Is it my imagination or does there seem to be an uptick in extreme weather events here in southern New England? In this year alone, we have had five major nor'easters last winter. Four of these were in March 2018 with one occurring each week that month. One was the "Bomb Cyclone" event of March 2 and we also had an earlier "Bomb Cyclone" on Jaunary 4th. In May 2018, we had the unusual severe weather outbreak where four tornadoes were confirmed to have touched down in Connecticut. On July 26, there was another severe weather outbreak with a confirmed tornado(s) in Massachusetts and just this week on October 23, we had another severe weather outbreak of severe thunderstorms with hail, wind and two confirmed tornadoes.
What makes the October 23 event so unprecendented is that one of the supercell thunderstorms developed and dropped an EF-1 intensity tornado on Lincoln and then over to North Providence, Rhode Island. An EF-1 tornado was also confirmed over Norton, MA and this may have been from the same supercell storm and also may have crossed over Sandwich, MA and out over the Cape Cod canal as a waterspout. If this is the case, this would be the first confirmed tornado/waterspout over the Cape Cod canal since 1977. Also, to have two tornado touchdowns in Rhode Island is extremely rare.
Something is definitely happening in our atmosphere. Now whether you can argue climate change and the "hand of man" or some other variables, well, the jury is still out. But, having been following, tracking and recording weather and extreme weather since the early 70's in this region, I can say that the "pattern" has changed and maybe for the worst. The weekly nor'easters of last March is a good example. I don't ever recall experiencing four nor'easters, one each week, in one month...ever! Tornadoes in October? It is also interesting re: the timing of this latest October 23 severe weather outbreak since I had just attended the annual southern New England Weather Conference in Foxborough, MA on Saturday, October 20.
"Real Time" observational reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service and to CoCoRaHs is vital. On the ground, "real time" observational reports help the National Weather Service in their warnings and helps to get the warnings out to the public in an expedited manner which saves lives. So, consider becoming a Skywarn Storm Spotter for the NWS and join the CoCoRaHs Network. Both are volunteer and training is provided.