2:40 p.m. - Final round of showers coming through, unlikely to be severe

A broken line of rather ordinary showers is sweeping across the region as the cold front responsible for today’s unsettled weather finally comes through.

Because of all of the clouds and rain earlier today, insufficient instability has developed for more intense showers or thunderstorms to form. However, some brief downpours are still possible.

It looks like the rain should end between 4 and 6 p.m. from southwest to northeast, offering an evening dry window for late-minute voters.

Original post from 11:50 a.m.

In Washington’s super soggy 2018, a rainy Election Day morning seemed only fitting. What were initially forecast to be light showers morphed into heavy downpours, soaking voters as they ventured out to the polls.

Another brief round of showers, and possibly some thunderstorms, are likely in the afternoon between around 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. from west to east. Especially in our east and southeast suburbs, a few storms could generate strong winds.

Rain should clear the region between 4 and 6 p.m. So heading to the polls late may be your best bet if you wish to stay dry.

Afternoon rain/storm outlook

Skies brightened this afternoon before a final round of showers and storms.

“A convective line may develop along the cold front and sweep through D.C., with heavy showers but not much lightning and thunder,” said Jeff Halverson, Capital Weather Gang’s severe weather expert, in an email.

The latest forecast models show the line developing between 2 and 3 p.m. in Washington’s western suburbs, sweeping across the Beltway around 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. and then entering the Chesapeake Bay around 5 p.m. These showers and storms, while gusty, should be brief, lasting less than 45 minutes in most locations.


Forecast radar from HRRR model between 2 and 5 p.m. (PivotalWeather.com)

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has placed Washington’s east and southeast suburbs in a zone of marginal to slight risk of severe storms, where damaging winds are possible.

“The greater chance for any severe storms increases from northwest to southeast across the D.C. region,” Halverson said. "Very strong winds aloft mean there is a chance of isolated damaging wind gusts and tornadoes … but that threat is greatest southeast of the District, where the air mass will be more unstable.”

The morning rain

Through the morning, driving rain doused the droves waiting in line to vote.

“Light drizzle when I went to vote at 7:15 am in MoCo,” tweeted Pat Ryan Garcia. “Ridiculously heavy downpour by the time I left. Worst Election Day weather I can remember.”

Washington has received 0.77 inches of rain so far today (through 11 a.m.), pushing its 2018 rainfall total to 55.88 inches, the most on record year-to-date. With 55 days still left in 2018, this amount ranks as the sixth highest calendar year total on record.

Enough rain fell in east-central Prince George’s County to trigger a flood warning, which was in effect through 1:45 p.m. “Western Branch in Upper Marlboro, and other streams in the area, are still at high levels from Monday’s rainfall, and flooding is likely later this morning, potentially into the afternoon,” the National Weather Service wrote.


Roughly 30 people wait through the rain before voting opens at 7 a.m. at Precinct 33/Ward 3 at Murch Elementary School in Washington, D.C. November 6. (Liz Weber/The Washington Post)