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A National Weather Service Storm Survey Team found a 15-mile tornado track across Luzerne County. Preliminary indications are that the tornado touched down near Hobbie in Hollenback Township late Friday afternoon December 1st around 5 PM. It then tracked east-northeast into Dorrance, before continuing into Wright Township and Fairview Heights. Click on the map to see the path of the tornado.Luzerne Tornado Track Map.

Map of the Luzerne County Tornado track. Click for a Preliminary findings show a continuous 15-mile track length with an average width of 150 yards. The preliminary tornado rating is an F2 on the Fujita Scale of tornado intensity. Wind speeds in an F2 tornado range from 113 to 157 mph and cause considerable damage.

The majority of damage along the path has been preliminarily rated at F1 intensity. Numerous trees were uprooted and snapped along the entire length of the path. In Dorrance, the roof of a fire department was partially peeled off. Shingle and minor roof damage was common all along the path. Most of the major damage was caused by trees falling through homes. Two trailer homes, along with a construction trailer, were completely destroyed by fallen trees. Over 100 homes sustained minor damage.

As the tornado crossed Route 309 in Fairview Heights, the intensity briefly strengthened to F2. A roof was completely torn off of a well-constructed home and thrown 150 feet into a neighboring yard. Also near Fairview Heights, Crestwood High School suffered minor damage. The surface of the roof was lifted off, a large dumpster was tossed, and several air-conditioning units were blown off of the roof and have not been found.

The tornado tracked further northeast and caused F1 damage. At Mr. Z`s Supermarket, a 9000 pound air-conditioning unit was lifted from its base and tipped. At the same location, a 2500 pound air-conditioner was blown off the roof and landed approximately 20 feet from its initial location.

These findings are preliminary and will be updated throughout the weekend as more information is gathered.

Click on the image below to toggle between base reflectivity and storm relative motion.   The yellow circle shows the approximate area where the tornado was occurring at the time of the radar image.


BGM radar


A National Weather Service Storm Survey Team found two more tornado tracks in Pike County during the historic December 1st, 2006 tornado outbreak that hit Pennsylvania. These two additional tornadoes occurred 30 to 45 minutes after the more intense tornado that hit Mountaintop and surrounding areas of lower Luzerne County. These two additional tornadoes makes three tornado's to hit Northeast Pennsylvania and 5 total tornado's to hit Pennsylvania on Friday December 1st, 2006.Pike County Tornado Track

The first tornado touched down at about 5:30 PM EST about 3 miles east northeast of Hawley in Pike County. The tornado tracked east at about 65 mph with a maximum width of about 100 yards. The tornado had a path length of 5 miles as it lifted near Bohemia close to route 590 at about 5:35 PM. The tornado knocked down scattered large trees along its path and is rated an F0 on the Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity. Maximum winds with this first tornado were between 60 and 70 mph. F0 tornado intensity ranges from 40 to 72 mph. Click on the map to see the path of the tornado.

Map of the Luzerne County Tornado track. Another tornado touched down near Rowland in Pike County at 5:35 PM EST and tracked east at 65 mph through Lackawaxen at about 5:40 PM where it lifted. The tornado's path length was about 5 miles with a maximum width of 200 yards. The tornado was rated an F1 on the Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity which has winds from 73 mph to 112 mph. The tornado flattened a 200 yard wide area of trees at the base of a hill near the Lackawaxen River, about 1 mile upstream from the confluence of the Lackawaxen and Delaware rivers. There were several other locations along the 5 mile path where numerous large trees were uprooted. Most of the trees that were snapped and uprooted were hardwoods consisting of Oak, Locust and Sycamore. Maximum winds were estimated up to 100 mph based on the extent of the tree damage and the fact that hardwoods were involved. Many of the trees were 1 to 2 feet in diameter.

These findings are preliminary and will be updated throughout the week as more information is gathered and analyzed.


Case Study: December 1, 2006 Severe Weather and Northeast Pennsylvania Tornadoes - contains meteorological information about the event.