Damaging t’storms move through area, watch issued for 5th straight day

* Severe thunderstorm watch thru 9 p.m. *

5:15 p.m. update: With the exception of the southern tip of St. Mary’s county, no severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect in the area. However, hit and miss and on and off showers and storms continue around the region and will persist through at least sunset. I’m going to end updates in this live blog with this entry and will publish a fresh post with a revised forecast for tonight through the weekend in a new PM Update post, by around 5:45 p.m. Follow Twitter updates above, in the mean time. To conclude, check out this fantastic rainbow image from WJLA’s Steve Rudin:


Radar & lightning:Latest D.C. area radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

4:55 p.m. update: Capital Weather Gang occasional contributor Matt Ross reports Reagan National Airport received 0.87 inches of rain in 12 minutes, and it’s now the 4th wettest June on record.

4:40 p.m. update: The first round of strong to severe storms is now pushing into southern Maryland and will soon cross the Bay. A severe storm is moving through southern Anne Arundel and northern Calvert counties. And another severe storm is passing through northern St. Mary’s County. These storms will exit in the next hour.

To the west, a second small cluster of thunderstorms (not severe, but heavy) is pushing through northern Fairfax, NW D.C. and southern Montgomery County and should head on a path through northern Prince George’s and central Anne Arundel counties in the next 60-75 minutes.

4:28 p.m. update: What’s next? Unfortunately, more storms are firing behind the first line and we’re likely to see more hit and miss storms well into the evening. We should not see as much severe weather, but an isolated severe storm or two is still possible. Check out the national radar to see activity pivoting in behind this first batch.

4:24 p.m. update: Here’s a video of conditions in Alexandria during the storm: Torrential rain, strong winds and hail.

4:15 p.m. update: While the worst has passed northern Virginia and the District, heavy storms are plowing east. A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for northeastern Charles, southern PG, southern Anne Arundel, and northwest Calvert counties until 4:45 p.m.

4:10 p.m. update: Radar shows the worst of the storms out of northern Virginia, moving through southern Prince George’s county where a severe t’storm warning remains in effect through 4:30 pm. We’re starting to get wind damage reports out of Arlington and Alexandria.

Images:

4:06 p.m. update: Flash Flood Warning for the District, Arlington, Alexandria and north central Charles, central Prince George’s and southeastern Fairfax counties until 6 p.m.  Very heavy rain in these areas may produce flash flooding, although the heaviest rain is exiting.  Two piece of advice: 1) don’t cross flooded roads in your car: turn around, don’t drown. 2) Keep kids away from streams/creeks.

4:04 p.m. update: According to the latest count, there are about 31,000 power outages in the metro area, mostly in northern Virginia.

4:02 p.m. update: Reagan National Airport reported penny size hail (0.75 inches) at 3:58 p.m.

3:58 p.m. update: Some hail images (haven’t seen golf ball or ping-pong ball size evidence…yet, mostly pea-size):

3:54 p.m. update: We’re tracking two particularly intense thunderstorms which have warnings in effect. 1) Storm south of Rt. 50 moving through Alexandria, southwest D.C., and west central Prince George’s County.  Warning is in effect until 4:30 p.m. Storm may produce ping pong ball size hail and 70 mph wind gusts. 2) A storm in eastern Stafford and southern Charles counties which may also produce large hail and 70 mph gusts.  Please seek shelter if you live in these areas.

3:46 p.m. update: ALERT – Large hail being reported in Arlington and Alexandria, up to golf ball size.  New severe thunderstorm warning until 4:15 for southern D.C., southern Prince George’s County, east Arlington and Alexandria.  Wind gusts to 70 mph also possible.

3:41 p.m. update: Reports of hail and power outages coming in from Alexandria where storm is particularly strong and likely to produce some damaging winds.  Storm is moving right along southern branch of Beltway towards west central Prince George’s County.

3:37 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warning for western Charles and central Stafford counties through 4 p.m.  Storm has produced 60 mph+ winds and radar indicates one inch hail is probable.  In path: Aquia Creek, Potomac Creek, Fairview Beach and Nanjemoy.

3:35 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warning for the District, Arlington, Alexandria, southern Montgomery and western Prince George’s counties through 4 p.m. Storm in Falls Church moving east at 20 mph towards southern half of District.  It could produce 60 mph+ gusts.

3:23 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warning for Fairfax city, Manassas, northern Prince William, and southwest Fairfax counties until 3:45 p.m.  Severe storm near Manassas moving east at 20 mph towards Dale City, Fairfax, and Burke.  This storm has produced 60 mph+ wind gusts.

3:18 p.m. update: Storms are now into large chunk of immediate D.C. area and will take a good hour (at least) to clear.  They’re heavy rainers and may have some locally gusty winds but are not producing severe winds at the moment.

3:12 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warning for southeast Prince William and Stafford counties through 3:45 p.m.  Storm may contain gusty winds over 60 mph.

3:04 p.m. update: Strong area of storms along and just south of I-66 from west of Manassas to Falls Church.  These are headed directly for the District in the next hour with heavy rain and gusty winds.  We also see a strong storm in SW Montgomery County moving northeast towards Gaithersburg/Germantown and Damascus…this storm may contain damaging winds.

2:57 p.m. update: Storm in Fauquier County moving into N Prince William County and western Fairfax County downed two trees near Airlie.

2:52 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warning until 3:30 p.m. for Manassas, northwest Prince William, southeast Loudoun, central Fauquier, and western Fairfax county.  Storm near Warrenton headed towards Bull Run, Manassas and Centreville.  Damaging winds and small hail possible.

2:50 p.m. update: We have had some hail reported with the storm in Ashburn, generally headed towards Poolesville or just to its east.

2:47 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warning for western Montgomery and eastern Loudoun counties untill 3:15 p.m.  Storms with heavy rain, lightning and possible damaging winds headed towards Leesburg, Ashburn and Poolesville.

2:45 p.m. update: Based on radar, very heavy storms developing along I-66 in northern Virginia headed directly for Beltway area and District in next hour. Expect warnings to be issued shortly.

2:37 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warning for SE Fauquier County til 3:15 p.m. Storm near Culpeper moving east at 20 mph. May affect Remington.

2:34 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warning for northwest Prince William, southeast Loudoun and northwest Fairfax counties until 3:15 p.m.  Storm near Brambleton moving east at 15 mph, may impact South Riding, Dulles, and Herndon/Reston areas with strong winds/hail.

2:32 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warning for western Prince William and central Fauquier county until 3:15 p.m..  Storm near Warrenton is moving east at 15 mph and may produce small hail and winds over 60 mph.  Haymarket is in the path of this storm.

2:28 p.m. update: Numerous showers and storms are popping up in northern Virginia, but at the moment, they are not severe. However, we would imagine some of this activity will intensify in the next hour or two. Note: this front-running activity could rob energy from storms that come in later, somewhat reducing the potential for severe storms later in areas that get hit.

2:26 p.m. update: The National Weather Service indicates the primary threat with today’s storms are damaging winds with gusts to 70 mph possible. It notes there is about a 50 percent chance of at least 10 severe wind reports in the watch area. There is a lesser chance (around 10 percent) of large hail and/or an isolated tornado or two.

2:08 p.m. update: Not surprisingly, a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued now covering the D.C. and Baltimore areas through 9 p.m.

Area covered by second severe thunderstorm watch issued for region (National Weather Service)
Area covered by second severe thunderstorm watch issued for region (National Weather Service)

2 p.m. update: The severe thunderstorm watch currently in effect covers Frederick, Loudoun and Fauquier counties, and extends through 8 p.m. We think there’s a good chance this watch will be extended east to include the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metro areas. Widely scattered thunderstorms are already developing in northern Virginia. These are not severe but may increase in coverage and intensity by late afternoon.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch area (National Weather Service)
Severe Thunderstorm Watch area (National Weather Service)

Overview: Thunderstorms have decided to report to work without exception in the Mid-Atlantic this week. Parts of the region are under a severe thunderstorm watch for the 5th consecutive day. Damaging winds are the main threat in storms that develop and a few incidents of large hail cannot be ruled out.

We expect more extensive storm coverage compared to yesterday, but do not anticipate a widespread damaging thunderstorm outbreak. More likely, we’ll see isolated to scattered reports of damaging wind gusts, with a few incidents of downed trees/tree limbs possible.

The most active period for storms should be between 3 and 8 p.m.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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Jason Samenow · June 28, 2013