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08aprAll DayTarentum (Allegheny/Westmoreland Counties, PA)

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Start Time: 1:11 am EDT 

End Time: 1:18 am EDT 

Rating:  EF1

Estimated Peak Winds:  100 mph

Path length:  4 miles

Width:  250 yards

Fatalities:  Unknown

Injuries:  Unknown

County:  Allegheny, Westmoreland

State:  Pennsylvania

Start Lat/Lon: 40.625 / -79.795

End Lat/Lon: 40.590 / -79.739


A mesovortex intensified rapidly and produced a tornado as it parent storm descended the terrain northwest of Tarentum into the Allegheny River valley. Modest tree damage was first noted a bit south of the intersection of Days Run Road and Gillespie Road. The tornado rapidly intensified near Days Run Road and Holsing Lane, where a vast number of softwood and hardwood trees were snapped, blocking Days Run Road, with some falling onto homes. Additionally in this location, windows on a home were blown in by the tremendous wind. 

The wind slowly weakened as the storm continued southeastward, with a path of snapped limbs and occasional trunks continuing to along Bakerstown Road near the Broadview section before continuing across Route 28. Modest building/carport damage was reported in Tarentum along Sixth Ave coincident with the passage of the weakening circulation. The modest damage continued sporadically across the river, where tree limbs and a power pole were snapped in a neighborhood behind Riverview Plaza. The last noted tree damage was along Leechburg Road north of Tarentum Road, at which point the circulation appears to have weakened below damaging threshold. 

Damage reported farther south in New Kensington appears to be the result of strong straight line wind associated with a surge in the cold outflow air emerging from the line of storms. While non-tornadic, straight-line wind speed in such storms often can be stronger than an embedded tornado, causing similar intense damage.

The details of this tornado and damage swath are preliminary and is subject to change pending additional analysis and damage reports.


Sources:

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