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Did Vermont see any tornadoes this weekend?

Did Vermont see any tornadoes this weekend?

Did Vermont see any tornadoes this weekend?

Over the weekend, it looked like the Green Mountain State was in for some severe weather, including tornadoes. The National Weather Service in Burlington has issued a Tornado Watch for all of Vermont from approximately 2:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Sunday, June 23rd.

Some residents in the area received an alert on their cell phones about a tornado warning.

Despite initial concerns, no known tornadoes have occurred, said Boyd Marvin, NWS Burlington meteorologist. If any tornadoes touched down, they likely occurred in unpopulated areas, he added.

Even the severe weather that did occur – such as thunderstorms, high winds, flash flooding and hail – resulted in little damage, apart from some downed trees, standing water and washed out roads and canals. Most of the damage was contained in Lamoille and Washington counties.

In this file photo, thunder storm clouds rolling over Lake Champlain can be seen in 2012 from the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington.In this file photo, thunder storm clouds rolling over Lake Champlain can be seen in 2012 from the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington.

In this file photo, thunder storm clouds rolling over Lake Champlain can be seen in 2012 from the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington.

“We were really lucky yesterday,” Boyd said, adding that if the skies had been clearer and the temperatures warmer, “we would have had a lot more storm damage.”

Can we expect any tornadoes this year?

Historically, tornadoes are rare in the Green Mountain State, Boyd said. “We don’t often get the conditions for them to form.” Boyd added that NWS Burlington only issues one or two tornado warnings a year on average. Vermont surpassed that number on Sunday.

Vermonters are most likely safe from tornadoes the rest of the week, but maybe not from storms.

“We have a chance for thunderstorms Wednesday,” Boyd said, with the strongest storms expected to hit southern Vermont the hardest, particularly Windham and Bennington counties. “It’s not going to be as widespread — maybe a storm — and the atmosphere is not as ready as this last event” on Sunday.

‘We want to ease anxiety’: The difference between a tornado watch and warning

While the threat of a tornado should be taken seriously, Boyd said he noticed Vermonters were more concerned Sunday than they should have been.

Much of that fear, he said, stems from people not understanding the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

“When we issue a watch, it means the atmospheric conditions are there,” Boyd said. “The ingredients are there, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.”

In the event of a tornado, Vermonters should begin developing a severe weather plan, such as deciding where to seek shelter. Instead, when NWS Burlington issues a tornado warning, “that’s when you put your plan into action.”

“There was a lot of anxiety yesterday about the conditions yesterday and we want to ease the anxiety and give people information so they can make a plan.” Boyd said.

Megan Stewart is a government accountability reporter for the Burlington Free Press. Contact her at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on the Burlington Free Press: Was there a tornado during Sunday’s storm in the Burlington VT area?