Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Sterling, VA
NOUS41 KLWX 270052
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
752 PM EST Sun Feb 26 2017
...Tornado Confirmed Near La Plata and Waldorf in Charles County
Location...La Plata and Waldorf in Charles County MD
Date...February 25 2017
Estimated Time...306 PM to 317 PM EST
Maximum EF-Scale Rating...EF1
Estimated Maximum Wind Speed...90 MPH
Maximum Path Width...125 yards
Path Length...8.4 miles
Beginning Lat/Lon...38.5551N / 76.9841W
Ending lat/Lon...38.6275N / 76.8583W
* The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to
change pending final review of the event and publication in NWS
The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington DC has
confirmed a tornado near La Plata and Waldorf in Charles County MD on
February 25 2017.
National Weather Service personnel completed a ground survey
along with radar analysis and concluded a tornado that peaked at
low-end EF1 intensity with winds of 90 MPH produced damage along a
8.4 mile path...beginning near the intersection of U.S. Route 301
(Crain Highway) and Rosewick Road in north La Plata MD. The
tornado then moved northeast lifting near the intersection of St.
Peters Church Road and Gruss Farm Place in east Waldorf.
Along the tornadoes path...numerous trees were observed to have
been snapped, uprooted, and toppled in multiple directions. The
fallen trees downed many power lines and blocked multiple roads.
Some trees and large branches also fell onto homes and garages.
Minor roof damage was also observed with the removal of shingles
and eaves. Some loss of insulation was observed near where the
tornado peaked in intensity.
Initial concentrated path of tree damage was observed near the
Rosewick Crossing Shopping Center. A narrow path of tree damage
then continued northeast near White Plains Village...where minor
roof damage in the form of loss of shingles and eaves was
observed to several homes. The tornado then continued northeast
crossing Billingsley Road near St. Charles Parkway...where more
tree and minor roof damage was observed.
The tornado continued further northeast...peaking in intensity
near the Smallwood Village Shopping Center and Huntington
Townhouses...where the low-end EF1 damage and maximum path width
of 125 yards was observed. Numerous trees were observed down
across these areas with multiple instances of shingle, siding, and
eave damage. It was in this area where some loss of roof insulation
was observed. A light post was blown over and some windows were
also blown out. Just to the northeast a car port was lifted and
collapsed on a few automobiles.
The tornado then continued to create areas of minor roof and tree
damage as it moved northeast...passing just to the north of the
St. Peters Catholic Church...beyond there damage became more
spotty...with the tornado likely lifting just to the northeast of
the church near St. Peters Church Road.
The damage coincided perfectly with a tornadic signature on NWS
and FAA doppler radars.
Very little damage was observed outside of the tornadoes track
across La Plata and Waldorf...with at most some spotty minor tree
February tornadoes in MD are rare. Here is a list of Jan/Feb
tornadoes in MD (since 1950):
Feb 13 1966 F1 Frederick County
Jan 27 1967 F1 St. Mary`s County
Jan 28 1974 F1 Charles County
Jan 06 2002 F0 Somerset County
Feb 21 2014 EF0 St. Mary`s County
Feb 21 2014 EF0 Calvert County
Feb 24 2016 EFO St. Mary`s County
This information can also be found on our website at
For reference...the Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes
into the following categories:
EF0...wind speeds 65 to 85 mph.
EF1...wind speeds 86 to 110 mph.
EF2...wind speeds 111 to 135 mph.
EF3...wind speeds 136 to 165 mph.
EF4...wind speeds 166 to 200 mph.
EF5...wind speeds greater than 200 mph.