Tornado confirmed in Berks County, damage to homes reported
(Morgantown) — The National Weather Service says a tornado has been confirmed in Berks County where damage to some homes occurred but there were no immediate reports of injuries.
Meteorologist Jonathan O’Brien says a damage assessment team will be sent to the area later today to determine the strength of the twister that struck Tuesday.
He says Berks County emergency officials reported structural damage to about 20 properties, some of it significant.
Emergency dispatchers in Berks and Chester counties earlier cited roof damage and some partial collapses in Caernarvon Township, which includes Morgantown.
The Valley Ponds development homeowners association saying about 70 percent of the homes remained livable.
The Reading Eagle reported damaged cars from downed trees. Some areas reported hail the size of a ping pong ball.
The National Weather Service says Pennsylvania has already recorded the average number of tornados for a year.
Meteorologist Sarah Johnson of the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey says 16 tornadoes that have had preliminary confirmation in the commonwealth so far this year.
Severe weather is more common in June and into July, but Johnson cautions that that is by no means a hard and fast rule. For example, a large outbreak of severe weather was recorded Oct. 2 of last year across the commonwealth, she said.
A tornado touched down Lancaster County on May 19, damaging structures and downing trees and power lines, had maximum wind speeds estimated at 105 mph.
Days later, the National Weather Service confirmed “a brief EF-1 tornado” touched down in West Cocalico Township in northern Lancaster County.