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July 31, 2008

Storms spotty across the region

Showers and thunderstorms popped up around the state yesterday, but they were by no means commonplace. The heaviest rains seem to have fallen out in Allegany County, where Cumberland reported more than an inch. Half-an-inch fell in Jacksonville and even in the Hamilton section of Baltimore City, according to volunteer reports from CoCoRaHS.

Talbot, Wicomico and parts of Arundel also reported a tenth of an inch or more. But we recorded exactly no rain here on The Sun's instruments at Calvert & Centre streets. Also no rain in the gauge on the WeatherDeck in Cockeysville, although there were a few drops on the deck furniture.

Some of the storms produced damaging winds. Jeff Gouger sent me some photos of tree damage in Cockeysville:

Jeff Gouger photo

"We had substantial damage yesterday in the Springdale neighborhood and a neighbor claimed to see a tornado," Jeff said this morning.

"This would be in the vicinity of Gateridge and Stillway Court. Many trees and damaged and destroyed with a lot of debris. These pictures are where it seemed to “bounce” off the ground.  It doesn’t look like straight line winds as some many of the trees are going in different directions."

Jeff said he recorded about an inch of rain. "My neighbors were saying that a lot of the rain was horizontal, and judging by the debris on the outside of the second floor of my house, I would agree." 

I'm not so sure this damage was caused by a tornado, but I've forwarded Jeff's photos to Chris Strong at the NWS in Sterling. Anyone else have some storm tales/photos to share?  

We may well see more scattered showers and storms today as a new disturbance tracks through to our south, and that cold front gets closer to the region. Once again, they could contain strong wind gusts and hail.
Beyond that, we're looking at continued highs near 90 degrees well into next week. Showers are possible Saturday and Saturday evening, but otherwise we're in the clear after today.
Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:39 AM | | Comments (4)


We live close to the Springdale location mentioned and had at least 4 trees uprooted with countless large branches down. The wind was blowing so loud you couldn't hear anything, we also had a brief period of hail.

I also live in Springdale and can tell you that people had deck tables picked up and moved two houses away. The storm was brief, but unlike anything I've ever seen. It was white outside and raining sideways so that you couldn't see across the street for a few minutes. I also heard that a neighbor watched the funnel cloud linger between two houses near Stillway Garth, sheer off the top of one tree and pick up again. Shocking that there wasn't more damage. We're very blessed.

FR: Here's another report from the Springdale area:

"I live on Sherwood Hill 1/2 mile or so west of your Springdale shots.
Our power was knocked out for most of our road from approx 5PM yesterday to 2PM today, B,G&E finally admitted that two poles on our road "snapped" in storm, I had a weighted umbrella moved about 20ft and several large limbs still remain on ground, visibility during this brief yet violent storm was near zero due to heavy misting effect of rains and pools of water remained after on my normally well-drained hillside lot.
I've been here since before Isabel and worried about giant poplars coming down, but fortunately my lot was spared, One up the road appeaed to have sheared vertically and took out the aforementioned poles. Don't know why your rain gauge showed empty unless it blew over." - Joseph Moore, Cockeysville

FR: And here's a comment from Chris Strong, the NWS warning coordination meteorologist out at Sterling:

Great. Thanks for that info, Jeff. Based on the pics, your report, info from the county, and radar data from our radar, as well as BWI's radar (which has an exceptional view of that storm), it looks as if the storm put down a very strong downburst right over the area just east of Cockeysville center (which is the area you describe). There is good radar evidence to support a microburst of about 70-80 mph which would do the damage described, but nothing to support a tornado (no rotation in the storm). As always, if you ever witness a damaging storm, feel free to call our spotter hotline at (800) 253-7091. That goes direct to the warning forecasters and helps refine warnings while they are ongoing. Again, thanks for the info." - CS

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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