What to Know
- A confirmed tornado touched down in Howard County about 3:30 Thursday, leaving a path of damage
- Thousands of utility customers were still without power on Friday morning
- There's a ray of sunshine after the storms: A good-weather weekend is ahead
Thousands of people awoke in the dark on Friday after powerful storms swept through the D.C. region and a tornado touched down in Howard County.
National Weather Service meteorologists are expected to go out on Friday to determine the size and scope of the storms — And how many confirmed twisters touched down.
The U.S. has seen a surge in tornado activity this year, with more than 930 reports for 2019. The average number of reports is 743.
Tornado Touches Down in Howard County
Howard County residents began cleaning up after a damaging tornado that swept through about 3:30 p.m. Thursday. More than 1,000 BG&E customers were still wihtout power at 1 p.m.
The National Weather Service is expected in the county Friday to fully assess the strength of the tornado. Preliminary reports showed the tornado touched down near Glenelg left path about 5.5 miles long and 150 yards wide.
One person was hurt in the tornado, the NWS says, but it's unclear how. Howard County says that no one was seriously injured, and no other injuries were reported.
It was the second tornado to hit Howard County in seven days.
Some Howard County schools closed Friday due to the weather: Dayton Oaks Elementary will close because access is blocked. Power outages have closed Folly Quarter Middle School and Clarksville Middle School.
Powerful Storms Sweep D.C., Maryland, Virginia
Severe storms with hail, wind and blinding rain affected a large swath of land between Northern Virginia and Maryland. A tree toppled over on a home in District Heights, Maryland, hitting two homes and a car.
Scattered power outages lasted into Friday afternoon after thousands of utility customers lost power.
The weather forced some schools to close Friday: Patuxent Elementary in Upper Marlboro will close after a water main break and Crestwood Middle School in Frederick County will close due to a power outage.
Despite the damage, there are some rays of sunshine in the weekend forecast. The stretch of stormy days is over, with Friday forecast to be comfortable and sunny. Saturday stays mostly dry, but there is a chance for some stray showers on Sunday.
Stay with Storm Team4 on air and download the NBC Washington app for updates.