Severe thunderstorms are likely in Maryland on Monday afternoon and evening, and they could bring damaging winds and the possibility of large hail or isolated tornadoes, forecasters say.
A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for Central and Eastern Maryland until 9 p.m. Monday — excluding Carroll and Frederick counties and the state’s western panhandle. Thunderstorm watches, which typically cover large areas and indicate that bad storms are possible, are less severe than severe thunderstorm warnings, which indicate that dangerous storms have been spotted.
Shortly after 5 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Shady Side, Chesapeake Beach and Deale in southern Anne Arundel County through 5:15 p.m., saying that wind gusts could reach up to 70 mph as the storm moves through.
Howard County Public Schools closed three hours early Monday as a result of the forecast, and Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County Public Schools will not hold any after-school activities, including child care.
The storms, heading east across Maryland, are also poised to impact much of the mid-Atlantic. Counties up and down the East Coast, from North Carolina to New Jersey and New York, were also operating under severe thunderstorm watches Monday afternoon.
“Damaging winds are the primary threat, but large hail and isolated tornadoes are possible as well,” reads a hazardous weather outlook for Maryland issued earlier Monday by the National Weather Service. “An isolated instance of flooding is also possible.”
In Baltimore, where Monday’s high temperature is 81 degrees, the stormy weather is expected to clear out before 8 p.m. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph during the storms.
“Anyone who plans on travelling or being outdoors today should pay extra attention to any watches and warnings, and be ready to seek shelter quickly,” reads a forecast update from the weather service.
In the vast majority of Maryland, the risk for severe weather is “enhanced” — the third level on the National Weather Service’s five-tiered scale, according to a tweet from the agency. The westernmost and easternmost parts of Maryland have a “slight” risk.
After the storms, Tuesday is likely to be sunny and breezy in the Baltimore area, according to the National Weather Service. In the city, the high temperature will be around 77 degrees, with winds between 6 and 15 mph and gusts as high as 26 mph.
Wednesday is poised to be mostly sunny with a high of 74 degrees, but rain could return Thursday. There’s a 40% chance Thursday and a 30% chance Friday, when the high temperature could climb to 85 degrees. The chance for precipitation could linger into the weekend. Saturday’s projected high temperature is 89 degrees, and Sunday’s is 76 degrees.
Baltimore Sun reporter Lilly Price contributed to this article.