As the storms swept through Montgomery and Fairfax counties, they produced several reports of damaging winds that toppled trees and wires, including in: Potomac, Bethesda, Great Falls, McLean, Arlington and Falls Church. In addition, there were several reports of hail. Dominion Power currently reports about 17,000 customers without electricity in Fairfax County, according to PowerOutage.US.
This will be our last update for tonight. Scroll down for the forecast for tomorrow, which includes another chance of strong to severe storms. We’ll also plan to write a detailed briefing with more details on tomorrow’s storm potential in the morning.
11:05 p.m. — Most intense storms shift into southern Fairfax County from Franconia to Mount Vernon
Severe weather has exited the Beltway area but is progressing through Washington’s southwestern and southern suburbs from Burke to Franconia and Mount Vernon, where storms are most intense, and a severe thunderstorm warning remains in effect until 11:15 p.m.
The National Weather Service has received damage reports from these storms as they tracked from Montgomery County into northern Fairfax County, including several instances of downed trees and wires. We’ve also heard about some power outages in Arlington and McLean.
The lightning, meanwhile, has put on a show. Here are a few images/scenes:
10:35 p.m. — Storm warning discontinued for District but warnings cover much of Fairfax County until between 11 and 11:15 p.m.
Radar shows storm activity has eased over the District some but is intense around McLean and Arlington as well as around Oakton. The National Weather Service discontinued the warning in effect for the District but warnings are active over much of Fairfax County as the storms from Oakton to Alexandria push south-toward Burke and Springfield. We have received reports of hail and strong winds in Falls Church, Arlington and McLean.
10:20 p.m. — Storms expand westward into northwest Fairfax County; severe storm warning there until 11 p.m.
Storm cells have multiplied over the last 20 minutes and now stretch from near downtown Washington west to northwest Fairfax County, where a new severe thunderstorm has been issued until 11 p.m. and includes Reston, Oakton, Vienna and Chantilly. Downpours, frequent lightning, pockets of strong-damaging winds and some small hail are possible. All of this activity is pointed south toward Burke, Annandale, Springfield and Alexandria.
9:50 p.m. — Intense storm has erupted in Montgomery County and is pushing south into District; severe thunderstorm warning until 10:30 p.m.
A severe storm has flared up Montgomery County along and east of Interstate 270. The most intense activity is currently between Aspen Hill and Wheaton. The storm is rapidly pushing south-southeast (at around 20 mph) toward Bethesda and Silver Spring and should also enter the District and eastern Fairfax County by 10 p.m. or shortly thereafter. In addition to torrential rain and frequent lightning, the storm may produce damaging wind gusts to 60 mph as well as some hail. It has history of producing hail to one-inch in diameter north of Rockville.
Original article from 5 p.m.
Temperatures were down somewhat Wednesday compared to recent days. Even so, highs in the low to mid-90s were still hard to stomach for more than a short period. A couple of showers and storms have fired up in the heat of the day. They could be strong, and there’s potentially much more where that comes from on Thursday.
Through tonight: We continue to run the risk of a storm popping up and growing intense. Activity should be isolated to widely scattered, but anything that lasts could become intense, dropping hail and producing some damaging wind gusts. Otherwise, partly cloudy skies are the rule overnight. Temperatures dip to the upper 60s and lower 70s for lows, with winds turning to come from the south, and humidity levels rise.
View the current weather at The Washington Post.
Tomorrow (Thursday): One more day of heat as a cold front approaches. We’ll see more and thicker clouds than recent days, which might help keep temperatures closer to 90 for highs. Low 90s wouldn’t be surprising. The risk of showers and storms — see below for more — grows heading deeper into the afternoon, with the best chances perhaps in a 2 to 10 p.m. window. There is also a risk for relatively widespread severe weather. Higher humidity makes it feel more like mid-90s before the storms, so it’s no treat as we wait.
Thursday storms: We still appear to expect thunderstorms that could be more widespread Thursday. It’s the same general pattern supporting the potential d-word (derecho) today in the Upper Midwest. Conditions appear quite supportive for severe storms, with most of the questions centering on how and when it all evolves. Below is a quick summary from key voices.
The local National Weather Service office writes, “If we were to destabilize and storms were to form in that type of environment, the potential is there for a significant severe weather event, with very high winds, large hail, and tornadoes all possible. However, there`s considerable disagreement among the various models as to if and where storms will form in the wake of what`s left of today`s Upper Midwest system.
Per the Storm Prediction Center, “Damaging gusts and tornadoes are possible with the more intense thunderstorms.”
CWG’s severe-weather expert, Jeff Halverson, agrees, noting that Thursday could be “a more widespread threat” given relatively high wind shear and potentially favorable instability.
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