SPC Stats

Path length: 7.37 miles

Width:  400 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  0

Rating:  EF2

County:  Chenango

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 42.551 / -75.773  End:  42.623 / -75.666

Corrected Coordinates based on Satellite Analysis:

Start: 42.539661/-75.793120    End: 42.629112/-75.652492

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

Summary

Nine tornadoes affected New York during the April 25-28, 2011 Super Outbreak. One of the hardest-hit areas was Chenango County. During the early morning hours of April 28, three tornadoes hit the county. Two of the tornadoes were rated EF1, and one of them (the focus of the summary) was rated EF2.

The tornado developed around 3:00 am EDT in a wooded area three miles SSW of Pharsalia. It skipped northeast, downing sporadic trees until it reached a farm on Route 7, about 2.25 miles south of Pharsalia. This farm sustained EF1 level damage as a barn collapsed and trees were knocked down. The tornado crossed through the northern tip of Balsam Swamp State Forest and across Fultner Road and Route 10. It produced intermittent blowdown of trees along this part of the path.

The tornado approached N Road in the New Michigan State Forest and reached its peak intensity. Nearly 100% blowdown of the forest occurred for the next two miles to just south of Center Road in North Pharsalia. Thousands of 100-foot tall pine trees were wiped out. In some places, fallen trees were stacked 8 feet deep on the forest floor. Between N Road and Old CCC Truck Trail, the treefall formed a stunning pattern. It would appear that several small suction vortices created their own convergent treefall swaths within the larger tornado.

Aerial imagery taken in October 2011, showing the blowdown adjacent to N Road. Imagery via Google Earth.
Aerial imagery taken in October 2011, showing blowdown adjacent to Fred Steward Road, in the New Michigan State Forest. Imagery via Google Earth.

As the twister crossed Center Road, a trailer was thrown off of its foundation and demolished. A nearby two-story barn was leveled. A jeep was moved several feet, and a small pond had all of its water blown away. It gradually started to weaken as it moved through a wooded area, downing many trees until it reached Route 23. It weakened further as it crossed Route 23, with only spotty tree damage until it dissipated east of Pigeon Hill Road.

Damage Photos

A barn damaged at the first farm that was hit (NWS Binghamton).
Trees blown down on a hillside along Route 10 (Rebecca Meek).
Severe tree damage in the New Michigan State Forest (NWS Binghamton).
Severe tree damage in the New Michigan State Forest (NWS Binghamton).
Another photo of the severe blowdown (NWS Binghamton).
Photo showing the destruction of the New Michigan State Forest (Rebecca Meek).
Damage along N Road (Rebecca Meek).
The trailer that was destroyed on Center Road (NWS Binghamton).
A closer view of the leveled trailer (NWS Binghamton).

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC/NCDC Databases, the April 2011 Storm Data Publication (SDP), the NWS Binghamton summary, and satellite imagery and found the following discrepancies:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC/SDP list a 7.37 mile path.
  • NWS Summary lists an 8 mile path.
  • Analysis of satellite imagery shows a 9.53 mile path.

    Path Width:

    • SPC/NCDC/SDP list a 400 yard width.
    • Analysis of satellite imagery shows a width of about 670 yards.

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