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September 23, 2011

Straight winds or rotating? It matters

FROM TODAY'S PRINT EDITIONS:

Ocean City tornadoDan Swegon, in Fallston, asks: “Why is there so much interest, after the event, as to whether heavy wind was a tornado? Severe windstorms cause damage whether the winds were twisting or straight.”

It’s for science and safety. Tornado winds are Nature’s most sudden and powerful. Saving lives and property demands accurate and timely warnings. That requires an understanding of when, where and why tornadoes occur. And scientific understanding demands precise, reliable data. 

(PHOTO: Tamara Ivan, in Ocean City, Md., Sept. 15, 2011)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:06 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition, Sky Notes, Tornadoes
        

September 15, 2011

"Funnel cloud" causes minor damage at OC

Ocean City officials are reporting only minor damage and no injuries after a windstorm described as a "funnel cloud" swept across the island near 75th street Thursday afternoon.

"There was some damage, but nothing widespread," said Donna Abbott, the spokeswoman for the OC tornadotown. "There is a building here and there with roof damage or some siding damage ... Building inspectors are double-checking some building sin the area."

The most significant damage appeared to be to the roof of a three-story condo building at 75th Steet and the ocean front. The damage is over the elevator shaft, which had to be shut down, limiting access to the top two floors.

"Building inspectors require egress from two areas on a floor," Abbott said. So 11 people on those floors had to be relocated to other units. Repairs are expected to be finished Friday.

"Everything else around town is fine. We're very lucky," Abbott said.

The National Weather Service office in Wakefield, Va. received reports of a "funnel cloud" or aWaterspout off OC Maryland waterspout at mid-afternoon in Ocean City. "We are unable to confirm any tornado damage," said meteorologist Mike Montefusco. "We're going to have to go up and look at it." Or, they could check out this video from Matt Buerhaus.

UPDATE, SEPT. 19: The National Weather Service has confirmed that this was an EF-0 tornado, with top winds of 60 to 70 mph.  The path on the surface was 40 yards wide and half a mile long, causing "minor damage" but no injuries. Earlier post resumes below:

Forecasters received reports wind damage to "awnings and marquees" at 75th Street on the ocean front, and elsewhere between 65th and 90th streets.

"We had some ... sightings of a water spout and funnel clouds," he said. But for now, "we're calling it thunderstorm wind damage."

The NWS has posted thunderstorm warnings for the offshore area southeast of Fenwick, Del. around 3:38 p.m. Meteorologist Dan Proch, also at Wakefield, said, "There was a cell that formed over the area very quickly and moved offshore very quickly also."

Were you there? Send us a comment and describe what you saw. Have a photo? Email it to me at frank.roylance@baltsun.com

UPDATE, Sept. 19: Diane Burton was there, staying at the Coral Seas, at 76th and the Bay. She sent me this account:

"Our condos suffered a lot of damage. On the rooftop pool deck, the glass panels were shattered as well as panels on other floors that left glass all over the ground. The underneath where the parking is had several pieces of siding thrown with insulation hanging out of it.

"My husband's heavy duty truck with a 6x12 trailer attached to it was lifted off the ground and moved. The sound was like a freight train when it passed and friends watched it go out to sea."

(PHOTOS: Top, Tamara Ivan, from 57th street; Bottom: Unknown photographer, via Ken Burkhammer)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 4:43 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

June 17, 2011

A tornado in February?

FROM TODAY'S PRINT EDITIONS:

Jared Klein, at the NWS in Sterling, sent me an article from the Democratic Advocate reporting a storm that struck Westminster, Feb. 19, 1893. Roaring wind toppled a chimney; destroyed a stable and barn; unroofed a dorm at Western Maryland College and blew down the steeple at St. Paul’s Reformed. The winds appeared cyclonic, and damage fell along a path less than a half-mile wide.

Klein calls it “the closest account to a ‘snow tornado’ that I have personally come across ... It seems suspect that a tornado occurred on a day where the high temperature nearby [in Baltimore] was only in the low 40s, but I do not have any other meteorological information/evidence to accept or reject the tornado report," he said.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:03 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: History, Tornadoes
        

May 19, 2011

Two tornadoes confirmed in Tuesday's storms

NOTE: An earlier version of this post stated the storms struck Wednesday evening. They were on Tuesday evening, but were confirmed on Wednesday.  My bad.

National Weather Service survey teams have confirmed that two tornadoes touched down in Maryland during Tuesday's storms. The most powerful was an EF-1 twister in Washington County that traveled on the ground for more than two miles, with top winds speeds reaching 90 to 100 mph.

No one was injured in either storm.

The first tornado touched down at 5:35 p.m. north of Wolfsville, in Frederick County. In about four minutes it cut a path about 75 yards wide and more than a mile long. Most of the damage was to trees in its path, although NWS surveyors noted "minor" shingle and siding damage to buildings in the path. A backyard play center was snapped from its bolted moorings and rolled, they said. Top winds reached 75 mph.

The second tornado touched down at 8:10 p.m. near Maugansville, in Washington County. It traveled on the surface for five minutes, along a path 200 yards wide. Trees were uprooted or snapped, and several outbuildings were toppled or destroyed. A garage door was blown in and the building's roof was lifted.

In several neighborhoods, trees were snapped, uprooted or stripped of their branches. An RV home was knocked on its side and blown 45 feet into the next yard. Shingle and roof damage also was noted.  

Posted by Frank Roylance at 7:24 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

May 16, 2011

Wrecked Cessnas linked to another April 27 twister

Extensive damage to three small airplanes at an airfield in Prince George's County on April 27 has been linked to radar evidence of a tornado in the area. That has prompted the National Weather Tornado Clinton MD 4/27/11Service to add an 18th twister to their list of the tornadoes that struck the region on that day and the next.

"The National Weather Service has classified this as a tornado and rated it as EF-0. [Maximum] winds were estimated at 70 mph, with a width of 75 yards and a path length of 0.4 miles," the weather service said.

The winds struck at 7:06 p.m. April 27 at Potomac Airfield, a mile southeast of Friendly in Prince George's County. That was about 10 minutes before a tornado struck near Andrews Air Force Base, just a few miles northeast of Friendly.

Although no airport structures sustained significant damage, and no tree damage was seen by the survey team, the winds tossed small aircraft around like toys. Six were damaged as the twister moved alongside the airport's single runway.

"A Cessna 182 had its tie-down lines snapped and then was tossed 120 feet northeast across a taxiway," the NWS report said. "A Cessna 172 was lifted up and smashed nose first into the ground. A Cessna 335 Skymaster was tossed about 25 feet and smashed alongWrecked Cessna tornado the ground. All three planes were damaged extensively even though all were securely tied down."

"Several other aircraft were moved about but stayed tied down and suffered little or no damage," the report said. 

The survey team looked at the damage, photographic evidence and radar data to document the storm. Weather spotters in the area also had reported seeing a funnel cloud.

The tornado tally for the two-day outbreak now stands at 18. Ten were in Maryland, eight in Virginia. Twelve were rated at EF-0, the weakest category. Five were rated at EF-1, and one was an EF-2.  Of the Maryland storms, nine were rated EF-0, and one, in St. Mary's County, was an EF-1.

(PHOTOS: Courtesy of David Wartofsky, Potomac Airfield, via the National Weather Service)

Continue reading "Wrecked Cessnas linked to another April 27 twister" »

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:49 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

May 10, 2011

Final damage survey finds one more twister

FROM TODAY'S PRINT EDITIONS:

A final damage survey by the National Weather Service forecast office in Sterling has confirmed another tornado touch-down, on April 28, two miles west northwest of Hereford in Baltimore County. It struck at 9:54 a.m., uprooting or topping nearly two dozen trees. Maximum winds were estimated at 70 mph, making it an EF-0 twister. That brings the April 27-28 Maryland total to nine tornadoes. The total for the region, including northern Virginia, is 17.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 6:01 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition, Tornadoes
        

May 4, 2011

Some tornadoes have no visible funnels

TornadoFROM TODAY'S PRINT EDITIONS:

Jeff Brauner, in Baltimore, writes: “An EF-0 tornado was confirmed near Westminster, but witnesses just saw strong winds and some things blown over. Is it possible for the actual funnel of an EF-0 tornado to go completely unnoticed?”  Yes. Funnels become visible when air pressure in the vortex drops enough to condense water vapor. Weak ones may not form that “condensation funnel.” Some tornadoes can produce high surface winds while the visible funnel remains high overhead. 

(NOAA PHOTO)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:01 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition, Sky Notes, Tornadoes
        

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
        

April 29, 2011

Tornado count for Md., Va. now at seven

The National Weather Service has now confirmed that seven tornadoes, with top winds rated from EF-0 to EF-2, touched down in Maryland and Virginia during the storms on Wednesday and Thursday this week. And surveyors are still looking for more.

Damage inspections found the most powerful storm in the regional outbreak struck in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, ripping a 33-mile path across Rockingham and Shenandoah counties in the northern end of the valley, injuring two people - the only casualties reported in any of the twisters. One was an 82-year-old woman struck by flying debris. The other was a 28-year-old woman who fell trying to escape the storm.

Two of the tornadoes struck in Maryland. The first was the EF-0 event near Andrews Air Force Base that began at 7:16 p.m. Wednesday. It tore up some roofing and siding and toppled some trees, but moved onto the base without causing any major damage. 

The second was an EF-1 that struck at 11:20 a.m. Thursday near Breton Bay in St. Mary's County. It snapped and toppled numerous trees along its 3.3-mile path. Surveyors found damage to roofing and siding. Winds blew out a cinderblock wall on a storage shed and damaged its roof.

The surveyors also confirmed an EF-0 tornado touched ground near Manassas, Va., and counted three more EF-1 twisters in Staunton, Linville and Harrisonburg, Va.

Inspection teams are continuing to look at storm damage at other locations to determine whether any more tornadoes struck this week.

Do you have photos of any of this damage? Email your best shots to me and I'll post them.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 6:01 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

First tornado confirmed for Maryland, in PG County

A National Weather Service survey team has made the first confirmation of a Maryland tornado during the storms on Wednesday and Thursday.

Damage indicated an EF-0 twister - the weakest category, with winds of 65 to 85 mph - touched down Wednesday at 7:16 p.m. at Allentown Road and Auth Road, near Andrews Air Force Base. 

Maximum wind speeds were estimated at 70 mph, along a path 100 yards wide. The tornado moved onto base property before lifting off the ground. It was on the ground for about one minute, the weather service said.

Damage reported by spotters included roof shingles, large branches, a tree and a large road sign. Some of the damage is visible in the YouTube video linked in the previous post.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:28 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

April 28, 2011

Tornado warning for area counties

The weather service has issued Tornado Warnings until 8:45 a.m. for portions of Carroll and Baltimore counties:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
814 AM EDT THU APR 28 2011

NWSTHE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
  BALTIMORE COUNTY IN NORTHERN MARYLAND...
  HARFORD COUNTY IN NORTHERN MARYLAND...

* UNTIL 845 AM EDT

* AT 809 AM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
  SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO OVER
  NORTHWESTERN BALTIMORE COUNTY...OR 10 MILES EAST OF WESTMINSTER...
  MOVING NORTHEAST AT 50 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
  FREELAND...
  MARYLAND LINE...
  NORRISVILLE...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING AND AVOID WINDOWS. IF OUTDOORS OR IN A MOBILE HOME OR
VEHICLE...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS

Posted by Frank Roylance at 8:17 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Tornadoes, Watches and warnings
        

Tornado warnings this morning

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Baltimore, Harford, Frederick and Carroll counties until 8:45 a.m. A watch is in effect until 3 p.m.

From the weather service: "TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING AND AVOID WINDOWS. IF OUTDOORS OR IN A MOBILE HOME OR VEHICLE...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS."

 

Posted by Kim Walker at 8:16 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

April 27, 2011

Tornado Warnings approach Baltimore

Tornado Warnings have been posted for portions of Baltimore's Suburbs. Funnel clouds have been reported in Howard and PG counties:

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM EDT FOR
BALTIMORE...HOWARD AND CARROLL COUNTIES...

AT 745 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO
INDICATE A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO.  THIS
TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR ELLICOTT CITY...OR 8 MILES NORTH OF
COLUMBIA...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
  RANDALLSTOWN...
  MILFORD MILL...

NWSPRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING AND AVOID WINDOWS. IF OUTDOORS OR IN A MOBILE HOME OR
VEHICLE...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

ALSO:

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM EDT FOR PRINCE
GEORGES AND ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTIES...

AT 742 PM EDT...A DEVELOPING TORNADO WAS LOCATED JUST EAST OF
BOWIE...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 40 MPH. THIS STORM HAS A HISTORY OF
PRODUCING TORNADOES.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
  MILLERSVILLE...
  GAMBRILLS...
  CROWNSVILLE...
  ODENTON...
  SEVERNA PARK...
  HERALD HARBOR...
  SHERWOOD FOREST...
  RIDGEWAY...
  PASADENA...
  RIVERDALE...
  SOUTH GATE...
  CHELSEA BEACH...

Let us know if you spot a tornado or see severe storm damage.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 7:52 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Tornadoes, Watches and warnings
        

Tornado Warning for Charles County

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Warning until 6:45 p.m. for Charles County in Southern Maryland. The warning also includes Stafford and Prince William counties in northern Virginia:

"THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
  STAFFORD COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA...
  PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA...
  FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA...
  CHARLES COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND...

* UNTIL 645 PM EDT

* AT 606 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
  SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR TRIANGLE...
  OR 6 MILES NORTH OF STAFFORD...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 50 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
  INDIAN HEAD...
  FORT BELVOIR...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING AND AVOID WINDOWS. IF OUTDOORS OR IN A MOBILE HOME OR
VEHICLE...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

MOTORISTS SHOULD NOT TAKE SHELTER UNDER HIGHWAY OVERPASSES. AS A LAST
RESORT...EITHER PARK AND STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE...OR ABANDON YOUR
VEHICLE AND LAY FLAT IN A LOW SPOT.'

Most of Maryland west of the Chesapeake remains under a Tornado Watch until  8 p.m. Wednesday.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 6:06 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes, Watches and warnings
        

April 18, 2011

Tornadoes confirmed during Saturday's storms

Saturday's stormy weather has produced at least 4 tornado touchdowns in Maryland, according to the National Weather Service

An EF-0 tornado with maximum 70-80 mph winds touched down 3 miles southeast of Unionville in Frederick County, according to a preliminary storm report. An EF-1 tornado with maximum 90-100 mph winds touched down 3 miles northeast of New Market that destroyed several small barns and damaged a warehouse roof. Update: There were 2 EF-1 tornadoes in the New Market area within minutes of each other. Another EF-0 tornado hit 1 mile south of Deep Run in Carroll County that partially unroofed two barns and blew a tree into a home.

NWS plans to issue an updated report this afternoon. Stay tuned. 

Meanwhile, a flood warning is in effect until 7:10 p.m. today for Cecil and Harford counties near the Conowingo Dam. Minor flooding would begin at Port Deposit, the weather service said.

Did anyone experience these tornadoes? Tell us about it in the comments or share your photos here.  

Posted by Kim Walker at 12:53 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

April 14, 2011

April 5 damage in Arundel caused by EF-0 tornado

Observers from the National Weather Service's regional forecast office in Sterling, Va. say minor wind damage April 5 in eastern Prince George's County and western Anne Arundel County southeast of Crofton was caused by a "brief, weak" tornado.

The twister, which was moving at nearly 60 mph, was rated an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. It was part of a fast-moving line of line of thunderstorms that also produced an EF-0 tornado and minor damage in northern Charles County, near Waldorf, minutes later.

Meteorologists said the Arundel tornado struck at 4:55 a.m. Its path was about 50 yards wide with a length of 1.3 miles, with top winds estimated at 60 mph. It produced "minor" tree damage in the communities of Sherwood Manor and Patuxent Preserve.

The ground survey team reported that several pine and hardwood trees were blown over in Sherwood Manor, and several pines were topped 15 feet above the ground south of Patuxent Preserve. No structural damage was seen.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:31 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

April 7, 2011

NWS: Marbella wind storm Tues. was EF-0 tornado

The violent wind storm that blew through parts of Charles and Calvert counties before dawn on Tuesday produced what the National Weather Service has described as a "brief, weak tornado." It was rated an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The twister generated winds as high as 65 mph, according to the NWS report. It struck at about 4:48 a.m. in the community of Marbella, near Waldorf in northern Charles County, and lasted less than a minute. Damage included a large pine blown over onto a house, several ornamental trees snapped, and damage to a fence.

The path of the funnel cloud, produced by a fast-moving line of thunderstorms, was about 50 yards wide but only a tenth of a mile long, according to investigators from the NWS regional forecast office in Sterling, Va. No injuries were reported.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 1:06 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

April 5, 2011

NWS investigating S. Md. storm damage

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service's regional forecast office in Sterling, Va. were en route to Southern Maryland this morning to investigate storm damage reports for evidence of a possible tornado.NOAA/NWS

Sterling's Kevin Witt said the office had received reports of downed trees and structural damage in the area. "We're sending people out to areas that seem like they were the hardest-hit," he said. No final determination is expected before late today or Wednesday morning.

The NWS issued a Tornado Watch for portions of Baltimore City and County at 2:18 a.m. Tuesday, effective through 10 a.m. But that watch was canceled at about 5:45 a.m. after the threat had passed.

There was also a Tornado Warning issued at 4:55 a.m. for northern, eastern and central portions of Anne Arundel County. But the damage reports this morning were limited to Southern Maryland, in Charles and Calvert counties.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:06 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

March 10, 2011

Weather emergencies during MSA testing

Statewide MSA testing is underway in  the public schools this week, and the state's instructors have received their memo on how to handle a weather emergency, should one occur, in order to avoid disruption of the tests. A teacher (not the one pictured below) has shared the protocol with us:

"Severe Weather Testing Protocols During~MSA

"Should a severe weather situation occur during testing, please remain calm. To display any kind of anxiety would be a testing irregularity and must be reported.

"Please do not look out the window to watch for approaching tornadoes. You must monitor the students at MSA testsall times. To do otherwise would be a testing irregularity and must be reported.

"Should students notice an approaching tornado and begin to cry, please make every effort to protect their testing materials from the flow of tears and sinus drainage.

"Should a flying object come through your window during testing, please make every effort to ensure that it does not land on a testing booklet or an answer sheet. Please make sure to soften the landing of the flying object so that it will not disturb the students while testing.

"Should shards of glass from a broken window come flying into the room, have the students use their bodies to shield their testing materials so that they will not be damaged. Have plenty of gauze on hand to ensure that no one accidentally bleeds on the answer documents. Damaged answer sheets will not scan properly.

"Should gale force winds ensue, please have everyone stuff their test booklets and answer sheets into their shirts being very careful not to bend them because bent answer documents will not scan properly.

"If any student gets sucked into the vortex of the funnel cloud, please make sure they mark at least one answer before departing and of course make sure they leave their answer sheets and test booklets behind. You will have to account for those.

"Should a funnel cloud pick you, the test administrator, up and take you flying over the rainbow, you will still be required to account for all of your testing materials when you land so please take extra precautions. Remember, once you have checked them out, they should never leave your hands.

"When rescue workers arrive to dig you out of the rubble, please make sure that they do not, at any time, look at or handle the testing materials. Once you have been treated for your injuries, you will still be responsible for checking your materials back in. Search dogs will not be allowed to sift through the rubble for lost tests. Unless of course they have been through standardized test training class.

"Please do not pray should a severe weather situation arise. Your priority is to actively monitor the test and a student might mark in the wrong section if you are praying instead of monitoring. I'm sure God will put war, world hunger, and crime on hold until after testing is over. He knows how important this test is.

"Thank you"

(SUN PHOTO: Amy Davis 2004)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 1:46 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

November 18, 2010

NE Baltimore windstorm ruled an EF-1 tornado

The National Weather Service concluded tonight that the violent windstorm that struck Northeast Baltimore and Parkville was an EF-1 tornado with top winds of 85 to 100 mph. Damage was tracked along a path five miles long, all done within the span of four minutes.

But the tornado was part of a more complex storm that included powerful straight-line winds, too. Those winds, in fact, caused most of the damage. The tornado was on the ground for less than a minute, the surveyors concluded. 

Here is the NWS report, published, as is their custom, in all capital letters:

"AFTER AN EXTENSIVE REVIEW OF NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND FEDERAL
AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WEATHER RADARS...GROUND OBSERVATIONS... AN
AERIAL SURVEY...AND EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS...THE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON
WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS
DETERMINED THAT A TORNADO ESTIMATED AT A CATEGORY 1 ON THE ENHANCED
FUJITA SCALE STRUCK NORTHEAST BALTIMORE DURING THE EARLY MORNING
HOURS OF WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 17TH...WITH ESTIMATED WIND SPEEDS FROM 85
TO 100 MPH
."

Continue reading "NE Baltimore windstorm ruled an EF-1 tornado" »

Posted by Frank Roylance at 6:22 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

Windstorm recalls 1973 tornado blocks away

News of the violent windstorm that struck neighborhoods in northeast Baltimore and Parkville early Wednesday caught the eye of Mark Adams, who recalled a similar storm that struck just a few blocks away in June 1973. Here's Mark:

"I lived with my parents on Loch Raven Blvd. in those days in a semi-detached house. I remember Wind damage Baltimorethis because we had adjoining neighbors, Max and Carol Haenel, who had the most discreet terrier I have ever known. I used to feed him when they were on vacation.

"The dog's name was Scruffer. This dog never barked. I thought he was mute. Max lived as a single man in an apt. before he married. He explained to me that dogs were prohibited in his old complex so he trained the dog to never bark.

"One day, the skies were getting strange as they do in Baltimore and old Scruffer started barking. It was the only time I heard him bark over a period of several years.  Later that night we watched the news reports of a tornado hitting Deanwood Road, near the old Loch Raven Kiwanis' pool. Scruffer was alerting us to the danger. My guess is the old tornado site is about 3,000 - 4,000 feet, as the crow flies, from the site of yesterday's damage."

Mark's memory is pretty good. I asked Sun librarian Paul McCardell to search our files for a storm matching Mark's description. The clip he found was a story published June 17, 1973. It describes a tornado that struck the Hillendale area of Baltimore County at about 5:45 p.m. on June 16.

"There was a brief moment of calm, followed by powerful winds and an intense rainfall," The Sun reported. "Many persons watched through windows of their homes in horror as trees fell and roofs were ripped apart."

"'I felt a little pressure and then I saw the roof disappear,' said Sam Flannery, 27, who lived on the top floor of the three-story Pelham Wood Apartments, at 33-35 Dowling Circle."Utility damage Baltimore

Dowling Circle is located about three-quarters of a mile north, and across the county/city line from Fleetwood Avenue, where some of the worst damage was done Wednesday morning. The Sun's account continued:

"Mr. Flannery, his wife and two friends were drinking beer after a round of golf when they heard wind rattling a chaise lounge on the balcony. Mr. Flannery said he looked out the window and saw what seemed to be the start of the twister."

"'I saw wind form a funnel 30 to 50 feet in diameter. It was swirling around,' he said. and everyone ran toward the bathroom for safety when the roof flew off."

The story goes on to relate that the entire roof was lost from the Pelham Woods apartment building, rendering 15 apartments unlivable and showering the neighborhood with debris. The power was out across the area. Two young men in a car on Loch Raven Boulevard near Dean Street found themselves airborne when the tornado struck. Their car flipped upside down and flew over the median.

"'The best way to describe it is the scene from 'Wizard of Oz' when Dorothy was knocked unconscious and everything was spinng,' said the passenger, William Doyle, 23, of the 5900 block of Yorkwood road.' Both men were treated for minor injuries at St. Joseph Hospital and released."

Windows were blown out as far as half a mile from the center of the destruction.Baltimore storm damage

"One witness said the funnel passed over his home about 100 to 200 feet in the air. 'There was lumber and all sorts of debris, and it suddenly just dropped everything over a two- or three-block area," The Sun reported.

Fire, Civil Defense and Red Cross personnel responded to search the area for injured victims and gas leaks and to provide assistance. In the end only two people were reported injured by the storm, the newspaper said. "In addition, a woman who arrived home to find the roof of her apartment gone and her son missing went into shock, officials said." Her son turned up safe and later joined his mother at the hospital.

A photo published with the article showed a long row of three-story apartment buildings on Dowling Circle, with heaps of broken roofing material in the yard. It could have been taken yesterday. 

(SUN PHOTOS: Bottom: Julie Scharper. Top two, tree downed and utility pole snapped on McLean Boulevard at Westfield, Frank Roylance)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:36 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

November 17, 2010

No decision tonight on "tornado"

Cars moved by winds in Baltimore 

The National Weather Service won't be making a determination until sometime Thursday on whether the wind storm that struck northeast Baltimore early Wednesday was a tornado. Here's the statement issued this evening:

"THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS COMPLETED
AN INITIAL GROUND DAMAGE SURVEY FROM MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY TO
CARNEY IN THE BALTIMORE AREA. THIS AREA SUSTAINED DAMAGE DURING
THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 17.

"THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IS AWAITING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
AND IS CONTINUING ITS INVESTIGATION OF THE STORM DAMAGE. A FINAL
STORM SURVEY REPORT IS EXPECTED TO BE ISSUED ON THURSDAY."

Meteorologist Brandon Peloquin said the team that surveyed the damage Wednesday is waiting to review more photographs, and to match up the damage they saw to the radar signatures recorded as the storm passed through early Wednesday morning.

"They'll put everything together tomorrow, make a determination and send out a final [public information statement,] and give all the details," he said.

It was hard for a layman to determine on the ground Wednesday whether all the extensive damage we saw was caused by rotating or straight-line winds. But it was easy to see they must have been powerful winds. Some residential structures were completely de-roofed. Large trees were broken or knocked over. A large board was hurled through the air and pierced the roof of a house like an arrow. Parked cars had been lifted and moved into each other.

That's the kind of damage the Enhanced Fujita Scale looks for in EF-2 tornados, which pack winds of 111-135 mph.  I have no idea whether this was a tornado, but based on the Fujita criteria, the winds must have been blowing that hard. 

(SUN PHOTOS: Julie Scharper. Above: Cars moved by winds; Below: Homes de-roofed))

Homes de-roofed in Baltimore

Posted by Frank Roylance at 6:25 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

Wind damage pictures

 

Photos of damage from this morning's severe storm are starting to roll in. Check them out here and share your own here.

An early morning storm damaged a fence at the Dutch Village townhouse complex. Baltimore Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum.
Posted by Kim Walker at 11:06 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

80 mph severe storm hits Parkville area

storm.jpg

The National Weather Service is trying to determine whether the severe storm that felled trees and damaged homes in the Parkville area was in fact a tornado. The survey crew is on the scene to analyze the data and look for evidence -- the direction trees fell, for example -- and make a determination later today, he said.

Read continuing coverage here. 

Posted by Kim Walker at 10:20 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

October 27, 2010

Tornado Watch posted for Bay region

UPDATE: 5 P.M.: The Tornado Watch has been lifted for Howard and Montgomery Counties, Baltimore and Washington. It remains in effect until 8 p.m. south and east of the I-95 corridor. Tornado Warnings have been issued for portions of Virginia.

UPDATE, 5:30 p.m.: A waterspout was reported this afternoon in the tidal Potomac, about 2 miles south southeast of Rock Point, in southern Charles County. (If you have pictures, please send them to me at frank.roylance@baltsun.com)

UPDATE, 6 p.m.: The Tornado Watch is now lifted for Baltimore, Harford and Cecil counties.

An earlier post resumes below: 

The National Weather Service has posted a Tornado Watch for the Baltimore-Washington corridor, Southern Maryland, the Entire Eastern Shore and eastern Virginia, effective until 8 p.m. Tornado watchWednesday.

MARYLAND COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

ANNE ARUNDEL         BALTIMORE           CALVERT
CAROLINE             CECIL               CHARLES
DORCHESTER           HARFORD             HOWARD
KENT                 MONTGOMERY          PRINCE GEORGES
QUEEN ANNE`S         SOMERSET            ST. MARYS
TALBOT               WICOMICO            WORCESTER

A Tornado Watch means that conditions are in place for tornado development. A Tornado Warning would be issued if forecasters see rotation in their radar echoes, or spotters report a funnel cloud. Also implied in the watch is the possibility for severe thunderstorms, with large hail and damaging winds.

The risk of severe weather comes as a cold front moves across the region today, the remnant of the front that caused historic storms and several tornadoes across the Midwest on Tuesday. Here's more on today's storms.

Here's more from the NWS:

Continue reading "Tornado Watch posted for Bay region" »

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:17 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

October 2, 2010

NWS report on Thursday's tornado in Arundel

Here's the full statement from the National Weather Service on Thursday morning's EF-0 tornado in northern Anne Arundel County:

"...TORNADO CONFIRMED EAST OF PASADENA MARYLAND...

LOCATION...2 MILES EAST OF LAKE SHORE IN ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY MARYLAND
DATE...SEPTEMBER 30 2010
ESTIMATED TIME...9:46 AM TO 9:49 AM
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING...EF-0
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED...80 MPH
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH...200 YARDS
PATH LENGTH...1 MILE
BEGINNING LAT/LON...39.1007N/76.4474W
ENDING LAT/LON...39.1134N/76.4492W
* FATALITIES...NONE
* INJURIES...NONE"

 

Continue reading "NWS report on Thursday's tornado in Arundel" »

Posted by Frank Roylance at 3:17 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

July 20, 2010

Tornado Warning for Ellicott City

The National Weather Service has posted a tornado warning (red zone on map) until 5:30 p.m. for portions of Howard, Baltimore Arundel counties and Baltimore City:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED ANOAA/NWS

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
  SOUTHEASTERN CARROLL COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL MARYLAND...
  NORTHEASTERN HOWARD COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND...
  NORTHERN ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND...
  SOUTHERN BALTIMORE COUNTY IN NORTHERN MARYLAND...
  BALTIMORE CITY IN NORTHERN MARYLAND...

* UNTIL 530 PM EDT

* AT 456 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
  SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR ELLICOTT
  CITY...OR 9 MILES NORTH OF COLUMBIA...MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
  ELLICOTT CITY...
  MILFORD MILL...
  WOODLAWN...
  LOCHEARN...
  CATONSVILLE...
  ELKRIDGE...
  ARBUTUS...
  BALTIMORE...
  BROOKLYN PARK...
  PUMPHREY...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING AND AVOID WINDOWS. IF OUTDOORS OR IN A MOBILE HOME OR
VEHICLE...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 5:14 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

June 6, 2010

Tornado Watch posted for most of Maryland

NOAA/NWSWith a line of strong to severe thunderstorms crossing Maryland Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service forecast office in Sterling, Va. has posted a tornado watch for almost the entire state, in effect until 8 p.m.:

"DAMAGING WIND GUSTS ARE THE MOST LIKELY THREAT. LARGE HAIL AND ISOLATED TORNADOES WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE."

The only area in Maryland that is NOT in the Watch zone is Allegany County in the far western mountains. Shortly after 1 p.m. the regional radar showed a broken line of storms moving across the Appalachians.

The most intense portion of the weather front at 1:20 p.m. appeared to be headed for Montgomery, Howard, PG and Anne Arundel counties. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was posted for western Montgomery. 

If you have a NOAA Weather Radio, now is the time to switch it on.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 1:11 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

April 15, 2010

Statewide tornado drill this morning

La Plata tornado off Calvert CLiffs, 2002 

At exactly 10:15 this morning, NOAA Weather Radios in schools across the state emitted three long warbles and a long musical tone. They were test signals, but similar enough to those La Plata tornado 2002designed to warn listeners of a weather emergency in their locations.

Thankfully, there was no real emergency. This was the start of the first-ever Statewide Tornado Drill. Participating schools, businesses and households were directed to activate their emergency plans, rehearsing and discussing how they would react to a real tornado warning.

"As a general rule, the most important thing to remember is to head to the lowest small interior room where you are - away from windows," according to the Web site for the National Weather Service's Baltimore-Washington Forecast Office, in Sterling, Va.

Maryland is not exactly in Tornado Alley. But we are no strangers to the violent twisters. Ninety tornadoes were recorded in Maryland during the past 10 years. The largest number were spotted in Frederick County (28), followed (in the Baltimore area) by Baltimore (19), Arundel (17) and Harford (16) counties, according to Joe Miketta, of the NWS forecast office in Mt. Holly, N.J., whoNASA La Plata tornado path spoke Wednesday at a Severe Storms Awareness Conference near Baltimore.

The worst tornadoes in recent years have included the F-4 La Plata twister (photo, above) that struck in Charles and Calvert counties in April 2002. It killed three people in its path and injured 122. Before it dissipated over the Eastern Shore, it had carved a 64-mile path (horizontal trail in NASA photo at right) through towns, woods and fields, destroyed 344 homes and businesses and caused $100 million in damage.

Another tornado, an F-3 in September 2001 -  two weeks after 9/11 - struck College Park and portions of Howard County. It killed two Maryland students and injured 60 other people. Damages totalled $100 million. 

Smaller tornadoes are more common in the state, but they can cause considerable damage to property and threaten people in their paths. 

If you don't have a NOAA Weather Radio, buy one. They're cheap and they can wake you up and save your life when severe weather threatens. Have a severe-weather plan. Figure out the safest place to be in your home if a Tornado Warning is issued. And have sufficient food, water, batteries and other supplies on hand to shelter in place without electrical power for several days.

With any luck, you'll never need any of it. But you will sleep better.

(PHOTOS: Top: Baltimore Sun file; Middle: SUN PHOTO/Karl Merton Ferron; Bottom: NASA satellite image)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:12 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

April 9, 2010

Cool Gulf may be suppressing tornado season

The three-month stretch from January through March this year was the coldest such period on record for Florida, the second-coldest for Louisiana and the third-coldest for Mississippi and Alabama. The fact is, the Gulf of Mexico itself is colder  (yellow shows temperatures on top map; blue on the lower map shows departures below the average, while yellow shows departures above the average in the Atlantic) than normal this spring, and that may be why the spring tornado season - which is fueled in part by heat and humidity off the Gulf - has been so Sea surface temperaturesslow.

NOAA's National Climatic Data Center and the Storm Prediction Center said this week that the preliminary U.S. tornado count for March was just 36. That was a tie for the fourth-quietest March for tornado activity since they started keeping records in 1950. The three-year average for March tornados is 138.

On average, however, the contiguous 48 states were warmer and drier than average, NOAA says. Thirteen states had average March temperatures that ranked among their 10 warmest. Rhode Island had its warmest March ever. Maine had its second-warmest and New Hampshire had its third-warmest.

Dry weather was the rule in Michigan, which saw its driest January-to-March period ever. Wisconsin saw its fourth-driest while Montana and Wyoming had their sixth driest.NOAA

Big coastal storms brought parts of the mid-Atlantic and New England states wet weather and flooding in March. It was the wettest January-to-March on record for Massachusetts, Rhode Island (photo, right) and New Jersey. Delaware and Vermont saw their second- and fifth-wettest Marches on record.

And just so you know, mid-March ice cover on the Great Lakes (yes, they record such things) was at a record low, just 3.5 percent of the lakes' surface. The average ice extent for that period is 31 percent, according to records dating back to 1973.

(AP PHOTO/Joe Giblin)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 1:59 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

August 5, 2009

NWS reports on Frederick Co. tornadoes

Tornado damage in Ijamsville 

Still catching up on the violent weather that occurred while I was on vacation, including two tornadoes that touched down in Frederick County on Friday, July 31.

Investigators from the National Weather Service found evidence of two separate tornadoes in the Ijamsville area. Both were rated EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with top winds of 100 to 110 mph. They damaged hundreds of trees, lifted the roofs off several houses and destroyed a number of metal barns (photo).

One of the twisters swirled across the area for 2.5 miles, with a maximum width of 125 yards. The second was on the ground for the same distance, widening to as much as 350 yards.

Here is the preliminary report from the NWS forecast office at Sterling, Va.

(AP PHOTO/Frederick News-Post)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 4:59 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

June 21, 2009

Saturday's storm spawned 2 tornadoes, one waterspout

 tornado Middle River

The National Weather Service has investigated Saturday's afternoon thunderstorm damage across Baltimore and Harford counties and they are now reporting there were TWO small tornadoes, plus a waterspout over the Chesapeake Bay east of Anne Arundel County.

The picture above was sent to me by John R. Fricke of Edgewood. Here's how he described what he saw:

"I was lucky enough to witness the birth of the storm as it passed over my house in Edgewood, MD. The warning sirens began to go off around 3:45pm in my neighborhood of Woodbridge Station.  As I looked towards the northwest, I could see white clouds rushing on an upward angle towards what appeared to be the base of a super cell thunderstorm.  As it approached, a noticeable "swirling of the sky" was visible.

"Just as the formation passed over my house on Woodbridge Center Way, I
could see a small, horizontal rope-like funnel beginning to spin. Strangely enough, there was very little wind, no rain, no thunder or lightning in my vicinity, but about 5 miles down Rte. 40 cars were pulled off to the side of the road as rain was driven sideways." - John Fricke

Here is the official report out of Sterling, (ALL CAPS) with some damage photos from John Fricke. Location information was not provided.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
318 PM EDT SUN JUN 21 2009

...TWO TORNADOES AND A WATERESPOUT CONFIRMED FROM SATURDAY...

SATURDAY AFTERNOON THREE WEAKER THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED QUICKLY
INTO SUPERCELLS WHILE MOVING ACROSS HARFORD...BALTIMORE...AND ANNE
ARUNDEL COUNTY. MUCH OF THE REASON FOR THIS WAS DUE TO THE STORMS
IMPACTING THE BAY BREEZE OVER THESE COUNTIES. THE BAY BREEZE IS
WHERE SLIGHTLY COOLER AIR OFF THE BAY MOVES OVER THE ADJACENT
SHORELINE COMMUNITIES AND SHIFTS THE SURFACE WIND DIRECTION ENOUGH
TO ASSIST WITH TORNADO FORMATION.

THE HARFORD COUNTY STORM PRODUCED A WEAK EF-0 TORNADO...THE
BALTIMORE COUNTY STORM PRODUCED EF-1 DAMAGE AT ITS WORST
POINT...AND THE ANNE ARUNDEL STORM DEVELOPED A WATERSPOUT JUST AS
IT MOVED OVER THE BAY.

HARFORD COUNTY...

tornado damage/FrickeAT 3:31 PM A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN OVER PLEASANT HILLS/STONEYBROOK
MARYLAND. IT KNOCKED DOWN SEVERAL TREES AND LARGE BRANCHES IN THE
COMMUNITY...ONE OF WHICH FELL ON A DELIVERY TRUCK AS IT WAS MAKING
DELIVERIES. THE TORNADO PROCEEDED EAST AND WENT THROUGH SEVERAL QUICK
CYCLES OF DISSIPATION AND REGENERATION AS IT MOVED ALONG
HOLLINGSWORTH DRIVE...CAUSING SPORADIC DAMAGE. THE TORNADO MOVED
ACROSS A FARM BETWEEN HOLLINGSWORTH DRIVE AND RING FACTORY ROAD...
UPROOTING A DOZEN LARGE TREES BEFORE DISSIPATING OVER THE NORTHERN
END OF ATKISSON RESERVOIR AT 3:38 PM.

A NWS SURVEY CONCLUDED THAT THIS STORM WAS CONSISTENT WITH EF-0
DAMAGE. PEAK WINDS WERE ESTIMATED TO BE 75 MPH. THE PATH LENGTH
WAS 3 MILES WITH A WIDTH OF 100 YARDS.

BALTIMORE COUNTY...

AT 3:44 PM A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN ESSEX MARYLAND. IT KNOCKED
DOWN A TREE THAT SEVERELY DAMAGED A HOME. SEVERAL OTHER TREES AND
BRANCHES WERE KNOCKED DOWN AS WELL. STREETS AFFECTED INCLUDED
WOODLYNN RD... LANCE AVE... KINWAT AVE... TIBSEN AVE... AND
HOMBURG AVE. MINOR SHINGLE AND SIDING DAMAGE WAS REPORTED THROUGH
THE COMMUNITY. DAMAGE IN THIS AREA WAS CATEGORIZED AS EF-0 DAMAGE
WITH PEAK WINDS AROUND 70 MPH.

THE STORM CONTINUED SOUTHEAST...MAINLY AS A FUNNEL CLOUD THAT DID
NOT REACH TO THE GROUND... BUT IT DID CAUSE A FEW LARGE BRANCHES
TO GET KNOCKED DOWN SPORADICALLY ALONG THE BACK RIVER NECK RD
CORRIDOR.

THE TORNADO INTENSIFIED AS IT APPROACHED BROWNS CREEK AND
BALLISTON POINT. AT 3:49 THE TORNADO WAS VIDEOTAPED NEARING
BROWNS CREEK. THE STORM MOVED ACROSS THE CREEK AND OVER BALLISTON
POINT AT 3:50 PM. THE TORNADO UPROOTED OR SNAPPED DOWN A
SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE LARGE TREES IN THE COMMUNITY ALONG
ISLAND VIEW ROAD...DOZENS IN ALL. THE STORM DISSIPATED AS IT MOVEDtornado damage/Fricke
OVER THE BAY AT 3:52 PM.

RESIDENTS OF ISLAND VIEW ROAD HAD VIDEO AND PICTURES OF THE
TORNADO AND INDICATED SEEING THE TORNADO WARNING ON TELEVISION
BEFORE THE STORM STRUCK. AN NWS DAMAGE SURVEY REVEALED EF-1 DAMAGE
IN THE BALLISTON POINT AREA WITH PEAK WINDS ESTIMATED TO BE 90
MPH. TOTAL PATH LENGTH FOR THIS TORNADO WAS 5 MILES...ALTHOUGH THE
CIRCULATION SKIPPED AS IT MOVED SOUTHEAST. PATH WIDTH WAS 150
YARDS AT ITS WIDEST.

CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSPOUT...

LASTLY...A STORM MOVING OVER NORTHERN ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY MOVED
OUT OVER THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. A WATERSPOUT FORMED AT 3:52 PM AND
MOVED ACROSS THE BAY...PASSING JUST NORTH OF LOVE POINT ON
NORTHERN KENT ISLAND. THE WATERSPOUT DISSIPATED OVER THE CHESTER
RIVER AT 4:10 PM BEFORE IT COULD STRIKE ANY LAND. MOTORISTS ON THE
BAY BRIDGE COULD SEE THE WATERSPOUT AND SEVERAL PICTURES WERE
TAKEN. NO DAMAGE WAS REPORTED FROM THIS EVENT."

If you have still or video images of these tornadoes, or the waterspout, please email them to me at frank.roylance@baltsun.com and I will post them. Please include information about the time and location of the photo, and what you saw.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 8:07 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

Baltimore County tornado rated EF-1

The twister that tore a five-mile path across portions of southeast Baltimore County on Saturday June 20 has been rated an EF-1 on the "enhanced Fujita" scale. Top winds were estimated at 90 mph. That makes it stronger than the 1-mile, EF-0 that touched down in Dundalk on June 9. Here's the initial report from the National Weather Service:

"0344 PM     TORNADO          1 ESE ESSEX             39.30N  76.43W
06/20/2009                   BALTIMORE          MD   NWS STORM SURVEY

            EF1 RATED DAMAGE. TWO TREES INTO HOUSES. DOZENS OF
            TREES SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. PATH LENGTH FIVE MILES. WIDTH
            150 YDS. PEAK WIND 90 MPH."

Here is The Sun's brief on the event.

If you're in there area and have photos - of the storm itself or damage - please email them to me at frank.roylance@baltsun.com and I will post them here. Any comments with descriptions would be welcome, too. Thanks.

That's two tornadoes and a water spout in Baltimore and vicinity in just 11 days. Yikes!

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:32 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

June 10, 2009

Tuesday storm in Dundalk was a tornado

A survey team from the National Weather Service has declared that the thunderstorm that swept across the Baltimore region late Tuesday afternoon contained a small tornado (an "EF-0" on the "Enhanced Fujita Scale") packing 70 mph winds. The storm caused property damage along a mile-long swath in the Dundalk section of southeast Baltimore County.

No injuries were reported, and no damage estimate was immediately available.

Here is the NWS report, issued tonight.

"TODAY THE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE OF THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONDUCTED A SURVEY OF STORM DAMAGE THAT
OCCURRED ON JUNE 9TH IN DUNDALK MARYLAND IN BALTIMORE COUNTY. THE
SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED IN CONCERT WITH BALTIMORE COUNTY OFFICE OF
HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

"THE FOLLOWING WAS DETERMINED THROUGH A DAMAGE SURVEY...EXAMINATION
OF RADAR AND EYEWITNESS INTERVIEWS.

"BASED ON ALL EVIDENCE THE DAMAGE WAS CONSISTENT WITH A BRIEF SMALL
TORNADO RATED EF-0 ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE...WITH PEAK WINDS
ESTIMATED AT 70 MPH. PATH LENGTH WAS ONE MILE...WITH A MAX WIDTH OF
150 YARDS. INITIAL TIME OF TOUCHDOWN WAS 5:21 PM EDT...AND WAS ON
THE GROUND FOR ABOUT ONE MINUTE.

"NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED.

"NO DAMAGE COST ESTIMATE WAS AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME.

"EVIDENCE OF THE TORNADO WAS FIRST NOTED ALONG THE NORTHERN EDGE OF
OAK LAWN CEMETERY AND THE ADJOINING EASTPOINT NEIGHBORHOOD NORTH OF
THE CEMETERY...DUE MAINLY TO TREES SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. MORE DAMAGE
WAS NOTED ALONG BREAD AND CHEESE CREEK FROM CARSON AVENUE EAST TO
PLAINFIELD RD. THE TORNADO PRODUCED STRUCTURE DAMAGE TO 3 TOWNHOUSES
ON BERKSHIRE LANE...WHERE PORTIONS OF THEIR FLAT TAR-PITCH ROOF WERE
REMOVED...A TREE FELL ON ANOTHER TOWNHOUSE ON BERKSHIRE...AND A
NEARBY CAR DEALERSHIP LOST A PORTION OF ITS CANVASS ROOF COVERING.
THE MOST CONCENTRATED DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED FROM THE BERKSHIRE RD
AREA...ACROSS MERRITT BLVD TO PLAINFIELD RD...WHERE MULTIPLE TREES
WERE SNAPPED AND/OR UP-ROOTED...WITH ONE TREE FALLING ON A HOUSE.
THE TORNADO APPEARED TO WEAKEN QUICKLY AS IT MOVED FURTHER EAST
THROUGH THE GRAY MANOR NEIGHBORHOOD...AND NO DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED
EAST OF WOODWELL RD.

"EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS AND EXAMINATION OF RADAR DATA SUGGEST THE
TORNADO BEGAN AS A GUSTNADO...A SPIN-UP CIRCULATION THAT FORMS ON
THE LEADING EDGE OF A THUNDERSTORM GUST FRONT. IT QUICKLY
TRANSFORMED INTO A MORE TRADITIONAL TORNADO...DEVELOPING AS A NEW
THUNDERSTORM UPDRAFT OVERRAN THE ORIGINAL GUST FRONT AND BECAME
COLLOCATED OVER THE ORIGINAL GUSTNADO. EYEWITNESSES REPORTED SEEING
DEBRIS...TREE LIMBS AND ROOFING MATERIAL...BEING LIFTED UPWARDS INTO
THE TORNADO CIRCULATION. ONE EYEWITNESS ON PLAINFIELD RD DESCRIBED
THE SOUND OF A FREIGHT TRAIN AS THE TORNADO PASSED OVER HIS HOUSE.

"THE WEATHER SERVICE EXTENDS THANKS TO BALTIMORE COUNTY EMERGENCY
MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS...AND TO SOME MEMBERS OF LOCAL MEDIA WHO
ASSISTED IN POINTING OUT LOCATIONS OF DAMAGE IN DUNDALK."

Posted by Frank Roylance at 9:51 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

April 24, 2008

More on Sunday's rain, tornadoes

Imagine a 6 by 6 oak post, sunk three feet into the earth as a support for an outbuilding. Now imagine wind strong enough to suck it up out of the ground like a golf tee and toss it the length of four football fields. That's what the NWS surveyors found in Virginia where one of Sunday's three tornadoes struck. And that was only an EF-0 twister. Here's more on the Enhanced Fujita scale of tornado intensity.

The initial reports from the NWS Sterling forecast office are now available online. Click here. For the specifics on the Maryland damage, click here. For the Virginia details, click here.

There's also this nifty map of rainfall reports from the precip on Sunday and Monday.  It's a bit disorienting, covering just the Sterling office's forecast area. That's the Western Shore of the bay on the right, with Harford County at upper right, St. Mary's at lower right. The Pennsylvania line runs across the top, as far as Allegany County. (Garrett is covered by the Pittsburgh office.) The bulk of the map covers Northern Virginia.

National Weather Service

Posted by Frank Roylance at 5:39 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

March 17, 2008

Atlanta tornado video

There are some amazing online videos of the Atlanta tornado. Here is a sampler:

Here's one from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/03/17/atlanta.tornado/index.html#cnnSTCVideo 

Here's some local TV footage, from an airport webcam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxfa1AVQlS8

More local TV video, from a helicopter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPdJah-P0F8&feature=related

A walking tour of downtown Atlanta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRxOCFh_mm4&feature=related

Here's video of the hailstorm as the tornado approached: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxhTY7o-4dM&feature=related 

Another walking tour, with MalaniKai: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr0OUzkrmo8&feature=related

 

 

 

 

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:23 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

July 17, 2007

Harford tornado rated an EF-1

The National Weather Service has rated Monday evening's Harford County tornado an EF-1 on the "Enhanced Fujita Scale."  That suggests maximum winds between 86 and 110 mph.

Sun photo by Kim HairstonHere's the statement this afternoon from the Sterling forecast office:

"A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN NEAR FALLSTON MONDAY AFTERNOON. NWS DAMAGE SURVEY SUGGESTS THIS TORNADO WAS AN EF1 INTENSITY ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE. MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH WAS 150 YARDS AND THE LENGTH APPROXIMATELY 4 MILES LONG.

"EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO TREES INCLUDING SOME SOFTWOOD TREES SNAPPED AND MANY HARDWOODS TOPPLED. STRUCTURAL DAMAGE OBSERVED WAS LIMITED TO TREES AND LIMBS FALLING ONTO STRUCTURES. MANY POWERLINES WERE ALSO DOWNED.

"NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED. EVENT TIME APPROXIMATELY 6:15-6:27 PM."

For a detailed list of damage reports from Monday's storms, click here.

The June 13 tornado that ripped up woodlands north of Butler, in Baltimore County, was rated an EF-0, with top winds between 65 and 85 mph, the lowest rating on the scale.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 4:10 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

Harford blow was tornado

An inspection team from the National Weather Service is on its way back to Sterling, Va. this morning after inspecting damage from last evening's storm in Harford County. The preliminary word from their three-hour tour of the Fallston area is that the damage was caused by a small twister.

"The damage we saw suggests that, yes, it was a tornado," said David R. Manning, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service's Baltimore-Washington Forecast office in Sterling.

There was no immediate estimate of the storm's intensity on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. "I didn't see damage that would suggest a strong tornado, but there was some fairly significant damage to trees and a lot of power lines were taken down."

"At this point it looks like it was on the ground for a few miles - less than 10 but more than 3," Manning said. ""We have not mapped out all the locations yet completely."  The twister's path of destruction stretched from near Fallston, southeastward to very close to Abingdon. Its width varied from 100 to 150 yards.

A Fujita rating and a better estimate of the length of the tornado's path of destruction across Harford County is expected later today in a public information statement to be published on the Sterling forecast office Web site

Manning was also part of the team that inspected damage from the F-0 tornado that ripped through woodlands north of Butler in northern Baltimore County on June 13. The Fallston damage suggests yesterday's storm was bigger - "a little wider and a little longer," he said.

The fast-developing thunderstorm boiled up over northern Baltimore County around 5:30 p.m., knocking down trees near Old York Road and Troyer Road in Monkton, and near Corbett Road in Phoenix. 

The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 5:35 p.m., Manning said, followed by a tornado warning for Harford County at 6:12 p.m.

The storm crossed into Harford County, snapping and toppling large trees in the Fallston area. Many of the trees took power lines and poles down with them. Utility and highway crews were still clearing and repairing the damage this morning.

Here's the story in this morning's Sun

Manning said he saw trees as large as 3 feet in diameter at the trunk that had been felled by the storm. "Some trees were topped, with either parts or most of them snapped off. Most of them were pushed over."

The key to distinguishing tornado damage from straight-line wind damage is the orientation of the downed trees and debris.

"If they diverge, it's straight-line wind," he said. He compared the effect to that of pouring a bucket of water onto the floor. The water moves out and away from the center. In a tornado, the debris is drawn in toward the center of the storm's track.

Fortunately, he said, yesterday's damage was almost entirely to trees and power lines. "A lot of the trees that fell, even though they were near homes, didn't fall on homes," Manning said. "I did see a few locations where limbs or trees did fall on homes, but I didn't see any major structural damage where I looked."

Accompanying Manning on the inspection tour this morning was another meteorologist from the Sterling forecast office, and a representative of Maryland Emergency Management.

 

 

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:21 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

June 15, 2007

Tornado touched down in Baltimore County

It's official. Those thunderstorms Wednesday evening included a small tornado that touched down briefly in Baltimore County. A National Weather Service team yesterday inspected the tree falls and other forest damage north of Butler and concluded it was consistent with a small tornado - an F-0 on the "enhanced" Fujita scale. Here is the statement from Sterling. 

Here's The Sun story. And here is the link to video, shot Wednesday in Silver Spring, of a funnel cloud that was part of the same storm system. We're told the cloud never touched the ground in Montgomery County, and therefore was not officially a tornado (which, by definition, must touch down). But it sure looks like it did.

 

Posted by Frank Roylance at 8:03 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

May 16, 2007

Greensburg Gallery

If you ever thought you'd be tempted, under a tornado warning, to stay outside and watch the twister or take pictures for CNN, this gallery of photos from Greensburg - the Kansas town recently erased by an F5 tornado - will persuade you of the value of underground tornado shelters. The fork embedded in the tree was enough for me.
Posted by Frank Roylance at 4:04 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

November 16, 2006

Tornado watch for Maryland

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for all of Maryland east of Washington County. The same stormy cold front that brought flooding to Florida and deadly tornadoes to the Deep South overnight is on our doorstep this morning.

So far, the rain has been spotty, but there's more to come. The National Weather Service is still warning of 1 to 2 inches of rain in places, all falling in a relatively short period. That can lead to street flooding where drainage is poor. Wet leaves can make the streets slippery in spots, too. 

Winds are already gusting as high as 18 mph here at Calvert and Centre streets. There's been little rain - barely two hundredths of an inch here. But that will change. Here's the radar loop. And here's the forecast for BWI-Marshall.

Strong south and southeast winds are holding water in the bay today, and high tides are running well above predicted levels. Coastal flood warnings are up along the west shore of the Chesapeake. Here are the links to the real-time tide gauges. Just click on "MD" and then the gauge of your choice.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:07 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

September 29, 2006

Arundel damage laid to F1 twister

The National Weather Service has determined that the wind storm that caused significant damage yesterday in Anne Arundel County was, indeed, a tornado - an F1 on the Fujita scale, meaning its winds fell into the range of 73 to 112 mph. The Fujita Scale runs from F0 to a never-yet-observed F5.

Here is a link to a rather incomplete and disorganized, but interesting NWS page with links to reports on past Maryland tornadoes.

Here's the full text of today's report:

"...A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN CENTRAL MARYLAND THURSDAY EVENING...

"THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONDUCTED A STORM SURVEY IN SEVERNA
PARK AND PASADENA MARYLAND TODAY. FROM THIS SURVEY... INTERVIEWS
WITH EYEWITNESSES... NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SKYWARN SPOTTERS...
AND DOPPLER RADAR IMAGERY... IT WAS DETERMINED THAT A TORNADO
TOUCHED DOWN AROUND 6:30 PM IN CENTRAL MARYLAND IN THE AREA OF
SEVERNA PARK... AND TRAVELED TWO MILES BEFORE LIFTING IN PASADENA
MARYLAND AROUND 6:40 PM. AT ITS MAXIMUM THE STORM WAS 250 YARDS WIDE
WITH WINDS OF 90 MPH WITH A RANKING OF F1 ON THE FUJITA SCALE WHICH
RUNS FROM F0 TO F5. 33 HOMES WERE SEVERELY DAMAGED BY FALLING TREES
WITH 13 OF THOSE HOMES RENDERED UNINHABITABLE.

"INITIAL MINOR DAMAGE WAS LOCATED NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF RITCHIE
HIGHWAY ROUTE 2 AND MCKINSEY AVENUE. A HARDWARE STORE HAD ITS SIGN
BLOWN DOWN AND A SMALL TREE WAS DOWNED NEAR THE SEVERNA PARK
MARKETPLACE SHOPPING CENTER. A FEW TREES WERE ALSO DOWNED
IMMEDIATELY BEHIND THE SHOPPING CENTER ALONG LEELYNN ROAD.

"THE TORNADO GATHERED STRENGTH AS IT PROGRESSED THROUGH WEST RIDGE
AND TOWARDS CATTAIL CREEK OFF OF THE MAGOTHY RIVER. FIVE LARGE
HARDWOOD TREES OF ONE TO TWO FEET IN DIAMETER WERE UPROOTED... AND
SEVERAL OTHERS WERE SNAPPED OFF ALONG WHITTIER PARKWAY. TWO OF THE
LARGE TREES HAD FALLEN THROUGH HOUSES. THESE TREES... AS MOST OF THE
TREES WERE IN THE SURVEY... WERE BLOWN DOWN NEARLY PERPENDICULAR TO
THE PATH OF THE TORNADO... KNOCKED DOWN TOWARDS THE WEST.

"THE TORNADO THEN PASSED OVER A NORTHWEST EXTENSION OF THE MAGOTHY
RIVER CALLED CATTAIL CREEK... AND REACHED ITS MOST INTENSE AND
WIDEST EXTENT AS IT PASSED THROUGH THE COMMUNITY OF LOWER MAGOTHY
BEACH. IN THIS AREA WINDS WERE ESTIMATED TO HAVE REACHED 90 MPH. AT
ITS MAXIMUM THE STORM PASSED THROUGH A VACANT LOT BETWEEN NORTH
DRIVE AND SOUTH DRIVE. IN THAT AREA NEARLY EVERY TREE WAS UPROOTED
OR SNAPPED OFF AND BLOWN DOWN TO THE WEST. MANY OF THESE TREES WERE
LARGE TWO FOOT DIAMETER HARDWOOD TREES THAT WERE 60 TO 80 FEET TALL.
IT WAS EVEN NOTED THAT A SMALL SHRUB OF THREE FEET TALL WAS
UPROOTED... AN INDICATION THAT THE CIRCULATION REACHED ALL THE WAY
TO THE SURFACE. LEAF SPATTER WAS NOTED ON THE SIDES OF HOMES AND
VEHICLES. SLIGHT SIDING DAMAGE WAS NOTED ON ONE HOME. SEVERAL HOMES
HAD DAMAGE FROM TREES OR LARGE TREE BRANCHES FALLING INTO THEM. MANY
WIRES AND TELEPHONE POLES WERE KNOCKED DOWN IN THIS AREA. THE WIDTH
OF THE TORNADO AT THIS POINT WAS 250 YARDS.

"THE TORNADO THEN BEGAN TO WEAKEN AS IT PASSED JUST WEST OF HAMILTON
HARBOR MARINA AND CROSSED OVER THE COMMUNITY OF STEWARTS LANDING
BEFORE CROSSING OLD MAN CREEK INTO RIVERDALE. DURING THIS TIME MORE
TREES WERE BEING SNAPPED OFF THEN UPROOTED AS THE TORNADO WAS
BEGINNING TO LIFT OFF THE GROUND.

"IN THE RIVERDALE AREA... A FEW TREES AND SEVERAL LARGE BRANCHES WERE
DOWN. A SMALL GARAGE WAS DESTROYED BY A TREE. DAMAGE BECAME MUCH
MORE LIMITED AS THE TORNADO CONTINUED NORTH ACROSS NORWITCH ROAD AND
INVERNESS ROAD IN RIVERDALE. BY THE TIME THE STORM CROSSED THE
MAGOTHY FOR THE FINAL TIME AND TRAVELED OVER THE COMMUNITY OF
BEACHWOOD PARK... ONLY LEAF LITTER AND SMALL DOWNED BRANCHES WERE
NOTED."

Posted by Frank Roylance at 5:07 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

August 29, 2006

Tornado watch for Baltimore canceled

Update: The weather service has canceled the tornado watch posted earlier today, at least on the western shore of the bay, as the band of storms moved through without affecting our area. But there was more excitement to our south, as this radar loop shows.

Earlier: The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Baltimore and the surrounding counties in north-central Maryland and parts of southeastern Pennsylvania - the yellow region on this map - in effect until 8 p.m. tonight.

We don't usually think of this area as tornado country, but twisters - almost always small ones - are not really uncommon in Maryland. For an interesting, albeit incomplete accounting of past Maryland tornadoes, click here.  The biggest tornado in recent memory was the F4 La Plata twister that struck Charles County in April 2002. For a detailed tour of the damage, click here.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 2:35 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

August 21, 2006

Wild tornado video

Want to see the weirdest, skinniest tornado ever? Click here for a link to the video. The twister was taped by a homeowner in Colorado, who provides a running commentary as she calls family members to describe it. She probably didn't expect her narration, or her baby's whining, to be carried worldwide via the Web. "It is really cool. I'm videotapin' it," she says. Her 5 minutes of fame.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 2:35 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

April 3, 2006

We're under a tornado watch

How often do the Orioles open their season under a tornado watch?  Most of Maryland and Virginia (and parts of the Carolinas, Georgia and Pennsylvania) were placed under a tornado watch at 4:15 this afternoon as a cold front approached with a threat of severe thunderstorms. A station near Hancock reported three-quarter-inch hail this afternoon. Here's a radar image showing the storm front.

Here's how the tornado watch reads for counties in the Sterling, Va., forecast area:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED TORNADO WATCH 148 IN
EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

IN MARYLAND THIS WATCH INCLUDES 13 COUNTIES

IN CENTRAL MARYLAND

ANNE ARUNDEL          HOWARD                MONTGOMERY
PRINCE GEORGES

IN NORTH CENTRAL MARYLAND

CARROLL               FREDERICK             WASHINGTON

IN NORTHERN MARYLAND

BALTIMORE             HARFORD

IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND

CALVERT               CHARLES               ST. MARYS

IN WESTERN MARYLAND

ALLEGANY

Here's a definition: 

Tornado Watch (SEL):  This is issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area.  Their size can vary depending on the weather situation.  They are usually issued for a duration of 4 to 8 hours.  They normally are issued well in advance of the actual occurrence of severe weather.  During the watch, people should review tornado safety rules and be prepared to move a place of safety if threatening weather approaches.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 5:20 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tornadoes
        

September 23, 2004

Ivan's tornadoes

Who says this isn't "tornado country"? The Sterling Forecast Office (National Weather Service) has posted its initial survey of the tornado damage Sept. 17 in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. The storms were spawned by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan. They chewed up trees, homes and businesses in 11 Virginia counties, three in Maryland (Frederick, Montgomery and Washington) and one in West Virginia. The strongest, which struck western Fauquier County, Va., was rated at F3 (158-206 mph) on the Fujita scale. It tracked 22 miles across the county and tossed a pickup truck 75 yards, over trees and power lines and dropped it in a field. To see the report,click here.

Posted by Admin at 4:45 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Hurricanes, Tornadoes
        
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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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