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Updated forecast: Heat to build on Saturday, challenging records

Tornado watch for northern Maryland discontinued while highs are poised to reach at least the mid-90s Saturday

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Radar courtesy MyRadar | © OpenStreetMap contributors

3:50 p.m. — Tornado watch in northern Maryland discontinued

The storms of concern have either dissipated or swept off to the northeast into eastern Pennsylvania. There is no further threat of severe storms or tornadoes. The big weather story through Saturday will be heat. Stay tuned for our PM Forecast Update for the details.

12:30 p.m. — Tornado watch issued for northern Maryland until 7 p.m.

Thunderstorms developing in western Maryland and southwest Pennsylvania may strengthen and start to rotate some as they push east along the Mason Dixon line Friday afternoon. As such, the National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for northern Maryland and most of central and eastern Pennsylvania. It includes Frederick, Howard, Carroll and Baltimore counties. It does not include the immediate D.C. area.

“Thunderstorms are increasing over western Pennsylvania,” the tornado watch states. “This activity will track rapidly eastward across the watch area today, posing a risk of damaging winds and a few tornadoes.”

Short-term models suggest most of the thunderstorms should focus north of the Mason Dixon line so we don’t think the Washington area is likely to be threatened. Northern Maryland counties could get clipped by storms, so should remain weather-aware.

Remember that a tornado watch means ingredients are in place for possible tornadoes, but not a guarantee, and simply requires vigilance. However, if a tornado warning is issued for your location, it means a storm capable of producing a tornado is imminent or a confirmed twister is approaching; in this situation, you should seek shelter immediately in the lowest level of a strong building, away from windows.

Today’s daily digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

3/10: Highs in the low to mid-90s may feel like upper 90s?! I’m not a fan — although I could certainly use one. Points awarded to a few clouds, a possible thundershower and a breeze at times.

Express forecast

  • Today: Hot, muggier. Passing rain chance. Highs: Low to mid-90s.
  • Tonight: Decreasing clouds. Lows: Upper 60s to mid-70s.
  • Tomorrow: Hot, humid, slight rain chance. Highs: 93 to 98.
  • Sunday: Afternoon strong storms? Highs: Low to mid-90s.

Forecast in detail

We’re staring down what should be our first 90-degree day of 2022, and this isn’t just a one-off. To come are nearly the hottest conditions ever observed so early in the year. We could see our hottest May weather in at least a decade tomorrow. Overall, heat and humidity builds slightly through Sunday, when a few strong to severe storms are possible. Stay tuned.

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Today (Friday): Quick-hitting showers or a storm are possible early as a warm front passes. During the day, partly to mostly sunny skies help boost high temperatures toward the low to mid-90s. Humidity is also becoming unpleasant (dew points in the mid-60s), which combines with already-hot temperatures, making it feel like the steamier upper 90s at times. Thank goodness for a southerly breeze around 10 mph. We could see a late-day gust near 25 mph, perhaps along with a pop-up storm. Medium-High

Tonight: Decreasing clouds this evening, with only a very slight rain chance. South-southwesterly breezes near 10 mph could still occasionally gust nearer 20 mph before dawn. It’s certainly summery, with low temperatures barely able to settle in the upper 60s to mid-70s. We may set a record for warmest low temperature for the date. Confidence: Medium-High

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Tomorrow (Saturday): Mostly sunny skies and moderate southerly breezes help continue the feed of warm, moist air into our region. High temperatures may range from 92 to 98 degrees, aiming for area record high temperatures: 96 at DCA and BWI from 1934; 92 at IAD from 1996. It’s still uncomfortable humidity for May, with dew points in the mid-60s. A shower or quick thunderstorm can’t be ruled out given high heat and humidity. Hazy skies may be amplified from wildfire smoke wafting in from the west. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Overnight low temperatures again have a hard time dipping below the upper 60s to mid-70s. Dew points may creep up slightly, giving us a tinge more humidity as we wake up. Skies are partly cloudy, breezes moderate, with a tiny shower or storm chance. Confidence: High

Sunday: It’s steamier but slightly less hot. Dew points may near 70 degrees in a few spots, nearly unbearable for May. However, slightly more clouds and moisture in the atmosphere helps cap our high temperatures “merely” in the low to mid-90s. Afternoon storms could turn strong or severe, so please check back with us as we get closer. Confidence: Medium

A look ahead

Sunday night: Evening showers and storms are possible and a few strong storms can’t be ruled out. This is a decent cold front that should help cool us down to near 60 degrees for lows, or perhaps mid-60s downtown. Confidence: Medium

Rain showers and even a couple periods of light rain are possible Monday and Tuesday. Our wet cold front may stall just to the south of our region, keeping us fairly cloudy to boot. Don’t 70s for high temperatures sound like a nice break from 90s, though? Ultimately, our high temperatures may go up a few degrees if conditions turn drier and sunnier than currently expected; conversely, 60s are possible if we trend wetter and cloudier than it looks now. Confidence: Low-Medium