More storms likely Thursday

(originally posted at 3:30 p.m.)

5:30 p.m. update: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Spotsylvania, Orange, Stafford, Culpeper, and Fauquier county until 6:15 p.m. Half dollar size hail and damaging winds to 60 mph are possible with this storm.

5:15 p.m.update: A TORNADO WARNING is in effect for Spotsylvania and Orange county in Virginia until 5:45 p.m. Locations in the path of the storm include Parker, Locust Grove, and Lake of the Woods. The cluster of severe storms currently in Spotsylvania, Orange and Culpeper counties are moving northeast at 40 miles per hour and are about 1-2 hours away from the D.C. metro area from south to north.

5:10 p.m. update: A severe thunderstorm warning is currently in effect for Culpeper, Orange, and Spotsylvania counties until 5:30 p.m. This storm needs to be watched as it moves northeast toward the metro region in the next hour.

From 3:30 p.m.:A tornado watch continues for the metro region through 8 p.m. Showers and thunderstorms developing this evening may be severe, but widely scattered (i.e. many areas may not experience thunderstorms). After a brief overnight break, we’ll see more numerous showers and storms for the first half of the day tomorrow, and they may be intense.

Through this afternoon, conditons have been tranquil. Despite limited sunshine and even a few sprinkles, temperatures have still managed to reach around 80 degrees.

Through Tonight: Watch out for widely scattered showers or t’storms headed into the evening. The big central U.S. low is getting close enough that anything which pops up has the potential to go severe with strong winds, hail, and even an isolated tornado. After any activity through evening, much of the night is probably fairly quiet as muggy south winds continue. Lows reach the mid-60s to near 70. By morning, more widespread showers and storms should begin their approach from the west.

Tomorrow (Thursday): There could be a little morning sun, but the front wants to work in during the midday, bringing the risk of severe storms. We’ll have to be on the lookout for high winds, some hail and maybe a few tornadoes across the area. The longer the front holds off, the better the odds of severe weather. Highs reach the mid-70s to lower 80s depending on the frontal passage (and its associated clouds) timing. Behind the front, winds should gust from the northwest as skies clear.

See my earlier forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter .

Flooding: Volunteers throughout the Midwest and South are still struggling to contain a growing flooding problem across the region. In Poplar Bluff, Mo., the National Guard has been activated to assist after a Levee in the area failed. It’s not just the areas we’ve all been hearing about either, as significant floods are ongoing in New York and Vermont as well.

Today’s pollen update from Walter Reed: Tree pollen remains HIGH at 772.2 gr/cubic meter. Susan Kosisky of Walter Reed notes dried catkins filling area streets, a good sign Oaks are past peak. Grasses are LOW (nationally, butmoderate for this area) at 3.83 gr/cubic meter and both weed pollen and mold spores remain LOW.