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Maryland weather: Tornado confirmed in Glenelg area of Howard County

Severe storms hit Baltimore.

A tornado touched down Thursday afternoon in the Glenelg area of Howard County, the National Weather Service said, the second twister to hit the county in a week.

A tornado warning was issued in Howard and northwestern Anne Arundel County from 3:22 p.m. until about 3:45 p.m. as severe storms moved through the region.

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Weather service meteorologists issued the warning because radar indicated rotation in storm clouds. They later confirmed that a tornado touched down based on credible video captured in the area.

They said they plan to survey the area Friday to determine the extent of the damage the tornado caused, and to classify its intensity on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The tornado follows an EF-1 tornado, second on the scale and capable of causing “moderate” damage, that hit the Clarksville area May 23. In April, weak tornadoes were also reported in the Monkton area of Baltimore County and in Dorchester County.

Storm damage reported around Howard County by Thursday evening included widespread downed tree branches and damage to a roof in the 400 block of Route 32 in Sykesville. In Ellicott City, trees fell in the area of Riverside Circle, one of them onto a house. Nearly 1,500 Baltimore Gas & Electric customers in Howard County were still without power Friday morning. Some Howard County schools were closed because of power outages.

Baltimore County fire officials said a person was critically injured when a tree fell on a vehicle near Dover and Byerly roads in Reisterstown. Firefighters freed the person shortly after 6 p.m. and planned to transport the person to a hospital in a Medevac helicopter.

In Baltimore, a traffic light pole was downed at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue. A telephone pole fell in South Baltimore along Key Highway near McComas Street.

At Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, amid Mount Hebron High School’s graduation, students in caps and gowns had to seek shelter in the bowels of the amphitheater until the tornado-warned storm passed. Anne Arundel and Baltimore county school officials delayed dismissal of students at some schools until the severe weather passed.

Before reaching the Baltimore region, the same storm prompted a tornado warning in the Frederick area for about 20 minutes earlier Thursday afternoon. No tornado had been confirmed in that area yet, as of Thursday evening.

The threat of severe weather diminished after the storms passed through the region by 4:30 p.m., meteorologists said. A severe thunderstorm watch that had been set to remain in place across Central Maryland until 9 p.m. was lifted by 5 p.m., though meteorologists warned storms were still possible late Thursday night in Southern Maryland.

The severe weather came from the same meteorological setup that produced storms Wednesday — a frontal boundary stalled across southern Pennsylvania, meeting steamy conditions across Maryland.

Wednesday storms left behind significant damage, potentially from one or more tornadoes.

In Harford County, trees were reported downed near the intersection of Routes 152 and 165 in Fallston and on Garnett Road near Joppa Farm Road in Joppatowne. National Weather Service meteorologists said they planned to send meteorologists to Fallston, and the Baldwin area, just over the Baltimore County line, on Thursday to determine whether the damage was the result of a tornado.

Significant storm damage was also reported in Perry Hall, in the area of Silver Lake Drive and Silver Spring Road, a 911 dispatcher told the National Weather Service. Several callers said it looked to be tornado damage, but meteorologists initially suggested it came from a microburst, when a rapid downdraft of cold air within storm clouds produces severe straight-line winds on the ground.

Baltimore County officials also said portions of White Marsh saw major storm damage to residences.

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Baltimore County Councilman David Marks announced Thursday morning that hot showers are available at The Y at 4375 Ebenezer Road in Perry Hall for residents still without power after Wednesday's storm.

Baltimore County officials said contractors are beginning the task of repairing storm damage and restoring electrical service to those impacted homes. The county issued a memorandum stating that building permits directly related to storm damage will be given priority, along with any requested inspections.

The severe weather developed amid the region’s hottest conditions of the year, creating instability in the atmosphere as a cold front moved down from Pennsylvania.

After peaking at 91 degrees Tuesday, temperatures at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport reached 94 degrees Wednesday, the hottest there since last Sept. 6. Humidity made it feel as hot as 96 degrees.

Temperatures reached 91 degrees before storms arrived Thursday afternoon at BWI, making this Baltimore’s longest stretch of 90-degree heat since early September.

Drier air and slightly cooler air is forecast to arrive in the coming days. Highs are forecast in the lower 80s Friday and Saturday, the upper 70s Sunday, and down to the lower 70s early next week.

Storm chances return Saturday and, more likely, Sunday.

Baltimore Sun reporters Phil Davis, Alison Knezevich and Lillian Reed contributed to this article.

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