Storms push through D.C. area


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.

3:15 p.m. update: The original line of storms is now exiting the region, stretching from Annapolis into Southern Maryland. Some additional showers/downpours have developed mostly south and east of the District. These are moving to the east and northeast, so keep an umbrella close at hand especially from the District and points south and east.

Below is a map of estimated rainfall from the line of storms that just passed. Generally amounts ranged from 0.25-0.75″ (Reagan National 0.22″, Dulles 0.76″), but there were isolated totals in the 0.75-2″ range:


Estimated rainfall this afternoon (Weather Underground)

This is the last update in this post; stay tuned for our PM Update late this afternoon for the latest on evening rain chances.

2:50 p.m. update:

Frequent question: When is the rain over? Generally, the heaviest rain occurred in the band that just passed through but there are some showers and even some brief downpours developing behind it.  Over the next couple of hours, expect widely scattered showers (30-40 percent chance, highest south of town).

It’s possible that another line of showers and storms associated with a cold front comes through in the 8-10 p.m. time frame.  Some more downpours are possible with this second line, but we don’t expect widespread severe weather.

“The first line that just came through may very well stabilize/suppress us,” says Jeff Halverson, Capital Weather Gang’s severe weather expert.  “This, and the late-day timing of the frontal line, probably argues that the second line won’t pose a severe threat.”

2:35 p.m. update: The storms, which now extend from roughly Clinton to Severna Park will approach Waldorf and Annapolis over the next 15 to 30 minutes.  Interestingly, a tornado warning was hoisted for Baltimore and southern Baltimore County between 2 and 2:30 p.m. due to some weak rotation identified on radar.  There’s been no report of an actual tornado.  That same area is under a flood warning through 4:15 p.m., but – after a quick 1.5 inches – the heaviest rain has passed.

2:15 p.m. update: Storms now extend from Mt. Vernon to Bowie and will move into the area of Clinton, Upper Marlboro, and Severna Park over the next half.  While these storms produce brief downpours, I have not seen reports of flash flooding.

1:55 p.m. update: Next up for the storms – over next 15 to 30 minutes – Mt. Vernon, Camp Springs, and Bowie.  Right now the heaviest activity is around Franconia (just east of Springfield), so Mt. Vernon should expect some impressive downpours.

1:50 p.m. update: Some photos of the storms…

1:45 p.m. update: The storms are almost perfectly straddling I-95 at the moment.

1:40 p.m. update: Storm is hitting downtown D.C. with some extremely heavy rain just to the north., headed towards College Park which was socked on Wednesday.  These storms should take roughly 30-45 minutes to pass.

1:35 p.m. update: The line of storms extends from roughly Burke to Beltsville to Baltimore.  The area from Alexandria to Greenbelt should get in on the storms in the next 15 to 30 minutes.

Overview: A line of storms that developed in D.C.’s western and northwest suburbs is now entering the District and southern suburbs.  It will slowly edge through the region over the next 90 minutes.  Gusty winds and heavy downpours (rainfall rates to 1 inch per hour) are likely, but storms are not expected to damaging.

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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