From the ABC 7 Weather team

Update: Tornado over Southern Maryland? Most likely wind damage

June 21, 2011 - 03:30 PM
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Reports have been coming in concerning a possible tornado over parts of Anne Arundel and Calvert Counties in Southern Maryland.  

UPDATE 3:30 P.M.: A final tally of storm reports from last Friday are updated through the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), and you can check them for yourself here. Scroll down to the listed wind events and look for the time code of around 2300 UTC (around 7 p.m. EDT), and you'll see a number of reports from in and around Dunkirk, Md.

All signs point to widespread damage which nearly confirms that this was a wide swath of high winds which would not support the notion of a tornado. A nearby buoy in the Chesapeake did record a wind gust of 58 mph, but from my past severe weather experience I can tell you that winds of close to 70 m.p.h. probably occurred, especially in places where the worst damage was recorded.

More severe weather could be possible by the end of the week as a cold front nears on June 23 and 24, so stay tuned to WJLA.com's main weather page and we'll keep you ahead of all the potential severe weather.

ORIGINAL: After a busy night around the DC metro area where severe storms pounded he region with heavy rain and a spectacular lightning show, more storms continue the latest trend of over-the-top weather with reports of a possible tornado around Dunkirk, MD.

Right around 6:45 PM EDT, the National Weather Service office in Sterling, VA issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Southern Prince Georges, Southern Anne Arundel, Northern Calvert, and Northern Charles counties until 7:30 PM EDT.  Meteorologists had detected a severe storm that was capable of producing winds in excess of 60 mph and decided to sound the alarm for a potentially damaging storm.  Initially, this storm looked impressive on our Live Super Doppler 7 radar, but unlike most of the other storms on Friday afternoon this storm didn't weaken but intensified as it moved eastward.

Currently, all signs point to straight-line wind damage instead of a tornado, but more information will need to be looked over for a final conclusion.

Starting around 7 PM EDT, the first reports started coming into  the National Weather Service of trees down and damage around Dunkirk, MD.  After this first report, several other calls started to trickle in with more damage being reported around North Beach and Owings, MD.  Check out the latest list of severe storm reports from the Storm Prediction Center by clicking here.
 
While there were no tornado warnings issued today it's not entirely impossible that a tornado could have occurred, but at this point all signs are pointing to a non-tornadic event.

The current wind structure in the atmosphere is relatively weak right now and favors an environment for storms to produce large hail and strong wind gusts, but not damaging tornadoes.  A call was place into the NWS office and initial suspicions there also point to straight-line wind damage.  At this point no damage survey team is scheduled to visit the reported sites, but stay tuned to WJLA.com for further information as we continue this investigation.

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