Much of Maryland is under a flood watch Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, and could see severe thunderstorms produce excessive rainfall and strong winds.
Northern and Southern Baltimore; Carroll, Frederick and Anne Arundel counties; Northwest, Central and Southern Howard County; and Northwest and Southeast Harford County were included in Sunday’s flood watch, which is in effect from around noon through about 10 p.m., according to the weather service. It warns of excessive runoff from rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying, flood-prone locations, and flash floods caused by very heavy rainfall in short timeframes.
Meanwhile, Cecil, Harford, Carroll and Baltimore counties and Baltimore City are under a severe thunderstorm watch until 6 p.m., which could mean damaging winds and heavy rain.
Anna Stuck, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the day’s forecast was consistent with typical summer patterns, with daytime heat driving afternoon storms. The Baltimore-Washington region has been behind normal rainfall until recently, she said.
There’s been little movement in the atmosphere this week, she added, which means moisture is turning into rainfall over the same spots. But a front is bringing in Sunday’s storms.
“They will be moving more than in the past couple of days,” Stuck said. “There is potential for one to move rain right behind another. We call that ‘training.’”
Stuck said the weather service also “couldn’t rule out” small hail Sunday, but the primary threats were the possible floods and damaging winds. “If you encounter flooded roads, turn around and don’t try to drive through it,” she warned.
Howard County government leaders advised people with cars parked on Main Street in Ellicott City — which has endured catastrophic and deadly flooding at least two times since 2016 — to move their cars or risk being towed.
This week, a solar storm is expected to reach people in 17 states — including Maryland — a chance to see the Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis.
The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has forecast auroral activity for Thursday. The aurora is best viewed away from city lights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. local time.
This article may be updated.