- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
On Monday evening, social media was abuzz about the storm that technically never was.
Although National Weather Service data indicated that the county spent a good chunk of Monday under a flash flood warning, a tornado watch was never issued for the area. Despite this, residents from across the county took to Facebook and Twitter to post pictures of a funnel cloud that was spotted rotating over the county from the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge in Newburg all the way to the northern end of Waldorf. The cloud never touched land, which would have reclassified it as a tornado.
Around 7:20 p.m. Monday, Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Jeff Duer and his wife Anita, both trained NWS weather spotters, were leaving the Safeway in Waldorf when they spotted the cloud. The Duers decided to follow it.
“It was this rotating wall cloud. Because it was so weird, we decided to check it out,” Jeff Duer said. “We got behind it from a distance. It was definitely rotating counter-clockwise.”
The Duers got a picture of the cloud swirling above where McDaniel Road meets Smallwood Drive in Waldorf and alerted the NWS. Shortly thereafter, a tornado warning was issued for southern Prince George’s County, from Brandywine up through Clinton.
“It was really a fluke because the ferocity of it was not there,” Jeff Duer said. “There was no thunderstorm. That storm was already moving out of Charles County into southern Prince George’s. Why it didn’t touch down, I have no idea, but I’m glad it didn’t.”
Aside from some wind damage reported at Woodville Road in Waldorf, Duer said, the funnel cloud did not leave any destruction in its wake.
“It was just an out-of-context storm. It’s a hard one to classify,” Duer said.
NWS spokesman Kevin Witt said Tuesday morning that the office had not received any damage reports from the storm, and was still waiting on more conclusive information from weather spotters about what happened. Witt expected to have more conclusive information by Wednesday morning.