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Severe thunderstorms caused damage around the Washington, D.C., area this weekend, uprooting trees and resulting in structural damage. Hardest hit were Maryland suburbs of the Metro area as an energetic upper level disturbance interacted with a stationary surface front. The video below gives a summary of the damage from the Associated Press. Continue reading this post for the latest from the National Weather Service Office in Sterling, Virginia, on the exact details of this storm.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
923 PM EDT SUN APR 20 2008
...TWO TORNADOES STRUCK THE MARYLAND SUBURBS OF WASHINGTON SUNDAY
A TORNADIC STORM STRUCK THE WASHINGTON METRO AREA TWICE SUNDAY
AFTERNOON. THE FIRST EVENT OCCURRED JUST NORTHEAST OF LA PLATA IN
THE TOWN OF SAINT CHARLES IN CHARLES COUNTY MARYLAND. AT 2:09 PM EDT
A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF RENNER ROAD AND
ROUTE 5/LEONARDTOWN ROAD. THE TORNADO TRACKED NORTH AND DAMAGED THE
EASTERN SECTION OF SAINT CHARLES. THE MOST DAMAGED PARTS OF THE
COMMUNITY WERE AROUND SNOWBELL COURT...SWEETBRIAR PLACE...AND
NORTHGATE PLACE. THE DAMAGE INCLUDED SEVERAL LARGE TREES SNAPPED AND
UPROOTED...SOME OF WHICH FELL INTO HOUSES AND ONTO VEHICLES. ALSO
SEVERAL HOMES LOST ROOFING MATERIAL AND SECTIONS OF THEIR SIDING. A
LARGE STORAGE SHED WAS ALSO SHIFTED OFF ITS FOUNDATION AND HAD SOME
OF ITS DOORS BLOWN OUT. THE STRONGEST WIND FROM THAT TOUCHDOWN WAS
ESTIMATED TO BE 80 MPH AND HAS THEREFORE BEEN RATED AN EF-0 ON THE
ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE. THE LENGTH OF THE PATH WAS ESTIMATED TO BE 2
MILES...WITH A WIDTH OF 50 TO 100 YARDS.
AFTER THAT TOUCHDOWN...THE TORNADO LIFTED. THE PARENT STORM THEN
TRACKED TO THE NORTH PRODUCING NO KNOWN FURTHER DAMAGE...UNTIL THE
STORM REACHED THE COMMUNITY OF CHILLUM JUST WEST OF HYATTSVILLE
MARYLAND. AT 2:37 PM EDT...A TORNADO THEN TOUCHED DOWN IN CHILLUM AT
A WATER PARK NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF SARGENT ROAD AND RAY ROAD.
TREE DAMAGE WAS NOTED AT THE SPLASH PARK. THE TORNADO INTENSIFIED AS
IT CROSSED A WOODED AREA AND FIELD BEHIND THE GEORGE E PETERS
ADVENTIST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. PEAK WINDS ESTIMATED AT 100 MPH THEN
STRUCK THE SCHOOL...LIFTING THE NORTHEAST SECTION OF THE ROOF OFF
THE BUILDING AND THROWING MOST OF IT INTO THE DOWNWIND PARKING LOT.
A CONSTRUCTION OFFICE TRAILER WAS ALSO THROWN ON ITS SIDE. SOME
DEBRIS FROM THE SCHOOL WAS CARRIED HIGH INTO NEARBY TREES...SOME OF
IT WAS BLOWN INTO THE METROPOLITAN ADVENTIST CHURCH ACROSS THE
PARKING LOT DESTROYING SOME WINDOWS ON THE CHURCH. A PIECE OF
PLYWOOD WAS CARRIED ACROSS RIGGS ROAD INTO PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY
FIRE STATION 44...KNOCKING OUT THEIR POWER. A SCIENCE TEACHER IN THE
SCHOOL AND A FIREMAN IN THE FIRE STATION BOTH REPORTED SEEING
ROTATION AS THE DEBRIS WAS CARRIED BY THE WIND. THE STORM CONTINUED
NORTH DOWNING TREES ALONG RIGGS ROAD...AS WELL AS A LIGHT POLE IN
THE PARKING LOT OF A KMART SHOPPING CENTER ON RIGGS ROAD. THE
STRONGEST WIND FROM THIS TOUCHDOWN WAS ESTIMATED TO BE 100 MPH AND
HAS THEREFORE BEEN RATED AN EF-1 ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE. THE
LENGTH OF THE PATH WAS ESTIMATED TO BE A THIRD OF A MILE...WITH A
WIDTH OF 50 TO 100 YARDS.
THE TORNADO EF SCALE RATES TORNADOES AFTER THE FACT FROM 0 TO 5
BASED ON THEIR ESTIMATED WIND STRENGTH. THE EF SCALE IS AN UPGRADE
TO THE OLD F SCALE WHICH IT REPLACED IT IN 2007.