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Tornado confirmed to have hit Howard County on Wednesday

A downed tree in North Laurel caused twenty residents of a three-story apartment building to be displaced Wednesday.
A downed tree in North Laurel caused twenty residents of a three-story apartment building to be displaced Wednesday. (Provided by HCDFRs)

A weak tornado downed a tree and snapped large tree limbs near Savage during storms Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The tornado was one of two confirmed to have formed during the storms and rated EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The other passed through Fairfax County, Virginia.

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The Savage tornado lasted about a minute, touching down at 1:13 p.m. about 200 yards south of Knights Bridge Road in eastern Howard County. It uprooted a large tree that fell onto an apartment complex, and it also snapped branches and a street sign, according to the weather service's storm damage surveys.

The tornado is estimated to have had winds of 55-65 mph, with a maximum path width of 75 yards and a path length of 0.4 miles, according to the weather service.

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The same storm system spawned a tornado of similar strength but with a longer path, 1.5 miles, in eastern Fairfax County and Alexandria. That tornado touched down from 12:23 p.m. to 12:26 p.m.

The weather service issued several tornado warnings during the storm, which came as a cold front approached the area. Tornado warnings are issued when radar indicates rotation in storm cells, even if a funnel cloud has not been sighted, and meteorologists survey damage for evidence of tornadic winds after the fact.

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