Tornado Index # 19980531.42.20

 
 
 

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Note: This approximate tornado path has been generated from data provided by the SPC.

The Tornado History Project generates approximate paths through separate historical archives provided by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Paths generated from the NCDC data are typically more detailed, but neither archive gives exact path information. There are several reasons that paths may be inaccurate:

  • Tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates were recorded with only 2 digits of decimal precision (i.e. [33.72, -86.15] vs [33.71689, -86.15463]). As a consequence, the observed points on the map may be slightly off from actual. Note that beginning in 2009, up to 4 digits of decimal precision are given.
  • Coordinates have not historically been calculated via GPS (Global Positioning System). Thus, tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates should be considered as estimates only.
  • Tornadoes may not have been in contact with the ground for the entire path as depicted on the map. Storm damage in any location depicted under the "path" should not be inferred.
  • Although paths are drawn as straight lines between any two sets of coordinates, the tornado may have "zigzagged" in some way.
  • Although paths are drawn as uniform thin lines on the map, it is likely that the tornado changed size over its lifetime. Damage in any location depicted under (or not under) the "path" should not be inferred.

Even with the above in mind, the data is the best available. If you see a path that is depicted incorrectly, please post a comment in the tornado forum indicating why you belive the path to be incorrect.

Paths generated from NCDC data are typically more detailed due to the way coordinates are listed in each archive:

  • SPC database - A maximum of 2 coordinates (touchdown and liftoff) is given for each tornado, or each state segment of a tornado if it is a multi-state tornado. Thus the vast majority of paths are depicted as simple straight lines.
  • NCDC database - Some tornadoes have mutliple sets of coordinates within any state, generally corresponding to entry and exit points by county. Thus, since more coordinates have been used to draw the path, the depicted path should be more accurate. Having said that, most tornadoes do not have additional path data in the NCDC archive. When they do, paths are drawn from the NCDC data.

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Statistics   Definitions |?|

The following statistics and definitions are derived from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) historical tornado archive. The Tornado History Project can not guarantee the accuracy of the underlying data within the SPC historical tornado archive. However, the data as presented here is guaranteed to match the SPC data, except where noted.

Some definitions will not be given since they are obvious (i.e. "Date", "Time", etc...)
Special Note: This site uses a unique index number to identify each tornado. This index number is not a part of the official historical tornado archive.

E (Error) (tornado search table only) - A yellow box indicates that the tornado record contains a suspected error. A red box indicates that the tornado record contains an error and has been modified from the official source. Hover over the box for the error text.
Map/Forum (tornado search table only) - Clickable icons for further content related to a tornado.
State - The state or states affected by a tornado.
Fujita - The Fujita scale is an attempt to classify damage from a tornado. F0 being the least damaging, F5 the most. For 2007 and beyond, the Enhanced Fujita (EF) is given.
Fat. - The number of fatalities attributed to the tornado.
Inj. - The number of injuries attributed to the tornado.
Width - Width in yards. It is unclear if this indicates a maximum width or mean width.
Length - Length of tornado path in miles. Note the entire track length is not necessarily all on the ground (some tornadoes "hop and skip".)
Damage - Prior to 1996, this is a range by dollar amount. For 1996 and later, actual damage estimates are in millions.
Crop Loss - Added in 2007. Given in millions of dollars.
Lat/Lon - Contains two sets of coordinates:

  • Touchdown Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate touchdown location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, entry point into the state in decimal degrees.
  • Liftoff Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate liftoff location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, the exit or lift-off point from the state in decimal degrees.

St. #. - The state tornado number assigned to the tornado for that specific state for that specific year. Generally, state tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.
SPC # - The tornado number as assigned by the SPC. Tornado numbers are not unique and reset each year. Generally, tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.

Tornado Summary

Date (y/m/d)TimeFujitaFatalitiesInjuriesWidthLengthDamageCrop LossTouchdown Lat/LonLiftoff Lat/LonSPC #State #
1998-05-3119:00:00 33071208.3$1400000-40.48 / -75.940.48 / -75.7351220
Affected StatesAffected Counties
Pennsylvania Berks
User Comments   (2)      
General Comment
2008-02-02 20:04:31
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Michael Charnick
Posts:1
Rank: F0

I am currently a Meteorology Student at Millersville University.

I live in the area and remember this storm well. I believe the track provided here is a little off. In Lyons, the tornado crossed the railroad tracks right at the South Main Street railroad crossing, rather than to the west of the town as this track suggests. Also, the tornado crossed Fleetwood Road outside of Lions to the east of where E. Penn Ave intersects the road (closer to Bowers Road), instead of where this map has it.

The damage with this tornado was impressive, I remember the sight of an exposed second floor of a house in the town close to the railroad tracks. Also, some brick buildings and very large old trees sustained a decent amount of damage farther east on Fleetwood road. Even today (2008), there are still a few trees along the path that are leaning akwardly out of the ground from the tornado.

From "The Pennsylvania Weather Book" By Ben Gelber
"Later in the evening, the action shifted southeast as clusters of severe storms formed in the juciest air. A powerful F3 vortex emerged from a cluster of severe storms near Evansville in northern Berks County around 9:00PM, just to the east of Lake Ontelaunee. Crossing over route 222 in Maiden Creek Township, the whirling storm traveled eight miles through the northern portion of Lyons, which suffered a direct blow. More than 40 homes were damaged or destroyed, injuring seven persons. The path width of the storm was relatively narrow - 120 yards - but still caused $1.4 million of damage."

Info can also be found in "The Philadelphia Area Weather Book" By Jon Nese, Glenn Schwartz

General Comment
2008-04-05 17:53:30
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katy
Posts:1
Rank: F0

my uncle who has now passed lived on evansville rd and his farm was destroyed. his barn was demolished, silo down, and a large shed had its roof ripped off and thrown hundreds of yards across in his fields... it looked like a crumpled piece of aluminum foil.

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