When one thinks of tornadoes, states like Kansas and Oklahoma come to mind. But on Tuesday, 2 tornadoes touched down on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, actually from the same thunderstorm cell. The two tornadoes, both of EF1 intensity struck the towns of Barnstable/Yarmouth, first one around midday, and then Harwich minutes later, with winds of up to 110 mph. The storm originated as a waterspout south of Hyannis then continued north and onshore. A weather station actually reported a wind gust of 91 mph with this storm. The tornadoes caused significant damage, including a roof getting ripped off of the Cape Sands Inn in Yarmouth, damage to the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, over 100 large trees uprooted and snapped and shingles were ripped off homes. Amazingly, there were no injuries reported from these storms. At it’s peak, over 55,000 customers were without electricity on Cape Cod as well as Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
Tuesday’s tornado was the second in just under a year to strike Cape Cod. An EF0 tornado touched down in the town of Woods Hole on October 29, 2018. Prior to that, the only reported tornadoes to touch down on Cape Cod were on August 22, 1977 (F1) in West Yarmouth, on August 9, 1968 (F1) in Marstons Mills and on December 18, 1951 (F2) in Katama Airpark.
Fortunately for the region, no more severe weather is expected for the foreseeable future.