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Synoptic Setup for the Port Deposit, MD Tornado

A powerful low pressure system setup across the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast on Monday November 30th. November isn't 
typically the first month that comes to mind when you think of tornadoes, especially the last day of November. 
That is what makes this even particularly interesting. A strong upper level trough dipped down into the 
southeastern U.S. Northeast Maryland was located in the right entrance region of a jet streak to the northeast, 
and also in the left exit region of a jet streak to our southwest. This put us in a very favorable lift region 
synoptically. Meanwhile, in the mid-levels, there was a strong core of 60-70kt winds not too far off the surface, 
with northeast Maryland right on the leading edge. Instability with this system was rather low, but was just 
enough to get a few storms going. That, and the amount of shear present in the lower levels of the atmosphere, 
set up a favorable tornadic environment. This tornado formed right along the instability gradient, and within the
strongest shear region, so it was in the perfect spot for tornadic development. This was one of 3 tornadoes reported
in the region on November 30th, with the other 2 occurring near Henderson, Maryland in Caroline County and 
Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania in Montgomery County. 

Port Deposit Tornado Summary 

Preliminary Damage Survey Results from Port Deposit, Maryland tornado


Start Location...Port Deposit in Cecil County, MD
End Location...Woodlawn in Cecil County, MD
Date...November 30, 2020
Estimated Time...2:37 PM EST to 2:42 PM EST
Maximum EF-Scale Rating...EF1
Estimated Maximum Wind Speed...95 mph
Maximum Path Width...75 yards
Path Length...3.4 miles
Beginning Lat/Lon...39.644/-76.063
Ending Lat/Lon...39.603/-76.097
* Fatalities...None
* Injuries...None

Staff from NOAAs National Weather Service (NWS) 
Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office performed a survey 
of storm damage that occurred in Cecil County MD from Port Deposit
to Woodlawn, on the afternoon of Monday November 30, 2020. This 
survey, coupled with radar analysis from the NWS's KLWX WSR-88D 
and the FAAs TBWI Doppler Weather Radars, concluded that a 
tornado rated EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale with max winds of 
95 mph struck between 2:37 PM and 2:42 PM EST. The tornado had a 
path length of 3.4 miles producing consistent damage, with a path 
width of up to 75 yards. The tornado was moving north-northeast at
approximately 40 MPH.

The first reported damage was along Bainbridge Road near the 
intersection with Frenchtown Road, about 1 mile east of the town 
center of Port Deposit, MD, where several trees were uprooted and 
snapped near a residence. Tree damage continued into the woods 
northeast of the property, where tops of some trees were snapped 
and twisted. The storm moved to the northeast, uprooting more 
trees along Craigtown Road near the intersection with Perrylawn 
Drive. Reports from the day before noted more trees were down 
prior to our ground survey, but had to be cleared from roadways. 
Numerous trees were reported down behind the convenience store at 
that intersection.

The tornado continued towards the northeast through a large field
before reaching Jackson Park Road. Along that road there was 
evidence of powerline damage, where new poles had just been 
installed near a residence. Additionally, there was tree debris in
the yard, but the direction of fall could not be determined in 
this area. The tornado continued northeast, passing over a 
residence on Theodore Road where multiple trees were snapped, 
uprooted, and twisted in multiple directions. Additionally, there 
was a power pole replaced in front of the home that was confirmed 
to have been snapped during the tornado. 

The tornado strengthened as it continued northeast, and moved 
into communities along Hopewell Road. The most severe damage noted
occurred to homes on Hopewell Court and Bullet Street, where 
there was structural damage noted to several homes. Damage 
included shingle and siding damage, and a garage door bent inward.
The strongest wind noted lifted off and removed the front porch 
awning of one home's roof. The debris was blown over and behind 
the home. In addition to the structural damage here, there were 
several trees uprooted and snapped in various directions. One tree
fell onto and crushed a back porch. A resident on Hopewell Court 
reported seeing the tornado as it went by her home. Based on the
damage, winds were estimated to have peaked here at 95 MPH.

Finally, there was tree damage observed along Twin Lakes Road, 
just northeast of the previous two streets noted. The tornado then
moved off into a large field and lifted. At the next crossing of 
Hopewell Road to the northeast, there were no signs of damage. 
Therefore, the survey concludes that the path ended in the 
vicinity of Twin Lakes Road.

The National Weather Service would like to thank Cecil County's
Department of Emergency Services and our NWS weather spotters for
their assistance with this survey.

EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the
following categories:

EF0.........65 to 85 mph
EF1.........86 to 110 mph
EF2.........111 to 135 mph
EF3.........136 to 165 mph
EF4.........166 to 200 mph
EF5.........>200 mph

* The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to
change pending final review of the event and publication in NWS
Storm Data.