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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Storm after the day

On our ride home to Baltimore last night, I was getting weather alerts on my Sidekick like this:

WWUS51 KLWX 260026
SVSLWX
VAC059-510-260100-

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
826 PM EDT TUE MAY 25 2004

...TORNADO WARNING CONTINUES FOR CITY OF ALEXANDRIA AND FAIRFAX COUNTIES UNTIL 900 PM EDT...

AT 826 PM EDT... RADAR INDICATED A DEVELOPING TORNADO OVER ROSE HILL...MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH.

AT 825 PM...REPORTS OF FUNNEL CLOUDS JUST SOUTH OF ALEXANDRIA HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT.

THE WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE...ALEXANDRIA...FRANCONIA...HYBLA VALLEY...LINCOLNIA AND MOUNT VERNON ARE NEAR THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM.

MOTORISTS IN THE PATH OF THIS STORM SHOULD ABANDON VEHICLES FOR MORE SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER! DO NOT TAKE SHELTER UNDER HIGHWAY OVERPASSES! TAKE COVER IN A NEARBY STURDY BUILDING. AS A LAST RESORT...TAKE COVER IN A DITCH OR CULVERT. PROTECT YOUR HEAD AND BODY FROM FLYING DEBRIS!

$$
MANNING

The "abandon vehicles" line certainly got my attention. I loaded the local weather radar, and sure enough, there was a massive line of storms coming over us.

may_25_storm_radar

The sky looked really bad as we were coming to the ramp leading into downtown Baltimore. I shoved my camera out the window (Amy was driving and I was in the back seat with the baby) to take some photos just as raindrops started to fall. I accidentally left my camera flash on and caught the nearest raindrops whizzing by.

may_25_storm_over_skyline

This frame, with incredible churning clouds and raindrop trails that look like giant hail looking like a scene out of the movie The Day After Tomorrow, was taken as we came off I-95 onto the ramp to downtown. We'll likely see a few more storm squalls like this over the summer on our rides home.

We pulled up to the house and waited about 15 minutes under powerful lightning and thunder before the storm let up. The western sky soon opened up with an orange glow. I excitedly ran into the fading rain to look for a rainbow in the east. Alas no rainbow—the sun set just as the rain ended.

Update: It turns out two tornados did touch down in Maryland.

11:30 PM in Baltimore | Permalink

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Comments

mike - don't know how you are dealing with that commute. must be unreal.

Posted by: Jenny H at May 27, 2004 3:01:32 PM

Jen, remember I'm the guy who commuted from Baltimore to Manhattan every week. It's amazing what can become routine. Actually, we're taking some secondary roads like New Hampshire Avenue and North Capitol after peak rush hour. One good days, the ride is the same as the train--90 minutes. This includes dropping Cianna off. We're actively looking to move to an area closer to DC in the next year to cut down our commute time and base ourselves in a bigger house. I feel so grown-up.

Posted by: Mike Lee at May 27, 2004 6:14:46 PM