Boston gets air of rare tornado watch

Strong winds take down trees, tent

3111 tornadowatch
A macroburst, a large downdraft of hurricane force winds, hit the Esplanade during Sunday’s tumultuous thunderstorm. Over 30 trees sustained significant damage and cleanup crews were brought in to remove the debris.
Aviv Ovadya—The Tech

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: Because of an editing error, this article misidentified Yan Zhu ’12 as a student in Course XIII. MIT has not had a Course XIII since 2005, when Ocean Engineering, then Course XIII, merged with Mechanical Engineering, Course II. Zhu is a student in Course VIII, Physics.

A series of powerful thunderstorms tore across Massachusetts this past weekend. Lightning and high winds caused loss of power to thousands of residents statewide. A tornado watch was put into effect on Sunday in Middlesex County, Worcester County, Franklin County, Hampden County and Hampshire County.

MIT also suffered the effects of the storm. The storm knocked over a tree near pika, causing it to nearly land on the house. The house was spared when another tree blocked the falling tree from hitting the house. The large white tent put up on Kresge Lawn for commencement partially collapsed due to excessive water and wind.

Other storm difficulties were more comical. Yan Zhu ‘12 Course VIII, said that it was a clear day when she and a friend decided to visit Clear Conscience Cafe in Central Square, but the sky quickly turned dark. “All this water just suddenly came down,” said Zhu, “Pretty much everyone in the cafe just turned around a stared. A guy was walking outside in a facemask and snorkel.”

On the bright side, the storm turned down the heat in the Boston-area. On June 5, before the storm began, temperatures ranged from a high of 85°F and low of 64°F. The day after the storm, highs were down to 75°F and lows were in the low 50’s. Also, the weather became less humid, with dew points dropping from the high 60’s to the low 50’s

The tornado watch was issued for every part of Massachusetts, except for the Cape, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard. Wind gusts reached as high as 68 MPH on Sunday June 6 at the peak of the storm. In the Greater Boston area, the rain accumulated to 0.71 inches, far higher than the normal June average of 0.11 inches per day.

Trees were reportedly knocked in several parts of the Greater Boston area. According to The Boston Channel, in Brookline, winds uprooted a tree on Beacon Street, crushing two cars. No one was injured.

Jingyun Fan contributed reporting to this article.