Poster Session P12.5 Overview and synoptic assessment of the 28 April 2002 La Plata, MD tornado

Thursday, 7 October 2004
Christopher A. Strong, NOAA/NWS, Sterling, VA; and S. Zubrick

Handout (890.8 kB)

A severe weather outbreak occurred on 28 April 2002 from the Tennessee Valley through the Mid Atlantic and into the Eastern Great Lakes Region. Warm advection precipitation served to stabilized the environment along and north of the surface warm frontal boundary, which was located across the Mid Atlantic Region through the morning hours. Explosive convective development occurred across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys during the early afternoon, reaching the Mid Atlantic Region during the late afternoon and evening hours.

A cyclical long-lived supercell tracked from West Virginia across lower southern Maryland during the event, causing several tornadoes during its lifespan. One of these tornadoes touched down in Charles County, MD and strengthened to F4 intensity as it destroyed a large portion of La Plata, MD. An overview and synoptic analysis of the severe weather outbreak of 28 April 2004 will be presented.

Traditional observational tools such as mandatory level upper air charts and RAOBS will be used to compare and contrast against model initialization data. Both observational and model data will be employed to understand the large-scale weather pattern of 28 April 2004 and its role in the La Plata Tornado. Finally, an event overview with historical accounts, tornado track, and damage statistics will be included.

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