Tornadoes in New Hampshire

March 10, 2023

tornadoes in New Hampshire

Tornadoes aren't common in New Hampshire, but they do happen. They're most likely during the summer, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Paul Walker told USA TODAY.

On Monday night, a rare tornado touched down in New Hampshire between two towns bordering Vermont. It was a weak EF1 with maximum wind speeds around 90 mph, according to National Weather Service meteorologists.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions in New Hampshire can often be favorable for tornadoes. The Granite State's rugged terrain allows for wind to be funneled in a way that can help create low-end weak tornadoes.

But, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Paul Walker, tornadoes aren't common in the Granite State - and they're usually not as powerful and destructive as those synonymous with Tornado Alley in the Midwest.

To protect residents and property, the NOAA National Weather Service issues Tornado WARNINGS if there's a threat of tornadoes. The warning alerts are issued by meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 over a designated area.

A team will head to Charlestown on Tuesday to see the damage firsthand and confirm that a tornado touched down, said Maura Casey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine. They'll also look into the possible causes of the funnel cloud - which was captured on a dash cam video - to assign a damage rating.

Severity Ratings

The National Weather Service has rated the tornadoes that hit New Hampshire on Monday evening as EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The storms were accompanied by damaging straight line winds and numerous downed trees.

The first tornado was in Charlestown, NH where it traveled over a mile and did significant damage. It also caused hundreds of power outages and a number of downed trees.

Another tornado was in Claremont, NH and did a little over a mile of travel with minimal damage. It also did a bit of roof damage and was rated EF-0.

The tornadoes that hit New Hampshire Monday evening are part of a very active severe weather outbreak in the Northeast and west. The area from Albany, NY to central Massachusetts and into southern New Hampshire is at the highest risk for tornadoes this time of year.

Locations Affected

Tornadoes can form anywhere in the United States, but some areas are more likely to be affected than others. For instance, tornadoes are more common in the central and southern parts of New Hampshire and in parts of central Massachusetts.

The most recent tornado in New Hampshire occurred on July 24, 2008. It traveled through 11 towns, killing one person and destroying over a dozen homes.

A line of thunderstorms was responsible for the storm that spawned the tornado. It moved across the state on Monday evening, bringing the first confirmed tornado of the season to northern New England.

The storm produced a powerful EF-1 tornado that lasted about a half mile on the ground. It also ripped through a town in Sullivan County, causing major damage and leaving people without power.


Tornadoes are not a common occurrence in New Hampshire, but they can be devastating. They can rip off roofs, destroy buildings, and even wipe out entire towns.

The most severe tornadoes occur in the summer, when storms are at their peak. However, they can happen at any time of the year.

While there is no way to predict the exact location or severity of a tornado, the best thing you can do to prepare for them is learn what to do if they occur in your area.

In the state of New Hampshire, tornadoes are more likely in the spring and fall than in the summer. This is because of the warmer weather that is often present during these months.

A fast-moving storm moved through Hollis, New Hampshire, on Friday afternoon causing extensive damage across town. Police and firefighters said there was strong wind, rain, thunder, lightning, and hail. Numerous trees and wires are down and many main roads are impassable due to the storm.


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