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Microbursts rip through Northern Maine Monday

The National Weather Service has confirmed two microbursts took down trees and damaged buildings in Aroostook County on Monday.

PORTLAND, Maine — The National Weather Service office in Caribou sent a survey team out to look at the damage from Monday’s thunderstorms. They determined the damage was caused by microbursts and not tornadoes. 

Very strong thunderstorms, known as supercells, formed Monday afternoon in southern Canada, swept east over the border, and slammed through northern Maine. They dropped hail and produced big wind gusts. Some of those gusts were exceptionally strong and concentrated over a small area, uprooting trees and causing building damage. The official report is below.

Credit: NCM

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Public Information Statement National Weather Service Caribou ME 434 PM EDT Tue Jun 22, 2021

NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 06/21/21 THUNDERSTORM WIND EVENT

Limestone, ME

Location...Limestone in Aroostook County Maine Date...June 21 2021 Estimated Time...619pm to 629pm EDT Estimated Maximum Wind Speed...100-110 mph Maximum Path Width...880 yards/0.5 mile Path Length...4.9 miles Beginning Lat/Lon...46.8987/-67.9279 Ending Lat/Lon...46.9187/-67.8290 * Fatalities...0 * Injuries...0

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Summary

A severe thunderstorm produced a microburst over Limestone, Maine. Damage in the area was consistent with winds between 100 and 110 mph. This included a barn that was almost completely destroyed and another that had its roof ripped off. In addition large hard and softwood trees were snapped along the path of the microburst, which ended near route 1A, about 1/2 mile to the north of Limestone.

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Castle Hill, to Caribou ME


Location...Castle Hill, Crouseville and Southwestern Caribou in Aroostook County Maine Date...June 21 2021 Estimated Time...546pm to 600pm EDT Estimated Maximum Wind Speed...90-100 mph Maximum Path Width...1760 yards/1 mile Path Length...7.1 miles Beginning Lat/Lon...46.7341/-67.1826 Ending Lat/Lon...46.7809/-68.0475 * Fatalities...0 * Injuries...0

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Summary

A severe thunderstorm produced a microburst that tracked from near Castle Hill through Crouseville to the far southwest corner of Caribou. Damage in the area was consistent with winds between 90 and 100 mph. A large area of trees in Castle Hill was snapped off or blown down, and some outdoor equipment including a trampoline and swing set were destroyed. Tree damage was also observed in Crouseville and Washburn. A metal roof panel was blown off a barn in southwest Caribou along Bailey Road. The microburst ended there in southwest Caribou, just over two and a half miles west of route 1.

**The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to change pending final review of the events and publication in NWS Storm Data. 

Credit: NCM

Microbursts can sometimes be confused with a tornado. The wind speeds and damage may be similar but a microburst knocks everything down in the same directions while a tornado is more circular and chaotic. 

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