Saturday, 2:15 PM
(Photo by Karen Smiarowski)
Karen Smiarowski said the funnel cloud was on Mt. Toby, about two miles away.
By Casey Ramsdell, Globe Correspondent
Funnel clouds have been sighted this afternoon in Western Massachusetts in New Salem and Sunderland, where tree tops were blown onto Route 116, according to the National Weather Service.
A tornado touchdown has not yet been confirmed. Police dispatchers in both Sunderland and New Salem said they have not received reports of any injuries or damage.
The cloud in New Salem was reported at 2:36 p.m. in the town, 11 miles northeast of Amherst. The cloud was moving east at 10 miles an hour, according to spotters for the National Weather Service.
The Sunderland funnel cloud was reported at 2:42 p.m. in the town, which is 30 miles north of Springfield. The warnings were issued at 2:39 p.m. in west central Worcester County, southeastern Franklin County, and central Hampshire County, which includes the City of Amherst. They were dropped at 3:11 p.m. when the storm weakened.
Intense weather is expected to batter the entire region this afternoon and evening, bringing the potential for high winds and large hail. A severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect until 8 p.m. for almost the entire state of Massachusetts.
Karen Smiarowski, 55, who runs the Smiarowski Farm Stand with her husband, said she saw the funnel cloud looking east from her business on River Road.
She said it was about two miles away and she didn't know what it was initially.
"It was the strangest thing," she said. "We were looking at it and it was sucking everything right back into the cloud from the ground up."
She wasn't frightened, though, Smiarowski said.
"It didn't really look that mean. It looked like a friendly one," she said.
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