An EF-1 tornado touched down in Columbia, Maryland, Thursday as severe thunderstorms raced through the D.C. area at the beginning of the afternoon commute.
Chopper video from Howard County showed some uprooted trees but also some trees that were snapped instead of uprooted, which Storm Team4 Chief Meteorologist said indicates a tornado.
The National Weather Service confirmed just before 9 p.m. that a tornado touched down in Columbia and took off part of the roof of an office building on Broken Land Parkway.
The storms brought heavy rain, lightning and damaging winds, which knocked over trees and power lines. Trees crashed into houses and cars and blocked roads.
Several roads remained closed or blocked in the aftermath on Friday morning. Some schools are affected: Arlington Science Focus will be closed and Mount Daniel Elementary in Falls Church will open at 9 a.m. due to a power outage.
Other schools in those districts are not affected.
In Southeast D.C., an uprooted tree fell onto a house, its roots breaking the road in front of the house and lifting a vehicle.
At Reagan National Airport, a gust of 68 mph was reported.
As of 10:50 p.m., Pepco reported more than 2,000 power outages in D.C., more than 1,400 in Montgomery County and more than 2,300 in Prince George's County. Dominion Power reported 54,735 customers without power in Northern Virginia.
A refreshing northwest wind is set to cool things off.
Friday will see highs around 80 with a nice breeze and plenty of sunshine.
Memorial Day Weekend Forecast
During your Memorial Day weekend, scattered showers and storms remain possible.
Saturday will be mostly to partly sunny with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s.
Sunday will be partly sunny and humid with a chance for a late day shower or storm and highs around 90.
Memorial Day will be partly sunny and humid with highs in the mid-to-upper 80s with possible isolated storm around I-81.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Shore is looking like a good destination for your weekend. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 70s on Friday and Satuday and low 80s for Sunday and Monday.
Scattered showers may also occur late in the day, but likely not until 4 or 5.
The ocean is still a crisp 63 degrees, so if you plan on running into the water, be prepared for a shock of cold.
Finally, the UV index will be high this week, which means sunscreen should be a priority. Don't forget to get sunscreen above SPF 30 and remember to apply often in order for it to work.
Enjoy the weekend!