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Posted at 6:51 PM ET, 05/14/2010

Hail, funnel clouds reported in area

By Terri Rupar

UPDATED, 7:53 p.m.
Funnel clouds were reported in Southern Maryland on Friday night, as the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for southeastern Prince George’s County, and much of the southern Maryland area.

The warning followed one in northeastern Anne Arundel County, which was later canceled.

Both warnings came as powerful thunderstorms continued to push eastward across the Washington area Friday evening, as a severe storm brought golf-ball sized hail to the Waldorf area of southern Maryland, after similar-sized hail had been reported in Northern Virginia.

“This is a dangerous storm,” the National Weather Service warned, in describing possible effects of the Charles County storm that was heading east about 35 miles an hour. “Prepare immediately for damaging wind gusts.”

At one point Friday evening, a tornado warning was posted for northeastern Anne Arundel County, but it was canceled at 7:24 p.m.

Hailstones the size of golf balls rattled off the roofs of houses and cars in western parts of Fairfax and Prince William Counties as the storms popped up over the western parts of t he Washington area.

As of about 7:15 p.m. about 2,000 homes and businesses had lost power, most of them in northeastern Montgomery County and in Howard County.

Hail was reported near Chantilly, Herndon, Reston and Vienna in Fairfax County, and in the Haymarket and Manassas area of Prince William around 6 p.m. according to the National Weather Service.

Reports indicated that the hailstones were an inch in diameter in several of those locations, with an estimate of one inch and three quarters near Haymarket.

As the storm headed eastward, big chunks of hail were reported in Bethesda.

By 6:45 p.m. hailstones littered streets and sidewalks in the Arlington area of Northern Virginia, and in a few more minutes, they were reported in Maryland, near Greenbelt and College Park in Prince George’s County, as well as Towson, in Baltimore County and Severna Park in Anne Arundel County.

The storms for the most part appeared to be short lived, and appeared to be localized in their effect, with some places reporting no hail or rain at all.

A severe thunderstorm watch remained in effect until 9 p.m. Friday.


--Martin Weil

By Terri Rupar  | May 14, 2010; 6:51 PM ET
 
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