Thunderstorms were brewing again today, weather forecasters said, bringing another threat of power outages and intense lightning across Maryland.
"Last night was just a practice for tonight," said Peggy D. Mulloy, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. She said repair crews were ready for the possibility of another long night.
Thunderstorms packing high winds rumbled across the state last night. At least 7,000 bolts of lightning knocked out power to thousands of homes.
In addition to a buildup of warm, moist air through the day today, a cold front was expected to move through the region this afternoon, intensifying the predicted storms, said Fred A. Davis, chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
BG&E said 22,000 of its million-plus Central Maryland customers lost power last night. Wind gusts of up 50 mph were recorded in and around Baltimore.
Crews were expected to restore all power by mid-day.
The largest concentration of outages last night was in northern Anne Arundel County -- in the Glen Burnie area -- where about 5,200 homes and businesses were affected.
Overall, 10,000 Anne Arundel customers lost power, 5,000 in Carroll County, 3,600 in Baltimore, and the remainder scattered throughout BG&E's system, Ms. Mulloy said.
A computerized lightning-detection system recorded at least 7,000 lightning strikes after the storms crossed from West Virginia into Maryland until they reached the Eastern Shore about eight hours later, at 9 p.m., Ms. Mulloy said. A record number of strikes -- 20,000 in a six-hour period -- was recorded by the system in August 1988, she said.
Rainfall at the airport yesterday totaled .65 inches -- all between 7 p.m. and 8:01 p.m., forecasters said. It represented slightly more than a third of all rainfall there in June.