SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — It was a typical spring severe weather scenario: warm air packed with instability from an incoming low-pressure system bred plenty of storms Friday night.
There was no tornado warning, but multiple severe thunderstorm warnings as winds gusted over 60 miles per hour. Some even had a one-two punch with embedded small hail as well.
The most widespread damage was reported in Franklin County. Significant tree damage was reported in Greenfield, Northfield, Montague, Orange, Sunderland, and Warwick. Some of the most significant, rather than widespread damage was right here in Hampden and Hampshire counties.
There were also large trees ripped down from the extreme winds in Ware and Belchertown.
Hampden County was not spared from the storms: trees were snapped in Chicopee.
Of course, there was the significant roof collapse in Holyoke, but even elsewhere large trees toppled onto homes. Some of the trees had their root systems pulled up with it. Many people think microbursts are to blame for the damage, but that’s not the case.
Sure, microbursts can cause tornado-like damage like in Longmeadow in July of last year. However, severe thunderstorms produce gusts over 60 mph, which is more than enough to down trees, and cause power outages and structural damage.
This is exactly why severe thunderstorm warnings need to be taken as seriously as tornado warnings.