Severe thunderstorm in Washington, D.C. -- Just another storm in a wild weather year?

The wind and the rain are raging on a dark downtown Washington, D.C. this morning, but rather than a weird weather quirk, it's just another flash storm in a year of flash storms.

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First, Snowmageddon hits. Then, record heat swamps the East Coast. A couple weeks ago, sudden rainstorms and strong winds felled trees and knocked out power for days and killed four people in the area.

But compared to the rest of the world, the United States is having a mild weather year. Fires burn in Russia. Floods have devastated Pakistan. Mudslides have hit China. And in Finland, the craziest storm moved in over Helsinki on Sunday. At least, we think it was a storm. It could also be that aliens really did just land amongst us. Check it out below:

Could this weather be a portent of the apocalypse or a sign that the world really will end in 2012, the year the Mayan calendar ends? The Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization says the crazy weather has been predicted--by climate experts who see the extreme conditions as prime examples of the changing climate.

From some early reports the storm in D.C. moved in this morning as quickly as the one in Finland did. Check out the live web cam over the Washington Memorial. Are aliens landing in the nation's capital too? Are the Mayans right? Do you have any photos or footage of the terrible tempests? Do you have any photos of ET? Submit your images here.

To keep up on today's thunderstorm, follow the Capitol Weather Gang with their reports and their weather maps. Also, let them know what's happening in your neck of the woods here.

And for those that still have to hit the road, keep appraised of traffic delays with Dr. Gridlock's updates.

(Hat tip on storm video to @twilightfairy. Thanks!)

--Melissa Bell

August 12, 2010; 3:02 PM ET
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