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Maryland Department of Emergency Management

Spring Season Brings Chances for Hazardous Weather in Maryland

Spring Season Brings Chances for Hazardous Weather in Maryland

March 21-25 is Severe Storms Awareness Week


REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 21, 2015) — Maryland Severe Storms Awareness Week begins today and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is teaming up with the National Weather Service and local emergency managers to promote citizen awareness and preparedness. During spring, Maryland is at risk for heavy rainstorms, flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail and lightning. All of these hazards typically occur throughout the state every year; however, residents can “be weather prepared” by ensuring that they know how to receive warnings and practice safety tips.

“The spring brings warm weather and more time spent outdoors but this season is also the time of year when we can experience dangerous thunderstorms, flooding, and even tornadoes,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Marylanders should follow the advice of local and state officials and also use common sense when severe weather is in the forecast.”

The National Weather Service emphasizes that the mid-Atlantic region is at risk for flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail, and lightning storms every year. “Maryland experiences severe storms regularly during the spring,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Christopher Strong. “Our area is particularly at risk for damaging winds and flooding. We also see hailstorms and even tornadoes. In fact, Maryland has had nearly 100 tornadoes in the past ten years.”

The National Weather Service and MEMA work closely together and with local government agencies to identify and monitor severe weather systems, develop preparedness plans and safety information and coordinate the response to these storms.

“Severe Storms Awareness Week is a reminder that hazardous weather regularly occurs in Maryland,” said Russ Strickland, Executive Director of MEMA. “If a strong storm is in the forecast or you receive an alert or warning, first, get indoors, then, communicate with your neighbors, friends and family to make sure they’re aware of the situation and are safe.”

Residents can also take the following actions to be prepared and remain safe:

  • During flooding, never enter an area where water is flowing over a road and you cannot see the pavement. Turn around, don’t drown!
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued or you are experiencing strong winds, get to a sturdy shelter and stay indoors away from windows.
  • Tornadoes can form rapidly in the right conditions. If there is a tornado warning or you see a tornado, quickly get inside and go to the lowest floor possible.
  • If you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck from a fringe lightning strike. Over 98% of lightning casualties are from people outdoors—get indoors or inside your vehicle if possible.

Additional information can be found on the “Weather Ready” website at and the MEMA website at MEMA has recently posted a flooding preparedness video whiteboard video with additional tips: and will be hosting a chat on Twitter on March 22 at 2pm EDT using the hashtag #SevereWxChat.