Tornado Hit College Park on September 24, 2001

On September 24, 2001, two tornadoes hit the Washington, DC area. The first one started in the southern part of Culpepper County in the afternoon and disappeared as it moved into the Plains. The second one initiated in Crystal City at 5:03 pm. It reached College Park at about 5:20 pm and dissipated after moving into the southern part of Howard County. The National Weather Service at Sterling, Virginia issued a tornado warning at 5:10 pm for the areas it might influence. This tornado caused 3 deaths, including two undergraduate students from the University of Maryland, several injuries and much property damage along the path. Over 22,000 people in the area lost electric power.

The following 19 photos were taken during a period of 6 minutes (roughly from 5:20 to 5:26 PM) by Dr. Ming-Ying Wei from her balcony at a location of about 2 miles to the northeast of the tornado (i.e., near the US 193-201 intersection) as the storm just moved into College Park. You should see typical "wall clouds" in all the photoes that are often associated with tornadoes. The second photo shows well a lightning strike with UMD's football stadium in the foreground.

Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5.

Figure 6. Figure 7. Figure 8. Figure 9. Figure 10.

Figure 11. Figure 12. Figure 13. Figure 14. Figure 15.

Figure 16. Figure 17. Figure 18. Figure 19.

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