NWS Buffalo, New York

NWS logo

The Cheektowaga Tornado of 1987 Storm Report


STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
105 PM EDT FRI JUL 31 1987

...STORM SURVEY OF THURSDAY'S TORNADO NEAR BUFFALO...

EARLY THIS MORNING REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
TOURED THE BUFFALO SUBURB OF CHEEKTOWAGA THAT WAS STRUCK BY A TORNADO
THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

INITIAL TOUCHDOWN OF THE FUNNEL WAS LOCATED AROUND ELKHURST AND CEDAR
GROVE ROADS ABOUT 2 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE BUFFALO AIRPORT. DAMAGE
VIEWED AT 32 FERNWOOD INDICATED AN F1 TORNADO - ESTIMATED WIND SPEED OF
73 TO 112 MPH. DAMAGE PATH EXTENDED SOUTHEAST FOR ABOUT 1/4 MILE FROM
THE INITIAL TOUCHDOWN WITH A WIDTH OF THE PATH OF 75 TO 100 FEET.

FROM GENESEE STREET TO THE THRUWAY FOR ABOUT 1/4 MILE LITTLE DAMAGE WAS
OBSERVED. SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE BEGAN AGAIN AT PINEHURST AND WOODBINE JUST
EAST OF THE THRUWAY AND CONTINUED FOR ANOTHER 1/4 MILE. AS THE TORNADO
CROSSED CHEROKEE DRIVE IT GREW IN STRENGTH. GARAGES WERE LEVELED ON THE
SOUTH SIDE OF CHEROKEE DRIVE AND ROOFS WERE BLOWN OFF HOMES AT 104 MIAMI
AND 849 AND 852 GEORGE URBAN. DAMAGE PATH WIDTH AT THIS POINT WAS ABOUT 
175 FEET. BASED ON THE DAMAGE...TORNADO STRENGTH PROBABLY REACHED F2 AT
THIS TIME...113 TO 157 MPH.

TREE TOPS WERE SKIMMED FOR ABOUT 1/4 MILE UNTIL THE TORNADO HIT THE PUTT
PUTT GOLF COURSE ON UNION ROAD. A STRUCTURAL STEEL BILLBOARD WAS 
COMPLETELY BENT TO THE GROUND AND DEBRIS WAS BLOWN ACROSS THE STREET TO
THE HOLIDAY SHOWCASE RESTAURANT. PART OF THE ROOF WAS BLOWN OFF AND 
SUPPORTS CAVED IN. DAMAGE PATH WAS ABOUT 50 FEET AT THIS POINT AND 
INTENSITY OF THE TORNADO WAS PROBABLY ON THE UPPER END OF AN F1. DAMAGE
ENDED JUST SOUTHEAST OF THIS AREA.

LIFE OF THE TORNADO WAS ONLY MINUTES...PROBABLY 10 MINUTES AT MOST FROM
INITIAL TOUCHDOWN AROUND 430PM UNTIL FINAL LIFTOFF. EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS 
AT THE RESTUARANT INDICATED THE FUNNEL WAS MOVING SLOW ENOUGH FOR THEM 
TO GET ALL THE PATRONS T0 THE BASEMENT. 15 MPH MIGHT BE A GOOD SPEED 
ESTIMATE. PATH WIDTH VARIED FROM 50 TO 175 FEET. IT ALSO APPEARS OVER THE 
TOTAL PATH LENGTH OF ABOUT 1 1/2 MILES THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 3 TIMES.

DUNHAM

Back to NWS Buffalo Historical Events | Back to NWS Buffalo Home Page