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August 18, 2011

Wednesday storm was a downtown event

So where were you during yesterday's torrential rains? "What torrential rains?" you say.  I don't blame you. I can't recall a weather event as localized as the monsoon that struck downtown Baltimore on Wednesday evening.

An almost tropical downpour and gusty winds lashed downtown from about 6 p.m. to 6:30. The rain gauge at The Sun totaled up 0.72 inches in that short time. And it fell in torrents - as high as 6.94 inches an hour at one point. The message scroll on my Davis Vantage Pro2 weather console kept screaming, "It's raining cats and dogs!" Like we couldn't see it outside the window. And to the north, the sky was blue, and the sun continued to shine in the west windows.

"We had an amazing monsoon here in East Baltimore.  Torrents of rain, lashing winds....," said a Rainbow BaltimoreWeather Blog commenter, BankStreet.

"Rich" reported: "I was running from Otterbein to Canton during the worst of it; it came on suddenly.  Just before it broke there were wind gust coming southward towards the harbor that were nearly blowing people (self included) off their feet."

"Heather" was in Fells Point: "I managed to park my car in a dry spot in Fells as it was starting. Waited it out in the car watching the radar on my phone, and it looked like the little bit of storm kept expanding and contracting, hovering right over downtown."

"Matthew" was in the city, north of downtown: "That thing is tiny, i'm on greenmount right at 39th and got nothing."

And, looking at the rainfall maps this morning, it's hard to find any evidence there was any rain at all beyond downtown Baltimore yesterday evening. 

The Maryland Science Center reported 0.75 inch. But BWI-Marshall Airport reported no rain. Martin State Airport reported no rain. Annapolis reported no rain until well after sunset. On the CoCoRaHS Network, Bel Air and Elkton stations reported just 0.08 inch. We had nothing in the gauge out on the WeatherDeck in Cockeysville.

The National Weather Service radar estimates showed a maximum of 1.5 inches fell around the Inner Harbor. Did anyone else in Baltimore get a rain gauge reading?

Anyway, the rain was welcome, even if it only cooled the city. And we were rewarded with a spectacular rainbow.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 9:34 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Storm reports


I live across the street from the Sun building and it was indeed a downpour! It reminded me of the brief tropical storms that we experienced in Barbados.

It was the most bizarre weather I've ever experienced. I was coming across Mulberry from the West Baltimore MARC station to my home in Hamilton, and the sun never stopped shining the whole time. It was also unique in that as I came across the Orleans St bridge, the rainbow actually appeared in front of the BGE Front St complex. I've never seen a rainbow that didn't appear to be unmeasurably "off in the distance". Of course, as I continued up Harford Rd, the streets became dry, despite the fact that I was driving through four inch puddles less than a mile south.

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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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