The National Weather Service in Buffalo has confirmed multiple tornadoes hit upstate New York on Thursday. These storms occurred in southern Erie county (south of Buffalo) between 12:30-1:00 p.m. There were no reports of injuries or fatalities within these thunderstorms.
Following the storms midday Thursday, meteorologists at the National Weather Service drove to the damaged areas to conduct a survey. They looked at the damage to clarify if it was caused by winds of a tornado or that of straight line wind. Then, they observed the type and extent of damage and came to their conclusion that the Hamburg, NY tornado was an EF-2 and Holland, NY tornado was an EF-1.
Ever wonder how meteorologists determine wind speed without observations? Or how they rate tornado strength? This link describes different type of wind damage along with different strengths of wind: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/ef-scale.html
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier