Strong Storms For The Start Of Summer

An approaching cold front generated some unexpectedly strong storm activity late in the day today. As late as this morning, any rain associated with the approaching front was expected to stay north of the Maryland/Pennsylvania line but the shortwave wound up providing a little extra kick this afternoon, generating severe storms that crossed into Maryland and moved rapidly to the Baltimore area. The squall line that produced the most significant weather moved across the Baltimore area between 5:00 & 6:00pm. By the time the line reached Annapolis it was losing strength but it eventually moved across the Bay and on to a portion of the Eastern Shore.

The storm generated little or no lightning around Baltimore. The cell was moving northwest to southeast at about 45mph. Outflow winds running ahead of the actual rainfall were clocked at 60mph at BWI-Marshall Airport. On TV-Hill the peak wind gust was only 23mph at 5:45pm. The storm was moving rapidly so rainfall was unimpressive despite the brief, heavy downpour. Only .07″ was measured at the airport, .04″ downtown and .02 on TV Hill. Radar estimates showed a narrow band from northern Anne Arundel County northwest across northern Howard County that may have received as much as a half inch of rain.

The approaching cold front will provide a reinforcing shot of dry air that will allow temperatures to run at or a little below average through most of the weekend. A more tropical airmass returns next week though. Highs are expected to run well into the 90s along with high humidity levels. Some spotty rain could provide a little relief by the middle or end of the week.

With the exception of a few bumps and grinds in the first couple of hours, it looks like summer is off to a great start.

John Collins

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