PITTSBURGH — On June 2, 1998, a storm system spawned nearly 50 tornadoes from New York to South Carolina including eight in the WPXI-TV viewing area, one of the largest tornado outbreaks in western Pennsylvania.
One of those tornadoes, an EF-1 with wind speeds of 110 mph, cut a 32-mile path through Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
That tornado caused 50 injures and $13 million in damage to homes and businesses from Carnegie to Mt. Washington to Hazelwood to Irwin.
The tornado formed at 5:55 p.m. just northwest of Carnegie and caused structural damage to roofs, siding and chimneys as it churned past Pittsburgh and into eastern Allegheny County before finally dissipating just before 6:30 p.m. near Irwin in Westmoreland County.
The first tornado of the day touched down at 5:30 p.m. in Shippingport, Beaver County.
Seven more tornadoes tore across nearly 60 miles of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and far western Maryland over the next five hours. The strongest tornado was an EF-3 with winds in excess of 130 mph that started in extreme eastern Fayette County and reach EF-3 strength after crossing into Somerset County.
The outbreak, while it had weaker tornadoes, drew comparisons to the May 31, 1985 tornado outbreak, when nearly two dozen tornadoes formed in western Pennsylvania.
Most of those tornadoes were along and north of the I-80 corridor.
Cox Media Group