6 tornadoes strike Mid-Atlantic states with a record 5 in Maryland

Brian K. Sullivan, Bloomberg News on

Published in Weather News

BOSTON -- Six tornadoes tore through the Mid-Atlantic states on Friday, toppling trees, damaging homes and wrecking barns, and setting a new February record for the destructive storms in Maryland.

Unusually warm and humid air pushing up from the Gulf of Mexico, extreme winds in the jet stream, and a strengthening storm passing through the region provided the ingredients for the historic outbreak, Dan Hofmann, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sterling, Va., wrote in a report.

"In just two hours, five of the confirmed tornadoes struck the state of Maryland, unprecedented for the month of February," Hofmann wrote. "Prior to this outbreak, only four tornadoes had been reported in the state of Maryland in the month of February since 1950."

The state's previous February tornadoes were all individual strikes hitting in different years, with three of them occurring since 2014. The fourth hit in 1966. There was only one reported injury from those incidents, when straight-line winds tore the roof off a small business in southern Maryland.

High winds on Friday carved a path of destruction across seven states from Alabama to New Jersey, the U.S. Storm Prediction Center said. Widespread power outages were also reported.


(With assistance from James Ludden.)

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