A cyclical long-lived supercell tracked from West Virginia east across northern Virginia and lower southern Maryland during the event, causing several tornadoes during its lifespan. One of these tornadoes touched down in Charles County, Maryland and strengthened to F4 intensity as it destroyed a large portion of La Plata, Maryland. An attempt will be made to find clues within the environment that conditions across lower southern Maryland were more favorable for the development of violent tornadoes than further west earlier that afternoon.
Both observational and mesoscale model data will be used to analyze the dynamic and thermodynamic environment. Traditional observational datasets such as RAOBS, analyzed surface maps, profiler data, and Sterling, Virginia (KLWX) WSR-88D will be compared to RUC and ETA model data using both the AWIPS D2D and BUFKIT interfaces. Finally, experimental ACARS observational data will be used to continually reassess the thermodynamic environment and wind field during the event.
Supplementary URL: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/Historic_Events/apr28-2002/laplata.htm