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Maryland weather: Hot temperatures Friday to make way for afternoon showers and ‘gusty thunderstorms’

Lauren Stutz take a big birthday plunge as she and some of her family celebrate her 10th birthday with a trip to the Fountain Green Swim Club pool Aug. 11.
Lauren Stutz take a big birthday plunge as she and some of her family celebrate her 10th birthday with a trip to the Fountain Green Swim Club pool Aug. 11. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

After another scorcher in the Baltimore area Thursday, forecasters are calling for more heat Friday, which could pave the way for afternoon showers, thunderstorms and flooding.

Despite a gentle breeze providing a cooling effect overnight, temperatures are expected to climb into the 90s Friday, meteorologists with the National Weather Service predicted. They called for a high of 93 degrees, with a heat index topping out at 102.

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Temperatures rose to 93 degrees around 1 p.m. Thursday, with the heat index peaking at 105 around the same time, according to the weather service. The heat index measures how hot it feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.

Citing unhealthy concentrations of air pollution Thursday, the Maryland Department of the Environment issued a code orange air quality alert for the Baltimore and Washington metro areas. Air quality warnings for the area began Wednesday.

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Forecasters predicted the temperature would fall to about 75 Thursday night, though the temperature is expected to rise with the sun.

Disturbances in the mid to upper atmosphere Friday are expected to pass north of Baltimore, yielding showers and “gusty thunderstorms” in the afternoon, the meteorologists wrote in an online weather discussion.

Their forecast says rain is most likely after 3 p.m.

Meteorologists warned in the weather discussion that the thunderstorms could be severe, capable of producing damaging winds and hail. They said the highest likelihood for such storms lies between Hagerstown and Baltimore.

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Breezes blowing off the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries could influence where and how the storms develop, forecasters wrote, offering little more explanation.

The storms should continue to sweep through the area late Friday night and early Saturday morning, as the temperature drops to a low of 73, the meteorologists said. They called for a 60% chance of rain, with up to an inch of precipitation possible.

“Additional low-level forcing could tap into the warm and humid air bringing a better chance for showers and thunderstorms Friday night, despite loss of daytime heating,” meteorologists wrote in the weather post. “If this scenario plays out, heavy rain could be an issue.”

A flash flood watch has been issued for areas along the Interstate 95 corridor Friday afternoon into Friday night. Showers and thunderstorms are likely to bring heavy rainfall, which could lead to instances of flash flooding, especially in urban areas.

But meteorologists also noted that it’s also possible the atmospheric disturbance is weak, which would likely see the storms dissipate overnight Friday.

A predicted shift in the winds could see a gloomy start to the weekend, they wrote.

Meteorologists outlined the possibility for showers and thunderstorms during the day Saturday and Sunday. The rain, however, could offer a slight reprieve from temperatures in the 90s, as the high temperature shouldn’t eclipse 89 Saturday and 88 Sunday.

A slight chance of thunderstorms before 2 p.m. Saturday, will give way to the likelihood of showers later in the day. Forecasters called for a 60% chance of rain through the night, though they expect less precipitation than Friday.

While the forecast predicts Sunday to be “mostly sunny,” there’s a 40% chance of rain most of the day.

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