8:15 p.m. update: No more warnings in the area. Storms have disssipated as they move well to the south and east. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was still in effect for D.C. and points south and east as of this update, but we’re probably done with storms for the evening in the metro area. Not hearing much of damage, but numerous reports of hail in Fairfax County, D.C., Arlington and Prince George’s County, including 1 inch in diameter at Reagan National.
5:30 p.m. update: New record highs were reached at all three area airports today. Reagan National and BWI both climbed to 98 degrees, topping the old record of 97 from 1895. Dulles hit 95, besting the prior record of 93 set in 1989.
Overview (from 4:05 p.m.): A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 10 p.m. Following yet another day of 95+, and record highs tied or broken (including ones dating back to 1895 at BWI/DCA) at all the area airports, there is some relief right around the corner. Displacing this heat and humidity brings the perils of storm risks. Showers and storms now moving into the area from the northwest should continue to move through heading into the evening. Right now, they aren’t packing much punch and are rather isolated to scattered.
Through Tonight: Isolated to scattered showers and storms, some possibly severe with damaging wind and/or large hail, should wind down heading deeper into the evening as the the cold front passes through and to our east. Though the “cold” air behind it is limited, we should pretty quickly start to feel drier and more comfortable air filter in. Lows reach the mid-to-upper 60s on a northwest wind.
Tomorrow (Thursday): After three days of very high heat for this time of year, we get some payback tomorrow. Yeah, we’re still likely to be a little above average temperaturewise as highs reach for the mid-80s, but it’ll be much drier (you might not even notice humidity by afternoon) and a hearty breeze from the northwest keeps the air moving. Oh, plenty of sun too!
Joplin tornado: Meteorologist Mike Smith blogs about the fact that 87% of the homes in Joplin, Missouri did not have basements. As an example of a town with high marks for tornado safety, Smith looks at Andover, Kansas, where a major tornado went through 20 years ago.
Walter Reed pollen update: Susan Kosisky of Walter Reed writes, “Tree pollen is in the MODERATE range at 16.61 gr/cubic meter, grass pollen is HIGH at 20.77 gr/cubic meter, weed pollen is LOW at 3.51 gr/cubic meter and mold spores are in the MODERATE range at 7596.64 spores/cubic meter.”
Keep reading for earlier storm updates...
7:35 p.m. update: As a train of storms tries to drift south and east of the Beltway, there’s now a Severe T’storm Warning until 8:15 p.m. for central P.G., southern Anne Arundel & northern Calvert counties. Hail and damaging winds continue to be a threat with these storms.
6:50 p.m. update: A Severe T’storm Warning has been issued until 7:30 p.m. for a storm tracking over the D.C., Arlington and Alexandria area and headed east for central P.G. County. Once again, could contain quarter-size hail and winds over 60 mph. [6:58 p.m.: This storm is following a similar path to the one discussed below and has basically caught up to it, prompting an expansion eastward of the Severe T’stormWarning to cover central P.G. (including Landover and Suitland) and central/southern Anne Arundel counties until 8 p.m.]
6:29 p.m. update: Severe T’storm Warning until 7 p.m. for a storm over the District, moving east into central/north PG County. Quarter-size hail, winds over 60 mph are possible. The other warnings that were in effect in the far southern and eastern suburbs have been cancelled as those storms have exited and/or weakened.
5:45 p.m. update: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for central Prince George’s county into south central Anne Arundel county until 6:45 p.m. Locations in storm path include: Bowie, Annapolis, South River, and Severn River.
5:40 p.m. update: In the immediate metro area, thunderstorms have had a hard time getting going. However, to the south and southwest, some strong storms have fired up. A severe thunderstorm warning is currently in effect for a storm in eastern Prince William and Stafford counties and western Charles county until 6:30 p.m. Damaging winds to 60 mph and quarter size hail are possible. Possible locations impacted by the storm include Stafford, Dale City, Woodbridge and Indian Head.