The Mount Holly, New Jersey office of the National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Berks County over the weekend. On Saturday, April 22, the tornado tocuhed down in Womelsdorf at 4:18 pm and lasted 2 minutes as an EF-1 tornado. The tornado had estimated peak winds of 90 mph along a path that was 1 mile long by 125 yards wide. There were no injuries or deaths from the tornado.
Beyond this tornado, the National Weather Service said straight-line winds were to be blamed for scattered damage elsewhere in southeastern Pennsylvania from Saturday’s storms.
In their final report on the tornado, the National Weather Service released details about Saturday’s tornado touch-down. The tornado began less than a mile southwest of Womelsdorf along PA Route 419 between Memorial Boulevard and Brickplant Road just over the Berks and Lebanon County line where a few old wooden telephone poles were pushed over. The tornado continued northeast through a field toward the Conrad Weiser West Elementary School. At the school, a few softwood trees in a tree line were snapped or uprooted along the property line of the field and the school. It is at this point the National Weather Service believes the tornado reached its maximum strength with estimated winds of 90 mph and a maximum width of approximately 125 yards. The tornado continued across the school grounds and into a recreational field where a set of metal bleachers was blown over. The tornado then moved northeast into the central part of Womelsdorf where varying degrees of minor damage occurred to structures and trees, mainly between 3rd Street and 2nd Street as the tornado crossed Cherry Alley, High Street, Mulberry Alley, and Franklin Street. The damage survey shows that several homes, garages, and barns had roofing material blow off, several small trees were uprooted, and numerous downed large tree branches caused some collateral structural damage to some homes and vehicles. The tornadic circulation began to weaken considerably as it crossed 2nd Street north of Franklin Street near Pear Alley where some additional minor tree damage occurred. The tornado dissipated as it moved into the Womelsdorf Union Cemetery.