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Tornadoes Strike the Northeast After Derecho Rakes the Upper Midwest (RECAP)

The Weather Channel logoThe Weather Channel 7/31/2021 weather.com meteorologists

Severe thunderstorms raked parts of the Midwest and Northeast, including a derecho in Wisconsin and Illinois and a swarm of tornadoes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio.

Supercell thunderstorms spawned at least 20 tornadoes Thursday afternoon and evening in the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic states.

One destructive tornado tore through the village of Wintersville, Ohio, just west of Steubenville near the West Virginia state line around 6 p.m.

Early Thursday evening, multiple damaging tornadoes tore through parts of eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

At least one tornado, possibly more, tracked through Bucks County, Pennsylvania, damaging structures in Buckingham Township, before crossing into the Trenton, New Jersey, metro area. This prompted the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey, to issue its first-ever "particularly dangerous situation" tornado warning.

Another supercell spawned a damaging tornado in the northeast Philadelphia suburbs of Bensalem and Feasterville-Trevo, leaving a trail of damage around a mall. The tornado was later rated EF3. This cell then crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey, where trees and wires were downed in Burlington, New Jersey.

(NEWS: Homes Damaged in Northeast Tornadoes)

Tornadoes then took aim on southern New Jersey.

One tornado was confirmed by the NWS near Woodruff and trees were downed later in Toms River from the same severe thunderstorm.

Then, what appeared to be the same supercell that spawned the Bensalem-Feasterville-Trevose, Pennsylvania, tornado, appeared to spawn another tornado near Brookville, which then downed power poles and wires near Warren Grove before producing widespread damage in High Bar Harbor, about 30 miles north-northeast of Atlantic City. The tornado was later rated EF2.

National Weather Service damage surveys will later solidify the number, intensity and paths of all tornadoes.

Thursday may have tied or topped New Jersey's record number of tornadoes in any outbreak set on Nov. 16, 1989, when seven tornadoes were documented, according to meteorologist Bob Henson.

A tornado-warned supercell in Fredericksburg, Virginia, produced whiteout conditions in torrential rain and wind-driven hail, as documented by storm chaser Peter Forister.

There were also numerous reports of flash flooding Thursday.

In New Jersey, water rescues were needed in Mercer County, homes were reportedly flooded in Concordia and basements flooded in West Caldwell.

Overnight flash flooding near Carlisle, Kentucky, swept a trailer off its foundation, killing one resident.

Midwest Derecho

From late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, a cluster of storms swept across much of the western Great Lakes, tracking just over 250 miles, which satisfies the criteria for a low-end derecho event, according to a 2005 study.

There were numerous reports of either wind damage or severe thunderstorm winds in this area, as depicted by the blue icons in the map below.

Wind gusts topped 60 mph in parts of the Chicago metro area early Thursday.

More than 130,000 homes and businesses had lost power in Wisconsin and Illinois combined as of early Thursday morning, according to poweroutage.us.

Six tornadoes, rated either EF0 or EF1, were confirmed after NWS damage surveys in Wisconsin.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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