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Posted at 8:30 PM ET, 02/11/2009

PM Update: Warmth to Showers, Then Strong Winds

By Ian Livingston

Extremely windy Thursday, gusts over 50 mph likely

Severe Thunderstorm Watch for metro area until 1 a.m. (map)

Wind Advisory from 2 a.m. tonight to midnight Thursday night for most of metro area; High Wind Warning for Loudoun and Frederick counties and Blue Ridge (map)

Today has proven to be the warmest day of the year so far in most locations across the area. Highs reached the low 70s downtown and many other places on a gusty wind from the south and southwest. Dulles Airport surpassed its previous record high for the day of 67 set in 1999 (National's record was 76). A line of intense showers and storms, approaching West Virginia as of late afternoon, will rapidly move east toward the area while weakening.

Tonight: Most locations should remain dry, windy and warm -- temperatures dropping through the 60s -- through mid-evening. Between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., however, showers with some very gusty winds (maybe a thunderstorm too) are likely to pass through the area from west to east. Wind gusts around 35-50 mph are possible through the night.

Tomorrow (Thursday): We'll see lots of sun and lots of wind on Thursday. After a start in the upper 40s to near 50, most locations will rise to the mid-to-upper 50s for highs. The big story will be whipping -- and in some cases damaging -- winds. Expect sustained winds to blow around 25 to 35 mph from the west, with gusts over 50 mph likely.

See Dan Stillman's forecast through the holiday weekend.

Oklahoma Tornadoes: The same system responsible for bringing us our taste of spring today caused a deadly tornado outbreak across portions of the Plains yesterday. The tornadoes are blamed for at least 8 deaths and 43 injuries so far, and one tornado ripped through Oklahoma City causing some damage.

By Ian Livingston  | February 11, 2009; 8:30 PM ET
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More records were set from WV through NY.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | February 11, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

A couple of WV stations currently reporting "squalls" weather symbol on map, including Elkins [SW wind aoa 45 kts.!] No thunderstorm symbols between here and Chicago, but some stations report "continuous heavy rain". Windy at several stations though not so strong as Elkins.

Several commenters speculative but unsure of possible wintry weather next week. SE flow on extended forecast maps hints at wintry mix or cold ordinary rain.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 11, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Severe thunder storm watches are up.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | February 11, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why....storms appear to be loosing there punch!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | February 11, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm in East Tennessee and this same storm rolled in our way this afternoon. It knocked over a 40-year old pine tree in our front yard and knocked out power for the neighborhood. This storm is legit.

Posted by: ElrodinTennessee | February 11, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The line moved into Fairfax County a little after 10 PM and simply broke up. Tre was virtually nothing but a brief shower and a few wind gusts where I was in Vienna. I saw one flash of to the NE.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 11, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

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