the change in wind direction with height. This means while you may have winds out of the south on the ground, a little higher up in the sky the winds may be coming out of the west.

That change in wind speed can help to cause a rotating column of air that, under the right circumstances, can lead to a tornado.

That is just one of the many factors we look at for severe weather potential.