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Posted at 10:15 PM ET, 08/10/2008

Thunderstorms Sweeping Through to the South

By Jason Samenow

*Severe Thunderstorm Watch in Effect until 7 p.m.*

10 p.m. update: The storms ending up missing the immediate metro area (but affected areas to the south and northeast), and the cold front has passed. So open the windows and enjoy tonight's crisp, comfortable air!

4 p.m. update: Most of the storms are currently impacting the southern suburbs (south of Fairfax County). More storms developing to the west and northwest may (35% chance) affect parts of the immediate metro area and north and west suburbs after 5 p.m.

From 2:30 p.m.: Clusters of strong to severe thunderstorms have developed to the west and southwest of the metro area. These storms are moving to the east-northeast and should impact many parts of the region between 3 and 6 p.m. from west to east. The Storm Prediction Center indicates there is a 50% chance of hail and severe winds in storms that develop. The most intense activity may occur along and east of I-95 after about 4 p.m.

Monitor storms using our severe weather tracking station, and leave comments with your storm reports. See our full forecast into the coming work week.

Severe Weather Tracking Station
Warning Text: DC | MD | VA
Radar: Latest D.C. area radar loop from Weather Underground. Click on image to expand, zoom and for other options. Refresh page to update.
LWX Warnings
Warnings: Severe warnings from the National Weather Service. Updates without refresh (most browsers). Click label in legend for detailed warning text.

By Jason Samenow  | August 10, 2008; 10:15 PM ET
Categories:  Alerts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Recap: July Weather was Nearly Normal
Next: Forecast: Make Way for a Magnificent Monday


I have a tee time at hains point at 4.36pm! fortunately, it looks like we might be spared with the nastiest stuff sliding juuust to the south of downtown. thoughts? am i stupid to try and get in 9 holes?

Posted by: Rishi | August 10, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for CWG: When I pull up the 'storm tracks' on Weather Underground radar, the bad thunderstorms are tagged with letters and numbers to differentiate the storms. But I was wondering how are they defined and why do they change? I'll be following a particular storm, say 'H2' and suddenly those letters can disappear and be changed to 'J7'. Do they change the definitions for a reason? Why not just update the text to reflect the changes in the storms, and keep the same tag numbers? Can anyone explain to me how it works?
Thank you!

Posted by: Etta | August 10, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Etta, those cells are code-named because if you look underneath the screen on smaller scales, each one is listed with cloud tops, precipitaion/hail intensity, direction of movement/speed, give you more info on each one.

Posted by: Mike from Vienna | August 10, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Have any of you looked at the satellite shot of the NE/Mid-Atlantic US? That cold, spinning upper low over Lake Erie is unbelievable for this time of year..a classic, spiral with the dry line wrapping itself around the center. At these latitudes, that's the kind of stuff you typically see with the jet stream and vorticity in March.....not August. No wonder we're having severe storms again. It seems we just cannot get out of this upper-air spring has plagued us for months.

Posted by: Mike from Vienna | August 10, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Once again, in the dry spot....can't seem to take a hit at all, and the worst part is is they dry up immediately to the west, or split north/south right before they reach the northern Fairfax Co. area. Very frustrating, as we are 10-15 inches below much of the (immediate) region in rainfall this year. Grass needs the rain.

Posted by: rcotten | August 10, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Someone please tell me there is a 100 percent chance of good storms in DC this evening!

Posted by: dave | August 10, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

thank you, Mike, but I guess I am really wondering why they change the numbers sometimes, and put a new number on the same storm? (That happened earlier today).

Posted by: Etta | August 10, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Well once again the NW Montgomery County dry slot occurred. Storms to the north and storms to the south. Twenty-two days without rain.

Posted by: JT | August 10, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I hear ya JT. The Southern Montgomery Wet Zone (Potomac through Rockville/North Bethesda and east) must run between us. Everytime a storm approaches from the west it splits and heads that direction, or south through Burke and Alexandria. If they flare up in the metro area to begin with, the flare up there. If they come from the south they miss us to the east. Maybe its an annual occurrence, but I think there has to be some science to this. Could the river play any part.

Additionally, the Appalachians to our west seem to have a much stronger affect on precipitation than those to our north. Huge storms frequently blow right through the entire states of PA and NY while for us, they either break up over the mountains, or they begin to the east and are not strong enough when they get here.

Posted by: rcotten | August 10, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

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