By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun
6:04 PM EDT, May 22, 2013
Forecasters no longer expect to issue a severe thunderstorm watch, but strong storms are possible late Wednesday for an area along and west of Interstate 95, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Damaging winds and large hail are possible in an area stretching from Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains to Central Pennsylvania, including Carroll County and parts of Howard and Baltimore counties. The center had expected about a 40 percent likelihood of a severe storm watch, which would mean conditions could be ripe for such storms, but has since removed that area of concern from its forecast maps.
The weather system is the same one that spawned cyclones in Tornado Alley this week, including one that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday.
A front of cool, dry air is moving eastward, expected to pass through by late Thursday. As it approaches, it is interacting with the hot, humid air currently over the region, causing storms.
Heat and humidity surged Wednesday amid a stretch that had already been on the warm and moist side. Temperatures reached 87 degrees by about 4 p.m. at the Inner Harbor, with a dew point of 72 degrees, making the air feel thick and uncomfortable.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office have increased chances for storms Thursday morning and afternoon to 80 percent.
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