City

Tornado Warning Freaks Out Half of Philly, Ticks Off the Other Half

You survived. Here’s what else you need to know — and some of the best reactions to the 3:30 a.m. wakeup call.


L: A tornado warning issued on Monday morning. | R: An uprooted tree in Northern Liberties. Photo by Adam Dvorin

If you’re reading this, you survived the tornado warning that dropped on Philadelphia around 3:30 a.m. on Monday morning (the worst time for anything to happen) and awoke nearly everyone in the city, terrifying half the population and sending the other half back to bed frustrated about the sleep disturbance.

Evidently people were quite unsure how to handle it. Absent any 3:30 a.m. news reports, folks hit up Twitter to confirm that the tornado warning was in fact happening (and that they weren’t actually just dreaming), and then to collectively panic while tweeting from their basements. (Or, as mentioned, to tweet-vent their general unhappiness with the wind gusts, hail, lightning and phone alerts interrupting their sleepy state.)

One thing’s for sure: Philly tornado Twitter — a thing we didn’t know existed — is lit (as one user said).

https://twitter.com/FatmansAlright/status/1117697246060007424

No actual tornadoes were reported in the city, according to the National Weather Service. That doesn’t mean the storms that passed through weren’t dangerous: There were uprooted trees and power outages on Monday morning — and apparently some detached roofs, including one that peeled off an apartment complex in Camden and displaced 27 people.

FYI, if you didn’t get a tornado warning alert on Monday morning and would like to receive one next time something like this happens at 3 a.m. (which is hopefully never), you can sign up with ReadyPhiladelphia, the city’s text alerts program. Find out how to register here. It’s easy, and it keeps you in the loop about potential threats (including weather-related threats) 24/7, which is helpful considering tornadoes can be twice as deadly at night when they’re harder to spot.

Wondering when Philly last saw a tornado? One touched down in the Northeast in 2011, damaging businesses, houses, and cars, and injuring two people.

In total, seven tornadoes have been reported in the city since 1950, according to CBS3. One outbreak of tornadoes that spread across Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario on May 31, 1985, killed 89 people, including 65 in Pennsylvania (with more than 700 people injured). Forecasters recorded an F5 on that day — the most powerful classification.

Considering that, we’re glad last night turned out relatively okay, even if we’re a little cranky and are going to need a few extra cups of coffee on Monday.

Anyway, here are some of the best tweets from Philly tornado Twitter.

https://twitter.com/ItzDaFrog/status/1117693718704869376