The National Weather Service has confirmed a microburst in Wareham, MA was the cause of widespread damage during a severe thunderstorm on Tuesday evening, October 30, 2012. A microburst is consists of strong straight-line winds descending out of a thunderstorm to the surface. The Wareham microburst was estimated to be two miles wide and two mile longs with widespread 60-70 mph winds, and pockets of 80-90 mph gusts – stronger than anything that area received the day before when Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey.
The powerful winds downed or damaged about 100 trees, with some of the trees impacting property in the area of Swifts Beach, Pinehurst, and the Onset Bay Marina. The storm, which moved from south to north around the weakening circulation of Hurricane Sandy, was warned as a Severe Thunderstorm capable of producing damaging winds.
Check out some of the radar images from the time the storm was moving through Southeastern Massachusetts, and read the full National Weather Service public information statement below.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT…CORRECTED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
315 PM EDT WED OCT 31 2012
…MICROBURST /STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE/ CONFIRMED IN WAREHAM IN
PLYMOUTH COUNTY MA…
LOCATION…WAREHAM IN PLYMOUTH COUNTY MA
DATE…OCTOBER 30 2012
ESTIMATED TIME…7:40 TO 7:45 PM EDT
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED…60-70 MPH W/ POCKETS OF 80-90 MPH
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH…2 MILES
PATH LENGTH…2 MILES
BEGINNING LAT/LON…41.75N / 70.66W
ENDING LAT/LON…41.76N / 70.72W
* THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT(S) AND PUBLICATION IN
NWS STORM DATA.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON MA HAS CONFIRMED A
MICROBURST /STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE/ IN WAREHAM LOCATED IN
SOUTHERN PLYMOUTH COUNTY MA ON THE EVENING OF TUESDAY…OCTOBER
A SWATH OF 60 TO 70 MPH WIND GUSTS OCCURRED IN THAT REGION WITH
POCKETS OF 80 TO 90 MPH GUSTS. THE HARDEST HIT LOCATIONS IN
WAREHAM WERE SWIFTS BEACH…PINEHURST AND ONSET BAY MARINA.
THE SURVEY TEAM DETERMINED THAT A DAMAGE AREA OF 2 MILES IN
LENGTH AND 2 MILES IN WIDTH OCCURRED WITH 3 DISCRETE AREAS
AFFECTED IN WAREHAM …SWIFTS BEACH…PINEHURST AND THE ONSET BAY
MARINA. BASED ON RADAR SIGNATURES AND EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS…
THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE INITIATED IN FALMOUTH MASSACHUSETTS
AROUND 725 PM…AND THEN BECAME MORE INTENSE OVER THE WAREHAM
AREA AROUND 740 PM.
THE SURVEY TEAM DETERMINED THAT APPROXIMATELY 100 TREES WERE
SIGNIFICANTLY DAMAGED OR KNOCKED DOWN IN WAREHAM…WITH MANY
BRINGING DOWN WIRES. THE INTIAL DOWNDRAFT OCCURRED IN SWIFTS
BEACH THEN HEAD NORTH NORTHEAST OVER PINEHURST TOWARD NARROWS
IN THE SWIFTS BEACH AREA THERE WERE NUMEROUS DOWNED TREES WITH ONE
TREE IMPALING THE ROOF OF A HOUSE ON SHERMAN STREET. OTHER POINTS
OF INTEREST IN THE SWIFTS BEACH AREA WERE LOCATED ON PILGRAM
AVENUE…JUDSON STREET…PINE STREET AND SWIFTS BEACH ROAD. TREES
WERE ALSO DOWNED NEAR THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ON MAIN STREET LOCATED
IN DOWNTOWN WAREHAM. TREES WERE ALSO DOWNED ON CHURCH AVENUE AT
THE REDWOOD PARK ELDERLY COMPLEX. IN THE PINEHURST AREA OF
WAREHAM…DOWNED TREES WERE EVIDENT ON FRANCONIA AVENUE AND
PINEHURST DRIVE. ON NARROWS ROAD…A COUPLE OF TREES WERE KNOCKED
DOWN ACROSS THE ROAD.
IN THE ONSET BAY MARINA AREA…BOATS THAT WERE STORED ON A 3 STORY
TIER WERE TILTED IN THEIR RACKS. A SAILBOAT IN THE MARINA WAS
TILTED 90 DEGREES IN THE WIND…WITH THE MAST PARALLEL WITH THE
WATER FOR APPROXIMATELY 2 MINUTES BEFORE RIGHTING ITSELF.
ADDITIONALLY…2 BOATS OF UNKNOWN SIZE WERE REPORTED SUNK IN THE
IN THE NANUMETT HEIGHTS SECTION OF POINT INDEPENDENCE /WHICH IS
PART OF ONSET/…SIGNIFICANT TREE DAMAGE WAS CONFIRMED ON PROSPECT
STREET AND WEBSTER STREET.
A PUBLIC WIND GUST OBSERVATION OF 85 TO 90 MPH FROM THE SOUTH
SOUTHWEST WAS REPORTED FROM ONSET BEACH. THE TIME OF THE
OBSERVATION WAS APPROXIMATELY 740 PM.
THE SURVEY TEAM AND EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS OBSERVED MUCH OF THE TREE
DAMAGE TO BE ORIENTED IN A SOUTH TO NORTH DIRECTION…WHICH
CONFIRMED A MICROBURST.
MUCH THANKS TO THE LOCAL POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS FOR THEIR
ASSISTANCE IN THIS STORM SURVEY.