Published: July 3,2017
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The first tornado, shown in the first video above, was sighted over Sebago Lake, about 25 miles northwest of downtown Portland, around 2:30 p.m. EDT.
One pontoon boat was flipped and others were reported to have their covers or tops shredded, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), who estimated EF0 damage in the area.
Just over two hours later, a separate supercell thunderstorm spawned another tornado, damaging homes and downing trees in the Moose Pond area, west of Bridgton, Maine. The NWS rated this an EF1 tornado, with winds up to 100 mph, snapping and uprooting large trees.
A third tornado was spawned less than 90 minutes later just a few miles north of the town of Denmark in Oxford County, rated EF1, downing numerous trees.
The final tornado, possibly a continuation of the Denmark tornado, tracked over the southeast portion of Highland Lake. The tornado moved onshore, snapping and uprooting several large trees, some of which fell onto structures and vehicles. There was a report of one minor injury due to a person being cut by glass.
The tornado briefly lifted before setting back down on the west shore of Long Lake, just northeast of Bridgton, where a campground was particularly hard hit. This area received extensive damage resulting from numerous trees falling onto vehicles and buildings.
The NWS estimated high-end EF1 damage, with winds up to 110 mph, from this tornado which was on the ground for approximately 2.2 miles.
The cell spawning what was likely the second tornado west of Bridgton had a rather pronounced hook echo associated with it – quite an impressive sight for Maine.
The final tornado over Long Lake appeared to have been embedded in the eventual squall line that tracked across western Maine by early evening.
Radar and preliminary tornado reports (red circles) from 2-8 p.m. EDT, July 1, 2017 in western Maine. Note the number of preliminary tornado reports does not necessarily imply the number of confirmed tornadoes, which is ironed out by NWS storm surveys.
How Strange Was This Event?On average, only two tornadoes touch down in Maine each year, according to the NWS office in Caribou, Maine.
Forecasters at the NWS-Gray, Maine, office had their hands full, issuing their most number of tornado warnings for any day, or year, on record.
(MORE: Weirdest Weather of 2017, So Far)
Of the 130 tornadoes of record from 1953 through 2016, none had been stronger than F/EF2, according to NOAA's Storm Event database.
Only nine previous tornadoes have been documented in Cumberland County, Maine, dating to 1953, the last of which occurred on July 27, 2014. None have been stronger than F/EF1 and no more than one had occurred on any single day, according to NOAA's database.
If there is a peak month for tornadoes in Maine, it's July, according to NWS-Caribou.
If anything, it was a rare day that the nation's only tornadoes occurred in Maine. That hadn't happened since July 15, 2014.
Jonathan Erdman is a senior meteorologist at weather.com and has been an incurable weather geek since a tornado narrowly missed his childhood home in Wisconsin at age 7. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
MORE: Average Tornado Risk By Month
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