Sunday December 18 – It’s been quite a day in Maryland. After yesterday’s ice storm, temperatures were near freezing overnight and they jumped in 1 hour in Baltimore from 34°F at 2AM to 54°F at 3 AM. Nearly 12 hours later the reversal of fortune came with the arctic cold front and stirred up a lot of turbulence. At BWI the 1 PM temperatures was 62°F, then 2 PM was 48°F, and 3PM was 44°F. This came with wind gusts between 45 and 55 mph. That can easily stir up vortices or mini rotations, which was seen in many areas today across central Maryland today prompting many people to ask if there was a tornado. I think a few were possible.
This first image from Brandy Pennington was taken at Edgemere/Sparrows Point, just east of Baltimore. She was debating with her son whether this was a tornado (or waterspout) or just fog being lifted. There were low level clouds and sometimes active weather can display SCUD clouds (scattered cumulus under deck) below the main cloud base that can sometimes look like a funnel. But check out the follow up image she shared. This alone looks like there is some rotation and uplift of moisture with a funnel cloud trying to develop. Over the water this would be a waterspout. The video below this photo helps confirm the possibility with a potential tornado over land to the north.