Morning rains a prelude to storms?

Steady showers moved across Maryland this morning, and forecasts are still showing there could be more where that came from late this afternoon. Relatively cool temperatures could keep the most severe storms at bay, though.

A quarter of an inch of rain fell at BWI Marshall Airport between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. It followed 0.19 inches of rain Thursday at the airport.

At The Sun's weather station at Calvert and Centre streets downtown, 0.28 inches of rain fell starting after 6:30 a.m. The heaviest rainfall was recorded between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., at a rate of 1.35 inches per hour.

The National Weather Service's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center is predicting about an inch to fall on Maryland today. That would put the August rainfall total ahead of normal, but we have seen storms spike the tally earlier this summer only for rain deficits return by the end of each month.

As local meteorologists and bloggers predicted Thursday, the weather service's Storm Prediction Center is forecasting the chief concerns for Friday storm to be damaging wind and hail. Maryland is included in a zone with a 15 percent chance of each, according to the storm center. A small chance of tornadoes is to our north, across northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York.

But storm forecasters added that "it remains uncertain how much daytime heating will occur ahead of these storms." As of noon, BWI was at 78 degrees with high humidity, while the Sun weather station was at 75 degrees with 93 percent humidity at 11:30 a.m.

Temperatures were in the 90s and 100s ahead of major storms like the derecho June 29 and tornado outbreak June 1, fueling instability in the atmosphere. 

Still, storm center forecasters said models show "sufficient destabilization" for damaging winds and hail to develop nonetheless by late afternoon.

The National Weather Service's Sterling, Va., office has the region under a hazardous weather outlook Friday, cautioning of storms, some of which could be severe and capable of damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding.

Stay tuned to see how storms develop -- or don't develop.

Have a weather question? E-mail me at sdance@baltsun.com or tweet to @MdWeather.

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