A waterspout, or possibly a tornado, was spotted by numerous people in Ocean City, Maryland just before 4 p.m. this afternoon. Photographs posted to Twitter as well as video are inconclusive as to whether the funnel touched down on land, which would classify as it as tornado, and/or remained over water (as a waterspout). The National Weather Service in Wakefield, Va. would only confirm that there were waterspout sightings.
The NWS office filed two thunderstorm damage reports at 3:50 p.m. The first report indicates wind damage to awnings and marquees between 65th and 93rd street. A second report said damage occurred to a building at 75th St. and the ocean front and that there was “condo roof on beach.”
The radar image below shows a strong line of thunderstorms in the vicinity of Ocean City at 4 p.m. On the bottom left side of the thunderstorm line (or SW flank), in the vicinity of Ocean City, there may be a weak hook echo, which is often evident of rotation and a tornado, waterspout, or funnel cloud.
Here are a few videos recently posted to YouTube showing the waterspout and/or tornado:
Ocean City, Md. 74-75th Street tornado [and/or waterspout] 3:49 PM . View from 61st street 2nd floor looking north
UPDATED information on damage (6:30 p.m.): Baltimore Sun’s Frank Roylance has more on the damage, reportedly minor, in the Ocean City area:
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 town. “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.
A report from the Associated Press states:
Fire department spokesman Ryan Whittington says buildings and multiple vehicles were damaged in the 75th Street area, but no major injuries were reported. He says town officials are working with NWS to determine what kind of weather event caused the damage.