National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

A severe thunderstorm moved southeast across central New York during the early evening on July 28, 2002. The storm produced scattered tree damage along its entire path from western Onondaga county southeast across Cortland county. Along most of that patch, the damage was indicative of straight-line winds, with gusts of 50 to 70 mph from the northwest. However, a brief tornado touchdown occurred with the storm in the small town of Mottville, where the most severe damage occurred. The tornado touchdown occurred at approximately 6:40 pm in the center of town, where a trailer house was completely destroyed and several large trees were sheared off 10 to 20 feet off of the ground. The trees fell in a swirling pattern, indicating that the cause of the damage was most likely a small tornado. Based on the damage, the tornado was estimated as an F1, with top winds of 73 to 112 mph. The tornado’s path length was 100 yards, and its path width was approximately 50 yards.

Radar loop is from the National Weather Service radar in Binghamton, NY. Elevation 0.5 degrees with base reflective to the left and storm relative motion to the right. Loop is from 6:12 PM to 7:12 PM EDT.

Radar loop

Damage pictures, click for a larger view.

Tree damage. Damage to building.
Tree damage. Building damage