* Flood warnings into the overnight *
Heavy rain leads to road closures, accidents on slick streets | Flood photo gallery | List: Virginia closed roads | Fairfax County road closures | Montgomery County roads that commonly flood | Street collapses in Baltimore, washing away cars
10 p.m. update: The rain is not over, but should be more intermittent, lighter or just drizzly at times through the night and into tomorrow morning. As of 10 p.m., storm rainfall totals were kind of crazy, including 4.02″ at Reagan National, 5.18″ at Dulles and 4.29″ at BWI. All three airports have broken their daily rainfall record for the date. With all that rain, flooding will remain an issue well into tonight and probably lingering in some low-lying areas into the morning commute, thus flood warnings continue across much of the area until midnight and beyond. Sleep well, stay dry, and scroll down the post for our forecast for tomorrow and beyond.
9 p.m. update: Site-wide technical difficulties have prevented us from updating the blog the past few hours. The latest news is good in that it looks like we’ll get an extended break in the rain after the current batch of showers moves across the area from southwest to northeast over the next 30 minutes or so. But flooding remains a major issue with flash flood warnings and flood warnings in effect for much of the area well into the night (see map). Now that it is dark, driving is even more dangerous than earlier. Don’t even think about driving through standing water.
5:50 p.m. update: A new round of flash flood warnings has been hoisted for the region (in effect until between 7:45 and 8:15 p.m.) as the next slug of extremely heavy rain (with some embedded thunder and lightning) works through the region. Cautions the National Weather Service: Additional rainfall of up to 2 inches can be expected.
From 5:05 p.m.: Rain, rain go away. I’m sure that’s what many are thinking after today. I know I am. Soon enough… But, first — more heavy rain! The good news: temperatures are up from yesterday, making the mid-50s to mid-60s range most spots today. Better news: lots of nice weather is ahead, and we start heading there tomorrow.
Through Tonight: Periods of rain with some embedded thunder continue into the evening. Initially, the activity may remain focused east, but another wave streaks through the most of the area over the next several hours. Some of this rain may be very heavy, exacerbating flooding. It’s possible the rain decreases around 10 p.m., though we cannot rule out some more rain bands developing. We’ll need to wait for the front to come through after midnight before really sounding the “all clear,” even if activity is more scattered by that time. Another 1″ or so is possible before rain ends. Remember not to cross flooded roads, particularly at night.
Regarding storms… The atmosphere has been worked over, and warm air never fully advanced into the region, so the severe storm threat is marginal, but not zero. The best odds of severe storms are south and east of D.C., where damaging winds or a brief tornado can’t be ruled out. Temperatures don’t move far overnight, as lows hover in the upper 50s to lower 60s. Winds kick up from the northwest by sunrise.
Tomorrow (Thursday): Clouds and some showers may linger into the early part of the day, but the general trend is clearer. By afternoon we’re partly to mostly sunny and temperature rise into the 70s — let’s say 71-76 or so. Winds are from the west and northwest around 10-15 mph.
Rain totals (last updated at 6:30 p.m.): We probably don’t need to remind you the area has seen a ton of rain in the last day or two. Just today, through 6 p.m., D.C. (at National Airport) has picked up 2.48 and Dulles 3.16″. Both are daily records, and the Dulles total surpasses the biggest total on any day in April (2.90″) as well (dating back to 1963). That brings the total since Monday to 3.79″ at D.C. and 4.49″ at Dulles. The National Weather Service reports widespread totals in the 3-5″ range for the event.
Baltimore street collapses: Around 4 p.m.. east 26th St. between North Charles and North St. Paul Streets collapsed due to the heavy rain. Parked cars careened into a gully, but no injuries were reported. More information: Street collapses in Baltimore, washing away cars
— Courtney O’Shea (@CourtneyMeak) April 30, 2014
— Terri Bottash (@NatsGal) April 30, 2014
— Brad MacDonald (@BJMac) April 30, 2014
— Lauren Dunn (@LDYogi) April 30, 2014
This is Browns Mill Road in Vienna north of Dulles Toll Road right now. Sign indicates 3 feet of water on roadway pic.twitter.com/2fdxozIUno— Tom Roussey (@tomrousseyABC7) April 30, 2014