Tornado Watch Issued, 'Hurricane Force Winds' Expected Across Northern And Central Maryland
BALTIMORE COUNTY - A widespread outbreak of severe weather is expected Monday afternoon and evening, leading the National Weather Service to issue a tornado watch for most of Maryland.
Weather forecasters say the threats for Maryland include "damaging and locally destructive hurricane-force winds, along with the potential for large hail and tornadoes, even strong tornadoes."
The areas under the tornado watch, in effect until 9 p.m. on Monday, include Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince George's, Howard, Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Cecil, Baltimore, Harford, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's, Allegany and Garrett counties and Baltimore City.
Baltimore and Harford Counties have issued a tornado watch, warning residents to prepare for power outages. Additionally, Harford County Public Schools canceled all programming after 1:30 p.m. on Monday in preparation for the storms.
Given the risk of severe storms, forecasters are advising the public to pay attention to weather details as the day progresses and sign up for weather alerts.
"Now is the time to review your severe weather safety procedures for the possibility of dangerous weather today," the NWS said. "While seeking shelter indoors, go to the lowest floor to an interior room. Stay away from windows. Those in mobile homes or weaker structures should plan ahead of time to shelter in a stronger shelter. Be prepared for extended power outages and the potential for some roads to be blocked by fallen trees."
The NWS said that scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., with the most significant threat of severe storms in the evening.
"It is rare for us to be at a level four out of five for severe storm risk. The primary threat is damaging straight-line winds, but there could also be large hail or tornadoes," WBAL-TV reported Monday. "Storms are possible in the Baltimore area, mainly between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m."
The storm threats include flooding, rain, frequent lightning, damaging winds, and hail. A tornado is possible in the Baltimore metro region and other parts of Maryland.
AccuWeather reported Monday morning that it has been nearly five years since the NWS's Storm Prediction Center has issued a "moderate risk" for severe weather in most of the Northeast, except for Maryland, which had one in 2019.
A population of 13.2 million is under the "moderate risk" level.
People in the path of the storms should take protective action, like securing loose objects outside and making space for a car inside a garage. Residents are also encouraged to charge tablets, phones, and other portable devices in the case of widespread power outages.
Monday's thunderstorms should end by 10 p.m., followed by a partly cloudy evening as temperatures will drop only into the low 70s.
After the storms move through on Monday, dry weather is in the forecast for the next two days, when the first-place Orioles will be hosting the 2022 World Series champion Houston Astros at Camden Yards. There's a slight chance of storms for Thursday's Orioles' afternoon game against the Astros.
Here is a look at the National Weather Service forecast for most of central Maryland for the rest of the work week:
Monday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 5 p.m. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds and heavy rain, high near 91.
Monday night: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 11 p.m. Some storms could be severe and produce heavy rainfall—low around 73.
Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 86. West wind 13 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.
Tuesday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 70. West winds 8 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.
Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 90. West winds 11 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 72.
Thursday: A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88.
Thursday night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low of around 72.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.
Editor's Note: Patch reporter Mark Hand originally wrote this story for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Patch. Patch reporter Van Fisher adapted it for the Owings Mills/Reisterstown Patch.