A tornado watch is in effect for 13 Maryland counties, plus the city of Baltimore, until early Monday morning. (Image via Shutterstock)
BALTIMORE, MD — A tornado watch is in effect for 13 Maryland counties, plus the city of Baltimore, until early Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service. At 6:05 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service issued the tornado watch, which runs until 3 a.m. on April 15.
Two rounds of showers and scattered thunderstorms are expected Sunday night into Monday that could generate damaging wind gusts and an isolated tornado. Heavy rain in thunderstorms may lead to isolated instances of flooding, the weather service says.
"I am asking all Marylanders to pay close attention to the updated weather forecasts for this evening and overnight," said Gov. Larry Hogan Monday evening. "The National Weather Service is predicting severe storms, high wind gusts, and the potential for isolated tornadoes across the state. Residents should take every possible precaution, and stay indoors away from windows during thunderstorms. It is especially critical to make sure that emergency alerts are turned on in your mobile device settings."
Strong winds with isolated wind damage are possible Monday. Gusts of up to 50 mph are possible, especially in the afternoon and early evening.
A gale warning is in effect for the waters Monday and may need to be extended into Monday evening.
Along with the city of Baltimore, the counties that are part of the watch are: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Marys and Washington.
Courtesy of the National Weather Service
The NWS emphasizes that the mid-Atlantic region is at risk for flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail, and lightning storms every year. Maryland experiences severe storms regularly during the spring and is particularly at risk for flooding, but also experiences hailstorms and even tornadoes. Maryland has had nearly 100 tornadoes in the past ten years, Hogan's office said.
Residents can be "weather prepared" by ensuring that they know how to receive a warning, have a plan, and practice safety tips.
You can also take actions to remain safe by practicing these tips:
- During flooding, never drive over an area where water is flowing over the road and you cannot see the pavement. Turn around, don't drown.
- If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued or you are experiencing strong winds, get to a sturdy shelter and stay indoors away from windows.
- Tornadoes can form rapidly in the right conditions. If there is a tornado warning or you see a tornado, quickly get inside and go to the lowest floor possible.
- If you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck from a fringe lightning strike. More than 98% of lightning casualties are from people outdoors—get indoors or inside your vehicle if possible.
Stay up to date with the National Weather Service and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. Residents can also click here to download the Maryland Prepares Mobile App.
Northern and central Virginia, eastern West Virginia, and the District of Columbia are also under a tornado watch until 3 a.m. The National Weather Service urged residents to pay attention to the weather for any severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings that are issued. If threatening weather approaches, move indoors and away from windows.
Here's the latest forecast:
Sunday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely before 2am, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm between 2am and 5am, then scattered showers and thunderstorms after 5am. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds and heavy rain. Low around 56. South wind 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Monday: Isolated showers before 8am, then a slight chance of showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 59. Breezy, with a west wind 11 to 16 mph increasing to 19 to 24 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 43. Breezy, with a northwest wind 13 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.