Bristol Tornado

Burlington-Bristol tornado captured by the Delaware Joint Toll Bridge Commission camera.

The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ has conducted several storm surveys for damage from storms on Wednesday, September 1 associated with the remnants of Ida. The NWS released the following information for the three tornadoes that touched down in Bucks County:

Doylestown-Buckingham Township Tornado: Rating - EF-1. Estimated Peak Wind: 100 mph. Path Length: 4.4 miles. Path Width (maximum): 300 yards. Start: 5:59 p.m. on Sept. 1 in Doylestown. End: 6:06 p.m. Sept. 1 in Buckingham.

The storm which produced a strong tornado in Montgomery County cycled and produced another tornado in Bucks County. Damage began near in the area of Neshaminy Creek between Valley Road and Pebble Hill Rd in Doylestown. The tornado tracked north-northeast from there, producing a consistent path of damage.

Damage was mainly confined to trees and was fairly extensive at times, with much of the path length being heavily wooded. Numerous hardwood and softwood trees were snapped and uprooted along the path. Damage was strongly suggestive of tornadic winds, and a tornado debris signature was also evident on radar.

The heaviest damage occurred near and along a stretch of Edison-Furlong Road. Extensive tree damage occurred along that road and a number of its cross streets. Several utility poles were snapped in this area. Tree damage along nearby Swamp Road was also significant.

The tornado continued but began to lose intensity as it approached Route 202, with sporadic tree damage observed on Mill Rd. Gradual weakening continued and the tornado appeared to lift entirely in the area of Burnt House Hill Rd. The extent of tree damage suggested maximum winds of around 100 mph. No injuries were reported as a result of this tornado.

Upper Makefield Township Tornado. Rating: EF-1. Estimated Peak Wind: 90 mph. Path Length: 1.7 miles. Path Width (maximum): 250 yards. Start Date: Sept. 1 at 6:30 Upper Makefield. End Date: Sept. 1 at 6:35 p.m. in Upper Makefield.

A tornado embedded within a squall line developed several miles southeast of the storm which produced a tornado in Buckingham Township. Tornadic damage was first observed in the vicinity of Stoneybrook Rd at Eagle Rd, near Jericho Creek. The tornado tracked northeastward from there. It passed over the Jericho National Golf Club, and sporadic tree damage mainly consisting of uproots and large limbs snapped was observed in a path throughout the golf course. It then moved over the adjacent Brownsburg Park, where additional tree damage was observed and several soccer goals were observed flipped in various directions.

The tornado then began to approach the Delaware River. Some minor tree damage was observed along River Rd. However, the tornado appeared to lift just slightly before reaching the Delaware River, with no apparent damage on Pebbletown Rd just prior to the river. Throughout its path, the tree damage produced by this tornado was fairly sporadic, and it may have been discontinuous. Noticeable wind damage was also observed for at least a mile east of the tornado track, especially near its endpoint close to the Delaware River. This is believed to be straight line wind damage, which is corroborated by radar data, occurring around the rear flank downdraft region of the tornadic circulation. However, the exact length and width of the tornadic circulation is somewhat uncertain due to the surrounding areas of straight line wind damage.

Burlington, NJ to Bristol, PA Tornado. Rating: EF-1. Estimated Peak Wind: 90 mph. Path Length: 2.8 miles. Path Width (maximum): 200 yards. Start Date: Sept. 1 at 6:59 p.m. in Burlington County, N.J. End Date:  Sept. 1 at 7:04 p.m. in Bristol. 

After cycling from an earlier tornado near Mullica Hill, NJ, a supercell thunderstorm produced an additional tornado in Burlington Township, NJ near the township line with Edgewater Park, NJ. Some evidence of RFD winds was prevalent southward through the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Edgewater Park with one pine tree being uprooted and several small branches being brought down all the way south to Pennington Park in Delanco Township, NJ,but damage was too sparse to be noted as tornadic.

As the tornado touched down, numerous hard and softwood trees were uprooted along Jennifer Lane in a neighborhood just off of Beverly Road in Burlington Township. A large branch was also brought down on a vehicle at the intersection of Jennifer Lane and Squire Way.

Nearby, a pine tree was brought down, breaking a window to a residence further west on Jennifer Lane with a small Sycamore tree also being snapped at the base a few houses down the road.

As the tornado crossed Shive Place and Handler Drive, several trees were snapped and large branches brought down. Soffit damage was also observed to a couple of homes nearby. Perhaps the most impressive damage was observed along Beverly Road near the intersection with Handler Drive where resident noted that nearly thirty trees were either uprooted or snapped. Observations seemed to agree with that statement with crews working to repair downed power lines as well.

The tornado then proceeded towards the Delaware River as it took a slight turn towards the north. With only a steel and power plant lying beneath it-these two structurally sound facilities did not appear to sustain any visible damage despite a rather impressive viral Tweet with a video of the tornado passing across the Burlington-Bristol Bridge. Driving across the bridge for this very survey, no damage was noted given the structural integrity of the feature. As the tornado passed through a wooded floodplain along the banks of the Delaware River, no visible damage was noted either. The tornado then lifted just before reaching downtown Bristol with several trees being snapped along the Bristol Wharf.

EF Scale (The Enhanced Fujita Scale: classifies tornadoes into the following categories:

EF0...Weak......65 to 85 mph

EF1...Weak......86 to 110 mph

EF2...Strong....111 to 135 mph

EF3...Strong....136 to 165 mph

EF4...Violent...166 to 200 mph

EF5...Violent...>200 mph

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