Storms bring flood, possible tornado to central Md., flood watch remains for DC region

Key updates: 

  • A Flood Warning for parts of Howard and Baltimore County and Baltimore City in Maryland until 12 a.m. Thursday. A previous flash flood warning has been canceled. 
  • A Flood Warning for parts of Howard, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in central Maryland until 2:45 a.m. on Thursday.
  • A Flood Warning for parts of Howard and Montgomery counties in Maryland until 2:45 a.m. in central Maryland until 2:45 a.m. Thursday. 
  • A Flood Warning for parts of Charles and St. Mary’s counties in southern Maryland until 4:00 a.m. on Thursday.

A Flood Watch for the majority of the D.C. region is in effect until 4:00 a.m. Thursday.

Scattered storms brought torrential downpours and gusty winds to the D.C. region Wednesday evening. Multiple weather warning were issued throughout the region as flooding and debris damage impacted multiple jurisdictions in Maryland.

The quick moving storms rapidly dumped between 1-3 inches of water in some areas — with another 1-2 inches of rain expected throughout the night. High wind gusts cause debris to fly and tree branches to fall in some areas, leading to handful of power outages, traffic incidents and blocked roadways.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued various flash flood warnings for Maryland, as well as two tornado warning. The storms caused multiple cars to get stuck in flood waters in Baltimore City and Catonsville, NWS reported.

Tornado and flood concerns in Ellicott City, Columbia

The severe weather led to flooding and road closures in Howard County, Maryland, particularly in historic Ellicott City where Main Street and other surrounding roads were shut down for about an hour.

NWS reported multiple flash floods around Ellicott City and Columbia, causing multiple street closures. Residents nearby were advised to seek higher ground as a precaution. Roads in Elkridge were also impacted.

A spokesperson for the Howard County Fire Department told WTOP a tornado may have touched down in the area of Cradlerock Way and Overheart Lane in Columbia. NWS is investigating the area because of tree damage.

Nearby in Columbia, fans of pop star Halsey, who had been hoping for a post-rain miracle, were sorely disappointed when Merriweather Post Pavilion scrapped the concert at 10:02 p.m. due to “weather-related technical difficulties. Some fans recorded parts of the venue, including its lower bowl, suffering from flooding caused by the rain.

The venue said fans will receive more information about refunds or a rescheduled show date from their ticket vender. In a statement on Twitter, Hasley said it would have been “unsafe if I went out there and people rushed the stage during or after the storm.”

In a second message, she said she was disappointed with how Merriweather Post Pavilion officials handled the weather issues, adding that a rescheduled date “will be happening somewhere else.”

Overnight forecast

Drivers should be alert for roadway flooding and slippery conditions while traveling: A flood watch is in effect for the entire WTOP listening area, including D.C. and Baltimore, until 4 a.m. Friday. Runoff in stronger storms could lead to flooding along rivers, streams, roadways and other low-lying or flood-prone locations.

“Thunderstorms will continue tonight, and these storms may produce gusty winds and heavy rainfall,” Storm Team4 Meteorologist Mike Stinneford said. “Storms will taper off after midnight, and the weather will start to improve on Thursday as a cold front sags off to the south.”

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM. Download the free WTOP News app for Android and Apple phones to sign up for custom traffic and weather alerts.


Wednesday night: Showers and storms ending after midnight; remaining mostly cloudy and humid. Lows in the mid 60s to near 70.

Thursday: An early shower, then becoming mostly sunny, breezy and less humid. Highs in the low to mid 80s.

Friday: Sunny in the morning. Becoming cloudy in the afternoon. Pleasant. Highs near 80.

Saturday: Showers and a few thunderstorms. Highs in the low to mid 70s.

Sunday: Partly sunny. Chance of a shower or afternoon thunderstorm. Highs in the low 80s.

Current conditions:

Power outages:

WTOP’s Juan Herrera contributed to this report. 

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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