Wednesday night's storms brought damaging winds across large portions of New York state, as a strong cold front pushed through during the evening hours. This was the same storm system that brought severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio just one night before.

Wind gusts up to 70 MPH brought down tree limbs, power lines, and even tore roofs off structures, as thousands of residents from Western New York to New York City were left without power.

See Also: What is New York State's 24 Hour Record Rainfall Record?

Behind the storm, temperatures across the state sharply dropped, as some areas experienced snow and even blizzard-like conditions.  Many parts of the state saw record warmth before the storms hit.

While severe weather such as this isn't too common for the month of February, tornadoes are even more rare. However, the National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in New York state Wednesday evening.

The Post Standard says this is only the second time a tornado has ever struck New York state in February. The last time this happened was February 24, 1975, reports the Democrat & Chronicle.

Tornado Touches Down in New York

The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down in the area of Chenango in Broome County February 28. WNBG says the tornado hit when a line of storms moved through at around 5 PM.

See Also: Where in New York State Are You Most Likely To Be Hit By a Tornado?

The NWS says the tornado was rated an EF-1, with winds around 100 MPH.

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, a total of ten tornadoes hit New York state in 2023., with August 7 being the most active day. 

A tornado's rapidly approaching - what should you do?

Gallery Credit: Sophia Laico

What's the Most Powerful Tornado to Ever Hit NY? 

There have been three recorded F4s that have touched down in New York state, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.

The first happened on August 28, 1973 in Columbia County over mostly open land, before moving into Massachusetts.

Another F4 first touched down near Erie, Pennsylvania May 31, 1985, and then moved over the state line into New York. This was part of deadly outbreak of tornadoes that hit NY, PA, OH, and Ontario that same day.

The third was a nearly mile-wide tornado that touched down in Montgomery County on July 10, 1989. The storm would stay on the ground for 42 miles, traveling four counties (Greene, Montgomery, Schoharie, and Albany Counties).

You also have to consider that many of these weather records generally only go back to the late 1800s, so there is no telling how many storms hit before those times.

KEEP READING: What to do after a tornado strikes