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Keyword: tornado

The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down in the Monkton area during a storm that swept through Maryland Friday afternoon.

A NWS storm survey confirmed that the tornado began at 3:19 p.m. on Corbett Road between Monkton Farms Drive and Falls Road, and ended at 3:23 p.m. near the intersection of  Shepperd Road and MD 562/138 Troyer Road. 

The storm damage occurred along a path 100 to 150 yards wide. The damage was limited mainly to several dozen softwood trees, several of which broke and fell as a result of the winds. Numerous large limbs were scattered throughout the affected area.

No injuries were reported.

Based on the observed damage, NWS estimates maximum wind speeds of 90 mph. (EF-1 tornadoes involve wind speeds of 86 to 110 mph.) Wind speeds higher than 90 mph will cause damage to sturdy structures, including loss of shingles or siding; such damage was not observed along the path of this tornado.

Tornadoes are ranked according to the "Enhanced Fujita Scale," with EF-0 the weakest (65 to 85 mph winds) and EF-5 the most violent (more than 200 mph). 

Local Emergency Management officials remind Baltimore County residents that severe thunderstorms with tornadoes and/or damaging straight-line winds occur here occasionally and require everyone to understand tornado terminology.

A "watch" means conditions are right for tornado formation; a "warning" means rotation has been spotted on radar or a tornado has been sighted.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides helpful information about what to do when tornadoes threaten

Two of Central Maryland’s most serious weather disasters – tornadoes and flooding – commonly occur during the spring and summer months.

Local emergency preparedness officials encourage citizens and business owners to take time now to:

  • Review their home and business emergency plans – or to develop one, if they don’t have one.
  • Familiarize themselves with where to go and what to do when tornadoes threaten.
  • Educate licensed drivers to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” when confronted with standing water in roadways.

Flood Safety Awareness Week

The National Weather Service declared March 13 to 17, National Flood Safety Awareness Week.

Floods and flash floods take more lives than any other weather disaster. More than half of those fatalities occur when vehicles are swept away by flood waters.

The National Weather Service’s “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” campaign raises awareness about the hazards of attempting to drive through floodwaters. Visit for detailed information about this campaign and other flood safety issues.

Also, – the web site of the National Flood Insurance Program – is an extremely valuable resource about flood risks and flood insurance. The site contains the most recent information on flood maps and allows you to enter your zip code for information about your level of flood risk.

Tornado Season

Though tornadoes are usually associated with the Midwest, they are fairly common in Maryland as well. The conditions that spawn tornadoes can occur at any time of year, but especially in spring and summer.

Bookmark the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) excellent resource on tornadoes, This site includes where to go and what to do when a tornado is sighted.

Revised October 16, 2020               
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