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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 07/23/2008

CommuteCast: Showers Lurk; Some Storms Tonight

By Capital Weather Gang

*Severe Thunderstorm Watch in Effect Until 11 p.m.*
*Flash Flood Watch in Effect Through Thursday Morning*

Radar: Latest mid-Atlantic radar loop from the National Weather Service. Click on image to expand, or here to zoom. Refresh page to update. What's UTC?

An area of moderate rain has lurked north and west of the metro area for much of the day, with only a few light showers making it into Montgomery and Fairfax counties. A few showers or thunderstorms could affect D.C. and vicinity during the afternoon, but the best chance of strong storms with heavy rain probably won't come until a cold front closes in from the west this evening.

This Afternoon: Some spots may see a passing shower or thunderstorm, while many may not. Mostly cloudy skies should keep temperatures from rising above the mid 80s. But some periods of sun are possible. The more sun we see, the better chance of strong or severe storms this late afternoon into tonight.

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms are likely to be more widespread, especially between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. Some storms could produce heavy rain, and a few could contain hail and damaging winds. Showers and storms should diminish toward morning, replaced by partial clearing. Lows in the upper 60s to near 70.

Tomorrow: Early-morning clouds and a lingering shower or storm, especially east of the District, will give way to increasing sunshine by late morning. The bulk of the day should be partly to mostly sunny with highs in the mid 80s. You can thank a breeze from the northwest, around 10-15 mph, for the less-humid air.

See Dan's full forecast through the weekend, UnitedCast for tonight's game at RFK, and the latest on Hurricane Dolly.

By Capital Weather Gang  | July 23, 2008; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dolly Makes Landfall in Texas; Winds Near 95 MPH
Next: UnitedCast: Third Time the Charm?


Looking at the NE regional radar, there's a nice little squall line forming across western PA and WV. Also, there's a blob of moderate to heavy rain in central WV. Both of these systems are heading in this general direction.

At 2pm it was 86 degrees with 69 degree dewpoint. Wouldn't take much sun to get that temperature up to 90. Could be an interesting late afternoon evening if the temperature rises and those batches of precip hold together.

Posted by: GhettoBurbs | July 23, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I've been in Frederick since 10 and they have been having a steady rain the entire time. I get home to NW Montgomery and the streets are barely damp.

Posted by: JT | July 23, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse


Get home from work early. Get ready to head to the pool to swim some laps. Check the radar. Note the lack of rain/storms in the area. Put suit on. Walk outside...lightning, thunder, pouring rain in Columbia.

Storm literally popped up out of nowhere.

Posted by: IanK | July 23, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Well the sun is shining brightly here in Arlington.

Posted by: Period | July 23, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Hm... missing us pretty good to the north -- will it continue? I feel like the 90% severe t-storms / heavy rain might have been a bit overblown.

Posted by: Jake in Reston | July 23, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Calling for less than 1/2 when all said and done.

Posted by: Period | July 23, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse


text hasn't even been written for it yet it's so new...

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | July 23, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse's until 11PM...takes a few minutes for weather radio to kick in with it for some reason...

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | July 23, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Jake -- I take it you're referring to the 90% from the National Weather Service at-a-glance forecast? That 90% doesn't say anything about the chance of a severe thunderstorm or heavy rain -- it's just the chance of measurable rain occurring, though I wouldn't have gone quite so high for the daytime hours today. As for severe potential, we've noted since yesterday that a lack of sunshine may be a limiting factor. That said, as expected new areas of precip have developed off to the west.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | July 23, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

We'll see we'll see. Remember last night. I was in bed around 12:30 and saw tons of lightning but alas, no rain.

Posted by: Period | July 23, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

OH WELL. I really don't like this area as it is. I'm going up to the White Mountains next week and am very excited for some amazing weather. I think I'll be going up the summit of Mt. Washington which proves to be a different experience every time.

Posted by: Period | July 23, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I suppose I was a bit vague in what I was talking about. Wasn't trying to be accusatory...

Looks like the cloud cover held convection down.. Sterling still continues high POPs. I've no doubt we'll see rain; I guess I just had it my mind that it was going to be a big old thing.

Posted by: Jake in Reston | July 23, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Hello IanK. There was just a discussion the other day on weather radars that are easily accessible. I could have told you that a band of storms was heading towards Columbia from the southwest.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It's hot outside! Real hot!!! What's going on, isn't it supposed to be cold this time of year? And what's the deal with Frederick getting rain while DC doesn't. Somebody should take a look into that.

Posted by: Bob Burman | July 23, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Have's and have nots I 'spose....had 1.04 of rain since last nights spectacular midnight light show.....per radar, the western 'burbs will be adding to the total.

Posted by: Mike from the Blue Ridge | July 23, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

What is it that goes wrong with the radar? Even in terms of the weather... isn't past performance a good predictor of future performance? Why don't local mets ever take this into account? It always seems like the predictions are overly optimistic. I guess there really is no happy medium here.

Posted by: Period | July 23, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me an estimate time for the rain to arrive? I have an outdoor event - specifically in the Reston area.. Thanks

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Two lines seem to be coverging just west of Martinsburg/Hagerstown and swinging eastward.

Posted by: JT | July 23, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Can't really get any more specific than what's in the forecast above -- "Showers and thunderstorms are likely to be more widespread, especially between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m." Being in Reston and with the showers and storms approaching from the west, you could very well see some precipitation toward the beginning of that period.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | July 23, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Still no sign here in Arlington of the 1.5+-inch deluge that's supposed to bring all this flooding. Only hint is some radar action west of Front Royal, crossing I-81. Another "false-alarm" flood watch, perhaps???

Posted by: El Bombo | July 23, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

My heart skipped 5 beats when I hear Gary McGrady say "tornado warning" on Fox 5. Rappahannock County for another 2 minutes.

Weather radio going off as I type this...severe thunderstorm warning for orange, culpeper, fauquier, madison, rappahannock counties until 745 PM

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | July 23, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Capital Weather Gang: Tornado Warning for Parts of Western Suburbs in Va.

don't think that is accurate at of 8:45 PM, though it is bleeding right on the lead page of

Posted by: justicat | July 23, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

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