NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center sees the potential for some severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening in the D.C. metro region (4-10 p.m. most likely timing), but it’s qualified potential. In their latest update, they say there’s a 40 percent chance of a Severe Thunderstorm Watch being issued. In the graphic above, the threat of damaging winds and large hail is “marginal”.
The National Weather Service office in Sterling describes why severe weather may not fully materialize:
FOG IS LIFTING IN NORTHEASTERN MD WHILE CONVECTION HAS ALREADY CROSSED I-81 [NOW EAST OF THE BAY]. [THE AREA] EAST OF THE MOUNTAINS IS OUTLOOKED AS [HAVING] SLIGHT RISK OF SEVERE [THUNDERSTORMS]. AM CONCERNED THAT THE COMBO OF THE ABOVE-TWO ELEMENTS WILL WORK AGAINST CONVECTIVE THREAT - EASTERN PART OF THE AREA WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO RECOVER/DESTABILIZE [FROM FOG, COOL TEMPS] AND STORMS NEAR I-81 ARE COMING THRU TOO EARLY IN THE DAY FOR SUFFICIENT HEATING TO OCCUR.
On the other hand, we should have several hours of heating now that the first batch of storms has passed through. Furthermore, models show a broken line of storms coming through between approximately 4 and 10 p.m. Take heed Nats fans.
Best bet is that we see a good number of storms, but not everyone gets a direct hit, and that severe activity is not widespread. Main impacts are likely to be heavy rain, lightning, gusty winds, and a few reports of hail. We’ll keep you posted.