Severe thunderstorm watch in mountains to west

We’re into our third day of a four day streak of summery days. Highs have climbed back into the low-to-mid 80s with a little mugginess but nothing too oppressive. Out to the west into the mountains, thunderstorms have started firing off, and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been posted through 9 p.m. Will any big storms make into metro region?

Radar & lightning: Latest regional 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.

Through Tonight: Storms are developing to the west and to the southeast, but no activity is off immediate concern to the metro region. Additional storms could develop closer to metro region or move in from the south, with the most likely time window for any activity between 6 p.m. and midnight tonight. But I don’t expect widespread storms. The chance of storms is only 20-30% with the highest odds west of Fairfax and Montgomery counties and southeast of Prince George’s county. Storms that form may contain gusty winds and small hail. Outside of storms, it’s partly cloudy and mild, with lows from the low 60s in the cooler suburbs to the upper 60s downtown.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Expect another day like the last few: nice’n warm with a touch of humidity. Thunderstorms remain a possibility, but odds still are on the low side, at just 20-30% - with the best chance again out toward the mountains. High temps reach the low 80s.

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Thursday storm risk: One of the uncertainties in our forecast for Thursday was the timing of the cold front, likely to produce some heavy rain and storms around here. The most likely timing for the front’s passage now appears to be between late morning and mid-afternoon. We’ll have a slight risk of severe weather, with damaging winds the primary threat. Into the mountains, we’ll need to watch out for the possibility of flooding.

Today’s pollen update from Walter Reed: Tree pollen is in the VERY HIGH range at 1502.56 gr/cubic meter. Grasses are LOW at 2.24 gr/cubic meter, weeds are LOW at 1.6 grains/cubic meter and mold spores are in the LOW range at 2518.12 spores/cubic meter.