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D.C. area forecast: Heavy rain, storms, and maybe a tornado too

* Flash flood watch through 6 a.m. Thursday *

9:10 a.m. Update: As expected, the flood warning has filled in to cover the immediate D.C. area. That portion of the warning runs until 3 p.m. and covers most of the surrounding county zones. (map)

8:40 a.m. Update: Waves of heavy rain are lined up on radar over the area and to our southwest. There’s some minor flooding out there already and a Flood Warning until 1:30 p.m. across much of D.C.’s east suburbs, as well as another in the southwest part of the area until 2:30 p.m. (map). Probably a decent shot that flood warning zone fills in over the center of the region in coming hours. Take it slow on the roads.

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

Rain and possible storms make for crummy a.m and p.m. commutes. Couple points for not having to water the flowers.

Express Forecast

Today: Rain with chance of afternoon storms. Highs: 70s.

Tonight: Rain likely, chance of storms. Lows: 60s.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy to partly sunny. 40% chance of mainly a.m. showers. Highs: Mid-to-upper 70s.


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.

From 5:00 a.m…. When it rains it pours. That’s not always the case around here but will be at times today with some flooding possible. Keep in mind that later today, conditions may even support some strong to severe thunderstorms and perhaps a couple tornadoes, though severe weather is not a sure bet. Rain chances diminish tomorrow especially by afternoon, while Friday and the weekend shape up as mostly (though maybe not totally) dry with highs near or past 70.

Today (Wednesday): The rain is heavy at times through the day with some minor to moderate flooding possible, and we could hear some thunder too. There may be some breaks but even then it’s still drizzly and damp, with daytime rain totals around 1-2″. Morning temperatures rising toward and into the 60s should surge into the 70s during the afternoon as breezes blow near 10-20 mph from the southeast. That may verge on just warm enough to spark some strong to severe storms during the afternoon into evening, with damaging winds possible and perhaps a tornado or two. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Rain remains likely in the evening, with storms still a threat as well, but should become more showery or intermittent in nature later in the evening or overnight. Temperatures should be fairly steady in the 60s through the night. Confidence: Medium

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…

Tomorrow (Thursday): Mostly cloudy skies and some showers (40% chance) may linger into or through the morning. Sunnier stretches are possible during the afternoon along with a milder breeze, near 10-15 mph from the southwest, that should tend to dry up any showers and help highs to the mid-to-upper 70s. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: This looks like a really nice night with partly cloudy skies, comfortable evening temperatures falling into the 60s, and overnight lows in the upper 40s to mid-50s. Confidence: Medium-High


Although we can’t rule out a passing shower or two at some point, most of the Friday through Sunday period looks partly sunny and pleasant — a nice change of pace from our soggy midweek mess. Highs trend gradually warmer from near 70 on Friday, to near 70 to the mid-70s on Saturday, and into the mid-70s on Sunday. Friday night and Saturday night lows level off around the upper 40s to mid-50s. Confidence: Medium

Dan Stillman is a meteorologist and editor for the Capital Weather Gang. He earned an M.S. in Meteorology from Texas A&M University, and a B.S. in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan.
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