Severe storms bring hail, tornado warnings across region

Severe storms brought hail and damaging winds through Maryland and much of the mid-Atlantic Thursday afternoon.

A tornado warning was issued until 5:15 p.m. for central Anne Arundel County, including Annapolis, Parole and the waters of the Severn River. Another tornado warning was issued earlier in parts of Kent and Queen Anne's counties on the Eastern Shore.

Severe storms brought hail the size of golf balls and quarters to northern Montgomery County and western Howard County, according to reports received by the National Weather Service.

The storms halted Amtrak and MARC train service on the Penn Line between Washington and Perryville, causing problems with overhead electrical wires, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Central and Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore until 10 p.m. The watch also extends southward into Northern Virginia and across the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., say the region was an "increasingly favorable environment" for hail and strong winds as temperatures heated up in the afternoon. 

Temperatures reached 83 degrees at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and 84 degrees at the Inner Harbor by 2 p.m. With dew points in the upper 50s and lower 60s, there is plenty of moisture in the air, too.

A cold front passing through this afternoon is expected to bring storms as it meets the hot, moist air over the region. Severe storms were already cropping up in Central Pennsylvania about 2:30 p.m.

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