It's not uncommon for the state of Maryland to experience severe thunderstorms during the summer season. Thunderstorms are more likely to happen in the spring and summer months during the afternoon and evening hours, but can also occur year-round and at all hours.
Thunderstorms affect relatively smaller areas when compared with hurricanes and winter storms. However, all thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes. Heavy rainstorms can also accompany thunderstorms, and leads to problems such as flash flooding, strong winds, hail, and tornadoes.
Signs of a Thunderstorm
Watch for physical signs of approaching storms:
- Increasing wind
- Flashes of lightning
- Sound of thunder
- Static on your AM radio
What Makes a Thunderstorm Severe?
A thunderstorm is classified as "severe" when it contains one or more of the following:
- Hail (One inch or greater)
- Winds in excess of 58 mph
- Structural wind damage
The Difference Between A Severe Thunderstorm Watch and a Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
*A Severe Thunderstorm WATCH is issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center meteorologists who are watching the weather 24/7 across the entire U.S. for weather conditions that are favorable for severe thunderstorms. A watch can cover parts of a state or several states. Watch and prepare for severe weather and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio to know when warnings are issued.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
*A Severe Thunderstorm WARNING is issued by your local NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office meteorologists who watch a designated area 24/7 for severe weather that has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings mean there is a serious threat to life and property to those in the path of the storm. ACT now to find safe shelter! A warning can cover parts of counties or several counties in the path of danger.
* Information Provided By The National Severe Storms Laboratory
The size of a severe storm watch can vary depending on the weather situation. On average, they last between four to eight hours. They're typically ahead of time and before the actual occurrence of severe weather. During the watch, we suggest you review safety rules and be prepared to relocate to safe place before the threatening weather approaches.
Stay Alert On All Weather Related News On Social Media
Be sure to follow the National Weather Service For the Baltimore/Washington area on social media for weather related news, alerts, and warnings.
Thunderstorm Safety Tips
- Avoid being outdoors before and during a severe thunderstorm.
- Postponing outdoor activities if thunderstorms are approaching to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
- If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.
- Get to shelter if you hear a thunderstorm approaching.
What To Do If Your Home or Building Is Damaged By Recent Thunderstorms
If your home, office, or building is damaged by a severe thunderstorm, don't panic. You can rely on the disaster restoration experts at Servicemaster by Singer! We provide 24-hour emergency response to storms, fires, flooding, and other sudden events. We serve customers in restoring their homes, businesses, schools, and institutions with professional cleaning sanitizing, and restoration services. Our restoration experts are skilled in all facets of residential and commercial repair, redecorating, and reconstruction. We proudly serve the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan communities out of our 20,000 Square foot facility in Baltimore, Maryland. We're always close by as we have several locations throughout the area including Catonsville, Ellicot City, Anne Arundel, Ownings Mills, Potomac, and Timonium. Contact us today for immediate help!