KEY POINTS

  • Last Saturday, July 11, the state of Maine saw its first tornado of 2020
  • Trees were reportedly uprooted while a building lost its tin roof
  • It is only the second tornado since the historic tornado outbreak three years ago

The state of Maine experienced its first tornado of the year last Saturday afternoon. It was only the second tornado since the state's 2017 tornado outbreak.

On Saturday, July 11, a tornado touched down in Hiram in southwestern Maine at about 3:30 p.m. EDT and continued for about five miles to Sebago in Cumberland County. Video footage of the tornado on Sebago's Barker Pond shows the twister moving across the water, reportedly causing damage on land afterward.

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed the tornado and estimated its maximum wind speed to be 80 miles per hour with a maximum wind path of 100 yards. On the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale), the tornado has a rating of EF-0, which means it can cause "minor damage."

The tornado resulted in trees being uprooted or snapped, while a building also reportedly lost its tin roof. Fortunately, there were no injuries or fatalities.

The Saturday tornado was the first confirmed tornado in 2020 and only the second in the state since the tornado outbreak of  2017.

On average, Maine sees two tornadoes per year but on July 1, 2017, Maine experienced the biggest tornado outbreak in state history when five tornadoes occurred in just a span of four hours, three of which were rated EF-1 while the other two were EF-0. That day, the NWS office in Gray issued its most number of tornado warnings for any day in any year on record. Further, all of the tornado reports in the U.S. that day only came from Maine.

In total, there were seven tornadoes in Maine in 2017 but, the state saw no tornadoes in 2018 and only one in 2019.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Event Database, from 1953 to 2016, there were no Maine tornadoes stronger than EF-2. Further, the Maine government notes that because the population in the state is rather scarce, there has been no significant amount of personal injury or damage to property.

However, it's worth noting that even EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes can still cause damages, so citizens are still being urged to take shelter in below ground areas once tornado warnings are released. In Maine, July is typically the peak month for tornadoes.

tornado Center for Severe Weather Research intern Hunter Anderson views cloud activity at the end of a severe thunderstorm in Vinson, Texas, May 10, 2017. Photo: Getty Images