6:45 p.m. - Storms exit, some fog possible tonight

The heat advisory and thunderstorm watch were ended early. Most of the area is in the rain-cooled 70s this evening. Temperatures tonight probably won’t go far from where they are now with all the moisture in the air.

Any light rain lingering behind the storms ends over the next hour or so. A few more showers are possible late night, as is some fog. It’s a touch less hot Thursday, with highs in the near 90 to low 90s zone most spots. Scroll all the way down for forecast details.

6:08 p.m. - Worst of storms charging into D.C.'s eastern suburbs, scattered tree damage to the west

The worst of the storms are now pressing east of the District, along the east flank of the Beltway and also northeast along Interstate 95 from Laurel and Columbia and aimed squarely at Baltimore in the next 15 to 30 minutes.

The storms continue pushing east very quickly (around 30 to 40 mph) and will soon pass through Anne Arundel and northern Calvert County before exiting into the Bay (by around 7 p.m. or so).

We continue to receive scattered reports of downed trees and wires as a result of these storms, but their intensity has eased a bit as they’ve headed east. Here are a few more images of the storms and some of the damage:

5:40 p.m. - Severe thunderstorm warnings for much of the immediate area

The leading edge of the storms has moved inside the Beltway and is now hitting the District. These storms contain very heavy rain, frequent lightning, and some very strong winds. They’re moving fast - eastbound at about 40 mph, which means they’ll last only 30 minutes or less in most areas, while packing a punch.

Radar indicates some of the strongest winds are in the Kensington and Wheaton area of southern Montgomery County and generally aimed at Laurel over the next 20 minutes.

The strong winds often come in intense downbursts or microbursts, from the cloud down to the ground and we’ve seen some scattered reports of downed trees and powerlines.

5:20 p.m. - Severe storms lined up from Frederick, Md. to Fredericksburg, Va.

A line of storms has solidified, covering pretty much the entirety of Washington’s western suburbs, where severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect through between 5:30 and 6 p.m.

Some of the most intense activity is between Reston and Oakton and just east of the Interstate 270 corridor. In these areas, in addition to heavy rain and lightning, some very heavy rain is likely.

These storms are now entering the Beltway and will passing through the District over the next 30 to 40 minute.

Here’s what the storm looked like in South Riding as it came through - intense:

4:55 p.m. - Intense storms entering Washington’s western suburbs, severe thunderstorm watch issued for region

Vigorous thunderstorms, with heavy rain, lightning, and strong winds are approaching Washington’s close-in western suburbs. There are storms of particular concern:

1) A storm stretches from Warrenton and Manassas and is headed toward Oakton and Vienna. This storm likely has very strong, possibly damaging winds, between Haymarket and Bull Run and will shortly roll into the Centreville and Chantilly area.

2) A storm between Leesburg and Poolesville, which isheaded toward the Interstate 270 corridor.

Severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect for both of these areas.

This flare up of storms has prompted the National Weather Service to issue Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the region through midnight, although the worst of the storms will come through over the next couple of hours, and we should mostly be in the clear after sunset.

From earlier

Today might have felt about as hot as it gets. What’s coming later this week will show that it was not. With highs in the low and mid-90s, heat indexes reached and surpassed 105 degrees at times today, thanks to the combination of extreme humidity and toasty temperatures. All the heated moisture in the area is leading to a shower and storm risk that lasts into the evening.

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Through tonight: Scattered showers and storms cross the area between about 4 and 8 p.m., soonest in western suburbs. Heavy rain plus frequent lightning are the main risks. Some isolated wind damage is possible as well. Shower and storm activity should wane in the post-sunset period if not before, but some showers and a rumble can’t be ruled out deeper into the night. Some late-night fog may develop, thanks to high surface moisture. Lows settle across the 70s. Winds are light.

View the current weather at The Washington Post.

Tomorrow (Thursday): We’re dealing with more in the way of clouds than recent days, plus a shower and perhaps a storm threat as soon as midday. These factors mean a step back from today, and highs within a few degrees of 90. With humidity still stifling, dew points are in the 70s, and heat index values may reach a 100 to 105 range. Winds are from the southwest around 5 to 10 mph.

Lightning in a storm approaching the city earlier this month. (Rex Block/Flickr)

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

Pollen update: Mold spores and weed pollen are low/moderate. Tree and grass pollen is low.

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