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Posted at 6:15 PM ET, 07/ 9/2008

CommuteCast: Showers and Storms Possible

By Ian Livingston

Mostly sunny, less humid Thursday

6:15 p.m. Update: A line of thunderstorms has developed in central Montgomery County and is moving south and east. This line will likely reach the northern branch of the Beltway -- areas like Bethesda and Chevy Chase -- between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. -- before moving through the District, Arlington/northern Fairfax County, and northern Prince George's County during the 6:45 to 8 p.m. timeframe. Isolated damaging wind gusts, heavy rain and dangerous lightning are possible with these storms.

Radar: Latest D.C. area radar loop from Weather Underground. Click on image to expand, zoom and for other options. Refresh page to update.

Tonight: An approaching cold front will pass through the area tonight. Expect skies to begin clearing after a risk of evening showers and thunderstorms. Lows will fall to the upper 60s in the suburbs and low 70s in the city as a drying northwest wind takes over.

Tomorrow: Thursday will be much more enjoyable as far as humidity levels go. Drier air behind the cold front will provide for a fairly pleasant and seasonably mild July day. Expect highs in the mid and upper 80s under mostly sunny skies. A breeze from the northwest will blow around 5-10 mph.

See Dan's full forecast through the weekend, and NatCast if headed to tonight's game. Keep reading for previous updates.

3:15 p.m.: Clouds and some isolated showers have held tough much of the day, and this has helped keep temperatures slightly in check. Highs are now headed toward the mid 80s as a few breaks in the clouds move through. Expect scattered showers and thunderstorms to develop and pass through the area this afternoon and evening. The best chance for severe weather is south of the region, but isolated damaging wind gusts cannot be ruled out with the strongest storms

By Ian Livingston  | July 9, 2008; 6:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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A ragged line of thunderstorms is developing right along the PA/MD border and dropping south.

Posted by: JT | July 9, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The DC Hole is in full effect so far. You'd think it was winter.

Posted by: Southside FFX | July 9, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

By the DC Hole I guess you mean how our mountains to the west drink up storms in a way that it seems like none of the other Appalachians do. This whole last week was supposed to be stormy, yet like clockwork, the storms have pounded regions just to our north and south, missing us consistently. This is not really an unusual pattern for the DC area. We have been lucky to suck up sprinkles every now and then, but as someone who likes the grass green, its upsetting to see these storms disappear or fail to ignite in the first place. Why do the areas to our west destroy storms, when the mountains in Pennsylvania, Southern VA, NC, NY, etc. dont? Its not because they are taller, that's for sure. When we do have storms, they almost always form after the pass over the Blue Ridge. I don't get it.

Posted by: rcotten | July 9, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Storm north of Rockville looks to be packing a decent punch. Headed SE.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | July 9, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I've had a grand total of .05 inches of rain since this so called thunderstorm threat week started. NW Montgomery.

Posted by: JT | July 9, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The DC Hole is definitely impressive and a buzz kill at times, but as a Roanoke native living in DC I can confirm that SW Virginia storms also get destroyed by the Blue Ridge. If Mike from Blacksburg monitors CWG in the summer months, I know he could vouch for the rain shadow effect that the New River Valley area has on storms as they head over the mountains toward Roanoke, causing them to fizzle only to later blow up over Smith Mountain Lake and Lynchburg. I guess, if anything, it makes us appreciate the storms we do get and allows us to avoid too many storms inside the beltway that are excessively damaging. Of course, a few weeks ago Roanoke had its first confirmed tornado in a number of years, so you never know . . .

Posted by: Parker | July 9, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Only a few rumbles of thunder immediately SW of Rockville.


Posted by: CapitalClimate | July 9, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The "D.C. Hole" does tend to eat up some promising snowstorms in the winter. It seems to be a major reason why we never get much out of 90% of the "clipper" storms which come in from the Great Lakes.

Posted by: El Bombo | July 9, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Rumble of thunder just now in Bethesda

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree Parker. As a No.Va. native who lived in Blacksburg for four years (VT) I agree that down there there is also a hole around the New River Valley, but at least that is in the mountains. When it storms in the DC area its dry north and south of us but when it storms in Carolina and PA, its dry here it seems. We need a tropical storm.

Posted by: rcotten | July 9, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Brief but intense shower gave us .47 inches in NW Montgomery.

Posted by: JT | July 9, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Okay, who's up for lobbying congress with me to blow a hole in the mountains to let storms through, and to create giant lakes where the mountains used to be so in the winter we get giant lake effect snowstorms? HEHEHEHEHEHEH :)

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | July 9, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

80 degrees overnight with DPs in the mid 70s! This is horrible! What happened to that cold front we were supposed to get?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 4:47 AM | Report abuse

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