Confirmed EF-1 tornado hits Anne Arundel County; Second confirmed tornado in Maryland on Tuesday

The National Weather Service in Sterling has confirmed that a second tornado touched down in Anne Arundel County during Tuesday's episode of severe weather.

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It came about 20 minutes after the first tornado – an EF1 that knocked down dozens of large trees in Bowie, Maryland – lifted. By then, the parent rotating thunderstorm, within which were embedded several more concentrated areas of rotation, had moved to the southeast and was approaching the Chesapeake.

It's extremely unusual for a supercell thunderstorms to have multiple "mesocyclones," or rotating updrafts, but Tuesday's proved an exceptional event. 

At 5:55 p.m., a tornado touched down in an open field a mile north of Harwood, moving south-southeast for a tenth of a mile and causing no damage before lifting less than 60 seconds later. Because it caused no damage, a rating can't be assigned – hence why it was called an EFU tornado. 

However, the circulation may have touched down farther to the south-southeast. Trees were reportedly downed between Maryland Route 2 and Muddy Creek Road, with an additional thicket of trees toppled off of Owensville Road northwest of Galesville.

RELATED: Cleanup in Bowie continues after tornado damages homes, brings down trees and power lines

FOX 5 meteorologist Matthew Cappucci was on the scene as the tornado touched down, filming from the intersection of Birdsville Road and Route 2. The National Weather Service used the video to confirm the tornado, which otherwise may have gone unreported. Cappucci shot the video at 5:55 p.m..

"A broadcast media partner provided video and eyewitness evidence," wrote the Weather Service in an online statement. "This individual noted the tornado was located just to their north in an open field."

"It was an overwhelming storm to track," said Cappucci. "There were so many different areas of spin. I was watching a wall cloud to my right, so south, and then suddenly this thing was to my left, or north."

He pulled over and noticed the rotating cloud scraping the ground, with several smaller tendril-like whirls of cloud rotating around a common center.

"Those were individual suction spots," said Cappucci. "That's why damage was so irregular. You didn't have one big touchdown with anything on Tuesday, but rather a few smaller suction spots made contact with the ground." 

That may have explained why most of the damage was to trees.


Storms exited the coastline around 6:15 p.m.. There were no reports of any injuries.