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May 1, 2011

NWS raises tornado total to 11; four in Md.

The National Weather Service's official count of tornados in Maryland and northern Virginia last week has jumped to 11, with four added since the initial ground surveys came in late last week. Two of the four were  confirmed in Maryland with damage surveys and eyewitness reports. That brings the tally in Maryland to four - in Breton Bay, St. Mary's County; Camp Springs, Prince George's County; Westminster, Carroll County, and in northern Baltimore County east of Hampstead.

The Maryland additions:

1. An EF-0 tornado was confirmed in Westminster, Carroll County, touching down at about 7:46 a.m. Thursday, April 28. The twister traveled for about 0.6 mile , cutting a path 50 yards wide from near Old Westminster Pike, across Ralph and Center streets, then lifting off the ground as it crossed Route 97.  No injuries were reported, but the tornado uprooted or snapped several treets and broke several large branches. Top winds were estimated at 65 mph. 

2.  An EF-0 tornado was confirmed two miles east of Hampstead, touching down at 8:09 a.m. Thursday near the Baltimore County line and moving for about 1.1 mile along Mt. Carmel Road and across Marshall Mill Road. It snapped or uprooted several trees and knocked down several large branches. No injuries were reported. Top winds were estimated at 65 mph.

Here's the full list.  

In all, the National Weather Service forecast office in Sterling, Va., issued 40 tornado warnings in Maryland and Virginia between Tuesday evening and 11:22 a.m. Thursday.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 9:05 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Tornadoes


I'm no expert by any means... but it seems that this a pretty large "outbreak" of tornadoes for what we're used to around these parts (thankfully, not more or stronger)... what were the weather factors that played into causing this to happen?

FR: This was the same weather system that spawned tornadoes across the South. Strong jet stream, cold air moving down from the north; warm, very moist air moving north, colliding and causing plenty of wind shear and thunderstorms. That set the air spinning all along the front. Classic setup. Not common around here, but not unheard of. In July 1994, 21 tornadoes touched down in Va., Md. and Del. - 14 of them in Md.:

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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