Storm clouds are rotating in southwest of Annapolis. There was a confirmed tornado in the area.
Lianne Dunbar was walking through the parking lot of Giant Food on Bay Ridge Road in Annapolis Thursday shortly after 6 p.m. when she noticed people taking cellphone photos of the sky. Above, a shelf cloud was gyrating and darkening the sky.
Dunbar quickly got in her car to make the short journey home but was soon enclosed in a fierce rainstorm that obscured her vision. The Bay Ridge resident said she did not see a funnel cloud or much of anything else.
”I literally couldn’t see more than a couple feet in front of me,” Dunbar said of the white-knuckle ride home. “I was so afraid a tree or power line would fall on me.”
At 6:03 p.m. the National Weather Service tweeted that it had confirmed through radar that there was a tornado on the ground just south of Annapolis, heading east toward Bay Ridge.
The weather service later said a tornado briefly appeared near Edgewater based on radar data that showed large debris flying in a rotation and trees fallen in multiple directions.
The agency has yet to confirm an eyewitness sighting or the length and strength of the tornado, but it estimates a rotation lasted for 10 minutes before moving offshore.
Shortly after 7 p.m. it tweeted that one of its spotters confirmed damage coincident with the radar tornadic signature at 5:58 p.m. just south of Annapolis in Edgewater. The spotter said trees and power poles were downed and there was damage to sidings and shingles along Route 2 just south of the South River bridge.
Anne Arundel Fire Department Lt. Mike Mayo said the department received 55 storm-related calls, a high number for a summer storm, to report fallen trees and power lines with several communities that had impassable roads. Nearly 4,000 BGE customers were without power in the Baltimore region Friday morning — 3,359 of whom were in Anne Arundel.
There were no reported injuries as of Thursday evening., Mayo said. The department received calls for minor structural damage from trees falling on homes around Harness Creek and Bay Ridge in Annapolis.
Around 8:40 p.m., the Maryland State Highway Administration announced that Maryland 450 was closed eastbound and westbound between St. Stephens Church Road and Huntwood Drive for weather-related reasons.
The weather activity in Anne Arundel County was part of a severe thunderstorm that moved through Maryland during the late afternoon, prompting tornado warnings in the Annapolis, Edgewater and Parole area of the county in addition to large parts of Baltimore City and Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties. The last of those warnings — that in Anne Arundel — expired at 6:30 p.m.
Much of the area also was under a severe thunderstorm warning as well.
By 10 p.m., the agency said the threat for strong to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes had ended.
An areal flooding warning covering Baltimore City and Baltimore, Harford, Howard and Carroll counties was in effect until 11:30 p.m.
At 1:53 a.m. Friday the agency tweeted that all flood warnings had expired.
The weather service said 1.51 inches of rain fell between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. at BWI Marshall Airport, including 0.86 of an inch in the first hour.
The week’s storms came after humid conditions in the region and follow a particularly rainy August — the region’s fourth-wettest in history. The month’s rainfall tally was just an inch behind the August 1911 total, according to the National Weather Service.
Now Marylanders can put away their rain gear: There’s no precipitation in the forecast until Wednesday.
Friday should be mostly sunny with a high near 87, according to the weather service; then temperatures will fall into the low 60s overnight.