By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

STOUGHTON (CBS) – The National Weather Service confirmed on Friday that damage in the town of Stoughton resulted from a tornado that touched down on Thursday.

The National Weather Service survey team has concluded that a category EF0 tornado touched down at about 4:33 p.m. on Washington Street. The tornado caused damage at a Stoughton car dealership. Employees at Baystate Ford reported seeing large RV campers being picked up five feet off the ground from the wind.

Winds from the tornado were estimated to be between 70 and 80 mph. An EF0 is the weakest possible tornado on the scale.

A microburst was also confirmed about a half-mile away from the tornado zone.

That microburst produced 60 mph winds, which flattened trees in the area.

A microbust is a strong shaft of wind coming from the base of the cloud which hits the ground and causes straight-line wind damage. Damage patterns are different from those of a tornado, which are more circular.

The National Weather Service says cold air tornadoes don’t typically touch down, and the atmospheric setup on Thursday was not one that would normally spawn severe weather.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

“Windows smashed on small vehicle…pushed against mailbox. Partially closed garage door was destroyed… Small tree uprooted on dean drive,” weather spotters reported.

Massachusetts averages about three or four tornadoes per year, most of which are of the EF0 variety.

Nationwide, this year has been one of the weakest years in history for tornadoes, with fewer than 100 in the entire country in April; the first time this has happened in 20 years.

April 2011 saw 750 tornadoes touch down nationwide. The average for April is 187 tornadoes nationwide.


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