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Storms common during spring

June 08, 2002|By LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

It may seem like we have experienced a lot of severe storms lately, but a National Weather Service meteorologist said the pattern of unsettled weather is actually common this time of year.

Since mid-April, the weather conditions have been ripe for storms, said Steve Zubrick, meteorologist with the Sterling, Va., office.

We've seen higher humidity at the surface, combined with upper-level winds from the west and northwest, he said.

Although it's not an unusual weather phenomenon, Zubrick said it may seem that way because it comes on the heels of several years of drought.

Expect the pattern to continue until late June, when summertime high pressure weather systems typically arrive.

"That will probably bring an end to the continual day and multiday events," he said.

Meanwhile, the weather service has not yet been able to visit the site where a trained weather observer reported a tornado on Thursday evening.

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Zubrick said the unnamed observer took a picture of the funnel cloud about five miles west of Shepherdstown, W.Va., he said.

"We're pretty confident there was a tornado up there," he said.

From the radar, it looked like the tornado spun through Jefferson County, W.Va., Frederick County, Md., and possibly even the extreme southern tip of Washington County, Zubrick said.

There were no reports of significant damage in the largely rural area.

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