Heat is gone, but drought stays More showers are forecast for state, but not enough to break dry spell.


The drought continues, but at least the heat wave appears to be at an end.

More showers and thunderstorms were predicted for today and tomorrow but not enough rain was expected to make any real difference in the drought that grips much of Maryland.

However, the high temperatures are dropping. The high downtown yesterday was only 86 after nearly two weeks of 90-degree plus days. The high forecast for today and tomorrow is 85 with highs in the low 80s through Tuesday.

Amet Figueroa, a National Weather Service forecaster at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, said the Baltimore area may see as much as a half-inch of rain over the next 24 hours or so, but that larger amounts may fall in areas of thunderstorms.

"One area may not get any rain," he said, "while just down the road in a thunderstorm you might get a few inches of rain."

He said dryer air is forecast for Saturday, with the lower humidity at least making living conditions a bit more pleasant.

Yesterday's .27 of an inch rainfall recorded at BWI paled in comparison to the nearly 4 inches that fell in Washington and parts of Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Montgomery counties during a brief but violent storm that passed through early yesterday.

A brief rain that fell on the city's streets early yesterday quickly evaporated, leaving many hopeful residents to question whether rain actually fell during the night.

While Baltimore was treated to a spectacular lightning display south of the city a few hours before sunrise

yesterday, little rain fell.

In contrast, the Glen Burnie area of Anne Arundel County was hit with a storm that knocked out power to some 11,000 homes and businesses, downed trees and was responsible for at least two homes being hit by lightning.

A home on Quarterfield Road in Severn sustained $70,000 damage after a lightning hit the roof and started a predawn fire.

A home in Glen Burnie had $30,000 damage from lightning.

No injuries were reported in either incident.

By 7:30 last night, power was fully restored to those utility customers who had their electricity knocked out by the storms, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Peggy Mulloy said.

The storm was spawned by a cold front from the north wrestling with the hot, humid air mass that lingered here for so many days.

More than 1,000 lightning strikes were recorded by BG&E.;

Anne Arundel County police said scores of burglar alarms went off during the storm, keeping police busy responding to make certain no one had broken into the homes and businesses.

The storm then crossed Chesapeake Bay and dumped more than an inch of rain on Easton before blowing itself out.

The rain on the Eastern Shore was welcomed, but most of it simply ran off when it hit the hard ground.

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