MIAMI COUNTY — The EF1 tornado confirmed in Miami County touched down 5 miles southeast of Piqua late Wednesday night, according to preliminary findings from ground survey crews with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
According to the National Weather Service, the estimated time of the touchdown was 1 minute — from 10:09 to 10:10 p.m. — along Deweese Road approximately one-half mile north of the intersection with East Rusk Road.
EF0 tornadoes also were confirmed in Medway in Clark County, and Fairborn, and an EF1 tornado in Park Layne, Clark County, which caused the most significant damage in the area.
The path of the tornado that touched down outside of Piqua is believed to be .35 miles — or 160 yards — and no injuries resulted, according to Myron Padgett, meteorologist with the NWS.
According to NWS survey findings, tree branches generally 4 inches in diameter or smaller were broken immediately west of Deweese Road at the start of the tornado track. More significant damage occurred less than one-tenth of a mile north, where several maple trees up to 18 inches in diamater were snapped. This is where the tornado was believed to be at peak intensity, with winds estimated near 90 mph. There also was a large barn immediately east that was moved several inches off its foundation. This movement likely was caused by winds approaching 90 mph while flowing into the circulation.
The tornado then started to weaken as it moved north-northwest near Deweese Road to a point approximately two-tenths of a mile southwest of the intersection with East Peterson Road. Tree damage was generally less significant in this area, with estimated wind speeds of 60-75 mph, according to the survey. The tornado appears to have lifted at this point, and no further damage was observed farther northwest. Damage along this path was oriented in convergent and semi-circular patterns consistent with the presence of a tornado.
“It is on the low end for tornadic damage,” Padgett said. “These were on a smaller scale, and fortunately, no one was injured, which could have happened if you were in the wrong place.”
Padgett said the damage found is normal for a small, concentrated area that the tornado crosseed.
“It depends on the strength of the tornado,” he said. “A tornado can be just a few hundred feet to a larger tornado that is a quarter of mile.”
The last tornado confirmed in Miami County was March 14, 2016, near Potsdam, Padgett said.
Severe weather could continue into the weekend, with storms expected, bringing a chance of straight-line winds and hail, he said.
Padgett also offered hope for the holiday weekend.
“It’s going to be a bit stormy, but there’s still going to be a lot of dry time,” he said.
Reach Melody Vallieu at email@example.com or (937) 552-2131