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Baltimore

Baltimore damage confirmed as macroburst and tornado

The NWS survey team has concluded that the extreme damage in the Baltimore area on Tuesday night was the result of a macroburst and an EF-1 tornado.

NWS Survey

From the NWS survey:

THE PATH OF WIND DAMAGE FROM THE THUNDERSTORMS THAT ALSO
PRODUCED THE BRIEF TORNADO STARTED ON THE WESTERN EDGE OF
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY IN NORTHEAST BALTIMORE CITY AND THEN
CONTINUED FOR APPROXIMATELY 5 MILES TO THE NORTHEAST TO
GUNPOWDER STATE PARK IN BALTIMORE COUNTY. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT
THE VAST MAJORITY OF WIND DAMAGE ALONG THE 5 MILE LONG PATH WAS DUE
TO STRAIGHT LINE WINDS FROM THE DESCENDING REAR-INFLOW JET AS IT HIT
THE GROUND…REFERRED TO AS A MACROBURST. EMBEDDED WITHIN THE DAMAGE
PATH OF THIS MACROBURST WERE TWO AREAS OF DAMAGE THAT ARE ASSOCIATED
WITH THE EF-1 TORNADO.

Basically, the damage was an isolated event wherein a localized strong burst of wind descended from the storm and slammed into the ground. This burst of wind also increased rotation in the atmosphere, which led to the formation of a brief EF-1 tornado.

Here are the Base velocity (left) and SRM velocity (right) scans of the line of storms as the tornado was reported to be on the ground. The image is courtesy of KMUWx91 from the American Weather Forums. On the right image, red pixels indicate wind going away from the radar, and green pixels are winds going towards the radar. This image indicates that there is some weak cyclonic rotation with the storm, which is a sign that there could be a tornado.

Severe storms roll through the region

An unexpectedly-powerful squall line moved through the region between 11pm-2am last night, causing a good number of wind reports and a possible tornado near Baltimore, MD. The few people that I have discussed the Baltimore storm with who live in the area believe it was more likely straight-line winds or a micro-burst. Trees down across power lines and roads made the morning commute troublesome for some in VA and MD today.

Here is a link reporting on the possible Balitmore tornado: Severe storm damages dozens of homes in [Baltimore], Parkville area

As of 7am, more than 22,000 customers were without power in northern VA, MD and Delmarva, according to estimates totaled from four local and regional power companies.

More updates on the severe weather as reports and images/video come in.


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UPDATE: 1:00 PM ET

Damage pictures, via WBAL: http://www.wbaltv.com/slideshow/weather/25822631/detail.html

Videos, again via WBAL: http://www.wbaltv.com/r/25822434/detail.html
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UPDATE: 4:00 PM ET

From the Baltimore Sun: Photo Gallery of Baltimore damage