Rare February tornado tracked 18 miles through St. Mary’s and Calvert counties

The National Weather Service (NWS) has confirmed a weak tornado touched down this afternoon in St. Mary’s County. It made contact with the ground for 16 minutes before lifting near the coast in Calvert County. The twister was spawned from the same set of showers and storms that passed through the D.C. metro area earlier in the day.

Related: NWS confirms tornado in Southern Md., no injuries reported

An 18 mile track length showed sporadic damage from Compton to Cove Point in Maryland, something CWG’s Severe Weather Expert Jeff Halverson characterized as “very long for an EF-0 even if intermittent.”

Rated an EF-0 — the lowest on a scale that goes to 5 — today’s tornado had estimated maximum winds of 80 mph and a maximum width of 75 yards.

This tornado was only the second reported in February in Maryland during the modern record which goes back to 1950. The last February tornado in the state occurred on Feb. 13, 1966.

Assuming the 18 mile track length stands, today’s tornado will rank among those with the longest tracks on record across the broader region. A similar long-track tornado in Montgomery County (ultimately boasting a 20.1 mile track) during June 2013 is not shown in the map below.

regional-tornadoes-18mi-plus-track

Here’s the full statement on the tornado from the NWS:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
522 PM EST FRI FEB 21 2014

…TORNADO CONFIRMED IN ST. MARY’S AND CALVERT COUNTIES IN MARYLAND…

LOCATION…FROM COMPTON IN ST. MARY’S COUNTY MD TO COVE POINT IN CALVERT COUNTY MD

DATE…FRI FEB 21 2014
ESTIMATED TIME…FROM 12:23 PM EST TO 12:39 EST
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING…EF-0
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED…80 MPH
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH…75 YARDS
PATH LENGTH…INTERMITTENT DAMAGE ALONG AN 18 MILE PATH
BEGINNING LAT/LON…38.242N/76.680W
ENDING LAT/LON…38.377N/76.396W
* FATALITIES…NONE
* INJURIES…NONE

* THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT(S) AND PUBLICATION IN NWS STORM DATA.

…SUMMARY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS CONFIRMED A TORNADO IN ST. MARY’S AND CALVERT COUNTIES IN MARYLAND ON FRIDAY FEBRUARY 21 2014.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RECEIVED APPROXIMATELY 15 DAMAGE REPORTS ASSOCIATED WITH A THUNDERSTORM THAT MOVED ACROSS ST. MARY’S AND CALVERT COUNTIES IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND EARLY FRIDAY AFTERNOON. WHEN PLOTTED ON A MAP…THESE DAMAGE REPORTS WERE LINEAR IN NATURE AND CORROBORATED WITH RADAR ROTATIONAL SIGNALS FROM THE FAA’S TERMINAL DOPPLER WEATHER RADAR AT ANDREWS AFB. THE PREDOMINANT DAMAGE REPORTED WERE TREES DOWN…WHICH PROVIDES AN ESTIMATE OF MAXIMUM WIND SPEEDS OF 60 TO 80 MPH.

THIS INFORMATION CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE AT WEATHER.GOV/WASHINGTON.

FOR REFERENCE…THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES
INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

EF0…WIND SPEEDS 65 TO 85 MPH.
EF1…WIND SPEEDS 86 TO 110 MPH.
EF2…WIND SPEEDS 111 TO 135 MPH.
EF3…WIND SPEEDS 136 TO 165 MPH.
EF4…WIND SPEEDS 166 TO 200 MPH.
EF5…WIND SPEEDS GREATER THAN 200 MPH.

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