Sunday, September 20, 2020
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Possible tornado in Salisbury turns over cars

With about a month left of summer for schools in Maryland, a possible tornado struck the Eastern Shore community of Salisbury this afternoon, overturning cars and causing lots of damage to property, the Baltimore Sun reports. No one was killed or injured.

The weather phenomenon, which is under investigation by the National Weather Service, may have been a tornado, although tornadoes are extremely rare on the Eastern Shore. This would, however, be the second tornado to strike the Eastern Shore this summer.

“It appears very likely there was a tornado, but we cannot confirm until we do a damage survey,” the Sun quoted Alec Butner of the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia, as saying.

The NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 1:37 PM, about three minutes before surveillance cameras around Salisbury University started recording winds that were strong enough to overturn SUVs, along with heavy rains that swept across streets.

Warmer air simply holds more moisture than colder air, explains a report from the Physics Department at Colorado State University. And when that moisture gets too heavy, it falls to Earth as precipitation, which doesn’t mitigate low-pressure systems that bring high winds. If those winds rotate, tornadoes can form.

The increasing amount of water vapor in the air also traps more of the sun’s energy and compounds the problem. This phenomenon is a significant contributing factor to climate change and the increase of storms where there were fewer and weaker storms before, according to a report from NASA.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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