Weather Service confirms tornado struck southern Monroe County

National Weather Service IllustrationThe tornado damage survey from the National Weather Service in Buffalo shows the path of a tornado that crossed from Wheatland Center, left, to Scottsville on Wednesday evening.

The National Weather Service says a tornado damaged and uprooted trees and partially-flattened a cornfield in southern Monroe County, on Wednesday evening.

The tornado, which lasted about 4 minutes from 6:53 to 6:57 p.m., began in Wheatland Center and ended 4.2 miles later in Scottsville and had estimated maximum winds of 75 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The tornado was rated an EF0, based on tree damage indicators.

The thunderstorm that spawned the tornado – and a tornado warning – began in Genesee County and tracked east-southeast from just south of the interchange of the Thruway and Interstate 490.

Scattered tree limb damage consistent with straight line winds was found along the Oatka Creek upon following the path of the storm into Monroe County, starting just east of Beulah Road and continuing through Mumford, the Weather Service said in a storm summary.

Damage became more concentrated upon crossing Wheatland Center Road and entering Oatka Creek Park. A grassy field was laid down flat in the opposite direction of the storm motion with tree damage to the south end of the field indicating rotation with several damaged trees broken to the northeast. Farther east, a partially-flattened corn field with two shallow-rooted trees uprooted along the field’s southern periphery and several broken trees along a hiking path through Oatka Creek Park, which indicated opposing directional damage, the Weather Service said.

Scattered damage continued farther east from Oatka Creek Park along Quaker Road south of Scottsville.

A second, more concentrated area of damage, was found near the intersection of Quaker Road and Route 251. Several trees were downed along the hillside west of Route 251, into Route 251, and on the property at the southeast corner of Route 251 and Quaker Road. This included at least three uprooted shallow-rooted trees and about broken and twisted hardwood tree about five feet in diameter along with many downed smaller limbs that indicated a convergent damage path, the Weather Service said.

No structures were damaged as the majority of the storm’s path was along Oatka Creek, through Oatka Creek Park and in an area that is primarily rural, the Weather Service said.

The last confirmed tornado in Monroe County was July 19, 2013. It was a waterspout that briefly moved across a point of land near Braddock Bay then back into Lake Ontario, the Weather Service said.

An EF0 tornado is considered a weak tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with wind speeds between 65 and 85. The scale ranges from EF0 to EF5, which has winds greater than 200 mph.

New York State sees and average of nine to 10 tornadoes a year.

A series of scattered thunderstorms crossed the GLOW region Wednesday afternoon and evening, creating ominous clouds at times. A number of pictures from around the area, including Nunda, showed images with foreboding pillars extending from the bottom of storm clouds to the grounds.

While the sight of such formations almost immediately bring to mind a funnel cloud, in many cases the images were showing a “scud cloud,” an unusual – though common – cloud formation often found beneath thunderstorms. Scud clouds look very similar to funnel clouds or tornadoes, but scud clouds don’t have rotation or strong winds with them.

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