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Warning Expires, Severe Thunderstorm Watch Now in Effect (Update 7:30 p.m.)

The National Weather Service says a storm with hail 'the size of quarters' is nearby.

(Update 07/18, 7:30 p.m.)

Many of the clouds have parted, the birds are chirping and BGE has restored power to 489 customers in Howard County after a brief encounter with the outskirts of a storm.

In all, nearly 630 customers lost power Wednesday evening after a storm with 60 mph winds and large hail approached the area. A severe thunderstorm warning remains in effect until 9 p.m.

(Updated 07/18, 6:20 p.m.)

This evening's Sunset Serenades Summer Concerts featuring Pyrates Royal at , scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., has been cancelled due to weather. For information about other County programs, call the program status line at 410-313-4451 after 4 p.m

(Updated 07/18, 5:55 p.m.)

The National Weather Service's severe thunderstorm "warning" for Howard County has expired and as of about 5:45 p.m. a severe thunderstorm "watch" is in effect until 9 p.m.

NWS issues a "watch" when conditions for a storm are favorable, but no storm is imminent.

According to BGE, power was out for about 540 Howard County customers as of 5:50 p.m.

Original article, published 07/18, 4:45 p.m.:  

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued severe thunderstorm warning Wednesday after a thunderstorm that produced hail the size of quarters and winds faster than 60 mph was spotted just before 4:30 p.m. near Beltsville.

According to NWS, the storm was moving east at about 20 mph. The warning is set to expire at 6 p.m.

NWS isn’t the only organization warning residents of potential hazards. BGE issued a statement Wednesday afternoon alerting customers of the possibility of power outages.

Its warning comes less than a month after , some for more than a week as the result of a powerful storm. 

As of 4:45 p.m., about 350 Howard County customers had lost power since storm operations began at 3:22p.m.

“As the region continues to experience high temperatures, exceeding 100 degrees, BGE is also preparing for potential weather-related outages from the severe thunderstorms and high wind forecasted for this afternoon,” BGE spokesperson Jeannette M. Mills said in a statement issued by the utility.

by the state’s utility regulator, the Public Service Commission, and heads of several Maryland jurisdictions have after the widespread derecho outages.

Customers who want to report outages are asked to call 1.877.778.2222

This article has been updated to reflect current outages.

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cathy eshmont July 18, 2012 at 08:55 PM
BGE is not the NWS.....BGE's job is to make their infrastructure storm-ready, which it is obviously not. The NWS' job is to issue weather reports. As Sen Rosapepe (AACO and PG County) said, "It's no longer an excuse for the utilities to say that we are shocked, shocked, shocked that the wind blew hard, or that it rained a lot of that it snowed for three days. It's unpredictable what weather event will take place on what day, but it more predictable that we will continue to have them."
Lisa Rossi (Editor) July 18, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Wow, this photo. Those clouds are so ominous!

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