Westmoreland ranks 2nd in state for most tornadoes
Westmoreland County ranks second among Pennsylvania's 67 counties for the most tornadoes since 1800, according to meteorologist Fred McMullen of the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh.
Only Crawford County has had more twisters, he said.
"For some reason, the frequency of tornadoes is high here," McMullen said of Westmoreland County. "You would think flatter elevations, such as Erie, is where they would be more common, but the way the storm systems work here, it's actually more frequent here."
Elevations in Westmoreland range from 740 feet at the Allegheny River in New Kensington to 2,960 feet in Donegal Township, according to the Pennsylvania Geologic Survey.
Since 1950, there have been 34 tornadoes in Crawford County, compared with 32 in Westmoreland. That number does not include Friday's storm, according to the Tornado History Project, a database of all reported tornadoes in the United States from 1950 to 2011.
For neighboring counties, it reports these numbers:
• Butler: 17
• Allegheny and Beaver: 15
• Indiana: 13
• Fayette: 11
• Washington: 6