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Posted at 7:00 PM ET, 06/16/2008

Severe Storms Strike Again

By Ian Livingston

Main risk for metro area between 3:30 and 8 p.m.

*Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 9 p.m*
*Storm reports from Live Coverage blog*


7:00 PM: The rain is moving off and partial clearing is occurring from west to east. A few more showers or storms could move through the region several hours from now but the probability is low (30% chance) since the air has been cooled by the rain and winds are now out of the west -- both of which are helping to stabilize the atmosphere. Power outage numbers given below are slowly decreasing with crews restoring power as the weather clears.

5:25 PM: Steady rain is tapering off in the western portions of the area as it continues with a few rumbles of thunder elsewhere. This band should finish moving through the rest of the region over the next 60 to 90 minutes. Additional activity, at lesser intensity, is still possible this evening. Severe weather reports are beginning to stream in and include downed trees in portions of Loudoun County, a wind gust to 62 mph at Nationals Park, and overturned tents on the National Mall causing some minor injuries. This afternoon's storms have so far knocked out power to some 26,000 Pepco customers in Maryland and D.C., more than 113,000 Dominion customers in Northern Va., and about 5,000 BGE customers in Maryland.

Refresh page to update alerts above.


As Jason noted earlier, this is turning into quite the severe weather season across the area. Abundant morning sunshine has helped temperatures to rise into the upper 80s today, setting the stage for strong to severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

Afternoon and evening: Expect strong to severe thunderstorms to enter the western parts of the region by 3:30 p.m, with areas of storms impacting many parts of the metro area into early evening. These storms will be capable of strong damaging winds and some large hail. There is a slight risk of tornadic activity as well.

Tonight: By 8 to 10 p.m., most of the worst weather should be moving out of the area. Some showers may continue past midnight, but they will not be terribly intense. Between midnight and sunrise, winds will shift to the northwest and begin bringing drier and cooler air into the area. Lows will drop to the mid and upper 60s.

Tomorrow: Tuesday will be mostly sunny and beautiful -- the beginning of a great stretch of weather. For the first time in about 10 days, we are likely see temperatures running below average, with highs in the upper 70s to around 80. A moderate wind from the northwest will gust over 20 mph at times before slackening late in the day.

See Jason's full forecast through the rest of the (cooler) week. Keep reading for expired alerts.


4:45 PM: Showers with some rumbles of thunder continue across the immediate metro area, but the strongest storms are now moving out of eastern Prince Georges County and into southern Anne Arundel, Calvert and St. Marys counties, all of which remain under Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. Continued showers and some more strong storms are possible for the entire metro area during the late afternoon and evening. This afternoon's storms have already knocked out power to some 25,000 Pepco customers in Maryland and D.C., more than 100,000 Dominion customers in Northern Va., and about 5,000 BGE customers in Maryland.

4:20 PM: As an area of severe storms advances eastward across the area, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is now in effect until 5:15 p.m. for Prince Georges and Charles counties. Wind gusts to 60 mph can be expected as these storms, with heavy rain and frequent lightning, move from west to east through the warned area during the next hour. At the moment, the strongest storms are plowing through downtown D.C. and Alexandria and entering western Prince Georges County.

3:55 PM: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is now in effect until 4:30 p.m. for D.C. and southern Montgomery, Arlington, Fairfax, southeastern Loudoun and Prince William counties. This area of storms, moving from west to east, may produce penny-sized hail and wind gusts to 60 mph as it moves through the warned area during the next 45 minutes. The most intense portion is that which is moving through Fairfax County, the southern fringe of Montgomery County, and headed for downtown D.C.

3:30 PM: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect until 4:15 p.m. for Loudoun and the northern fringe of Fauquier counties. A line of thunderstorms with hail to the size of pennies and wind gusts to 60 mph will move through the warned area from northwest to southeast during the next 45 minutes. Locations impacted include Leesburg, Delaplane and Ashburn. Showers and storms will engulf much of the metro area during the next hour.

By Ian Livingston  | June 16, 2008; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Thunderstorms  
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Next: Update: Not Totally in the Clear


I suppose this is the calm before the storm...

Posted by: mcleaNed | June 16, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Indeed. Does the risk of microbursts coincide with the risk of rotational activity or are these unrelated?

Posted by: missy | June 16, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

missy--microbursts are common in supercell storms.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | June 16, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

A few cells popping up just west of D.C. now -- in front of main line.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | June 16, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

A *very* brief burst of rain and some thunder just passed through the Fair Lakes, VA area. Lasted all of 5 minutes. Nothing too extreme here. Skies are still pretty cloudy but appear brighter.

Posted by: cotterpinx | June 16, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Today's action should be good--we got a few drops earlier and then bright sunshine for an hour or two to stoke the atmosphere...

Posted by: Max | June 16, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

T-Storm warning issued for Loudon County.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | June 16, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

VERY dark here in Sterling, thunder/lightning about every 5 seconds, rain picking up.

Looks like it's 9:30PM here!

Posted by: Model Monkey | June 16, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Just starting to rain here (SW Arlington Co./Baileys Crossroads). Might be from movement of that Fair Lakes activity noted earlier. Thunder just beginning.

Missy, microbursts are by definition straight line downdraft winds which spread over a wide area upon hitting the ground. Rotational activity would be tornadic in nature; microbursts generally are not. Other related terms include "derecho", generally a wide-scale organized straight-line wind severe weather event, often of long duration and covering a long distance; e.g. one derecho is known to have moved from Lake Superior all the way to New England over a period of 36 hours or so before dissipating. Our storm of June 4, 2008 was probably not a true derecho due to the abundance of rotational activity. However the parent bow echo of the June 4 storm exhibited a few derecho-like charactaristics as it traveled from the Ohio Valley to the Atlantic without letting up.

Posted by: El Bombo | June 16, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Nastiness out here, heavy rain and windy.

Posted by: LoCo Parkway&Greenway | June 16, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

We better not lose power, trying to watch some golf at work here! :D

Posted by: LoCo Parkway&Greenway | June 16, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

It's getting worse, more thunder and lightning now...

Posted by: LoCo Parkway&Greenway | June 16, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"derecho" is pronounced? This might have an obvious answer, but the straight line winds in a derecho would be like a wall of downdrafts that come through?

Posted by: missy | June 16, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

It just passed through South Reston - rough guesstimate of 50+ mph winds, very heavy rain, lots of thunder and lightning, but now moving away. Entire event only lasted about 10 minutes from black sky to storm moving on.

Posted by: RobinD | June 16, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Really dark over downtown Bethesda with a couple of lightning bolts. And getting darker.

Posted by: Storm-petrel | June 16, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Very heavy rain in Tyson's right now, pelting my window. About 3:45, got a little jolt from lightning that make the hair on my arm stand up right before I saw the flash. Then about 3:57, it started getting nasty, winds, rain, and pea-sized hail. There are parts of my building that are getting wet that have never gotten wet.

It's 4:07 right now, so this one's been going a while.

Posted by: Jarrod | June 16, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Very heavy rain and wind right now in Ballston. Also some lightening and hail that I can see, though.

Posted by: ~sg | June 16, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Ah, there's the hail! Looks tiny though.

Posted by: ~sg | June 16, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

very dark in NW DC (18th and G). Raining pretty hard. Some thunder but its pretty subtle - for now.

Posted by: mallemployee | June 16, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Very dark and pouring here at Union Station.

Posted by: dk on Capitol Hill | June 16, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Finally done in Tyson's, but now here come the sirens for the people who don't know how to drive in the rain (slow down and take your time, but don't drive like a snail either).

Posted by: Jarrod | June 16, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

National had a gust to 53 mph so far... close to severe limits.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | June 16, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Love the "Severe Weather Tracking Station" mode you guys go into, not a big summertime poster but I'm always around, nice work!

Posted by: Mike from the Blue Ridge | June 16, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

power out in parts of del ray. trees down all over old town.

Posted by: ak | June 16, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

pouring down in capitol hill

Posted by: madison | June 16, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse


Power out in Falls Church. How long this time?

Hi Mike from the Blue Ridge! See you this winter.

Posted by: Greg | June 16, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Just knocked the power out here at Hoffman for a minute in Alexandria, VA. The wind was really kicking.

Posted by: Kit | June 16, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

103K now without power in Northern Virginia.

Posted by: dominion sucks | June 16, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Dangnabit, that's twice I got caught in and soaked. I am not amused.

Tree branch took down a line of some sort (don't think power, I still have have it) on Lawrence St. NE between 18th and 19th.

Posted by: ep | June 16, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Greg, where in Falls Church are you? I can't have this happen again. Our basement flooded and destroyed our carpet and now we are going to spend thousands on waterproofing but I need to not have to go through the cleanup again. This weather has to stop.

Posted by: Falls Churcher in NYC | June 16, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Missy, did any more trees fall in your yard? I hope not.

Posted by: Murre | June 16, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I really hate to be a jerk here, but this one little thing annoys me. Whether it be in the news, on the internet, or elsewhere, nobody ever spells the name of this county right.

It's Loudoun county, with a second U in it.

Sorry :P

The storms weren't too bad here. We had some gusty winds right before the first storm got through here, then it was just really heavy rain. We have a lot of lightning right now, and it's still pouring. We made it through this okay it seems.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | June 16, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

so far so good here in Manassas...a few branches that were still dangling from being ripped askew last week fell, but no new tree damage :)
And by the way, where was all this severe weather when we had cold enough temperatures for snow, huh?

Posted by: missy | June 16, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

My weather radio failed me. It worked fine during the last severe storm system, just a few days ago, but today I got only static. So I too am in the market for a new weather radio.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | June 16, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I had a VERY strong microburst of long duration at the Vienna Metro station...possibly a derecho. Estimated gusts 60-65, possibly 70. Estimated 1.25" of rain. I rode it out in the concrete parking garage where my car was protected.

WUSA, Channel 9, in DC reported 90 MPH gusts 11 stories up the building.

I had my NOAA weather radio with me. NWS did not get the warning out for Fairfax/Arlington Counties till the storm was right on top of us........people did not have time to react. The warning should have been issued at least 15-20 minutes before it actually was.

Posted by: Mike | June 16, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Very little wind in NW Montgomery with some cloud to ground lightning but no damage that I can find. Total rainfall (which just ended) is 1.55 inches.

Posted by: JT | June 16, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

A few brief bouts of moderate to heave rain here. No wind to speak of and very little thunder or lightning (in fact I didn't actually see any lightning just heard the low rumble of thunder). Total of .39" recorded. (a rain rate high of 2.19"/hr)

Posted by: Mike @ Twinbrook | June 16, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Another brutal commute home in the rain, but again I'm one of the lucky ones...I have power.

Posted by: ~sg | June 16, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@Falls Churcher in NYC: A friend tells me that the area around Pimmit Hills is without power, but we don't know the full extent. Wish I could get better info for you...

Posted by: ~sg | June 16, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

lovely sunny and cool early evening here in Clarendon now :)

Posted by: jeffc | June 16, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

The rain and the wind wasn't too bad in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring. No worse in Bethesda than Saturday's rain, and probably better. All the traffic lights were working heading to Silver Spring, and we have not lost power.

Bring on the cool weather!

Posted by: Murre | June 16, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Got this YT video from the Get There blog today. It is rare that Dr. Gridlock runs cooler videos than CWG:

Posted by: ~sg | June 16, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a precursor of a *GASP* snowy winter!

Posted by: Period | June 16, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

~sg, that video was amusing. Thanks!

Posted by: Murre | June 16, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

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