Partly sunny Friday, outside shower chance

After 20-24 nerve-racking hours of monitoring the atmosphere for tornadoes, much needed tranquility has moved into the metro region. Skies have partially cleared with emergent afternoon sunshine. Well southeast of town toward Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert county, a strong thunderstorm remains possible through sunset, but elsewhere, the clearing trend should continue.

Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Through Tonight: Much drier air gradually works its way into the region. Skies are partly cloudy, with overnight lows from the mid-40s to low 50s (suburbs to city)

Tomorrow (Friday): Sunshine is probably plentiful in the morning, but during the afternoon clouds increase as a weak disturbance ripples by. An isolated shower (20% chance) can’t be ruled out. Afternoon highs are around 70.

See David Streit’s forecast through early next week. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Multimedia from Wednesday’s tornado outbreak: Here are some of the most incredible and/or painful photo/video documentaries of the tornadoes and their destruction: Boston Globe Big Picture blog, helicopter video of destruction in central Alabama, photo gallery from ABC 33 in Alabama, and YouTube video of large tornado in Oilville, Va.; Front page of Birmingham News from this morning

Walter Reed Pollen Update: Our tree count continues to decline but is still HIGH at 654.63 gr/cubic meter. Grasses are MODERATE at 4.79 gr/cubic meter, weeds are LOW at 0.64 gr/cubic meter and mold spores are in the LOW range at 2952.98 spores/cubic meter of air.