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Posted at 8:15 PM ET, 03/ 4/2008

Update: A Rainy, Possibly Stormy Night

By Dan Stillman

Localized flooding a concern; storms could be severe

*Tornado Watch in effect until 3 a.m.*
*Flood Watch in effect until 4 a.m.*

After off-and-on showers during the early evening, with a few heavy downpours mixed in, a more solid batch of rain is enveloping the metro area from west to east. Rain will be heavy at times tonight, with thunderstorms possible as well. Watch out for localized areas of flooding. Any thunderstorms that do develop have the potential to produce damaging winds. With a good amount of spin in the atmosphere, the chance of a tornado can't be ruled out, either.

It probably won't be until after midnight that the rain begins to exit the area from west to east. By morning, any lingering showers and clouds should quickly give way to a mostly sunny and breezy Wednesday with highs in the mid 50s. Diminishing winds tomorrow night with mostly clear skies and lows in the low to mid 30s in the burbs, mid to upper 30s downtown.

Stay tuned for updates should any severe warnings be issued.

See Matt's post for the forecast through the weekend.

By Dan Stillman  | March 4, 2008; 8:15 PM ET
Categories:  Updates  
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No heavy rain here in Silver Spring, but it has rained.

Posted by: Murre | March 4, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Judging by the radar alone, we could begin to see especially heavy rain within the next few hours.

Posted by: mcleaNed | March 4, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

With a tornado watch in effect and storms rolling in, I do NOT like seeing "RADAR NOT AVAILABLE" on the NWS radar. EEK!

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | March 4, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I agree, weatherdudeVA. I'm hunkering down here in Harpers Ferry, utterly terrified. Storming like the end of the world. I'd sure appreciate some info. Should I run now or wait?

Posted by: tinkerbelle | March 4, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Should see rain in the area 4 the next 4 hrs. Sorry, no chance of snow.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | March 4, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Tinkerbelle, you should be fine waiting it out.

Posted by: R | March 4, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Tinkerbelle: The heart of the storms seem headed right for the heart of DC. If you're out west (pardon my local geography if I'm wrong), I wouldn't worry too much.

Posted by: mcleaNed | March 4, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Weatherdude and Tinkerbelle, I've activated my emergency weather radio in Alert mode. It was a Christmas present:

Posted by: S.P. Gass | March 4, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

mcleaNed, oh boy. The rain has picked up in intensity here in Silver Spring. I guess we could be in for a right pelting for the next many minutes.

Posted by: Murre | March 4, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

All the prec. should b gone 4 most of the area between 1230-130 am.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | March 4, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Under estimated rain amounts, looks like 1.5 - 2". If weretemps were only 30 degrees colder.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | March 4, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Was that thunder I just heard? Probably not.

Posted by: mcleaNed | March 4, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

mcleaNed, I also hope not.

Posted by: Murre | March 4, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Currently experiencing what can be best described as torrential downpours in Stafford County. It has been this way for hte past two hours.

Posted by: David A. | March 4, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

It will be lovely to fall asleep tonight with the sound of rain on the roof. Here's hoping for no thunder, no lightening, no floods and no tornadoes - and that we all have power in the morning!

Posted by: ~sg | March 4, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Lots of rain in Spotsylvania, VA. Wish it was snow.

Very steady/peaceful rain as long as your indoors.

Posted by: Conman | March 4, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Let me elaborate. The rain is peaceful as long as your indoors.....:) I couldn't imagine getting drenched on a peaceful experience.

Posted by: Conman | March 4, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Forget 1 inch. Forget 1.5 inches. Judging by the very sound of the rain and the radar echoes, I'm going to predict 2.5 inches for the general DC area. We seem stuck in the middle of the rain line, with more to our Southwest.

Already about 1.27 inches here, says the McLean weatherbug.

Posted by: mcleaNed | March 4, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

00z came in. Pretty similar to 18z. If the storm can jog east even by 50-100 miles, it will bring i-95 corridor a big snow. It is VERY Borderline at this way to early to draw rain/snow lines. If the storm rapidly intesifies, we could also see more snow.

We need an eastern shift.

AUGUSTA JIM: What are your thoughts with the low taking a more eastern track. Thanks

Posted by: Anonymous | March 4, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Got into some very heavy rain for a period here in Glover Park .. happened to be caught out in it and did see some localized street flooding. DCA with .27" through 11pm ob, but probably picked up at least another .1" since.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | March 4, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

1.50" so far in NW Spotsy. Looks like another 1-1/2 hrs of rain. 2" looking likely. All I have 2 do is wash my truck & the rain will fall, good thing I didn't wash my bass boat. Only wish this worked in the summer.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | March 4, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Only picked up .07" here so far. The storms moving just northwest of Richmond are looking pretty good if they hang on. Also, the 00z looked interesting, definitely a storm to watch...aren't they all though?

Posted by: arnoldkh | March 4, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Well what do you have 2 do to get the snow to fall VTechBob? A mere 30 degrees!

Posted by: missy | March 4, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

The rain is good; we've been so dry. The wind, not so good. I'm in a tall house on a tall hill in the Shenandoah Valley--okay, granted, not a smart design--and I'm afraid I'll lose my roof or a picture window. Anyone have an update on those straight-line winds that were in Charlottesville an hour or so ago?

Posted by: tinkerbelle | March 4, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

It's nights like this I wish I already had a weather alert radio. Please god, if you get me through this night, I will buy one this weekend. I hate tornadoes more than almost any other natural disaster (hurricanes being number 1).

Posted by: ep | March 4, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

In a high rise on University of Maryland and not worried at all... so far, nothing for me to worry about here in College Park

Posted by: Kenny | March 4, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Har, ep: I'm at the "Please, God" stage too.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | March 4, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Strong winds just knocked out power down here in Stafford. I have a hard time distingusihing high winds vs. Tornado.

Does a tornado have a distingushed sound.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 4, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse


They moved through here in Stafford. We lost power. Dont worry, no Tornadoes, just some high gusts.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm west of the location mentioned, but my radio just kicked on with an alert for a severe thunderstorm near The Plains moving NE towards Gainesville.

Posted by: S.P. Gass | March 5, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

The last of the severe weather should pass by 12:30 4 areas S&W of DC.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | March 5, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Just moved through the "Please God" stage myself in Manassas. On the plus side, I now appear to have waterfront property. Wow.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

A tornado sounds like a freight train. There have been no tornado reports in the metro area, but very strong straight line winds have been observed.

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | March 5, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Here comes the line of red. Brace yourselves...

Posted by: mcleaNed | March 5, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Just heard thunder outside, if I'm not mistaken.

Posted by: mcleaNed | March 5, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes storms produce miro brusts which cause alot of straight line wind damage. Tornadic winds cause alot of circular damage. Don't think we will have any tornado's 2night. The Grinch who stoled tornado's.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | March 5, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

keep your tornadoes and microbursts and straight line winds ... i'm just about to head OUT of DC back to the wilds of Fauquier ......

Posted by: weathergrrl | March 5, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Thunder in Harpers Ferry now, no mistake. As for freight train sounds--we've got plenty of *actual* freight trains, so I'm a total basket case.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | March 5, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Uh, I hate to ask, but I'm watching WUSA-9's Live Doppler 9000 HD channel, and do all those little spinning circle animations in the strongest parts of the storm mean what I think they mean?

I count nine just now...

Posted by: SnoWay | March 5, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

last R+ line just moved through eastern Fairfax. . .another .44" rain no strong/damaging winds. . .just heavy rain for 10 minutes. Light now. . . please drop tornado watch and let folks sleep easy.

Posted by: rrva | March 5, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Crofton is seeing some pretty hardcore winds right now....

Posted by: CJ | March 5, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Zoom out far enough on the radar, and you'll see that this storm is beginning to move south to north--with DC still in the middle of it all. I predict rainfall continuing until about 4 in the morning, with an additional half inch soaking the ground.

Posted by: mcleaNed | March 5, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

those spinning circles just signify where the areas of circulation are...doesnt mean a tornado is going to form, just means if a tornado were to form, those are the areas with the highest probability of it happening

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Where is the best place (online, weather phone number, etc.) to check for reported tornado activity? In the midwest, where I grew up, they have loud tornado warning horns but they don't have them here so I'm not sure where to check.

Posted by: Carrie | March 5, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

No Worries, everyone is alive. No tornadoes.

Tomorrow lets talk about our next weekend storm .Rain? Snow? Severe Storms again? Who knows.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Just a little more nervous about tornadoes since we're living in a mobile home.

Posted by: Carrie | March 5, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Carrie- Tornado warnings would be broadcast on the major TV networks on a crawl at the bottom of the screen. Weather radio would broadcast the warnings. We would attempt to post warnings on this site, and the warnings would be posted on the National Weather Service web site. For the metro area, I think the tornado risk is rapidly diminishing (and we never felt it was that high).

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | March 5, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

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