- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2013

A tornado was reported in central Montgomery County amid fast-moving storms that buffeted the D.C. area with rain and wind, National Weather Service officials said on Thursday.

“There’s been one report of a tornado and numerous reports of funnel clouds,” said Chris Birchfield with the Weather Service. “This storm is isolated and it’s creating its own rotation in the middle of the storm.”

Pepco reported 39,000 power outages in Montgomery County at 4:30 p.m., with 129 outages in the District. About 1,800 outages were reported in Prince George’s County. Dominion Virginia Power reported 23,000 outages in Northern Virginia.

In Loudoun County, winds were estimated at 60 mph. Power lines came down along with felled trees, while baseball-sized hail was reported in St. Mary’s County, Md. Montgomery College in Rockville closed as a result of storm damage.

The Weather Service dropped all of its tornado warnings for the region at 4:35 p.m., and a severe thunderstorm watch initially in effect for the D.C. area through 7 p.m. was canceled for most of the area at 4:20 p.m.

The afternoon storm came hours after heavy rain hours earlier. The morning storm that approached the area from the Midwest did not swell to a derecho as some had feared it might, but it generated severe weather reports across a wide area.

Large hail was reported in Maryland’s Carroll County and in Virginia’s Fauquier County, with reports of a water spout east of Annapolis and trees down in Frederick. Maryland utility companies reported thousands of power outages, but despite ominous-looking clouds and sometimes heavy rain, the most dire forecasts did not come to pass.

State and federal agencies in the D.C. area took precautions, with federal offices open but the Office of Personnel Management issuing an alert that permitted non-emergency personnel to take unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.