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Posted at 10:30 PM ET, 06/22/2008

Update: Strong Storms Affecting Metro Area

By Jason Samenow

Severe Thunderstorm Watch in Effect until 11 p.m.

10:30 p.m. update: The severe thunderstorm warning for the cell in Fairfax County has been discontinued as the storm has weakened. The storm will still continue tracking on a path through northwest D.C., Montgomery and northwest PG county in the next 45 minutes. From here on out, thunderstorm activity should gradually diminish.

10:00 p.m. update: Another severe storm has developed over Prince William County and will move into Fairfax County (where a warning is now in effect), parts of DC and ultimately in Montgomery and Prince George's county in the next hour. Strong winds are the main threat with this storm.

Correction: The 8:00 p.m. update (below) indicated the Severe Thunderstorm Watch had been allowed to expire; but it was actually extended until 11 p.m. The National Weather Service Forecast Office at Sterling did not indicate the watch was extended on its web site as it has been having significant problems transmitting current and reliable information this evening.

Keep reading for earlier updates or to leave a comment.

8:00 p.m. update: Severe storms (warnings are out) in Prince William and southern Fairfax County are moving northeast and should impact the areas inside the beltway, including the District, in the next hour. These storms may produce large hail, strong winds and heavy rain. The Severe Thunderstorm Watch which had been in effect has been allowed to expire, notwithstanding the ongoing severe weather.

By Jason Samenow  | June 22, 2008; 10:30 PM ET
Categories:  Updates  
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Wow! Very intense storms on the radar right now. Looks like it's time to disconnect the power cord.

Posted by: mcleaNed | June 22, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Not a drop fell here in Rockville earlier. The batch that moved through dissipated right over us. Current batch affecting inside the beltway doesn't look like it'll make it to Montgomery County hardly. Any chance of anything else to the north of the district?

Posted by: Havoc | June 22, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Bloddy h*ll again. The warnings for Fairfax and Prince William have vanished from the NWS homepage again, much like yesterday. I'll just assume that DC and Montgomery are going to be under a Severe T'storm Warning shortly.

It's kind of pretty with the setting sun and advancing clouds in Silver Spring right now. Gusts of wind and some distant cloud to cloud lightning with the setting sun still showing. My wife is outside take photos right now.

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

What do you know, a new warning for DC and nearby PG but not Montgomery is just up.


Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

We seem to be the thunderstorm target once again. We received over 1.5" of torrential rain within a half hour in one major thunderstorm. Round two is heading our way from the south.

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | June 22, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Very odd. This afternoon, I did not get my wireless alert, but it was on my desktop when I got home. Now, I got the wireless alert, but not the desktop alert.

I do not like the look of the sky looking from South Dakota NE towards 22nd (sorry don't know cardinal directions).

Posted by: ep | June 22, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

The warning which was until 9:15 pm has disappeared from the Sterling home page again, but is still listed at

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

That same URL now has a severe thunderstorm warning for Charles County.

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Nothing in NW Montgomery except for a brief shower that hardly wet the streets.

Posted by: JT | June 22, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

We've got the black clouds, the thunder and lightning, and a few wind gusts and a few raindrops. I love thunderstorms ... despite the fact that I lost phone and dsl for 5 days in one of the recent ones.

Turning off the computer and going to watch it from the screened porch. Enjoy, and be safe, y'all.

Posted by: Chickenlady of Riverdale | June 22, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Warning for Arlington, DC, and smaller cities cancelled...




Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Look at the picture I took of these awesome clouds at the tail-end of the storm that is hitting Fairfax and DC right now:

I guess you can say there's a sorta-golden lining at the end of this storm ;)

And the video of the pea-sized hail bouncing around outside was too dark to make anything out. All you saw was the reflection of my leg on the window and our patio table outside, lol.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | June 22, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey folks, something screwy is going on with NWS warnings the last two nights. Some not showing up or vanishing from their website and thus from our map as well. We've contacted the NWS to let them know about this serious problem.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | June 22, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I hope they resolve it. It's a good thing there are no tornados with this storm.

Weatherdude, have you heard warnings on your weather radio this evening?

In the meantime, a low-tech page for the state of Maryland is here:
You can click on the "Warnings and Advisories" box and other boxes as often as you want to. The warnings from the Sterling NWS office appear to be transmitted that site, and they stay there until pushed off the bottom, or taken down some hours later. Just like in the old days.

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for overposting. Dan, consider these posts of mine as documentation. At 9:12 warnings are up on the Sterling NWS home page for Charles and for the bay near Annapolis. The one for PG just vanished because it was cancelled.

And, since the threat is receding, I will stop posting about the vanishing warnings.

Right here in Silver Spring the rain, lightning, and thunder were all light for a change. No power outages, hooray.

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

This is very strange. The WUnderground map on the CapWX home page is showing a line of severe weather headed for Fairfax County, yet their "Supermap" feature shows the storm leaving our area. That's a pretty big discrepancy for the same site...

Posted by: mcleaNed | June 22, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Ok, one last post, I promise, the end. A warning, then a special weather statement, then all warnings and special weather statements, vanished from the Sterling home page during the past 2 minutes. The Charles County warning appears to be still valid.

Good night!

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Dan.......this is EXACTLY why NWS should not have a monopoly like they do on local warnings like thay do. Private weather companies, by law, are not allowed to compete with NWS, though they do compete in severe general outlook areas.

Even when the NWS system IS working properly, this whole month, many of the local warnings are issued too late....15-20 min or so after they should have been. By then, there is little time to react.....the storm is upon you.

Yes, it's time to end the NWS monopoly on warnings.

Posted by: Mike | June 22, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

@ mcleaNed, have you tried updating your browser two or three times in quick succession? I did that and the storms started exiting the area on the Weather Underground map on the CapX home page (and the top of this page too). Simply posting does not appear to always update the weather map. I have an updated Firefox browser (but not the brand new version) on a 4 year old Mac PowerBook.

Posted by: Guillemot | June 22, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the hint, Guillemot! The radar has now refreshed and shows the storms going away.

Posted by: mcleaNed | June 22, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Murre: Yes, the alarm has sounded and the correct warnings read for the storms in Fairfax, Fauquier, Culpeper, Prince William, and Stafford tonight, so thankfully the emergency alert system within the weather radio network is working. I noticed the NWS map thing too, that's really REALLY bad and they need to fix that.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | June 22, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@ Weatherdude -- Did you get alarms for Fairfax, Arlington, DC, Prince Georges, and Charles? Those were the ones I noticed vanishing, or not being on the map at all.

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

It's 9:42 as I write this. We had a few crackles of lightening we could see, and the wind picked up for about 10 minutes to gusts of about 15 MPH. No rain. No hail. No high winds. Had a partly cloudy sunset. No severe weather. I know we are "lucky" but the forecast for isolated thunderstorms today kept us indoors when we did not have to be. Too bad.

Posted by: John from Annapolis (Broadneck Peninsula) | June 22, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

John -- Thanks for the comment. Generally speaking, I wouldn't avoid outdoor plans when the forecast calls for isolated thunderstorms, which generally means a storm here and a storm there are possible, but not everyone will see a storm. You do, of course, want to keep an eye on the sky, take a peek at radar, etc., so that you can take shelter if a storm happens to come your way.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | June 22, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Svr tstrm warning for Prince William & Fairfax...again...storm is over Montclair moving NE at 20 something MPH. Thundering really loud here in Lake Ridge. Good LORD Mother Nature! This thunder is so loud I can't hear myself think and it's rattling everything. Is Canada invading or is this a storm? ;)

Murre: I have the weather radio set for Prince William, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Culpeper, and Stafford counties. It did go off for PW, FFX, Fauquier, Culpeper and Stafford when the warnings were issued this afternoon. I do remember PG county being mentioned in one of the FFX warnings. I think the issue is only with the weather maps.

Although, I do have one bone to pick with the NWS. They issued the warning at 9:54 PM this evening, and the weather radio didn't go off until 10:02. What gives? I just noticed that with this warning

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | June 22, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@ Weatherdude ... maybe the problem with the transmission of warnings was affecting transmission to the weather radio system? I thought I would try to find out, geek that I am. My weather radio is somewhere in a box somewhere in the house so I can't compare and contrast.

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Haha @ the "end the NWS monopoly" Ron Paul-esque ranting. Like private weather services can do better? They have less equipment, less personnel, and rely almost exclusively on the NWS for their weather data anyways. The last thing we need is hypecasting and weather information sold to the highest bidder, nor do we need competing/contradicting warnings to cause unnecessary confusion.

Oh, and if you think privatizing the weather is a good thing, just read Henry Magursky on "Accu"Weather leading up to a winter storm. I believe we were due for about twenty or so 6-12 inch snowstorms last year. If you still argue in favor of that, then you have been blinded by your own propaganda.

Posted by: jtf | June 22, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The SPC is still showing the watch expiring at 8 PM this evening. Is the problem country-wide or what? This is very unsettling.

Murre: I doubt that one has to do with the other. If that were the case, my weather radio would have been silent most of the night. I just hope they get their act together for tomorrow, as we're under a slight risk for severe tstorms again.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | June 22, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Most of these storms have been grazing past me closely, but far enough away that I just get to see pretty lightening. Still, I had a chocolate bar just to be safe.

Posted by: ~sg | June 22, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Weatherdude, I was wondering if the problem might have caused a delay in issuing a weather radio alert.

Definitely good night now from me (unless I get woken up by a/the approaching storm).

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

~sg, you kept us chocolate lovers in Silver Spring safe too, thanks!

Posted by: Murre | June 22, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@Murre: Anytime! Especially when chocolate is involved. :-D

Posted by: ~sg | June 22, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

jpf: Ironically enough, you exaggerate Henry Margusity's exaggerations. He does tend to overshoot from time to time, but I don't think he ever pegged us for 6 inches this year--let alone 12. Moments of hype aside, I find him to be a valuable 2nd or 3rd opinion when it comes to looking at storm possibilities.

Posted by: mcleaNed | June 22, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Well of course I was exaggerating. However, I saw at least 2 or 3 times last year he called for a huge/monster storm a week away for the entire eastern seaboard when it was completely irresponsible to do so.

While some people like the hype (admittedly, myself included), that is not the kind of person we need overriding warnings by the National Weather Service, as Mike above stated would be such a wonderful idea.

Posted by: jtf | June 23, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

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