Just two days after a tornado outbreak affected Pennsylvania and New York, another tornado outbreak ripped through the East Coast.  Pennsylvania was the hardest hit.  Here is the detailed summary on the May 31, 1998 event!

The SPC reports 37 tornadoes across the east coast, with 20 in Pennsylvania.  However, there were actually only 17 tornadoes in Pennsylvania, this will be discussed more down below.  We will also look at the tornadoes that struck Northeastern West Virginia and Maryland.

The tornadoes produced at least $40 Million in damage.  A total of 71 people were injured, and 2 were killed.

Per the SPC, here is a breakdown of the 24 tornadoes and their ratings.

  • 1 F4 Tornado, crossed the PA/MD border
  • 1 F3 Tornado in PA
  • 3 F2 Tornadoes: One in West Virginia, one that moved from PA into WV, into MD, and one from PA into MD.
  • 12 F1 Tornadoes: 10 in Pennsylvania (though two of these are the same tornado that was also rated F3).  1 in Maryland (this is the continuation of an F2 that first touched down in PA), and one in West Virginia.
  • 7 F0s Tornadoes: 6 In Pennsylvania, (though one of these was the tornado that was rated F4).  One in Maryland.


Below is a summary of the tornadoes listed in chronological order.

Shippingport, PA

  • Rating: F1
  • Path Length:  7 miles
  • Path Width:  300 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  5:30pm to 5:40pm
  • County:  Beaver

An F1 tornado with winds near 100 MPH touched down in Shippingport.  It produced widespread tree and power line damage as the tornado first touched down in Shippingport, where four houses were damaged and one trailer was destroyed.  As the tornado moved to the east-southeast through Raccoon Township, 19 houses sustained minor to moderate damage, mostly to siding and roofs.

Custer City, PA

  • Rating: F1
  • Path Length:  8 miles
  • Path Width:  440 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  5:45pm to 5:50pm
  • County:  McKean

An F1 tornado touched down about 4 miles west of Custer City, leveling a large area of trees in the Allegheny National Forest.  The tornado crossed Route 219 at Custer City and then moved east along Route 770 for about four more miles before ending in Tibbets Hollow.  Extensive tree damage was observed within a 1/4-mile wide path, with downed trees causing most of the damage to homes.  Thirty-one homes received minor damage, while seven homes were left uninhabitable.  The Penn-Brad Oil Museum (a barn-like structure just north of Custer City) was destroyed.  Eyewitnesses observed the tornado as it passed through the area.

An area of the Allegheny National Forest that was leveled near Custer City. Photo via the Pennsylvania Weather Page

Mt. Washington/Pittsburgh, PA

  • Rating: F1
  • Path Length:  32 miles
  • Path Width:  700 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries: 50
  • Time:  5:55pm to 6:38pm
  • County:  Allegheny, Westmoreland

Summary:  An F1 tornado touched down 5 miles northwest of Carnegie in Allegheny County and moved east-southeast across the southern and eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh into Westmoreland County.  The total path length of this tornado was estimated to be 32 miles, and damage was reported in Mount Washington, Hazelwood, and Rankin in Allegheny County.

As the tornado passed over a concrete railroad overpass about 2 miles north of Baldwin, it blew several railroad cars onto their sides.  The tornado continued into Westmoreland county, moving through the towns of Irwin and Manor.  The Mount Washington area, located just south of downtown Pittsburgh, sustained the majority of the damage, along with all of the minor injuries.  Property damage in the Mount Washington area included roofs blown off buildings, brick walls torn down, and other major structural damage, with some homes being torn apart.  Over 1000 structures, mostly in the immediate Pittsburgh area, reported some sort of damage.  Other than the damage on Mount Washington, most of the damage was minor, produced as the result of tree damage from falling trees or tree limbs. 50 people were injured, though most of those were minor injuries.

The tornado was visible from Three Rivers Stadium, during a Pittsburgh Pirates Game.  Had the tornado tracked just half a mile further north than it did, it would have hit Three Rivers Stadium and Downtown Pittsburgh, which would’ve surely resulted in many more injuries and possible fatalities.

Photographs indicate that this may have been a “double-tornado” event.

A home that was unroofed via NWS Summary
Damage to a building via NWS Summary

Ringgold, PA

  • Rating: F1
  • Path Length:  1.3 miles
  • Path Width:  100 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  6:45pm to 6:50pm
  • County:  Jefferson

Summary:  An F1 tornado with estimated winds around 100-110 mph touched down briefly over a farming community just west of the town of Ringgold.  As this tornado moved to the east it totally destroyed one barn and damaged three others.  Several silos were also damaged.  As the tornado moved over one farm, it completely drained the water out of a small pond.  Several roofs to surrounding houses also sustained minor damage.

Photo of the tornado via the NWS Summary

Donegal, PA

  • Rating: F1
  • Path Length:  8 miles
  • Path Width:  200 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  1
  • Time:  6:50pm to 7:10pm
  • County:  Westmoreland

Summary:  An F1 tornado crossed over the Pennsylvania Turnpike one mile west of Exit 9 at Donegal.  As it crossed the Turnpike, it tipped over an eastbound tractor-trailer, injuring the driver.  One mobile home was overturned.  Otherwise, only minor structural damage was noted, mainly limited to shingles blown off of roofs or siding damaged as tree limbs fell against houses.  The majority of the damage in this heavily wooded area was in the form of uprooted/sheared-off trees.  This tornado dissipated over extreme eastern Westmoreland County, just before reaching the Somerset County line.

Sources

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5668987

https://www.weather.gov/pbz/tor98

Boynton, PA-Big Savage Mountain, MD

  • Rating: F2
  • Path Length:  16 miles*
  • Path Width:  880 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  7:00pm to 7:58pm
  • County:  Somerset, PA / Allegany, MD

*The Somerset County segment is listed as a 15 mile path.  The other mile is for the Maryland segment which is officially listed as a separate tornado.

Summary:  This F2 tornado was the first of two tornadoes to cross southern Somerset County on the evening of June 2.  It would cross the path of the May 31st tornado that struck Salisbury. 

The tornado initially touched down about 4 miles southeast of Markleton, then tracked generally to the southeast for 15 miles across the Boynton area and in Pocahontas crossing the May 31st track about 6 miles east of Salisbury.  Several farms sustained F1 to low-end F2 damage.  The town of Boynton was hard hit, with several homes sustaining damage some were unroofed, but most of the remaining damage in Pennsylvania was to trees.  A carpentry shop near Pocahontas that had been destroyed by the May 31st tornado on Sunday was already being rebuilt by Amish farmers when the framing was blown over by this tornado.  There were no deaths or injuries.

The tornado briefly entered MD downing trees on Big Savage Mountain before lifting.  All accounts from the NWS state that this tornado touched down in Pennsylvania, and lifted in Maryland, however, the Maryland segment is officially reported as a separate F1 tornado.  

Borderline F0/F1 Damage to a home near Boynton. From the book "Tornadoes! Not in the mountains of Somerset County!
Home unroofed near Boynton. From the book "Tornadoes! Not in the mountains of Somerset County!
Home unroofed near Boynton. From the book "Tornadoes! Not in the mountains of Somerset County!

Raccoon Township, PA

  • Rating: F0
  • Path Length:  0.20 miles
  • Path Width:  30 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  7:30pm
  • County:  Beaver

Summary:  A weak F0 tornado with winds estimated at 70 mph briefly touched down just south of Shippingport, toppling between 50 and 100 cherry trees and damaging a home.  Several people witnessed this brief touchdown.

Sources

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5668999

https://www.weather.gov/pbz/tor98

Irvona, PA

  • Rating: F0
  • Path Length:  0.20 miles
  • Path Width:  50 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  7:30pm to 7:32pm
  • County:  Clearfield

Summary:  An F0 tornado cut a narrow swath of tree damage along a 1/4-mile path, about two miles northwest of Irvona, around 7:30 pm.  The tornado occurred along State Route 3014, along Holes Run, a small stream that runs parallel to the road.  The damage was confined to trees, which were felled in a convergent pattern.  Width of the damage path was only about 50 yards wide.  This brief tornado was embedded within a larger swath of downburst winds caused tree damage over a three-mile-wide and seven-mile-wide long path stretching from near Newburg, southeast to Irvona.

Sources

http://midsouthtornadoes.msstate.edu/index.php?cw=ctp

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5656961

Red Lion, PA

  • Rating: F0
  • Path Length:  4 miles
  • Path Width:  30 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  7:40pm to 7:55pm
  • County:  York

Summary:  A Fire Captain in Loganville reported sighting a big black funnel cloud.  Although he did not observe any damage, he witnessed the funnel touch the ground.  The tornado caused damage to crops and trees near Red Lion at the end of its path, and a corkscrew pattern of damage was noted in a field with trees damaged nearby.  Some sources state that this may have been a gustnado.  Ping pong ball sized hail fell prior to the tornado.

Sources

http://midsouthtornadoes.msstate.edu/index.php?cw=ctp

Greg. “June 2, 1998 Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Outbreak”.  Pennsylvania Weather Page, Angelfire.com, http://www.angelfire.com/pa/pawx/060298/060298.html

http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/tornado/19980602.42.37

Tyrone, PA

  • Rating: F1
  • Path Length:  4 miles
  • Path Width:  150 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  7:50pm to 7:55pm
  • County:  Blair

Summary:  An F1 tornado moved southeast along Route 453 northwest of Tyrone.  Significant tree damage was noted in several locations along a 4-mile path, beginning about 5 miles northwest of Tyrone.  Wind speeds likely approached 100 mph.  No significant damage was reported in Tyrone, although eyewitnesses reported seeing funnel clouds cross the city.

Sources

http://midsouthtornadoes.msstate.edu/index.php?cw=ctp

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5656964

Greenock, PA

  • Rating: F0
  • Path Length:  1 mile
  • Path Width:  50 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  8:20pm to 8:25pm
  • County:  Allegheny, Westmoreland

Summary:  A weak F0 tornado briefly touched down for approximately 5 minutes over extreme eastern Allegheny/western Westmoreland counties. One roof was blown off a structure.  Otherwise, damage from this tornado was limited to downed trees and occurred over a relatively small area.

Sources

https://www.weather.gov/pbz/tor98

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5669105

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5669106

Cumberland, MD

  • Rating: F0
  • Path Length:  2 miles*
  • Path Width:  50 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  8:21pm to 8:23pm
  • County:  Allegheny

*SPC lists this as a 0.5 mile path.  The NWS summary states that it was a 2 mile path.

Summary:  After the Boynton-Big Savage Mountain Tornado lifted, the storm continued southeast across Cumberland.  Funnel Clouds were observed by many people in Cumberland and were watched on camera by the 911 center in Cumberland for 20 minutes.  This funnel briefly touched down on Irons Mountain about 2-3 miles southeast of Cumberland.  Damage from this brief touchdown was limited to tree damage in the forested area along the ridge.

Sources

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5658300

Levels, WV

  • Rating: F1
  • Path Length:  9 miles
  • Path Width:  150 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  8:36pm to 8:46pm
  • County:  Mineral, Hampshire

Summary:  The supercell that spawned the Boynton-Big Savage Mountain and Cumberland Tornadoes produced a third tornado as the storm neared the Hampshire County line.  The path began just north of Donaldson School Road crossing a power company’s access road.  It then moved down the hill hitting some homes north of Donaldson (about 2 to 3 miles south of Green Spring).  A gazebo was destroyed, houses lost some trim, shingles, a brick column, and trees were uprooted or snapped.  A 500-pound concrete picnic table was lifted and tossed into a pool.  About 24 trees on just one property were lost.  One eyewitness reported seeing two funnel clouds dropping out of the sky and wrapping around each other.  The Sheriff stated that Green Spring reported a tremendous hail with the storm and the NWS survey team saw a carpet of battered leaves on the ground the next day.  The tornado rose up over a mountain and down the other side. The sheriff’s office reported it on the ground near the town of Levels.  Here the damage was mainly to trees.  Hail was reported to have caused greater property damage. One orchard grower said he lost his entire crop to hail.  Nearly 40 acres of peaches were destroyed.

Only two tornadoes have been confirmed in Mineral and Hampshire Counties (as of the time of writing) since 1950.  Both were on June 2, 1998.

Sources

https://www.weather.gov/lwx/events_19980602

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5658547

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5658548

Seven Springs-Boynton PA To Frostburg MD

  • Rating: F4*
  • Path Length:  37 miles
  • Path Width:  1760 yards (1 mile wide)
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  5
  • Time:  9:00pm to 9:50pm
  • County:  Fayette, Somerset (PA) / Garrett, Allegany (MD)

*The SPC lists the Fayette County portion of this tornado as a separate F0 tornado.  The tornado is officially rated F3 for the PA segment and F4 for the MD segment, however damage to at least one home in Laurel Falls, PA appears to be F4.

Summary:  This was the strongest tornado of the day, and the second tornado to strike Somerset County.  This was the 3rd tornado to rip through Somerset County since May 31, like the early Boynton F2 tornado, this too would cross paths of the May 31 Salisbury Tornado, near Pocahontas.

The tornado first touched down in extreme eastern Fayette County in the Laurel Ridge State Park and produced F0 tree damage as it quickly crossed into Somerset County about four miles south of Seven Springs Resort, it widened to a mile wide as it moved through Somerset County, completely destroying several farms in the generally rural areas near Casselman and Kingwood, and Scullton.  The tornado was at its peak intensity in Pennsylvania, when it tore through Laurel Falls, though officially F3 here, the author feels as though damage to at least one home here warrants an F4 rating.  Hundreds of trees were blown down, snapped off, or debarked.  A well-built 3-story home was leveled and swept away, and its walkout basement wall was destroyed.  The family inside miraculously escaped without any injuries as they were sheltered under a table in the basement. Trees in the vicinity of the house were shredded and/or debarked. Other homes in the area were heavily damaged or destroyed, too, including a mobile home.

After ravaging Laurel Falls the tornado weakened and produced F1 to F2 damage as it tore across several farms as it approached Boynton.  Residents of Boynton were clearing trees and debris off the road from the first tornado that struck two hours before when firefighters came by and told them to seek shelter as another tornado was coming.  In Boynton, every window was broken in one house, and the roof was torn off a barn (F1 damage).  One Boynton resident told of seeking shelter from the rain in a shed when the first tornado passed by, then going to a home with a basement when the second tornado came.  She was unable to pull the basement door shut behind her.  The shed she took cover in the first tornado, “disappeared” in the second tornado.  In Somerset County, at least 30 properties sustained some type of damage from this large tornado, and hundreds of livestock were killed.

The tornado crossed into northeastern Garrett County Maryland near the town of Finzel around 9:40 PM.  It was up to a half-mile wide as it ripped through here, destroying several buildings including a garage and a small house.  It moved into Allegany County Maryland, where it strengthened into an F4 again, as it passed through the north and eastern sections of Frostburg.  Eyewitnesses that saw the tornado coming over Big Savage Mountain said it appeared as “three funnels” (a multi-vortex tornado).  In northern Frostburg, on Armstrong Ave, four homes were destroyed and several cars were thrown down a hillside.  The tornado passed over another hill where several homes at the top of the hill were destroyed.  One two-story house was swept away, with all the remained of the house was some plywood on the foundation.  It passed through Eckhart Mines and Clarysville where several more homes and businesses were heavily damaged or destroyed.  The tornado crossed Interstate 68, over Dans Mountain flattening more trees, the tornado ending just before hitting some homes along Route 53 north of Cresaptown.

In Allegany County, 29 homes were destroyed, and 29 others had major damage, 67 homes had minor to moderate damage.  Three businesses were damaged and one was destroyed.  The Frostburg Elementary School was heavily damaged, as was a church.  Thousands of trees were downed as well. 5 people in Frostburg sustained minor injuries.  Debris from Frostburg was found up to 100 miles away.  A jacket, bought by a woman on June 2 in Frostburg was found with the bag and receipt near Levels, WV, 25 miles away.  A 400-acre farm in Gorman, Maryland, just across the river from Paw Paw, (about 27 miles from Frostburg) was strewn with shingles, siding, and insulation.  A JC Penny Catalog belonging to the family whose house was swept away was found in Winchester, VA, 60 miles away, along with pieces of a high school diploma.  Another part of a high school diploma was found north of Berryville about 80 miles away.  A bill that had been in a basement filing cabinet was found in Sterling, Va, 100 miles away.  At the time of writing this, this was the first F4 tornado in Pennsylvania since May 31, 1985 and the last F4 tornado to occur in the State.  This was the first F4 tornado ever recorded in the State of Maryland, and since 1998, only one other F4 had struck the State, in La Plata on April 28, 2002.

The NWS Sterling's radar showing the velocity couplet of the tornado.
The home in Frostburg that sustained F4 damage. Via NWS Summary.
A home in Frostburg that was torn apart. Via NWS Summary.
A destroyed home in Frostburg, with trees in the foreground stripped of leaves and strewn with debris.
Tree damage near Laurel Falls. From the book "Tornadoes! Not in the mountains of Somerset County!
Tree damage near Laurel Falls. From the book "Tornadoes! Not in the mountains of Somerset County!
The 3 story home at Laurel Falls was swept away with only a few basement and foundation walls remaining. Note the severe tree damage in the background. From the book "Tornadoes! Not in the mountains of Somerset County!
A home near Boynton that was unroofed, in the foreground is the wreckage of a barn. From the book "Tornadoes! Not in the mountains of Somerset County!
A destroyed Farmstead near St. Paul. From the book "Tornadoes! Not in the mountains of Somerset County!
Via newspaperarchive.com

Springville, PA

  • Rating: F1
  • Path Length:  12 miles
  • Path Width:  100 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  9:05pm to 9:15pm
  • County:  Susquehanna

Summary:  Ground and aerial damage surveys indicate the tornado first reached ground in Auburn township in the southwestern corner of the county.  A discontinuous damage path was evident in Auburn township, mainly along ridge top sections and east of route 267.  Trees were cut down and twisted in a convergently rotating pattern.  One mobile home was destroyed when several large trees fell upon it, the occupants escaped uninjured.  The twister then continued eastward into Springville township; skipping primarily along the higher elevations and shearing off treetops. However, once the tornado crossed to the east of route 29, it appeared to briefly intensify as it ripped the roof off of a small brick storage building and completely leveled another mobile home along state route 3017 just east of Taylor Hill.  Once the tornado began climbing the next set of ridges to the east, it lifted back into the cloud base as the pattern of damage was not seen further downstream.  In all, damage estimates were close to $300,000, mainly from structural damage to the aforementioned structures and deforestation.

Sources

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5656998

https://www.weather.gov/bgm/pastSevereJune021998

Tree damage in Auburn Township. Photo via NWS Summary

Bald Eagle, PA

  • Rating: F0
  • Path Length:  0.5 miles
  • Path Width:  70 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  9:35pm to 9:40pm
  • County:  Centre

Summary:  An F0 tornado touched down just north of the Blair County Border, and toppled a number of large walnut trees at a home off Dunkel Run Road about 3 miles northwest of Bald Eagle.  A telephone pole was also snapped off.  Eyewitnesses told of seeing the telephone pole twist around completely at least once before being snapped off.  Hail up to 1 inch was observed just prior to the tornado touchdown.

Sources

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5656969

http://midsouthtornadoes.msstate.edu/index.php?cw=ctp

Gibbon Glade, PA-Hazelton, WV-Friendsville, MD

  • Rating: F2
  • Path Length:  12 miles
  • Path Width:  300 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  9:35pm to 10:00pm
  • County:  Fayette (PA) / Preson (WV) / Garrett (MD)

Summary:  An F2 tornado passed southeast through southern Fayette County PA, the northeast tip of Preston County WV, and into northwest Garrett County MD.  The total length of the tornado as it passed across these three counties was 12 miles.  Damage included a completely destroyed dairy barn, two completely destroyed house trailers, and at least 21 other structures heavily damaged, many with roofs partially or completely peeled off.  Several cows were killed, with one cow thrown through the air over 100 yards.  A clearly visible 300-yard wide, 1-mile long swath of trees that were completely sheared/uprooted was present near the Pennsylvania/West Virginia state border.  One Fayette County official estimated at least two million dollars damage in lost timber alone in that county.  Despite the damage, interviews with law enforcement officials, paramedics and local residents revealed no injuries occurred.

Sources

https://www.weather.gov/pbz/tor98

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5669115

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5669113

Shamokin-Mt-Carmel, PA

  • Rating: F1
  • Path Length:  15 miles
  • Path Width:  440 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  0
  • Time:  9:40pm to 9:55pm
  • County:  Northumberland
  • Summary:  An F1 tornado first touched down in Irish Valley, northwest of Shamokin, around 9:40 pm and produced an intermittent path of extensive tree damage southeast into Mt. Carmel.  The storm weakened as it crossed the mountain ridges, but regained strength through the valleys along the 15-mile path. 

Trees were leveled just south of Millers Crossroads where initial damage began. The tornado destroyed part of a barn in Irish Valley, then traveled eastward causing minor damage to structures and topping many trees in Weigh Scales just north of Shamokin.  Near Weigh Scales a steel street sign was bent, and a tractor-trailer filled with hay was flipped over.  The tornado continued eastward over Big Mountain, through the community of Sagon. Near Saigon, the tornado struck State Correctional Institution (SCI) Coal Township.  Here at the prison, numerous vehicles were damaged, part of the security fence was knocked over and a metal warehouse was destroyed.  It clipped the northern parts of Kulpmont and southern sections of Marion Heights.  Tops of trees were broken off as the storm finally ended over the northern parts of Mt. Carmel.  One hundred homes in Kulpmont sustained minor damage, mainly caused by falling debris, although many lost pieces of shingles or spouting.

Sources

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5656971

Greg. “June 2, 1998 Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Outbreak”.  Pennsylvania Weather Page, Angelfire.com, http://www.angelfire.com/pa/pawx/060298/060298.html

Lake Carey, PA

  • Rating: F3
  • Path Length:  39 miles*
  • Path Width:  500 yards
  • Fatalities:  2
  • Injuries:  15
  • Time:  9:45pm to 10:45pm
  • County:  Bradford, Wyoming, Lackawanna

*The tornado is officially listed as 3 tornadoes by the SPC, two F1 tornadoes and an F3.

Summary:  The tornado first touched down in Terry Township in southeastern Bradford County, between Robwood Mountain and State Road 2015. A  mobile home was moved 8 feet off its foundation and was heavily damaged.  A storage building nearby was considerably damaged, with roofs torn off and metal beams blown away.  The tornado skipped again from here to the east of Billetts Pond where it flattened a large barn, with debris being scattered for hundreds of feet in all directions.  Aerial surveys indicate spotty tree damage from Meshoppen eastward to near Valentine Hill.  Trees were twisted off at the canopy, and some were supported on hilltops.  At Stevens Lake, the tornado carved a path through the trees, where there was heavy tree damage, and several homes had minor siding and roof damage.

The tornado temporarily took a turn to the south and crossed a portion of the long axis of Lake Carey.  It was here where the most severe damage occurred.  Eyewitnesses state the tornado crossed State Route 1003, a small causeway across the lake at around 10:20 PM Every structure located on this narrow strip of land sustained substantial damage or was completely leveled.  It was here where two fatalities occurred as an elderly woman and her grandson were blown out of the second floor of a house and thrown into an adjacent building.  Every tree in that area was snapped off or uprooted. The tornado then made a jog to the left and continued east.  It crossed over State Route 1005, which parallels the eastern end of Lake Carey, then skipped up over a small hill.  Several homes were heavily damaged in the path along the east end of the lake and going up the hill.  A dozen or more boats that were anchored along the eastern end of the lake were thrown up out of the water and onto the shoreline.  One home on the hill east of the lake was leveled to the ground with only the foundation and a portion of the back wall remaining.  “Massive” tree damage continued toward East Lemon Township.  A total of 42 homes in and around lake Carey were heavily damaged or destroyed as the tornado reached its peak intensity of F3.

In East Lemon Township the tornado weakened to an F2 as it continued to produce heavy tree damage.  Three homes in this area were heavily damaged, one had its roof completely torn off.  A church was damaged, and several barns and farm buildings were destroyed.  The tornado weakened to F1 as it skipped through Factoryville, spotty tree damage occurred here. The tornado crossed into Lackawanna County and produced significant tree damage at Keystone Junior College in La Plume.  Several buildings sustained damage with windows blown out and gutters twisted off as well at the college.  The tornado continued across Routes 6 and 11 into Lackawanna State Park where large swaths of trees were sheared off or uprooted.  The tornado finally lifted just west of Abington Road in North Abington Township.

A map from NWS Binghamton showing that the F1 tornadoes in Bradford and Wyoming counties were the same tornado that hit Lake Carey
Home destroyed in Lake Carey
Damage in Lake Carey

New Creek-Junction, WV

  • Rating: F2
  • Path Length:  15 miles
  • Path Width:  150 yards
  • Fatalities:  0
  • Injuries:  5
  • Time:  10:33pm to 10:51pm
  • County:  Mineral, Hampshire

Summary:  The final tornado touched down 5 miles southwest of Keyser WV, the damage was initially to trees in Cross, the tornado strengthened as it moved down Green Mountain into New Creek, where a car was blown over and a garage was destroyed.  A pine tree fell through a house.  A full-sized Sycamore tree was picked up on the east side of New Creek and thrown to the other side of the highway.  It moved up New Creek Mountain, leveling at the trees as it moved through this heavily forested area, as it descended the mountain it demolished a trailer.  In Ridgeville, a mobile home was rolled over and a barn was destroyed.  The tornado tracked south of Burlington, across Patterson Creek Mountain into Hampshire County, and hit a trailer park along Davy Road.  Here, several mobile homes were damaged, and 5 people were injured.  The tornado lifted over Fairview Mountain about 3 miles south of Junction.

Summary

https://www.weather.gov/lwx/events_19980602

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5658549

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/eventdetails.jsp?id=5658551

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