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Posted at 8:00 PM ET, 08/ 5/2010

Storms move out, more tranquil conditions return

By Ian Livingston

Flash flood threat wanes; Storm-free tomorrow

* Breaking News Blog | Post Local | NWS Storm Reports *
* NOAA still says active hurricane season | Twitter: What do you want? *
* Outside now? Radar, lightning, temps & more: Weather Wall *

Following blazing midday heat that pushed temperatures well into the mid-90s, thunderstorms have departed the area. Earlier storms caused numerous reports of damage across the south-central portion of the area. As of 8:00 p.m., there were more than 180,000 power outages across the area. Official wind gusts reached as high as 69 mph in Arlington and 59 mph at National, with some spots probably seeing even stronger winds. More than 50 trees were knocked down by the wind in the Fairlington section of Arlington.

Through Tonight: After a rough commute, the grouping (or groupings) of showers and storms have moved off to the south and east, but not before dropping copious rain (1-3" estimated on radar in western Fairfax and northern Prince William counties) in some spots due to their slow movement. The cold front that helped fuel today's storms will pass through the area tonight and we'll start to see drier air filter in behind it. Lows won't plummet, but temperatures near 70 in the suburbs to about 75 downtown will feel a little nicer than last night.

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Tomorrow (Friday): Much quieter and not nearly as hot as today! Expect mostly sunny skies and continued drops in humidity levels. By late afternoon, it might not even be that noticeable. Highs are still likely to rise past 90 most spots, potentially as high as the mid-90s in one or two. Light northwest winds should feel pretty good, especially in the shade.

See David Streit's forecast through the beginning of next week. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

By Ian Livingston  | August 5, 2010; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Brief relief, but no doubt it's summer


Storms do not seem to be losing much punch out here in central Fairfax, where I live, to northwestern Prince William, where I work. They seem to be training over us and it looks like a lot more is coming.

Posted by: rocotten | August 5, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The storms seem to be training accross central Fairfax. More are building to the west in a fairly narrow E-W line. When will it end?

Posted by: GISman | August 5, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

They are NOT losing their punch and are stronger than ever here in western Fairfax with more on the way. Looks like they are going to be training west to east for hours.

Posted by: rwalker66 | August 5, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@rocotten, rwalker66 and GISman

You all are right; storms are nasty in western half of Fairfax Co and warnings have been issued to the east. We made some revisions accordingly.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | August 5, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Rough commute indeed.
Visibility is very poor on the roads with standing water, lots of spray, and frequent super heavy downpours in very dark conditions. Please folks turn on your headlights.
It's been raining here in Centerville for over 2 hours with a few breaks. Light rain right now; we've had 2 or 3 inches for sure. Temp at 76, lots of thunder.
Another heat wave bites the dust.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | August 5, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just wow. I was in Oxen Hill, MD, at National Harbor in the Gaylord Hotel when the first round of storms hit. It's a beautiful venue from which to watch something like this, but I left as soon as I could. All of National Harbor lost power, but I got out & across the Wilson Bridge to VA okay.

I couldn't go north on the George Washington Parkway to my marina; apparently there are trees down on both the northbound and southbound sides. There was debris from the trees all over the wet roads as I made my way back through Alexandria to the Beltway. Some of it was big tree branches. Northbound Beltway was moving all right, even through Annandale when I drove into a wall of water so dense that, for the first time, I was grateful that all lanes on the road there have solid white lines. It was the only way I knew where to drive.

Made it home to Merrifield, VA, safe and pretty quickly; I've still got power so I'm lucky. There's still some rain, wind and thunder moving through, but it's much less intense. Nevertheless, I am breaking out the good Bolivian chocolate until the Watch expires.

Posted by: --sg | August 5, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

A 15 minute commute on Metro took 35 min due to objects on track by King Street. Trees uprooting and signs down all around Alexandria and Washington Blvd. Some traffic lights out. Another storm is coming in.

Posted by: tardislady | August 5, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@davidstreit1, thank you for your answer on an earlier post to my question about weekend winds!

Posted by: --sg | August 5, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Just rode the length of the flash flood area in heavy rain. Took 1:50 from Rosslyn to Linden with a fender bender in the ditch along the way. At least the rain prevented any car fires (Monday's ride was 2:30). I didn't see a lot of water in ditch and very little in Broad Run.

Posted by: eric654 | August 5, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I came home to Oakton to find my 4 story wrought iron, loaded with heavy ceramic plant holders baker's rack crashed onto my porch. Found my suet cage which normally hangs on it, over in my mint plant. I figured it had been thrown clear in the crash, but when I picked it up I found it was rather bent.

Posted by: SPS1 | August 5, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

SPS1 - Perhaps a bear? Are there black bears in Oakton!?!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | August 5, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

After the slow start we've really had a remarkable turnaround in storm activity the last 4-6 weeks. Getting two events like this in one season is not too common.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 5, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Got another round of rain this afternoon, but fortunetly never had much wind from any of the 4 storms.

Posted by: VaTechBob | August 5, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

alexandria ems guy bought 352$ OF MCDona;ds food to feed the emergency staff

Posted by: pvogel88 | August 5, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@ pvogel88- how nice! They certainly deserve it!

That WAS quite a commute-
storm took out almost every traffic light on my way home. V. busy intersections were unmanned- I am sure they were needed for more serious situations elsewhere, and with so many lights out there were only so many places that could be covered. Took me 2 hours, nerves of steel ,and a bit of willingness to play chicken (what happened to the four way stop concept?) to navigate through. It was like frogger, only no frogs, all cars

Posted by: Snowlover2 | August 5, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

So the dome has broken over you, vatechbob? We got about half an inch, although my husband swore up and down it was a LOT more. Wind can be deceiving during a storm ...

Posted by: weathergrrl | August 5, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

It is a disaster in Old Town - trees are all over the road, on top of cars, etc. It had to be strong than 50 MPH because huge trees just snapped in half.

Posted by: hereandnow1 | August 5, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Now that earned a daily digit of 10.

Posted by: ennepe68 | August 5, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Good lord...just watching Channel 7 news, and John Gonzalez doing a stand-up next to a downed tree in the Falls Church area -- the tree was so massive it looked like he was standing next to a downed redwood!

My heart goes out to everyone out there tonight who suffered any injuries, losses, storm damage...Namaste.

Posted by: natsncats | August 5, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Not much damage in Columbia Heights West...seems there was a lot more wind east of me from Fairlington to Alexandria & across the river to Oxon Hill.

Unusual feature about this storm...instead of passing in a half hour, the storm cells continued to "train" for 2 to 3 hrs. from the time of the initial hit.

BTW I missed a lot of the action. Thanks to the disruption of WGN's midday newscast by baseball I was able to depart for Ballston a bit early. The first storm hit while I was eating at the Food Court.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | August 6, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

We lost power until around 10:30 last night - maybe later (my husband got up and checked, but I was too out of it). It had gone out around 3:30 when the storm first hit. North Arlington got no wind to speak of - things were very calm, especially compared to the incredible bursts of wind in the last storm. But we didn't lose power last time, and we did this time. Now I come to find out that we just must have been in a pocket of calm between two areas that got hit pretty hard.

Since when does DC get true Southern storms? Freaky.

Posted by: BadMommy1 | August 6, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

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