2 tornadoes hit near Lehigh Valley as Tropical Storm Fred remnants swept through


The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes touched down within 30 miles of the Lehigh Valley during the overnight deluge from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred.

The weather service office based in Mount Holly, New Jersey, announced Thursday on social media that a survey team confirmed that the first tornado struck in Berks County, about 9 p.m. Wednesday in Tilden Township, a municipality along I-78 just west of the Route 61 exit in Hamburg, about 30 miles west of Allentown.

The second tornado happened about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, going from Souderton in Montgomery County to Perkasie in Bucks County, about 20 miles south of Allentown.

Survey teams generally look for circular patterns in damaged areas to confirm a tornado as opposed to straight-line wind. Tornadoes are rated EF0 to EF5 based on wind speed and damage — the higher the number, the more serious the tornado.

No rating was yet assigned to the Berks County tornado; the Montgomery/Bucks one was rated EF1, which means maximum wind speeds of 86 to 110 mph.

Further details on the tornadoes are expected to be released Thursday evening or Friday morning.

The weather service also was investigating potential tornado damage in Morris County in northern New Jersey, about 20 miles east of Hackettstown.

The Lehigh Valley was under a tornado watch Wednesday evening as Fred’s remnants moved through. The storms dumped about 3 inches of rain at Lehigh Valley International Airport.

The most recent tornadoes in the Lehigh Valley were on July 29, part of a series spawned by strong storms. An EF1 touched down in Berks County and continued into Lehigh County through Lynn and Weisenberg townships. A second, weaker tornado, an EF0, also hit the county that day in Washington Township. Eight more were eventually confirmed in Bucks County and New Jersey as those storms swept through to the Jersey Shore.

MORE: Every tornado ever recorded in the Lehigh Valley, and what to do if another strikes

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Steve Novak may be reached at snovak@lehighvalleylive.com.