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PM Update: Periods of rain tonight and tomorrow; severe weather late Tuesday?

Radar & lightning: Latest D.C. area 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.

We made it through most of the day without rain, but our dry luck should be running out as we get through the evening. Some rain is already falling over western parts of the area, and it continues to push east over the next handful of hours. After that, waves of showers and storms are likely through tomorrow.

Through Tonight: Periods of showers are likely through the night. Evening activity should generally be light with moderate pockets, and initially favoring western parts of the area. A wave of heavier stuff may want to arrive after midnight. With high humidity and abundant cloud cover throughout, temperatures are kept up in the mid-60s to near 70 range for lows. Winds are from the south around 10 mph.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Showers and thunderstorms are again likely, some containing heavy rain. It may not be an all day thing though, with morning and afternoon currently favored for the most activity overall. Some thunderstorms late tomorrow could also be severe (see more below), especially if we see some breaks in the clouds midday. Highs should rise to the upper 70s and low 80s as southeast winds blow around 10 mph.

See Jason Samenow’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Pollen update: Grass pollen is moderate. Weed pollen and mold spores are low/moderate. Tree pollen is low.

Severe weather outlook for Tuesday via the Storm Prediction Center.

Stormy Tuesday? In their afternoon update, the Storm Prediction Center highlighted the region for a “slight risk” of severe weather Tuesday. Similar to patterns we’ve seen throughout the summer, an upper-level trough will swing through the Great Lakes as a surface low develops across the region. These features help create favorable wind shear for strong to severe storms. The main question might be if we see much or any instability given the risk of rain off and on much of the day.

Should ingredients come together, a low-end and probably isolated damaging wind risk is the main threat. A tornado or two can’t be ruled out either. It’s also possible a flash flood risk may arise, as some spots could see several inches of rain before the storm system exits Tuesday night.

Precipitation forecast this evening through the storm’s completion. (Weather Prediction Center)
Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.
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