Front raking Midwest due here tonight
The historic band of storms and tornadoes raking the Midwest today (Tuesday) mark a sharp cold front that will reach Baltimore overnight tonight. But forecasters say that by the time it reaches us, its power should be much diminished.
The storms, powered by low pressure equivalent to major hurricanes, are pounding parts of the Midwest with 70-mph-plus winds. Some are calling it the most severe storm system to strike the region in 70 years.
That same front is expected to reach western Maryland and Virginia after sunset tonight. By then it will have slowed, and weakened.
But forecasters at the National Weather Service forecast office in Sterling, Va. say we should still be prepared for gusty winds and showers overnight. Conditions could be severe in some locations in the path of thunderstorms, especially after 3 a.m.
Winds could gust to 33 mph, with new rainfall of up to a quarter-inch, with more possible in thunderstorms.
A Special Weather Statment issued by Sterling forecasters at 4:22 p.m. warned of "linear storms capable of damaging wind gusts and nocturnal tornadoes. The best chancees for severe weather development will be after 10 p.m."
It's a good night to turn your NOAA Weather Radio to "Alert," so it can wake you up if there's a warning issued for your location. A Tornado Watch has already been issued for Garrett County as the storm front moves east.
The slow-moving front will still be crossing the region on Wednesday with a 90-percent chance of gusty showers and thunderstorms, and as much as a half-inch of rain.
By Thursday skies should have cleared out, with a forecast high of 70 degrees. Friday and Saturday will remain sunny, forecasters said, but highs behind the front will stall in the 50s, warming to the upper 60s by Sunday.
Behind this big storm today, winter was arriving in the Dakotas.