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National Weather Service Confirms Tornado In Butler, Armstrong Counties

Niven Sabherwal
90.5 WESA
Fog covers Interstate 79 near Grove City, Pa. on Sunday, June 16, 2019. A tornado touched down in Parker, Pa., about 25 miles from this location.

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF1 tornado with winds up to 105 mph touched down in Butler and Armstrong counties Sunday.

An EF1 causes moderate damage, according to the Enhanced Fujita Scale for tornadoes, which is used to assign a tornado rating based on wind speeds and damage.

Lee Hendricks, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said the agency looks at the damage a tornado causes to estimate the wind speeds and determine its strength.


It’s Still Raining in Pittsburgh

There has been rain or snow 120 out of 167 days this year in Pittsburgh, according to the NWS. That’s 71.85 percent of the year.

Hendricks said the amount of precipitation in Pittsburgh has been unusual for the past two years. In 2018, there was a record high of 57.83 inches of precipitation. This year, there has been 20.84 inches.

"We have been in a very active weather pattern that every three days or so we have another weather system progressing through the area, bringing more precipitation in the region,” he said.

Hendricks said although there have been isolated periods of heavy rain, most of the events are usually a quarter inch or rain or less.

There is a flood watch in effect for Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Fayette, Fayette Ridges, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Washington, Westmoreland and Westmoreland Ridges Counties until 2 a.m. Wednesday due to the threat of repeated periods of heavy rain, according to the NWS.

Here’s the breakdown of precipitation of some kind in Pittsburgh as of June 16:

  • January - 26 of 31 days
  • February - 21 of 28 days
  • March - 21 of 31 days
  • April - 20 of 30 days
  • May - 23 of 31 days
  • June - 9 of 16 days