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Posted at 10:10 PM ET, 04/20/2009

PM Update: Evening Showers & Thunder

By Ian Livingston

Some sun Tuesday with a chance of afternoon showers

* Social Science Uncovering New Climate Angles | NatCast: Rainout? *

After morning rains and an afternoon lull, strong to severe storms are possible this evening. The primary risks here are gusty winds and small hail, though a fairly high risk of tornadoes runs from just south of D.C. down through Virginia and North Carolina, where it is warmer and some sun has broken out this afternoon.

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Warning Text: DC | MD | VA
Radar: Latest D.C. area radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past two hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here to see radar bigger.
LWX Warnings
Warnings: Severe alerts from National Weather Service. Updates w/o refresh (most browsers). Hint: Alert on map? Click matching label in key for details.

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms should completely clear the region by midnight and we will be dry the remainder of the night, though some areas of fog and drizzle are possible by morning. Lows will settle to within a few degrees of 50 across the entire area with light and variable winds.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Southwest winds will warm us up a bit tomorrow, but the upper low partially responsible for today's rain will still be to our west. Some sunshine should provide a spark for a few more showers and maybe thunderstorms to develop by afternoon. Any storms that form could be briefly intense. Before any rain, highs should reach the upper 60s.

See Dan Stillman's full forecast through the weekend.

This Morning's Rain: National and Dulles both surpassed 1" of rain on the day with the rain that moved through this morning, as have many other places across the area. This is the first time National has seen 1"+ of rain in one calendar day since the beginning of January. Both airports are now above average for the whole month of April with over a week left to go.

By Ian Livingston  | April 20, 2009; 10:10 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Social Science Uncovering New Climate Angles
Next: NatCast: Some Storms to Brave?


Stafford is under a tornado watch until 10pm. However, we've had no sun today to destabilize the atmosphere, at least not yet. Is this still a threat?

Posted by: david_in_stafford | April 20, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

david, looks to me like the worst is setting up to your south in SE VA and into NC, but there is still more action to the southwest of Charlottesville that's worth watching. Sun helps a lot, and I usually don't get super excited about severe without it, but in cases like today dynamics above with a low passing nearby can overcome the lack of destabilization.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 20, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse


While storms may weaken some when they move towards our region, there's a lot of spin in the even though your area is near the edge of the watch area, you shouldn't let your guard down. Tornado warning right now for SE Va... near Colonial Heights.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | April 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

For breaking and severe weather outbreaks, major updates go out to the alert twitter feed: . Also, feel free to reply to this account as well, we may use your (short) reports in a blog or forecast update (I would prefer replies to this account, it will make future automation of your reports easier ;) ). We use this account only during severe weather to reduce the spam to your inbox, and to not overwhelm you with constant updates. We want an update from @dcweatheralerts to get your attention.

Any graphic designers out there want to throw a big red "ALERTS" across the logo already in use? If I had half an artistic touch I would have done it by now, but alas, I'm no artist.

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | April 20, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Ian and Jason, thanks for the detailed answers. You guys are great!

Posted by: david_in_stafford | April 20, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Man the ads on this site keeping popping over the content and not replying to the close Xs. Annoying.

Posted by: idiparker | April 20, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Thunder is audible at 5:30 from a cell 15 miles to my southeast.

1.12" of wonderful rainfall during the past 18 hrs.!!

I'm happy Bombo!

Posted by: AugustaJim | April 20, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

DC is now just over double the average month-to-date total. If anyone is complaining about the chilliness, they should consider the alternative.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | April 20, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm not happy at all, Jim. Once again the "anti-Bombo rain conspiracy" is firing up thunderstorms on my only dance night in a week!!!

It would have been better to have postponed this activity to tomorrow night or have scheduled it last night.

It's not the precipitation at issue; it's the timing of it that's all wrong.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | April 20, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Thunder & lightning coming in fast here in western Fairfax/Centreville.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | April 20, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

A severe thunderstorm passed just south of my location in Northern Stafford County. It appears that Fredericksburg received the worst of it.

BTW, we received around an inch of rain today. The ground is definitely saturated now. It's like walking on yogurt...

Posted by: david_in_stafford | April 20, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Faint lighting in the sky at 8:15 in DC!!

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | April 20, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Laura, I just saw some lightning as well. Not much additional rain so far at my location though.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 20, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Lightning is getting a little brighter, but still pretty intermittent. I hope hope hope we get at least a tiny bit of storm. I can't tell from the radar whether that little spot of orange is just going to miss me in NWDC or hit.

Opening the window now to make sure I hear the one clap of thunder...

Oh, good news for my storminess. At the end of the summer I'm moving back to Indiana. Bring on those storms where the sky is lit up more than it's dark!!

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | April 20, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Article in today's WaPo about a tornado-chasing project with the goal of improving forecasts of twisters:

LaurainNWDC, we will miss you. Unless you post from Indiana about those big storms...hint, hint!

Posted by: --sg | April 20, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Thundering now up here in Columbia as well.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 20, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Weellll, so much for that. Holding out for the next one. Hopefully I won't be asleep by then.

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | April 20, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@ david_in_stafford re: "BTW, we received around an inch of rain today. The ground is definitely saturated now. It's like walking on yogurt..."

Ewwwwwww. How do you know what walking on yogurt feels like?

Posted by: Havoc737 | April 20, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

@Havoc737 -- lolz, I was wondering the same thing.

Posted by: natsncats | April 20, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

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