Our first severe weather threat for central Maryland this season kicks off late Friday afternoon (3pm-10pm) as a powerful cold front plows our way. Out ahead of the front we have temperatures right around 70-75 degrees and dewpoint values punching 60 degrees to equal great storm fuel. There is also a bit of wind of aloft at airplane level 5,000ft off the ground which will be one of the main factors that drives storms today along with primary threat of damaging winds.
The potential for Friday's severe storms are somewhat dependent though on how much sunshine we can see during the first half of the day and the timing/placement of the front since the main energy feature is well into Canada. Of course the more sunshine means more storm fuel and a higher threat for severe storms come late afternoon/early evening. If the front arrives later and the clouds take over the impending threat could be reduced especially with limited moisture availability.
As of now the Storm Prediction has us in a "Marginal Risk" for severe weather. On a scale of 1 to 5 we are running about a 1 which simply means that we have a low end risk for severe weather with gusty winds as the predominant threat. Baltimore is sitting right on the fringe of the threat since most of the energy and wind shear look to sit just to our south over the Eastern Shore.
Storms should begin developing after 4pm and continue through at least 10-11pm in the evening. The best chance for strong to severe storms would be between the 5-8pm since this will be when most of the storm fuel will be available for the taking.
Winds at the surface will be coming in from the southwest, while the wind higher up comes in from the west. This leads to some extra lift and convergence in the atmosphere above precluding a damaging wind threat across the area. The best chance for this to happen looks to be over the Eastern Shore and down to the south toward Salisbury/Ocean City. With the the extra wind shear at the surface the tornado threat is non-zero for the areas mentioned above. A brief spin up cannot be ruled out but overall we are not looking at a widespread severe weather outlook.
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