DISCUSSION: As very strong thunderstorms developed across parts of Connecticut during the early to middle afternoon hours this past Wednesday, there was a very rare development between 4:20 and 4:30 PM EDT in Southern Connecticut and Eastern Long Island. This rare event was defined by a strong thunderstorm which surprisingly developed weak (and very confined) rotation over Southern Connecticut as it slowly headed to the southeast that afternoon. As it moved across the Long Island Sound, it continued to become increasingly better organized and even developed a classic hook echo feature which is often associated with more classic supercell thunderstorms across the Great Plains region of the United States. You can identify this "hook echo" (in the graphic attached below and on the right side) by the small curved notch which is circled in black and spirals counter-clockwise back towards the Long Island Sound.
Having said that, this storm packed quite the punch with a plethora of cloud-to-ground lightning, heavy rainfall, strong winds, and even two brief EF-0 tornadoes. The first of the two tornadoes touched down near North Haven, Connecticut; while the second touched down near Mattituck, New York (located in Suffolk County in Eastern Long Island). It is important to note that although the frequency with which tornadoes climatologically occur in Long Island is relatively rare, they do still occasionally happen. In fact, in going back nearly fifty years, there have been at least 20 confirmed tornadoes. Hence, from a statistical standpoint, a tornado will generally occur once every 2.5 years or so roughly. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!