955  
NOUS41 KPBZ 190049 AAA  
PNSPBZ  
OHZ040-PAZ021-029-073-191230-  
 
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PITTSBURGH PA  
824 PM EDT SAT MAY 18 2024  
 
   
..NWS DAMAGE SURVEYS FOR 05/17/2024 TORNADO EVENT - UPDATE 1
 
 
   
HIGHLAND PARK TORNADO
 
 
RATING: EF1  
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 105 MPH  
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 2 MILES  
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 125 YARDS  
FATALITIES: 0  
INJURIES: 0  
 
START DATE: 05/17/2024  
START TIME: 04:37 PM EDT  
START LOCATION: 1 S SHARPSBURG / ALLEGHENY COUNTY / PA  
START LAT/LON: 40.476 / -79.9308  
 
END DATE: 05/17/2024  
END TIME: 04:45 PM EDT  
END LOCATION: ASPINWALL / ALLEGHENY COUNTY / PA  
END LAT/LON: 40.4872 / -79.8982  
 
SURVEY SUMMARY:  
BASED ON INITIAL REPORTS OF TREE DAMAGE IN THE MORNINGSIDE  
NEIGHBORHOOD, THE TRACK OF A TORNADIC GROUND CIRCULATION BEGAN  
JUST OUTSIDE OF HIGHLAND PARK AND CONTINUED NORTHEAST ACROSS THE  
PITTSBURGH ZOO AND ACROSS THE ALLEGHENY RIVER, WEAKENING BELOW  
TORNADIC INTENSITY AS IT ENTERED ASPINWALL.  
 
MULTIPLE TREES WERE REPORTED DOWN IN THE MORNINGSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD  
AND ACROSS HIGHLAND PARK. THE CIRCULATION INTENSIFIED AS IT  
APPROACHED THE PITTSBURGH ZOO, WHERE SEVERAL TREES WERE FELLED AND  
LARGE LIMBS SNAPPED. A LARGE TREE FELL ON A VEHICLE IN THE ZOO'S  
PARKING LOT. NO INJURIES WERE NOTED AT THE FACILITY TO HUMANS OR  
ANIMALS. BASED ON DAMAGE, PEAK WIND DURING THIS PHASE OF THE  
TORNADO WAS 80 MPH.  
 
THE CIRCULATION STRENGTHENED CONSIDERABLY AS IT DESCENDED FROM  
HIGHLAND PARK TO THE RIVER, WITH A LARGE SWATH OF HARDWOOD TREES  
FELLED ALONG ALLEGHENY RIVER BLVD NEAR THE HIGHLAND PARK BRIDGE.  
POWER POLES IN THIS AREA ALSO WERE LEANING. THE SWATH OF DAMAGE  
CONTINUED TO RIVERSIDE. DAMAGE HERE WAS CONSISTENT WITH PEAK WIND  
OF 105 MPH.  
 
ALTHOUGH NO DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED ACROSS THE RIVER IN ASPINWALL,  
OBSERVERS IN ASPINWALL NOTED A FUNNEL CLOUD AT GROUND LEVEL BEFORE  
DISSIPATING NEAR WATERWORKS SHOPPING PLAZA. ADDITIONALLY, RADAR  
DATA IS CONSISTENT WITH THE LOFTING OF WATER INTO THE TORNADIC  
CIRCULATION, SUGGESTING THE GROUND CIRCULATION WAS STILL IN  
PROGRESS AS THE STORM CROSSED INTO ASPINWALL.  
 
BECAUSE OF THE STORM'S PROXIMITY TO THE KPBZ RADAR, A TORNADIC  
DEBRIS SIGNATURE (TDS) WAS NOTED IN THE RADAR DATA, INDICATING THE  
LOFTING OF DEBRIS AS THE TORNADO MOVED ACROSS HIGHLAND PARK.  
NUMEROUS VIDEOS PROVIDED TO NWS PITTSBURGH ALSO CONFIRM THE  
MESOCYCLONE STRUCTURE OF THE STORM/TORNADO AS IT ADVANCED ACROSS  
HIGHLAND PARK.  
 
NWS PITTSBURGH APPRECIATES ALL WHO PROVIDED REPORTS, VIDEO AND  
TOURS OF THE DAMAGE TO AID US IN OUR ASSESSMENT OF THE TORNADO'S  
STRENGTH. THIS IS THE FIRST TORNADO IN THE PITTSBURGH CITY LIMITS  
SINCE JUNE 1998.  
   
LEESVILLE LAKE TORNADO
 
 
RATING: EF0  
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 80 MPH  
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 0.25 MILES  
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 40 YARDS  
FATALITIES: 0  
INJURIES: 0  
 
START DATE: 05/17/2024  
START TIME: 01:33 PM EDT  
START LOCATION: 2 NE LEESVILLE / CARROLL COUNTY / OH  
START LAT/LON: 40.4655 / -81.1845  
 
END DATE: 05/17/2024  
END TIME: 01:35 PM EDT  
END LOCATION: 2 NE LEESVILLE / CARROLL COUNTY / OH  
END LAT/LON: 40.4669 / -81.1809  
 
SURVEY SUMMARY:  
VIDEO CONFIRMED A BRIEF TORNADO OCCURRED BEGINNING AT THE  
LEESVILLE LAKE SOUTH FORK MARINA AND CONTINUING NORTHEAST ACROSS  
LEESVILLE LAKE. RAPID DEVELOPMENT WAS NOTED AS A NARROW, INTENSE  
GROUND CIRCULATION APPEARED, TOSSING DOCKS AND PONTOON BOATS.  
BASED ON THE DESTRUCTION OF A TREE IN TANDEM WITH THE DESTRUCTION  
OF NON-DIS EVIDENT IN THE VIDEO AND THE VISUAL OF ROTATIONAL  
SPEED OF THE GROUND CIRCULATION, THE PEAK WIND IN THIS SMALL  
TORNADO IS ESTIMATED TO BE EF0 (AROUND 80 MPH).  
   
ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT TORNADO
 
 
RATING: EFU  
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: UNKNOWN  
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: ESTIMATED AT 0.6 MILES  
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: UNKNOWN  
FATALITIES: 0  
INJURIES: 0  
 
START DATE: 05/17/2024  
START TIME: 02:48 PM EDT  
START LOCATION: 1 W WEST MIFFLIN / ALLEGHENY COUNTY / PA  
START LAT/LON: 40.3588 / -79.9286  
 
END DATE: 05/17/2024  
END TIME: 02:50 PM EDT  
END LOCATION: WEST MIFFLIN / ALLEGHENY COUNTY / PA  
END LAT/LON: 40.3599 / -79.9171  
 
SURVEY SUMMARY:  
VIDEO EVIDENCE CONFIRMED A BRIEF, WEAK TORNADO TRACKING JUST  
NORTH OF THE ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT. VIDEO ANALYSIS PUTS THE  
TRACK ACROSS THE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX LOCATED AT NOBLE DRIVE. NO  
KNOWN DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED, SO WIND ESTIMATES ARE UNKNOWN.  
   
ELRAMA/ELIZABETH TORNADO
 
 
RATING: EF0  
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 80 MPH  
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 5.9 MILES  
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 75 YARDS  
FATALITIES: 0  
INJURIES: 0  
 
START DATE: 05/17/2024  
START TIME: 02:54 PM EDT  
START LOCATION: 2 SW WEST ELIZABETH / WASHINGTON COUNTY / PA  
START LAT/LON: 40.2514 / -79.9271  
 
END DATE: 05/17/2024  
END TIME: 03:14 PM EDT  
END LOCATION: 1 E LINCOLN / ALLEGHENY COUNTY / PA  
END LAT/LON: 40.2924 / -79.83  
 
SURVEY SUMMARY:  
TORNADIC DAMAGE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS MESOCYCLONE OCCURRED  
SPORADICALLY FROM NEAR ELRAMA TO EASTERN PARTS OF ELIZABETH, WITH  
SEVERAL GAPS IN THE DAMAGE SWATH.  
 
DAMAGE IN ELRAMA WAS THE MOST NOTABLE ALONG THIS TRACK, WHERE  
MULTIPLE HOMES EXPERIENCED REMOVAL OF LARGE PORTIONS OF SHINGLES,  
WITH SOME ALSO LOSING SIDING/SOFFIT. TREE DAMAGE ALSO WAS NOTED IN  
THIS AREA. THE PORCH ROOF OF A MOBILE HOME WAS REMOVED AND THROWN  
INTO A NEIGHBORING YARD IN THIS AREA, AND A SWIMMING POOL  
COLLAPSED AS THE TORNADO ATTEMPTED TO LIFT IT. PORCH RAILINGS AND  
FURNITURE WERE DESTROYED AND TOSSED. HOME OWNERS REPORTED EXTREME  
DIFFICULTY ATTEMPTING TO CLOSE THEIR FRONT DOORS AS THE WIND  
INCREASED RAPIDLY WITHIN THE TORNADIC CIRCULATION. NO HOMES  
SUFFERED WINDOW LOSS, SUGGESTING AN UPPER BOUND ON THE WIND SPEED.  
 
ALONG THE REMAINDER OF THE PATH, SPORADIC TREE DAMAGE WAS NOTED,  
ESPECIALLY IN THE AREA OF BOSTON HOLLOW RD AND MANSFIELD RD. IN  
THIS SEGMENT OF THE CIRCULATION TRACK, THE SWATH OF DAMAGE WAS  
NARROW, AND CHARACTERIZED BY UPROOTED TREES AND SNAPPED LIMBS.  
 
VIDEO OF THIS SPORADICALLY CONTRACTED/INTENSIFIED CIRCULATION WAS  
OFFERED, CONFIRMING AN OCCASIONAL TORNADIC GROUND CIRCULATION TO  
SUPPLEMENT THE REPORTS OF DAMAGE.  
 
THIS TORNADO WAS RATED EF0 WITH A PEAK WIND SPEED OF 80 MPH.NWS  
PITTSBURGH APPRECIATES THOSE WHO SHARED THEIR EXPERIENCES AND  
DAMAGE WITH US TO COMPLETE OUR ASSESSMENT.  
   
HARRISON CITY TORNADO
 
 
RATING: EF0  
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 70 MPH  
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 2.9 MILES  
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 100 YARDS  
FATALITIES: 0  
INJURIES: 0  
 
START DATE: 05/17/2024  
START TIME: 03:50 PM EDT  
START LOCATION: 1 NE MANOR / WESTMORELAND COUNTY / PA  
START LAT/LON: 40.3578 / -79.6523  
 
END DATE: 05/17/2024  
END TIME: 04:00 PM EDT  
END LOCATION: 3 SSE EXPORT / WESTMORELAND COUNTY / PA  
END LAT/LON: 40.381 / -79.6054  
 
SURVEY SUMMARY:  
DAMAGE WAS FIRST NOTED IN THE VICINITY OF THE PENN TOWNSHIP  
MUNICIPAL COMPLEX, WHERE FLAG POLES WERE BENT, AND A TREE LIMB WAS  
SNAPPED. THE DAMAGE SWATH CONTINUED SPORADICALLY OVER THE  
REMAINDER OF THE TRACK TO GREENSBURG-JEANNETTE REGIONAL AIRPORT.  
ALTHOUGH DAMAGE THROUGHOUT WAS PRIMARILY TO TREES, SOME IMPACT WAS  
OBSERVED IN A NEIGHBORHOOD ALONG SESLAR DRIVE, WHERE A FEW HOMES  
SUFFERED MINOR REMOVAL OF SHINGLES/SIDING/SOFFIT. AT THE REGIONAL  
AIRPORT, A LARGE TREE WAS SNAPPED.  
 
VIDEO WAS PROVIDED FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES OF PERSISTENT LOW-LEVEL  
ROTATION THAT SPORADICALLY CONTRACTED AND TIGHTENED THE GROUND  
CIRCULATION TO TORNADIC STRENGTH, LEADING TO THE APPEARANCE OF THE  
TORNADO SKIPPING OVER AREAS.  
 
THE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE AND SOME OF THE TREE DAMAGE IS CONSISTENT  
WITH PEAK WIND GUSTS OF 70 MPH. THIS TORNADO WILL BE RATED EF0.  
 
THANK YOU TO PENN TOWNSHIP AND WESTMORELAND COUNTY EMERGENCY  
MANAGEMENT FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE WITH THIS SURVEY, AND TO THE  
IMPACTED PUBLIC FOR HELPING US COMPLETE OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE  
STORM'S EVOLUTION.  
 

 
 
EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO THE  
FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:  
 
EF0.....65 TO 85 MPH  
EF1.....86 TO 110 MPH  
EF2.....111 TO 135 MPH  
EF3.....136 TO 165 MPH  
EF4.....166 TO 200 MPH  
EF5.....>200 MPH  
 
NOTE:  
THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO  
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENTS AND PUBLICATION IN  
NWS STORM DATA.  
 

 
KRAMAR/RACKLEY  
 
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