Tornado warning for part of Suffolk County

Bad cloud. Photo by Jayne HendryOminous cloud over Cambridge. Photo by Jayne Hendry.

UPDATE: The storm knocked out power in Salem and Saugus and NECN reports cars in flood waters on Broadway in Malden.

Around 2:05, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for "extreme northeastern Suffolk County." Which would be, what, Revere and Winthrop? In any case, the NWS based its warning on radar showing "a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado" near Lynn that was moving east at 25 m.p.h.

Amazing storm photo from State Street.

Ed. note: All of a sudden my phone's screen lit up with a giant red triangle with an exclamation mark of doom in the middle warning me to "take shelter now." NWS should probably want to give better definitions that people actually use around here, like town names, rather than "extreme northeastern Suffolk County."



Free tagging: 


    back in my day...

    I always knew "Tornado Warning" to be "there's actually a tornado" while "Tornado Watch" meant that storms were looking good enough to produce one.

    kind of confusing when they use "Warning" if it's only just a "Watch". Present day fear mongering from the media?

    Difference between watch and warning

    A watch is when conditions are right for the potential development of a tornado (or hurricane, or severe thunderstorm, or whatever). A warning is when there's some evidence that the condition is about to hit.

    In today's case, there was a distinct "hook" at the southernmost tip of a storm moving eastward north of Boston - something even a weather novice like me could notice on the radar image for 2 p.m. Basically, when you see one of those on radar, it's a good sign a tornado is moments away - or has already formed. So time for a warning.

    If you're going to "blame" anybody, it's the National Weather Service, not the media.

    Weather alerts on your phone

    Several of my coworkers got those tornado warnings on their phones in our offices in Kendall (in fact, we're in the green roofed building in the photo, so we were looking at that same scene).

    They're part of the new Wireless Emergency Alerts system. Not all phones are equipped for it; mostly it's just some Android models right now, but should become common on new phones in the future. The alerts are broadcast from specific cell phone towers to all phones connected to them, rather than text messaged to specific numbers, so they're supposed to be very locally targetable.

    wunderground is your friend! is their mobile avatar, is their main page.

    You can go to the radar, click "animate radar" and get an idea of how storms are forming and moving through the area.

    I've used this for years to avoid nasty summer storms when commuting by bike.

    I'm out of the Hub

    Down in Providence today and we've had hail so bad that someone's truck got dented in the parking lot (allegedly).

    It's been really, really bad down here for the past hour and I am not looking forward to the commute back up to Boston tonight.

    If anyone has info on the Neponset/North Quincy area, I'd appreciate an update.

    Very cool photo from Kendall

    Very cool photo from Kendall Square! I saw this cloud from my glass and glass office building, and was hopeful for a bruiser of a storm to entertain during one snoozer of a meeting. Sadly we didn't get much excitement, just a lot of rain and wind a couple hours later. I was totally oblivious to the coming of the apocalypse in other areas.