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  • The Baltimore Sun

    Weather service confirms tornado in Canton was among 13 that hit Baltimore-Washington region last week

    By Dan Belson, Baltimore Sun,

    Dozens of trees were snapped or toppled in Carl Gatzke’s backyard during a possible tornado along Bartholow Road in Carroll County Wednesday evening. Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS

    The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday that a small tornado hit Anchorage Promenade Park in Canton on June 5 as more than a dozen tornadoes hit the Baltimore-Washington region.

    Nine of the tornadoes that hit during the Wednesday evening storms, including the Canton twister, were in Maryland. One hit Middle River, another began in Arbutus and made it to West Baltimore. One in Columbia peaked at 95 mph winds. Another touched in Boonsboro in Washington County. The weather service also confirmed two tornadoes hit Montgomery County and two had hit Carroll County  — one in Eldersburg and another near the Carroll County Regional Airport.

    Thirteen total tornadoes were confirmed in the weather service’s Baltimore-Washington office, which includes central, southern and western Maryland as well as parts of Virginia and West Virginia.

    Map: Where tornadoes touched down in Maryland on June 5

    The Canton tornado was verified by a video taken by a resident in the area of Anchorage Promenade Park, according to the weather service. The twister began at around 9 p.m. and traveled less than half of a mile toward Highlandtown over the course of about two minutes. It lifted before reaching Highlandtown, the weather service said. The tornado’s wind speeds peaked at 95 mph.

    The damage left by the tornado in Southeast Baltimore was “sparse and brief,” the weather service said in its Thursday public information statement on the confirmed tornadoes. The
    “most notable” damage from that tornado was on Fait Avenue, where a large pine tree had broken. Small branches and signs had also been tossed around in the neighborhood, the weather service said.

    The Canton tornado was rated 0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which rates tornadoes based on wind speeds and damage. The scale runs from EF0, the lowest intensity, to EF5, the highest.

    The weather service also added on Thursday a confirmation that an EF0 tornado had touched down in the area of the Carroll County Regional Airport at about 7:45 p.m. that night. That tornado’s wind speeds maxed out at 80 mph, and the twister knocked down “a few” trees and caused minor damage to residences in Bear Branch before lifting near Miller Road. The weather service had previously confirmed a stronger tornado, with max speeds of about 110 mph, had touched down in Eldersburg and traveled over 4 miles.

    The weather service confirmed three tornadoes hit in West Virginia. One touched down in Leesburg, Virginia as well.

    The six EF1 tornadoes that touched down in Maryland on June 5 is a record for the number of tornadoes at that ranking or higher in one day since the beginning of records in 1950, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information Storm Events Database. Changes to the reporting practices for confirmed tornado data, which is not complete for 2024, make it difficult to assess the history of the lowest-rated tornadoes — like the tornado at an unknown rating that touched down in Boonsboro as well as the two EF0 tornadoes that hit Maryland on June 5.

    The rash of tornadoes came as a warm front lifted across the area while low pressure tracked along that warm front, causing the severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, the weather service said.

    Baltimore Sun reporter Annie Jennemann contributed to this article.

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