Stormy Ocean City

A suprisingly strong thunderstorm hit Ocean City on Thursday, September 15. It developed as a rain shower over southern Delaware in the 2:00pm hour and by 3:30pm it was looming over Ocean City with not only rain but the distinct cloud signature of a tornado. As of Friday evening the National Weather Service had not yet made a determination as to the status of the storm but pictures provided show that either a tornado, funnel cloud or water spot had dropped out of the storm cell. Some minor damage was caused by the storm.

The image below from the National Weather Service Doppler Radar at Dover AFB shows the storm cell over the barrier island at 3:30pm, the time at which the possible tornado was reported to have occured.

The storm moved out over the Atlantic fairly quickly. The National Weather Service reported that there was damage to a building on 75th and Ocean Front with a condo roof on the beach. The same report stated that there was an unconfirmed funnel cloud associated with the storm.

Back in 1999, Ocean City was hit by a storm of a different scale.

The image above shows Hurricane Floyd approaching the southeast coast of the U.S. On September 16, Floyd hit the coast over the Carolinas and move toward the DELMARVA peninsula. By the time the eye of the storm reached coastal Maryland it was downgraded to a tropical storm with 60 mph sustained winds. Floyd was one of the more significant tropical cyclones to hit Maryland.

John Collins


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