The Washington region underwent hours of dark atmospheric menace on Friday, amid gusts of wind and bursts of rain and frequent warnings of worse.
Damage to trees, cars and houses in the Olney area was caused by a weak tornado, the National Weather Service confirmed Saturday night. Houses on Queen Elizabeth Drive were damaged by a tornado of minimum strength, with winds estimated at 80 mph, the Weather Service said.
Trees fell onto streets and roads in many other places. It sometimes looked as if thickets of foliage had erupted from wet pavement.
Blackening skies swirled with cloudy ominousness from before noon until after nightfall as the Weather Service issued flurries of tornado watches and tornado warnings.
The Weather Service office in Wakefield, Va., indicated on Twitter that a tornado indeed had been confirmed in the vicinity of Hanover and Caroline counties, about 80 miles south of Washington. Details were not immediately available.
Friday’s daytime clouds sometimes seemed so swollen as to be lumbering across the skies loaded with huge Niagaras of rain. But by as late as 9 p.m., the amount measured in Washington seemed a surprisingly small 0.15 inch.
However, late night storms brought more rain, doubling the May 27 total for Washington.
Citing “very severe weather” predicted for Friday night, the Washington Nationals baseball team postponed the night’s scheduled game until Saturday.