Heat, humidity depart after storms deposit needed rain in metro area

Temperatures expected to reach the low 80s today

July 24, 2002|By Johnathon E. Briggs | Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF

Marylanders got a dose of relief last night from unrelenting heat and humidity as thunderstorms blanketed the Baltimore region with much-needed rain.

An unstable air mass generated small hail in Montgomery County and pockets of heavy showers that dumped an inch or more of rain in parts of Baltimore and Harford counties.

At Baltimore-Washington International Airport, the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., recorded 0.39 inches of rainfall.

In Baltimore, enough rain was produced to cancel the Orioles match-up against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards. It also washed away a huge accumulation of tree pollen that had been making allergy sufferers miserable.

Temperatures dropped more than 20 degrees as the storms hit, and by 11 p.m. had dipped to 71 degrees at the Inner Harbor -- where the high yesterday was a blistering 100. At BWI, the temperatures had cooled to 74 degrees from a midafternoon high of 96.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning last night as the thunderstorms moved across Baltimore and Harford counties, but it was called off an hour later as storms moved south of the area.

Precipitation in the Baltimore area is down 34 percent below average in the past year, according to the National Weather Service. Typically, the area receives about 22 inches of precipitation between January and July. Including last night's rainfall, nearly 18 inches have fallen, officials said.

Highs are expected to reach the low 80s today, with a 50 percent chance of rain.

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