Violent thunderstorms dropped several inches of rain around the Baltimore metropolitan area last night and caused more than 40,000 homes to lose power when yesterday's humid air clashed with the season's first dose of cool, dry air from Canada.
The same system is expected to bring pleasant weather to the region this weekend.
About 2 inches of rain fell in Baltimore between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., but the National Weather Service estimated as much as 5 inches came down in parts of Baltimore and Howard counties. In Westminster, police said Carroll County received no rain, just a "brilliant lightning display."
The vivid lightning gave many rush-hour motorists -- especially those traveling north from Baltimore and toward the center of the fiercest storm -- some harrowing moments.
Mark Postman was traveling north on Falls Road shortly after 6 p.m. when lightning struck a telephone pole at Northern Parkway.
"There was a flash of light, a big orange shower of sparks and then all four traffic lights died," Postman said.
Lightning strikes, combined with gusty winds, downed trees and branches that crashed into power lines. At the height of the storm, 17,000 homes in Baltimore City, 15,000 in Howard County and 6,000 in Baltimore County were without power, said a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokesman.
Baltimore County police reported minor flooding on roads in the western part of the county.
High temperatures today through Sunday should be in the mid- to upper 70s with sunshine and low humidity, according to the National Weather Service.
Pub Date: 9/10/99