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Posted at 09:00 PM ET, 04/16/2011

Tornado watch issued, runs until 9 p.m.

9:00 p.m. update: The tornado watch has expired. Showers with some rumbles of thunder are pushing through D.C. and toward the south and east. Overall, the line has remained weaker than earlier this evening. While there is still some threat for severe weather to the east of the line, that risk ends as the beginning of it passes your location. Light to moderate rain behind the main line may persist for a bit longer, but most activity should be done prior to midnight. Winds remain gusty behind the front, but from the west, as lows reach the mid-40s to near 50.

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Overview (1:30 p.m.): A tornado watch is now in effect as a line of powerful thunderstorms moves toward the area and warm air surges north. In addition to tornadoes, hail to about 1/2” in size, damaging wind gusts, and heavy rain are possible. This line should move into the area over the next several hours (perhaps by 4:00 p.m. or so in western and southwestern ‘burbs), and it could pack quite a punch. To the south and southwest, multiple tornado warnings are in effect as the Storm Prediction Center expects a tornado outbreak in the Carolinas into southern Virginia.

This is a situation worth monitoring through the afternoon and into the evening as the environment is unusually conducive to tornadic activity.

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8:20 p.m. update: Showers and storms are approaching the central part of the area and slowly moving east. All warnings have expired or about to expire for the time being. Most of the activity in the area has weakend a bit, but gusty winds are still a threat, and stronger storms southwest still need watching.

7:50 p.m. update: A TORNADO WARNING has been issued for east central Frederick and Carroll counties until 8:15. Towns in line include Marston, New Windsor and Westminster. A tornado has been confirmed with this storm, take cover now.

7:45 p.m. update: The storm responsible for the earlier tornado warning continues east, and a severe t’storm warning has been issued for most of the northern suburbs until 8:30 p.m. Storms south of there are strong, but so far not quite severe yet.

7:15 p.m. update: A TORNADO WARNING has been issued for parts of Loudoun, Montgomery and Frederick counties, including the towns of Leesburg, Lansdowne, Poolesville, Boyds, Germantown and North Potomac. This is up until 7:45 p.m. Take cover now in these areas.

7:10 p.m. update: As the line moving in from the west progresses east, another severe t’storm warning has been issued for portions of Frederick, Montgomery, Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties until 7:45. This storm is capable of producing damaging winds and hail. If these storms hold together they should approach the immediate D.C. area around 8-9 p.m.

6:40 p.m. update: The line to the west continues to energize, and a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for western Loudoun and northwest Fauquier counties until 7:15 p.m. This storm is capable of producing winds to around 60 mph as well as hail. This line will continue to slowly progress east as individual cells move northeast, but a bit of a break from D.C. west to that line is in progress. The severe threat continues.

6:20 p.m. update: All the severe storm warnings have expired for the present time. Strong storms that were previously warned will continue to move northeast across portions of eastern Fairfax, D.C., and into MoCo and PG over the coming period. Heavy rain, thunder and gusty winds are likely with this cell and it may still pulse back severe. Additional showers and storms are moving east along the cold front just west of the area. A flood warning has also been issued on the Potomac River at Point of Rocks.

5:40 p.m. update: The strongest storms right now are north of the Beltway (northern MoCo) and to the southwest in Prince William county. The storm to the southwest is moving through Fairfax County, and a Severe T’storm Warning is now in effect until 6:15 p.m. for much of Fairfax, Stafford and Prince William Counties.

5:05 p.m. update: Severe T’storm Warning advances eastward now to cover MoCo, Howard, western Fairfax, and eastern Loudoun counties. Watch out for storms with damaging winds in these areas over the next 45 minutes, especially eastern Loudoun, western MoCo and western Farifax counties. The Tornado Warning in Fauquier County has been allowed to expire.

4:28 p.m. update: Severe T’storm Warning now extended northeast into northern Prince William, Loudoun, western Montgomery, western Fairfax, and southern Frederick counties. Winds 60mph+ possible. Leesburg and Frederick among the areas impacted over next 30 minutes or so. For the rest of the area, moderate or moderate-to-heavy rain with embedded lightning spreading in from the south.

4:14 p.m. update: A Tornado Warning has been issued for much of Fauquier and Culpeper counties, and barely touches west-central Prince William County, until 5 p.m. A Severe T’storm Warning also remains in effect for much of Fauquier, including the Warrenton area, until 4:30 p.m. Heavy rain, damaging winds and frequent lightning possible throughout Fauquier County next 45 minutes or so along with the tornado threat.

3:45 p.m. update: Showers and storms are filling in ahead of the severe weather still just southwest of the area. Several tornado warnings remain up near Charlottesville, Va. and this area of activity is moving toward us. On their present path, these storms should be arriving in the region within the hour, headed northeast. In addition to tornado and severe storm threats, flooding has become an issue in areas hit by these storms due to the line’s slow eastward movment and multiple storms passing over certain locations. That threat also translates east heading toward evening.

2:35 p.m. update: Though much of the area has been catching a break, some heavier showers and storms are entering back in from the west. The severe weather we are watching is currently near Charlottesville, Va. and moving northeast. Additional activity is possible ahead of this line as well in the increasingly unstable air moving north. The risk of severe weather should grow, especially in the southwest portions of the area over the next hour or two.

By and  |  09:00 PM ET, 04/16/2011

Categories:  Alerts, Latest, Thunderstorms

 
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