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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 05/31/2008

Forecast: Stage Set for Strong Storms

By Jason Samenow

Sunnier and drier Sunday

The ingredients are in place for strong to severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. But not everyone will experience them, and they'll only last for a brief time where and when they occur. In other words, go about your outdoor plans but keep a close watch on the changing conditions and be ready to quickly take shelter if necessary.


Radar: Latest mid-Atlantic radar loop from the National Weather Service. Click here to expand. Refresh page to update. What is UTC?

Late morning through evening storm threat. Mid 80s. The day will start off partly to mostly cloudy and humid. There should enough sunshine to warm temperatures well into the 80s and destabilize the atmosphere ahead of the approaching cold front. An initial area of storms may come through during the late morning hours. By early afternoon, some new storms should begin developing west of the metro area. Storms will likely become numerous during the mid to late afternoon and they may consolidate into a solid line.

Important points about today's storm threat:

*The probability that it will rain where you live is 60-70%. It may not rain everywhere.
*An inital area of storms could come through the metro area late morning, if it survives its passage over the mountains.
*After that, the most likely time window for storms in the western suburbs is 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. inside the beltway, and from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m east of town.
*The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) indicates our area is under a moderate risk (upgraded from slight) of severe thunderstorms. The highest probability of severe storms is from I-95 and to the east-northeast.
*Possible storm impacts include dangerous lightning and heavy rain (50% chance), damaging winds (30%), large hail (20%), and isolated tornadoes (5%). [SPC has indicated even higher probabilities for severe weather impacts.]
*The Capital Weather Gang will post watches, warnings, and provide updates as necessary.

A few showers and storms may linger after dark, but should be over before midnight. Skies should gradually clear towards morning with lows 60-65 (suburbs-city).

Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast for Sunday into early next week.


Warm. More sunshine. 80-85. Sunday will be much more tranquil than Saturday and you can go about your outdoor plans without too much worry. Higher pressure will begin building into the region, meaning an increase in sunshine and reduced humidity, though a shower or thunderstorm can't be ruled out. Temperatures will remain on the warm side with highs into the low 80s.

Mostly clear skies at night, with lows from the comfortable mid 50s in the cooler suburbs to near 60 downtown.


Monday looks great with mostly sunny skies and seasonably warm temperatures. Humidity levels remain tolerable with highs in the low 80s. Confidence: High

More warm sunshine into the mid-afternoon Tuesday with temperatures climbing into the mid 80s. By late afternoon or early evening though, some showers and thunderstorms associated with a warm front may affect the area.Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | May 31, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: NOAA: Moderate Risk of Severe Thunderstorms


SPC now shows us in the moderate category.

Posted by: marty | May 31, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The 1300 UTC Outlook expands the moderate risk area even further west and south. Originally I thought derecho but now it's starting to look like the scenario we had on July 27, 1994, especially if low-topped supercells start to develop in central VA up through the eastern DC/Balt suburbs. And there is still the possibility of a healthy QLCS at the same time forming east of the Blue Ridge. In addition, SPC issued a mesoscale discussion for most of the DC area indicating a possible watch in the next few hours.

Posted by: Steve Wasko | May 31, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | May 31, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

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