Patuxent River waterspout

A reader-shared photo of the waterspout spotted on the Patuxent River in Southern Maryland on Tuesday. (Courtesy of Megan Frohlich / August 8, 2012)

Reader Megan Frohlich has shared an image of the confirmed waterspout that formed on the Patuxent River in Southern Maryland on Tuesday.

The image backs up what radar showed yesterday afternoon -- that blue skies surrounded the small, isolated storm that produced the twister.

According to a report posted by the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., fire or rescue officials spotted the waterspout (which is the same as a tornado but over water) at 5:55 p.m. It was moving west across the Patuxent toward Maryland Route 231's Benedict Bridge.

Frohlich's shot is a view of the waterspout from a pier in Golden Beach, on the Charles County side of the Patuxent just south of the bridge.

Waterspouts aren't unprecedented in Maryland, of course, given the state's many waterways and its relatively high density of tornadoes. Here is an account of one that passed near Edgewood in 2009. 

The state ranked third for tornadoes per square mile on a list The Weather Channel compiled earlier this year.

Have a weather question? E-mail me at sdance@baltsun.com or tweet to @MdWeather.