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No, a tornado did not touch down in CT last weekend. Here’s what meteorologists have to say

The National Weather Service said it was unable to find any evidence of a tornado in eastern Connecticut during Saturday night's intense thunderstorms.

Meteorologists say videos showed a large funnel cloud forming over Manchester and traveling east, but the cloud never touched down.

“Our conclusion is that a funnel cloud traversed eastern Connecticut. It came dangerously close to touching down but never did so,” the agency said Monday in a statement.

During the storm, the weather service had issued a tornado warning in eastern Connecticut, and radar initially seemed to show tornado debris flying through the air. But a closer inspection found that it was not really flying debris, the agency said. Other measurements found little turbulence in the area, which makes a tornado unlikely.

Federal and state officials also did a damage walkthrough – and multiple flyovers of the area – to determine if a tornado touched down.

Teams from the NWS, Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security conducted a survey throughout the towns of Chaplin, Hampton, Brooklyn, Plainfield, and into Killingly, including the Wauregan and Danielson areas, the agency said.

“We scoured that region and were unable to find any damage consistent with a tornado,” the agency said.

A drone video and a later flyover from the Civil Air Patrol also yielded the same conclusion – no tornado.

“From the air, no damage was spotted anywhere along the entire route,” the agency said.

Numerous videos and photos on Saturday showed a large funnel cloud beginning in Manchester and moving east to Storrs and then to Killingly, near the Rhode Island border.

However, the National Weather Service does say that a microburst in Manchester brought straight line winds of up to 80 mph. It took down as many as 30 trees.

And the weather service confirmed that a tornado did strike southeastern Massachusetts Saturday night. The tornado, an EF-1, which is considered weak, had peak winds of 105 mph.

Connecticut Public Radio’s Patrick Skahill and Eric Aasen contributed to this report.

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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