The funnel cloud that caused minor damage in Ocean City on Thursday has been officially determined to be a tornado, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Saturday.
The storm began as a waterspout over the Assawoman Bay and dissipated as it transitioned onto land about 3:55 p.m. near 75th Street, said Dan Proch, of NWS' Wakefield, Va., bureau.
Gusts were estimated to be 60 to 70 miles per hour, he said.
An on-site investigation Saturday revealed that the tornado was about 40 yards wide and cut a path of about one-half mile, Proch said. The tornado was given a zero ranking — the lowest possible score — on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, the official method of measuring a tornado's force.
The NWS considered the storm's damage, which included broken windows and ripped home siding, and photos and video to officially declare it a tornado, he said.