The National Weather Service on Thursday confirmed that a weak tornado — no injuries were reported —touched down on Sunday at the Beaver Valley Campgrounds in Bucks County.
The weather service said an EF-1 tornado, with peak winds of 95 mph, swirled through about a quarter-mile of the property in the Ottsville section of Tinicum Township. It stayed on the ground for about a minute, the weather service said, and “dozens of trees were uprooted.”
With the sightings in Bucks and another in Lancaster County on Sunday — which the weather service said came “very close” to the Pennsylvania Turnpike — 16 tornadoes have been confirmed in the commonwealth this year; the average for an entire year is eight.
The Lancaster County twister, which touched down near West Cocalico Township, was also an EF-1, but the winds were slightly friskier — 105 mph. It uprooted dozens of trees and caused some minor damage to mobile homes.
Investigators determined that damage was caused by rotating winds, rather than in a “straight line.”
It isn’t as though circular winds are somehow more ferocious, but the investigators are motivated by a mix of the public’s curiosity and science. It is one way the weather service keeps track of “false-alarm rates” for tornadoes, the object being to get better at this.
Correction: An earlier version of this version is this story listed an incorrect number of total tornadoes this year in Pennsylvania.