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Warm. Dry. Sunny. Repeat. That’s pretty much the forecast for the next three days! Mostly sunny skies will allow us to warm to near 80 today and into the low to mid 80s over the weekend. Clear skies at night will allow temps to drop to near 60. Humidity will be increasing each day, so you’ll likely feel that change, especially by Sunday. The next chance of rain comes Monday, as we heat up to a muggy 85 degrees. An isolated shr or storm is possible by the afternoon/evening. Those rain chances tick up to about 40% or so by Tuesday and Wednesday, again, mainly afternoon and evening heat-of-the-day type stuff.

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That picture is one of the few taken of the worst tornado to ever strike New England. The one-mile wide twister hit Worcester, Massachusetts on June 9, 1953. It took the lives of 90 people as it tracked for 46 miles. The tornado bent steel towers that were built to withstand winds of up to 375 mph! The storm dropped debris on Boston and then out into the Atlantic Ocean.  1953 was the third deadliest year for tornadoes in the US, with 519 lives lost. This is in spite of the fact that tornado counts were below average that year. Of the 519 killed, two-thirds of those were lost in only three tornadoes (Flint, MI, Waco, TX, and Worcester, MA).  This emphasizes the point that we try to make with hurricane season. You don’t have to have an active year to have a bad year. It only takes one storm.

Incidentally, 1953 caused the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) to reorganize. The Flint and Waco tornadoes had been forecast, but the Worcester was a complete surprise (it was 1953, after all). At that time, the SPC consisted of young men who had gained their meteorological training while serving in the military during WWII.  Many of them had less than 10 years experience.  One of the men was Joseph Galway, the inventor of the “lifted index” that we use today as a severe wx parameter. The birth of convective outlooks came out of all this, a product that many of us everyday. The size of severe wx watches was also reduced and is comparable to what we use today.

The reorganizing of the SPC must have worked because we hadn’t seen a tornado with such death tolls until 2011, with the super outbreak in the South and then again with Joplin.

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