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BLOG: Tornadoes & Severe Weather

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Corridor of “God-awful thunderstorms” that has been repeatedly slamming the same areas west and north of the city all morning will be shifting east across the city and over the Eastern Shore area during the next few hours. The worst weather for the city should be between 11 and 2 while areas east of the Bay get hammered through the afternoon and into the evening. Farther down the road the models are trending faster with the system early next week so we may eventually have to speed things up in the Monday-Tuesday period.

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A devastating outbreak of severe weather in the Deep South has led to numerous tornadoes, and there may be more than 200 fatalities recorded when all of the damage is finally assessed.  The hardest hit areas Wednesday were in Tennessee, Mississippi and in northern Alabama.  Then the focus late Wednesday and Wednesday night has shifted to northern parts of Georgia and the western Carolinas.  As some very warm and moist air continues to flow northward and into the eastern third of the country, there will undoubtedly be some very strong thunderstorms occurring Thursday from upstate New York and southern New England on down to the Carolina Coast.  And Maryland is in a zone which can experience some damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, hail and flooding downpours.  In addition to a Tornado Watch that will probably be extended beyond 8 a.m. – torrential rain could cause ponding/flooding on some streets and highways, as well as flooding in areas of poor drainage.

Radar trends early Thursday morning showed the main line of heavy rain marching across the western Panhandle of Maryland, and Carroll County is under a Tornado Warning until 5:15 a.m.  We believe that this line, assuming that most of it holds together, will be reaching the City of Baltimore around 7 a.m… By early Thursday afternoon, it is very possible that the strongest winds and heaviest rain will be over with in the all but the southern and eastern portions of the WJZ-TV viewing area.  We’re thinking that the sky could begin to clear later in the afternoon, but it isn’t something we want to “promise” at this stage of the game.

Temperatures may not be as high as what we’re portraying it the rain persists until 1 or 2 p.m. — but if the sun were to come out after 3 p.m. — it could still be as high as the mid-70s.

As the front presses eastward Thursday night, it will be turning out partly cloudy and colder.  Friday, while there will be some sunshine, it will be windy and somewhat cooler, with most temperatures in the mid and upper-60s… It may also be the kind of day that starts fairly sunny, but the heating of the day will make the atmosphere more and more unstable.

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