The Washington Post

Severe stormin’ Tysons Corner (VIDEO)

This is a wide-view of the fast-moving thunderstorm that moved through Tysons Corner, Virginia on June 13, 2013. This video compresses 25 minutes into 30 seconds. (Kevin Ambrose)

Soon after the severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were broadcast to the public, I watched people in my office building pack up and leave for the day.  It seemed the entire building emptied rather quickly.  The scene reminded me of an impending snowstorm.

I rode the elevator down to the ground floor deli to buy some snack food as several people hurried for their cars in the parking garage.  My intention was to stay put and let the storm pass.  The line of storms were moving at 45-to-50 mph.  No-one could beat that line of storms home with the heavy traffic in this area.

A quick-moving, severe thunderstorm moves through Tysons Corner, Virginia during the afternoon of June 13, 2013. The USA Today/Gannet building appears to disappear into the storm. A wide view video of the thunderstorm in time-lapse is also included below. (Kevin Ambrose)

My office building is on Jones Branch Drive not far from the Tysons Galleria.  Tysons Corner and Mclean were on the southern edge of one set of storms while another line of storms moved well south of Washington, D.C. over much of central and southern Virginia.

I set up my Sony a99 DSLR in movie mode next to my window, started the camera rolling, and then dialed into a conference call.  I put the phone on speaker so my ear wouldn’t get zapped if there was a close lightning strike.

The storm moved through in a matter of minutes while I was on a call.  It was intense, but short-lived.  I heard thunder several times, however, I never saw a lightning flash.

The line of storms Thursday afternoon moved quickly through the area. The northern portion of Washington, D.C. and the northern suburbs were impacted and the far southern portion of area was also hit. Southeast Washington, D.C. and the nearby southern suburbs were mostly missed by the broken line of storms. (

Soon after the storm ended, I packed up my gear and headed out.  I was pleasantly surprised that the traffic in Tysons Corner was lighter than normal.  It was apparent that many people had left work early and headed home before the storms moved through.  If only traffic after snowstorms was this easy.

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A. Camden Walker · June 14, 2013

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