Tornado confirmed in Jefferson County, West Virginia

A radar scan of a tornado-warned supercell thunderstorm moving from West Virginia into Maryland on Monday evening. (Courtesy RadarScope)

The National Weather Service sent teams to investigate whether tornadoes touched down in West Virginia and Maryland during a severe weather outbreak on Monday evening.

Meteorologists confirmed an EF-1 tornado with a peak wind of 90 mph touched down in Ransom in Jefferson County, West Virginia, which is about 6 miles west of Harpers Ferry. The tornado had a path length of 1.8 miles and a wide of 125 yards. It was on the ground from 6:27 p.m. to 6:32 p.m. Monday.

NWS forecaster Luis Rosa said meteorologists at the weather service’s Sterling office tracked a thunderstorm with a strong rotation signature on radar through the Ranson area between around 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Monday.

The storm prompted a tornado warning for parts of Jefferson County, as well as portions of Washington County in Maryland and Loudoun County in Virginia.

“For those in the direct path of a tornado touchdown, flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter,” the warning read. “Damage to roofs, siding, and windows may occur. Mobile homes may be damaged or destroyed. Tree damage is likely.”

Emergency operators received at least five reports of storm damage scattered between Ranson and Martinsburg, including a roof blown off a mobile home:

A lumber business in Ranson suffered structural damage:

The NWS is still investigating potentially tornadic damage from a separate storm that later affected Frederick and Carroll counties Monday, downing trees and wires in Libertytown, though Rosa said impacts in those areas were less severe than out west.

Elsewhere, a tornado that struck Virginia’s Northumberland County Monday near the Chesapeake Bay destroyed one home and severely damaged a few others. But no one was injured.

More storms struck the D.C. region Tuesday afternoon, mainly east of the Interstate 95 corridor from the District south to Richmond.

WTOP’s Acacia James and Storm Team4’s Lauryn Ricketts contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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