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April 20, 2008 Middletown Tornado

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
905 PM EDT MON APR 21 2008

...EF0 TORNADO IN MIDDLETOWN VIRGINIA ON SUNDAY APRIL 20TH
CONFIRMED...

THIS AFTERNOON...A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM SURVEY TEAM
INVESTIGATED STORM DAMAGE WHICH OCCURRED ON SUNDAY EVENING APRIL 20
2008 IN MIDDLETOWN IN FREDERICK COUNTY VIRGINIA.  THE DAMAGE WAS
LOCATED ON THE GROUNDS OF AN APPLE FARM LOCATED OFF OF CHAPEL
ROAD...AND OCCURRED AT APPROXIMATELY 10:02 EDT.

THE SURVEY FOUND DAMAGE TO FARM OUTBUILDINGS AND A LARGE
BARN...INCLUDING ONE FARM OUTBUILDING THAT WAS COMPLETELY UPLIFTED
AND DESTROYED WITH THE REMAINS DEPOSITED ALONG A 1/2 MILE MILE
PATH.  APPLE TREES WERE UPROOTED...ALONG WITH TWO PINE TREES AND ONE
HARDWOOD TREE SNAPPED AT THE TRUNK AT APPROXIMATELY 15 FEET FROM THE
GROUND. THE METAL ROOF OF A LARGE BARN AND THE METAL ROOF OF A SMALL
FARM OUTBUILDING WERE PEELED BACK IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS DESPITE
BEING ALONG THE SAME DAMAGE PATH. SEVERAL TEN POUND WEIGHTS...THINK
OF AN OBJECT THE SIZE OF A TEAPOT WEIGHING TEN POUNDS...WERE PICKED
UP AND DEPOSITED 40 YARDS AWAY FROM WHERE THEY ORIGINALLY WERE
LOCATED IN THE OUTBUILDING THAT WAS COMPLETELY UPLIFTED.  AN OAK 6X6
WHICH WAS SET 3 FEET INTO THE GROUND AND SERVED AS A STRUCTURAL
FOUNDATION FOR THE DESTROYED OUTBUILDING...WAS COMPLETELY AND
CLEANLY SUCKED UP OUT OF ITS POSITION BY THE TORNADO AND DEPOSITED
400 YARDS AWAY FROM ITS ORIGINAL LOCATION.

BASED ON THESE FINDINGS...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS
DETERMINED THAT A TORNADO DID OCCUR IN MIDDLETOWN VIRGINIA ON SUNDAY
EVENING APRIL 20TH.  BASED ON THE DAMAGE...IT HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS
AN EF0 ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE. EF0 TORNADOES HAVE 3-SECOND
WIND GUST SPEEDS RANGING FROM 65-85 MPH.  WINDS FOR THIS TORNADO
WERE ESTIMATED TO BE 80 MPH.  THE PATH LENGTH WAS 1/2 MILE
LONG...WITH A WIDTH OF APPROXIMATELY 30-40 YARDS.  IT IS BELIEVED
THAT THE TORNADO TOUCHDOWN WAS BRIEF...SPENDING LESS THAN 2 MINUTES
ON THE GROUND.

THE TORNADO EF SCALE RATES TORNADOES AFTER THE FACT FROM 0 TO 5
BASED ON THEIR ESTIMATED WIND STRENGTH. THE EF SCALE IS AN UPGRADE
TO THE OLD F SCALE WHICH IT REPLACED IN 2007.

THANKS TO THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
REGION 2...THE FREDERICK COUNTY VIRGINIA FIRE AND RESCUE DEPARTMENT
...AND THE MIDDLETOWN VIRGINIA FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE
ON THIS SURVEY.

National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office Baltimore/Washington
43858 Weather Service Rd.
Sterling, VA 20166
Phone: (703) 996-2200
Webmaster: lwxwebmaster@noaa.gov
Page last modified: Apr 24, 2008 4:31 PM EDT
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