This month is already Baltimore's seventh-wettest May on record, and more flooding could be on the way less than a week after flash floods devastated Ellicott City and other areas in the region.
Meteorologists predict storms with heavy downpours could hit Thursday, Friday and Saturday, causing more flooding on heavily saturated ground.
“Numerous showers and thunderstorms capable of heavy rain will develop during the afternoon and evening hours Thursday through the weekend,” National Weather Service forecasters wrote. “These showers and thunderstorms will be slow-moving across wet ground, and capable of producing localized flooding.”
A flash flood watch is in effect throughout the region Thursday from 2 p.m. through late tonight, the National Weather Service said. Meteorologists warned rainfall of as much as 2 to 4 inches is possible in some areas.
The storms are forecast to be the product of a front moving northward through Virginia, and then stalling over the region, much like the pattern that has already produced persistent precipitation this month.
“It’s pretty much going to be a repeat each and every day,” said Brandon Fling, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Baltimore/Washington forecast office.
Howard County officials said they were meeting Thursday morning to discuss precautions for the next round of rain. All escorted and unescorted visits to Main Street, which remains closed after Sunday’s flood, have been canceled for Thursday evening, the county said on Twitter.
On Thursday, risks of severe storms with damaging winds, hail and downpours were predicted to be highest to the west of the mid-Atlantic, across Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. But a cold front is forecast to shift that low-pressure system over Maryland by Friday and Saturday.
That could mean the region’s strongest risk for more flooding could come late Friday, Fling said.
Still flooding is possible each afternoon and evening through Saturday, and the risks are not expected to be focused in any single area, he said. With the ground already saturated with so much rain, it won’t take much precipitation to create more runoff.
“We’re kind of looking at a widespread heavy rainfall threat,” he said.
There have been 7.01 inches of rain so far this month at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. That makes this Baltimore’s wettest single month since last July, its wettest month of May since 2009, and its seventh-wettest May on record.
The record for May precipitation is 8.71 inches, set in 1989.