August 2nd marks one year since an EF-0 Tornado touched down in the College Point neighborhood of New York City, Tornadoes are not common in New York City however data suggest an increase in them over the last 10 years.
Here are a few facts about tornadoes in New York City:
August 2nd 2018
A passing trough of low pressure and upper level disturbance triggered an isolated severe thunderstorm in Queens around 10:20 PM, which also produced a tornado in the College Point section of New York City. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning at 10:18 p.m. for the southern Bronx and northern Queens, and it expired at 10:32 p.m. as the storm traveled east. A warning in northern Nassau County expired at 10:45 p.m. The tornado touched down near Saint Fidelis Catholic Church in College Point and traveled about three-quarters of a mile as it carved a 100-yard-wide path of destruction, gaining strength as it moved toward Powell’s Cove Park, where it toppled at least 50 trees. It was rated an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with estimated winds up to 85 mph. The tornado briefly moved along the southernmost shoreline of Powell's Cove, and then dissipated over the far eastern end of the park just before reaching 138th Place. Below you can see my footage which aired on the Weather Channel as well as additional graphics about this Tornado.
— Nicholas Isabella (@NycStormChaser) August 2, 2019
September 8th 2012
This storm produced a waterspout turned tornado turned waterspout turned tornado again which created an interesting event for our area. A combination of a pre-frontal trough and a passing upper level disturbance produced an isolated severe storm during the morning of September 8th. At 10:56 A:M a waterspout formed approximately 1 mile south of the tip of Breezy Point. The waterspout continued onto land, as a tornado just northeast of the tip of Breezy Point, Queens at 10:58 A.M. The storm caused structural damage to the Breezy Point Surf Club near where the waterspout came onshore as it transitioned into a tornado. Damage was also reported near its exit point off Breezy Point, with multiple trees and power lines reported down near the Beach 216th Street, at 10:59 A.M. As the tornado exited Breezy Point it once again transitioned into a waterspout across Jamaica Bay. The waterspout then continued northeast until making landfall as a tornado in Brooklyn just to the southeast of Plumb Beach about 750 feet south of the Belt Parkway at 11:01 am. The tornado then continued moving northeast into Brooklyn where it produced EF1 damage in Canarsie, Brooklyn before lifting at 11:05 am.
August 28th 2011
As Hurricane Irene moved north along the Atlantic coast and interacted with land, it weakened and made its third landfall as a Tropical Storm in New York City around 9:00 am. Irene brought sustained tropical storm winds, heavy rain, and destructive storm surge along with two confirmed tornadoes. One of those Tornadoes occurred in Queens County. Based on the National Weather Service Storm Survey, a weak EF-0 tornado was confirmed in Cunningham Park, near the Grand Central Parkway and Clearview Expressway intersection near the Long Island Expressway. The estimated maximum wind gust was 85 mph. This weak tornado was spawned by a rotating thunderstorm within a spiral rain band rotating around then Hurricane Irene several hours before it made landfall in New York City.
September 16th 2010
A warm front in conjunction with strong upper level winds produced numerous severe thunderstorms, including tornadic cells, across the Tri-State area. A National Weather Service Storm Survey confirmed a tornado in Queens. The tornado impacted the neighborhoods of Flushing and Bayside. In Flushing, on Browne Street between Roosevelt and 38th Avenues, the third floor of a residential brick building was severely damaged structurally. Large tree tops were lying on top of buildings and shot like projectiles between buildings. Sides of houses were peeled back. There was clear evidence of twisted metal along the side of the building. On Warren Street near the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue, a steel framed water tower was blown over on the roof. There was a partial roof collapse on another residential building. A Pennsylvania woman was killed in her car by a falling tree on Grand Central Parkway. Her passenger was injured. A man trying to assist the woman suffered a brain aneurysm and died. The tornado touched down around 2.5 miles south of Flushing and lifted 1 mile northeast of Bayside over Little Neck Bay.
A second tornado touched down in Brooklyn on the same day. A National Weather Service Storm Survey confirmed a tornado near Park Slope. In the northern portion of Prospect Park, there were signs of tree damage that converged towards a well defined narrow path. Tree tops were twisted and sheared off. The location of the tornado was bounded by Prospect Park on the west, Flatbush Avenue on the east and Subway Grand Army Plaza to the north. The tornado formed just southwest of the Brooklyn Public Library and lifted around 2 miles northeast of Park Slope.
July 25th 2010
A strong cold front tracking through the region produced severe thunderstorms across the region, including a tornado in the Bronx. The tornado touched down on the grounds of the Hebrew Home for the Aged along the east bank of the Hudson River west of Palisade Avenue in Riverdale. High winds flattened a flag pole, downed trees and snapped and sheared off many tree tops. A few trees crashed through first floor windows that caused them to shatter resulting in 7 minor injuries. On the south side of the building, large trees were totally stripped of their canopies and one became a projectile as it was wedged between an upstream tree. An eyewitness account at this location stated that he saw funnel clouds develop upstream over the Hudson as the thunderstorm approached. Several eyewitnesses along the southeast path of this storm stated that they saw clouds and debris swirl in white out conditions as many tree tops were snapped and sheared off. Significant damage occurred along West 254th Street northwest across Netherlands and Arlington Streets, where at least one residential roof was damaged west of 254th Street.
August 8th 2007
An approaching cold font, interacting with energy aloft, produced numerous thunderstorms, including one which produced two tornadoes across Southern New York City. In addition, the storms produced copious amounts of rainfall which caused widespread significant flash flooding in New York City, including several subway lines, and Long Island. The first tornado touchdown was in Staten Island at approximately 6:22 A.M. in the vicinity of St. Austins Place in the Livingston-Randall Manor area. The tornado moved east, with additional damage occurring in the Tompkinsville area. Most of the damage in Staten Island was to trees, and estimated at EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds of 86 to 100 mph. Based on re-analysis of radar data, the Staten Island tornado apparently dissipated as a second circulation developed just north of the first circulation. The damage in Tompkinsville may be a result of this second circulation.
This circulation intensified as it moved east across the Verrazano Narrows. The tornado re-developed by the time the circulation moved on shore in Brooklyn. Damage in the form of fallen trees and structural roof damage occurred in Bay Ridge starting in the area from Shore Road between 71st and 78th Streets eastward to Bay Ridge Blvd. This occurred at approximately 6:32 A.M. The tornado may have briefly lifted and then touched down again on Bay Ridge Avenue between 3rd and 4th Avenues, and continued on an east-northeast path across 68th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues. Eleven homes in this section had moderate to severe roof damage. The storm continued to move east-northeast into Leif Ericson Park Square, where severe damage to trees occurred. As the tornado lifted, it tore off the roof of the Nissan car dealership at the corner of 66th Street and Fifth Avenue. The tornado returned to the ground farther northeast, with scattered tree damage along 6th avenue. Based on the assessed damage in Bay Ridge, this tornadic damage is classified as EF-2 with estimated wind speeds of 111 to 135 mph. The tornado returned to the ground as another pocket of significant damage occurred on 58th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. The roof was ripped off of 5 homes, and tree damage indicated strong EF-1 damage. The tornado then headed east, and touched down for at least the fourth, but final time, in Kensington just east of the intersection of Church Avenue and Beverly Road at approximately 6:40 A.M. Numerous trees, approximately 30, were uprooted along Ocean Parkway as the tornado moved east. The tornado produced significant damage to trees and structures in the area with East 8th and 7th Streets being hit hard. Damage was reported as far east as Argyle Road. The tornado was on the ground for approximately 1/2 mile in this area before it lifted.
October 27th 2003
A weak tornado developed along the leading edge of a line of heavy showers and thunderstorms. The National Weather Service survey team observed rotational tree damage on Morani and Leona Streets, bound by Richmond Avenue to the West, and Victory Boulevard to the East. At least 8 trees were uprooted and 2 others were damaged. Some aluminum siding was ripped off the sides of 2 houses. A non-NWS Meteorologist observed that the rear end of two cars moved from their parked position toward the middle of the street. Based on the damage, wind speeds were estimated at around 70 mph.
There were additional tornadoes that occured however the amount of information available online was limited.