Strong storms that included a possible tornado swept through the Washington region Friday, bringing a burst of heavy downpours and gusty winds during the morning commute.

The severe weather began about 7:30 a.m. as the National Weather Service warned of severe thunderstorms and winds gusting to 50 mph in parts of Montgomery County. Forecasters issued a tornado warning for parts of Montgomery, Howard and Frederick counties after radar indicated rotation near Poolesville.

Multiple downed trees were reported Friday morning in that area. Authorities had warned commuters to head for shelter and stay indoors during the height of the morning commute.

John Lee said he got stuck along southbound Interstate 270 as he headed from his house in Ijamsville to his job in Rockville. Lee said he was driving through what started as light rain, then the situation got more worrisome.

“Every time I looked in my rearview mirror, it looked black,” he said. “You could see the clouds were moving quickly.”

He said his normal 30-minute commute took about 45 minutes. He received weather warnings on his phone while behind the wheel but continued his drive to work.

“It was like ‘what do you do when the alert says take shelter and you’re commuting on 270?’ ” he said. “I expected it to be windy and rainy, but I didn’t expect something like that. It was slightly harrowing.”

Montgomery County officials reported downed trees, wires and poles in the area. Part of Dickerson and Martinsburg roads in the Dickerson area were closed because of downed power lines.

In Northern Virginia, Leesburg police officials said they had no reports of serious injuries as several trees were downed.

Leah Kosin, a Leesburg town spokeswoman, said it seemed as though the storm “came out of nowhere” and lasted about a minute. She said some residents were left without power.

Crews were out clearing roadways of debris as officials warned residents to use caution.

“I think people are more in shock and coming outside now in curiosity,” Kosin said.

Some MARC commuter trains also faced delays because of tornado warnings issued for several Maryland counties.

High winds are expected in the D.C. region throughout the afternoon and temperatures are expected to stay cold over the weekend.