Weak tornado confirmed in southwest Pickaway County embedded in powerful storms Thursday evening

Local News

NEW HOLLAND, Oh. (WCMH)–The National Weather Service in Wilmington determined that a vein of wind damage a few miles northeast of New Holland in southwest Pickaway County was caused by an EF0 tornado Thursday afternoon, with winds estimated at 85 mph.

Aerial footage indicated that the storm was on the ground for 0.8 mile, touching down around 5:20 p.m. in a field. The storm damaged properties on a farm, and the roof of a home, and also destroyed an outbuilding.

The brief tornado “completely destroyed” two barns on Mouser Road, according the Weather Service report, tossing debris one-quarter of a mile across U.S. 22, as the storm lifted above the highway. Scattered tree damage in New Holland was caused by straight-line winds.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for portions of Pickaway and Ross counties when lowering rotation was evident on Doppler radar scans. The supercell, or rotating, thunderstorm developed along the leading edge of a bowing feature along a squall line, or line of severe thunderstorms, that stretched from Fairfield County west to Fayette County.

Funnel cloud visible through the rain near Chillicothe at 6:09 p.m. Thursday. (Photo/Bruce Caplinger)

Strong winds and torrential rain, totaling as much as 2 to 4 inches, plowed south to the Ohio River. Water rescues occurred in Idaho and Waverly, Pike County, and wind damage was reported at Stockdale. A separate storm dropped hail 1.75 inches in diameter at Jamestown in Greene County.

Two clusters of storms initially formed around 3 p.m. northwest of Columbus and advanced rapidly southeast, producing hail as large as 1 inch in diameter near Downtown and at Canal Winchester. The hail-generating storm was associated with a broad, weakly rotating wall cloud visible from Groveport to near Lancaster that did not touch down.

Photo of wind damage courtesy of AEP.

The cells eventually coalesced into a small system of thunderstorms, triggering numerous severe thunderstorm warnings from Franklin County and vicinity south through the Lower Scioto Valley.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh conducted field surveys Friday in eastern Ohio, and confirmed an EF2 tornado (115-120 mph) touched down at New Athens in Harrison County at 4:50 p.m., with a path width of 220 yards, traveling 2.7 miles. Trees and power poles were snapped, and one home lost a portion of the roof. Another storm caused damage at Wintersville in Jefferson County.

Funnel cloud in Harrison County. (Video/Johnetta Vinka.)

Another EF1 tornado was confirmed at Wintersville in Jefferson County to the east of the Harrison County storm, commencing near Route 22. The storm was 300 yards wide and traveled a little more than two miles, damaging several homes and structures, and snapping off or uprooting trees.

A brief tornado also touched down Thursday evening in Washington County that was rated an EF0 storm.

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