Weak tornado strikes Glen, inflicts minimal damage

A weak tornado touched down in central Montgomery County on Thursday evening, the second tornado to

A weak tornado touched down in central Montgomery County on Thursday evening, the second tornado to hit the county in the past three weeks.

But while the Sept. 4 twister that hit Cranesville caused extensive property damage, the tornado that touched down off Noeltner Road harmed only some trees.

The tornado was about 50 yards wide and travelled about a mile, through an area just south of the Schoharie Creek’s confluence with the Mohawk River. It downed some small hardwood trees and broke some large branches.

“Even the tree damage was relatively minor,” said George Maglaras, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Albany.

A team from the National Weather Service confirmed Friday that the phenomenon that touched down about 6:15 p.m. Thursday and traveled about a mile toward Ripley Road was in fact a tornado — but only a weak one, with a maximum wind speed of 70 mph.

It was rated an EF-0, the lowest category of tornado. No injuries were reported.

But what it lacked in size it made up for in its unusual origins: It was a freak tornado, appearing out of nowhere.

It was five to seven miles from the nearest thunderstorm, Maglaras said. Tornadoes are often, but not always, associated with the atmospheric disturbance of thunderstorms.

“We were a little mystified when it was first reported to us,” he said.

It appears the tornado’s funnel descended from a single cloud, Maglaras said — a phenomenon he compared to a waterspout or dust devil.

“Just an individual cloud can sometimes get atmospheric rotation,” he said.

The funnel cloud was reported to the weather service by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, and it was clearly photographed from several miles away, by a motorist on Route 5, Maglaras said.

The Cranesville tornado on Sept. 4 was much worse.

It was an EF-1 storm with maximum winds of 110 mph, and more than two dozen buildings were damaged along its seven-mile path from the Cranesville area into West Glenville.

Categories: Schenectady County

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