Path length: 3 miles

Width:  100 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  40

Rating:  F4

County:  New Haven

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 41.38 / -72.90   End:  41.32 / -72.92      

Storm Data states the tornado moved south-southeast.  The coordinates given show a south-southwest plot.

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.


A tornado outbreak occurred across parts of the Northeast on July 10, 1989. A total of 17 tornadoes were confirmed. Here is a breakdown of the ratings:

4 – F0

7 – F1

4 – F2

2 – F4

One of the F4s was more than likely a part of family of tornadoes (per Thomas Grazulis and Storm Data) that hit parts of Eastern New York State. The second F4 is the topic of this summary. It was also part of a family of twisters. It slammed into New Haven County, CT.

Per the SPC Database, there have been only two recorded F4 tornadoes in the state of Connecticut (since records began in 1950). One occurred Oct 3, 1979. There were three fatalities and 500 injuries. The second was part of this July 10, 1989 outbreak.

The tornado developed in Hamden devastating the Highwood area. Close to 350 homes and 40 businesses were destroyed. The tornado moved along a skipping path and ended just north of New Haven. Over 30 streets were blocked by fallen trees. Per Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes, tree damage was still being cleared a year after the tornado. It was estimated that falling trees caused $20 million in damages. There were no fatalities from this tornado event and 40 injuries.


Newspaper Clippings


We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the July 1989 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 3 mile path length.
  • Storm Data lists a 4.6 mile path.
  • Grazulis has a 5 mile path.


      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      July 1989 Storm Data Publication

      25 Years Ago – The 1989 Tornado Outbreak by Ryan Hanrahan

      Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1289.

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