La Plata Tornado

The La Plata Tornado of April 28, 2002.


This page is an excerpt from the book Washington Weather


Click here for a report on the La Plata Tornado of April 28, 2002 - from Washington Weather

NOAA's La Plata Tornado page

Click here for photographs of tornado damage to La Plata after the Tornado of April 28, 2002

1) The tornado that devastated La Plata, Maryland tracks through southern Calvert County. The La Plata Tornado damaged or destroyed 860 homes and 194 businesses in Southern Maryland.




2) Aerial view of the supercell thunderstorm that produced the La Plata tornado. The bulging dome of clouds extending above the supercell's flat, anvil top (called an overshooting top) is caused by a very intense updraft. At the time this photo was taken the supercell was producing the La Plata Tornado, estimated to be at F2/F3 strength and was also dropping baseball-sized hail.
Photo Credit: Steven Maciejewski


Click here to see the aerial fly-by of the supercell thunderstorm that produced the La Plata tornado. Photo Credit: Steven Maciejewski



3) A large tornado spins on the Chesapeake Bay southeast of Long Beach, St. Leonard, Maryland. The tornado was estimated to be two miles from shoreline at the time of this photograph. This tornado was part of the storm that moved through La Plata.
Photo Credit: Ted L. Dutcher



4) Twin tornadoes race across the Chesapeake Bay away from Long Beach, St. Leonard, Maryland. This photograph was taken facing due east. These tornadoes were part of the storm that moved through La Plata.
Photo Credit: Gail Siegel



5) Lightning illuminates the tornado funnel in Calvert County. The tornado stayed on the ground for nearly 70 miles as it sped through Charles and Calvert Counties.



6) The path of the La Plata tornado is clearly visible from this satellite image. Trees, vegetation, and buildings have been destroyed or disturbed along the immediate path.
Credit: NOAA and NASA


7) GOES-8 visible image of the supercell thunderstorm that was producing the tornado over La Plata, Maryland.
Credit:GOES Project, NASA-GSFC


8) A hook echo appears on WJLA's Dopplar radar, indicating the La Plata tornado. The fishhook shape is caused as precipitation is wrapped in the intense tornado rotation.
Image Credit: WJLA



9) Baseball-sized hail that fell near Hughesville, Maryland. Hail this large will reach speeds of over 100 mph as it falls to the ground. This hail was associated with the storm that moved through La Plata.
NOAA Photo Contributor



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