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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 06/29/2010

June 28 Severe thunderstorm photo sequence

By Kevin Ambrose

* Heat retreating: Full Forecast | Hurricane Tracking Center *

2:09 p.m.: The gust front preceding the thunderstorm moves over Tysons Corner, Va. The Tysons Galleria is visible in the foreground. This photo was taken facing east.

About 1:45 p.m. on Monday, I received a call from my son who said our neighborhood pool in Oakton, VA had closed due to thunder and he and friend had taken cover from the approaching storm in our house, which is a short walk from the pool. He said the storm had not yet reached Oakton and they were safely inside. I work just to the east of Oakton, in Tysons Corner, and I could see the clouds approaching from the northwest.

Within moments, dark, swirling clouds associated with the thunderstorm's gust front moved overhead, providing a strong warning of the approaching storm. About 30 minutes later, the core of the thunderstorm hit Tysons Corner, blasting the area with heavy rain and strong winds.

The photos that follow show the progression of the storm through Tysons Corner and are time stamped. The last photo is of storm-related damage in Fairfax, Va.

2:22 p.m.: The gust front moves east of Tysons Corner.

2:28 p.m.: Lightning strikes as the center of the thunderstorm approaches Tysons Corner. This photo was taken facing west.

2:39 p.m.: The edge of the thunderstorm moves into Tysons with the rain shaft barely visible to the west. This photo was taken facing south.

2:43 p.m.: Heavy rain begins to fall. This photo was taken facing south, with the heaviest part of the rain obscuring visibility to the west.

2:43 p.m.: This photo was taken seconds after the above photo, with the heavy rain quickly advancing eastward.

2:45 p.m.: Very heavy rain falls, obscuring visibility to about a tenth of a mile.

3:28 p.m.: The storm moves east of Tysons Corner, with the back end of the rain shaft visible in the eastern sky.

4:56 p.m.: Two anvil tops of distant thunderstorms are visible in southeastern sky.

7:45 p.m.: A large tree has fallen across a brick home in Fairfax, Va. High winds associated with the thunderstorm toppled the tree.

By Kevin Ambrose  | June 29, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Photography  
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Love it.
We were driving thru the Tysons about 40 minutes before these were taken. It was obvious that there was a serious incoming storm & we were grateful to make it home before the skies opened up. Received about 1.5 inches of much needed rain in Centreville.
Looks like that will have to do for a while, as no rain is in the forecast.
Thanks for pics!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | June 29, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

in the last pic, is the black inside the tree rot, or burn from being struck by lightning?

Posted by: saracooper | June 29, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the great pics!

Posted by: rwalker66 | June 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Sara, the tree was hollow and stained black on the inside. I don't think that was from lightning.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | June 29, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Nice shots, Kevin. Yeah that tree doesnt look like it was too healthy.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | June 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

excellent job and very informative. Thanks.

Posted by: jordor | June 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Writing from IL, that looks like a wall cloud with some decent rotation and not just a gust front.

Posted by: am1968 | June 29, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

That might be a funnel cloud over Tysons.

I did see a nice "beavertail" with the earlier Tuesday night storm a week was at middle-cloud altitude.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | June 29, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

There was no rotation in the storms yesterday and a wall cloud would be at the backside of a storm in most cases. From reports and seeing myself plus in these pictures the gust front was pretty ragged and filled with scud clouds, which may be why it looks like that.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | June 29, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The storm brought a huge oak down on our house in Fairfax too. Major damage to the house, but thankfully no one was hurt. We have multiple, healthy trees down in a small path from our back yard through several of the neighbors. Many of the trees were snapped off right in the middle, but a block away there weren't even branches on the ground. Someone suggested a microburst...? Is that a possibility with this storm? It was the most violent wind I had ever experienced for a few minutes there, I was sure we were being hit by a tornado. Everything outside looked like it was made of rubber it was tossed around so much.

Posted by: ucayaliblue | June 30, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

ucayaliblue, were the trees blown down in the same direction? It is possible that the winds were related to a microburst, see

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | June 30, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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