Monday, May 26, 2014

Severe weather conditions spawn Memorial Day funnel cloud in Aroostook County, northern Maine

Posted May 26, 2014, at 8:13 p.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — Severe weather spawned at least one funnel cloud and multiple National Weather Service alerts and warnings from Madawaska to Topsfield Monday.

The Memorial Day weather was keeping the staff so occupied at the Caribou National Weather Service office Monday afternoon that a prerecorded message instructed callers to call back during a less busy time.

Things were a bit quieter at the NWS office in Gray, where forecaster Chris Kimble confirmed a funnel cloud did form about a mile south of Presque Isle just before 11:30 a.m.

“We had no reports of the funnel touching down,” Kimble said late Monday afternoon.

Had the cloud made contact with the ground, he said, it would have then been termed a tornado.

The funnel did not cause any reported damage.

Elsewhere around the region, pea- to marble-size hail was reported in Madawaska and strong winds with severe thundershowers were popping up around the state, often with little warning.

“My husband and I were taking advantage of the beautiful weather [to] plant flowers and laying mulch down, [and] we stopped to have lunch around 1:30,” Dawn Bragdon of Madawaska said. “My husband told me there was a big dark cloud coming, and I told him it would pass.”

Moments later, however, the winds picked up and large hail was coating the ground.

“It was intense,” Bragdon said.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, virtually the entire state was under a NWS severe thunderstorm watch through 9 p.m., with radar indicating a storm capable of producing quarter-size hail and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph near Kingman and 17 miles west of Danforth moving southeast at 25 mph. 

Widespread Severe Thunderstorms rolled through northern Maine and western NB this afternoon