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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 06/ 4/2009

Strong Storms Douse Region with Rain

By Jason Samenow

Deadly lightning, large hail, possible tornado reported

* Flood Watch From This Afternoon Through Tomorrow Afternoon *
* Full Forecast | NatCast | UnitedCast | Lightning Kills Va. 12-Year-Old *

For the second time in as many weeks, torrents of rain drenched large parts of the region last night.

On the Eastern U.S. Weather Forums, a thread proclaims Dulles Airport (IAD) "the new Bangladesh" -- having received more than 15" of rain since April 15. Around 9 p.m. last night, 1.28" of rain poured down from the heavens in a mere 25 minutes, with 1.79" that hour. In all, IAD picked up 2.69" of rain yesterday, just 8 days after receiving 3.59" on 5/26. National Airport (DCA) received 1.5" of rain, about 0.5" short of its daily record of 1.97" set in 1963. The heavy rains produced flash flooding in a number of locations in Loudoun, Fairfax, and Montgomery counties.

While the rain was the primary story in the metro region, some very large hail was observed just to our south and southwest, along with a possible tornado.

Keep reading for more on last night's storms...

Damage to a two-story chicken house in Page County yesterday from a possible tornado. Photo by Chase Suddith.

Golfball size hail was reported in Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties, with one report of 2.5" diameter hail (approaching tennis ball size). Not to be outdone, baseball size hail (2.75" in diameter) was noted in Page County, along with a possible tornado. The National Weather Service is sending a storm survey team to the town of Stanley where damage to building structures was observed, including the destruction of a mobile home, to determine whether a tornado occurred. has videos of hail shot yesterday in Fredericksburg, Va., and New Market, Va.

For more storm reports from yesterday, visit the Storm Prediction Center Storm Report page.

By Jason Samenow  | June 4, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Local Climate, Recaps  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Sharply Cooler & Very Wet End of Week
Next: PM Update: Rain, and Lots of It, Through Friday


I live in Herndon right next to Dulles and made the mistake of going out around 8:30 last night on foot and thought I was going to die. Lightning crashing all around and monsoon-type rain with some hail for a good 30 minutes and then more rain. My terror of lightning tragically validated by those poor boys in Spotsylvania. Saw on news some cars floating in Herndon. No more please...

Posted by: sandrags | June 4, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I live in NE Capitol Hill and saw a 2.5' diameter tree fall in the ~6:30 storm. 2 street parked cars, in spots that I often use, we completely destoyed with over 4' of compression.

Posted by: GISman | June 4, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Lots of weather news:

AugustaJim, I'm NOT cheering up...just had to reschedule tomorrow afternoon's medical was @ 3:45 PM; the flood watch remains in effect until 5 PM. With luck it will clear up by 8 PM though so I can go to Chevy Chase Ballroom...but tomorrow's AM Giant grocery run will be a struggle against CRUD...I can't believe you are still dry and dusty down there...yes, I'd rather have had this as a series of BLIZZARDS last winter!!!

On Channel 9 & confirmed by DCRTV...Howard Bernstein is moving to the early morning met slots; Kim Martucci will take over the 9AM/noontime wx duties, effective next week.

Seasonal affective disorder [SAD] must be having a field day...all this gloomy rain is doing nothing but extending the season from its normal winter period...could the new Maunder sunspot minimum be a factor here???...last time I saw it so gloomy & rainy at the height of summer was in 1992 or was a year or so after Pinatubo, I was on vacation in Wisconsin in mid-July, and it was the year of the huge Midwest floods [remember, if you can, that shot of the farmhouse being carried down the raging river in Illinois].

Still can't believe it's STILL that dry in Augusta the rate things are going up here, we could see Alexandria thoroughly inundated by the weekend if this huge rain/flooding forecast verifies.

Oh and that lightning-death scene in Spotsylvania...who's to blame? Not the Little League umpire who called the game. This tragedy could have been avoided...why did the boys keep playing catch out on the field? Most 12 year old boys and girls would have the sense to seek safe shelter at the approach of lightning, especially if they are involved in Scouting. Apparently the boys' parents were at the LL game and should have called in their sons as soon as the umpire called the game. There's no reason to stay out playing catch on an open field at the sound of thunder. The parents might have been partially negligent here.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | June 4, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I am not normally a political correctness maven, but it strikes me as odd that the Post would have a "gang" especially in light of crime problems associated with gangs. Does this weather gang have its own colors, hand signs, and tattoos too?

Posted by: kayaker520 | June 4, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

It appears from glancing at the current radar that the majority of the rain is staying up North of the DC metro area. I'm guessing it's all going to start filling in around here later today/tonight? It's ok if you want to say "no" to that question!

Posted by: JBinAlxndra | June 4, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

JBinAlxndra: If you look at the wide radar picture, you will se a constant feed of moisture coming up from the gulf coast. The rain will indeed fill in through out the day and really will tonight.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | June 4, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Bombo - no offense, but DCRTV is a fan-boy blog that largely trades in rumors and opinion. It's not an authoritative source. I wouldn't rely on it too much for any kind of confirmation.

Posted by: joseph4 | June 4, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

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