Severe Storm Risk Increased Across Md.

Posted at 1:25 AM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 06:49:30-05

The southern part of Maryland, including Baltimore, is now at a greater risk for strong thunderstorms on Wednesday.

Early this morning, the Storm Prediction Center raised the threat level for strong to severe storms to develop across the Free State by Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening.

Though the window of time for storms to form and strengthen to severe limits will be brief, this period of time should not be overlooked by Marylanders in the effected area.

The affected part of Maryland will be running roughly a 15% chance for damaging winds and hail, which will be the greatest threats in any given storm cell.

However, the wind profile of the atmosphere on Wednesday afternoon does also support rotation of thunderstorm cells.  As a result, central and southern Maryland is also in roughly 5% chance for a tornado to develop within any given storm.

One key factor, clear skies and sunshine.  What do I mean by this?  If we get a period of clear sky and sunshine early Wednesday, this will help warm us up more rapidly.  And this additional warmth could be the key to adding just enough energy at the low levels of the atmosphere to allow the storms to really ramp up once they do develop.

On the other hand, if the sky remains overcast and drizzly for most of the day in Maryland, any storms that form are more likely to stay below severe limits.

Bottom line: the weather will be changing rapidly on Wednesday across the Mid-Atlantic, and could get dangerous in spots.  Stay tuned throughout the day @ABC2Weather on Twitter and be sure to download our StormShield App on Apple iOS or Android if you haven't already!