All About That Tornado That Traveled 12 Miles From Poolesville To Gaithersburg - Moderately MOCO (2024)

June 6, 2024

By now, if you live in Montgomery County, Maryland, I am sure you have heard about the tornado yesterday evening on June 5, 2024 unless you are still hiding out in the basem*nt.

This piece will take a look at the details of that Tornado, key information about how the emergency alert system works, and also compare that Tornado to other Tornados spawned from the same storm system.

Tornado Details

According to the National Weather Service, the Tornado was an EF-1 with 105mph winds, 125 Yards wide at most and traveled a lengthy 12 miles causing 5 injuries and 0 deaths (thankfully).

This was the path of the tornado:

All About That Tornado That Traveled 12 Miles From Poolesville To Gaithersburg - Moderately MOCO (1)

Alert Systems Confusion

A lot of people were confused about getting or not getting certain alerts. There are different types of alerts.

  • Ready Montgomery are email and text alerts you have to sign up for (you can do that here).
  • Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, a FEMA managed nationwide alert system.

Earl Stoddard (Assistant Chief Administrative Officer – Montgomery County, MD – Focusing on public safety) had a very informative X/Twitter thread on the different types of alerts and how they work here:

I want to speak to some of the emergency alerting systems that get utilized in Montgomery County. For Tornado Warnings, there are two relevant types; Alert Montgomery (https://t.co/noMCwtqnvW) & the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, a FEMA managed nationwide alert system.

— Earl Stoddard PhD, MPH, CEM (@EarlStoddard) June 6, 2024

The MoCo Show also reported on this thread if you want to view it without X/Twitter or in one place.

Poll on Alert Systems

We did an informal poll on Facebook via our “MoCo Politics Discussion” Group that had almost 500 people answer as of 11pm 6/6/2024 about if they received an alert and if they were near the storm.

Obviously there are many caveats here as based on the comments, people answered based on different types of alerts, without full knowledge of the alert information presented by Earl Stoddard, and with subjective definitions of being “near” the tornado but it does show some interested data.

All About That Tornado That Traveled 12 Miles From Poolesville To Gaithersburg - Moderately MOCO (2)

Comparison with other Tornados from this storm

You can see the full list of Tornado events that occurred yesterday in this tweet (also below) with all of the details. What is immediately apparent is that the Montgomery County Tornado was unique in that the path length was 12 miles (originally leading to speculation it was multiple separate tornados).

The other 6 Tornados path lengths ranged from .2 to 4.4 with an average of 1.64 (taking out the 4.4 would have been an average of 1.09).

The max width of the Montgomery County tornado was matched or exceeded by only two other tornados of those six and was the only one that caused any injuries (thankfully no deaths reported for any of them). It also matched the top speeds of any of the 6. Two other tornados matched the 105mph and none exceeded it.

All About That Tornado That Traveled 12 Miles From Poolesville To Gaithersburg - Moderately MOCO (3)

Video of Tornado

Tim Pruss of www.mydrone.pro got some incredible footage of this tornado from the sky if you haven’t see it:

🌪️Aerial video of a tornado on the ground with a path from #Gaithersburg crossing I-370 towards #Olney, Montgomery County, Maryland. #tornado #MoCo #MdWx #Wx @NWS_BaltWash @ReadyMontgomery @TheMoCoShow @ModeratelyMoco @CordellTraffic @alanhenney @DCNewsLive @DCNewsNow pic.twitter.com/V21LuG01vF

— Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro (@MyDronePro) June 6, 2024

Conclusion

In conclusion, it seems like we were incredible lucky to have such limited damage and casualties from this large, powerful and enduring tornado that stretched a distance longer than all other 6 tornados combined.

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All About That Tornado That Traveled 12 Miles From Poolesville To Gaithersburg - Moderately MOCO (2024)

FAQs

All About That Tornado That Traveled 12 Miles From Poolesville To Gaithersburg - Moderately MOCO? ›

The tornado ended up making a 12-mile trek through Montgomery County. Another EF-1 tornado was confirmed by NWS in central Montgomery County. It started in Poolesville at around 7:15 p.m. and moved toward Gaithersburg, ending just before 7:45 p.m. It was 12 miles long, 125 yards wide and reached an 105 mph peak wind.

Has Maryland ever gotten a tornado? ›

The National Weather Service confirmed that at least seven tornadoes touched down Wednesday night, as many as five in Maryland. (See National Weather Service map below.) The weather service's Baltimore\Washington office announced the confirmation of tornadoes as follows (updated June 13):

How often do tornadoes occur in Maryland? ›

Is the weather changing in Maryland? Records kept since 1950 suggest that Maryland averages 4 tornadoes per year. Yet since 1991, the record for total tornadoes in a year in the State has been broken three times with the latest record set in 1995 with 24 tornadoes.

Where did the tornado hit in Montgomery County? ›

The tornado reportedly touched down in central Montgomery County near Poolesville and Germantown, about three miles west of Route 28 and Route 117. Five people were injured, and at least five homes were damaged Wednesday night in the Gaithersburg area, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials.

Where did the tornadoes touch down in Maryland? ›

Two tornadoes each tracked more than 10 miles in Montgomery County, including one that affected the Poolesville area with 105 mph maximum winds. At least two other tornadoes matched that strength, and seven earned a rating of EF1 on the 0-to-5 Enhanced Fujita scale for twister intensity.

What was the worst tornado in Maryland history? ›

2002 La Plata tornado - Wikipedia.

Is Maryland in Tornado Alley? ›

As a colloquial term there are no definitively set boundaries of Tornado Alley, but the area common to most definitions extends from Texas, through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, North Dakota, Montana, Ohio, and eastern portions of Colorado, ...

Has Maryland ever gotten a hurricane? ›

Since 1950, 144 known hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions have affected the U.S. state of Maryland. Many of these storms also affect the country's capital, Washington, D.C., since the city is located on territory ceded by Maryland.

Which state had the worst tornado? ›

Deadliest single tornado in US history

The Tri-State tornado of March 18, 1925, killed 695 people in Missouri (11), Illinois (613), and Indiana (71). The outbreak it occurred with was also the deadliest known tornado outbreak, with a combined death toll of 747 across the Mississippi River Valley.

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