Path length: 50.46 miles
Width: 880 yards
County: Rockingham, Merrimack, Belknap, Strafford, Carroll
This tornado not only has the longest path on record for the state of New Hampshire BUT also has the longest path on record for New England. Storms began to fire by late morning across New England. Per the NWS Storm Summary, a closed 500mb low was strengthening our New York and Pennsylvania. Waves of surface low pressure were riding a front. Strong 50 knot jet was riding ahead of the front. There was plenty of spin and instability in place to initiate storms. One rotating storm generated an historic tornado that traveled over 50 miles across 5 counties in Southeast New Hampshire. There was 1 fatality. Brenda J. Stevens of Deerfield was killed when her house collapsed. Several newspapers reported that she was found in the rubble of the house near her stepson’s 3-month-old son. She had been holding him when the tornado hit. The baby survived.
I found a tornado “fact sheet” from WMUR posted in 2013. Here were some of the affected communities along the path and the tornado rating:
–Deerfield (EF2 – 111-135mph)
–Northwood (EF1 – 86-110mph)
–Pittsfield (EF2 again)
–New Durham (EF1)
Here were the damage estimates:
Epsom-Deerfield Area: 116 homes damaged, 19 destroyed
(Deerfield: 23 damaged, 5 destroyed)
Barnstead: 40 homes significant damage, 100+ lightly damaged
Ossipee: 1 home destroyed, 50 others damaged
Alton: 43 homes damaged
New Durham: 1 home destroyed, 3 heavy damage, 20 slightly damaged
Effingham: 5-10 homes damaged
100 Homes in 40-mile tornado zone deemed “uninhabitable”
Storm Data Entry
An EF2 tornado touched down about 5 miles southwest of Northwood Narrows and moved north northeast for a little over 5 miles before crossing into Merrimack County. Numerous trees were downed and many homes were damaged or destroyed. A woman was killed when the house she was in collapsed.
An EF2 tornado moving north northeast out of Rockingham County crossed into Merrimack County near Route 202 and continued north northeast a little over 5 miles before entering Belknap County. Homes and buildings in the tornadoes path sustained damage along the path which was up to a half mile wide.
An EF2 tornado moving north northeast out of Rockingham County entered Belknap County about 2 miles southwest of South Barnstead near Province Road. The storm traveled almost 12 miles before crossing into Strafford County resulting in E-F0 to E-F2 damage. There were numerous houses and buildings that were damaged or destroyed by the tornado or by falling trees. In addition, there were thousands of downed trees and numerous power lines down along the path of the storm.
An EF1 tornado, moving north northeast out of Belknap County, entered Strafford County approximately 2.2 miles north northwest of New Durham. The storm skipped along for more than 8 miles before exiting into Carroll County. The intensity of the tornado varied between F0 and F2, and numerous trees were blown down along the path of the storm.
An EF2 tornado moving out of Strafford County crossed into Carroll 2.9 miles east of South Wolfboro and continued to skip north northeast for almost 20 miles through the town of Freedom. F0 to F2 damage occurred along the path of the storm and many thousands of trees were blown down. Cars, homes and other structures were also damaged.
Questions or comments about this summary? Contact us here!
Join the tornado history discussion on our Discord Server!
Note: There are some images/videos in our summaries that were licensed to us to be used only on this website. If you would like to use an image/video in your project or blog, please contact us and we will grant permission if possible.
Newspaper clips are embedded via newspapers.com. Please see their terms and conditions.
Would you like to see more summaries like this one? Support Tornado Talk on Patreon! Become a Patron!
Scott Currier · March 11, 2022 at 10:46 am
That was a nice writeup. I was at work in Hampstead NH that day, not paying any attention to the weather. I heard about it later. Looking at the SPC and NWS data my recollection is that the tornado watch area was for Maine and did not extend into NH. Looking at the high res radar data, the radar operator seems to have been behind the curve by 10 minutes or more. The doppler display showing rotation was visible and clear well before the warning was issued. This was definitely not their finest hour. This storm is interesting in that there are no known photos of the tornado. I went up through Deerfield and onto route 4 just north of Deerfield shortly after the storm. First time I had seen tornado damage. I believe the tornado actually crossed into Maine near the end of it’s path but I could be wrong. It certainly was a long track tornado. Very nice newspaper clippings you chose. I would like to suggest adding the SPC watch or watches in effect at the time of the tornado as well as the high res radar data. I found the radar data to be quite interesting.
Jen Narramore · March 12, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Thank you Scott!