Timing Today’s Thunderstorms

Thunderstorm viewed from the Tidal Basin in Washington, photo credit Forest Wander

Periods of heavy rain with embedded thunder showers will impact the DC Area through the evening hours as a warm front lifts northward out of central Virginia during the early afternoon hours followed by a cold front passage during the afternoon rush hour.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed southern Maryland and north-central Virginia under a slight risk for Severe Thunderstorms today. This may be further modified northward depending upon how far north the warm front travels. 

Latest HRRR model showing the “Futurecast Radar”: 8AM – 10PM

Latest High Resolution NAM Model:

Window to watch for line of strong to severe thunderstorms associated with the cold front passage: 5PM – 8PM

-Greatest risk would be a squall line containing gusty winds in excess of 60 mph and possible hail.

Temperatures will be key, how far north does the warm front make it?

-Fredericksburg and southern Maryland have the higher risk of seeing thunderstorms that could reach severe limits, storms could reach severe limits even in the DC Metro Area (Northern Virginia, DC, and central Maryland) depending if the wedge of cold air (marine layer) at the surface is able to lift out (will depend on how far north the warm front makes it later this afternoon).

Rainfall Amounts:  An impressive one to two inches of rain is possible across our region. Hello Drought Relief!

-Most locations will pick up between three-quarters and one inch of rain, some of you who receive “training” thundershowers could easily pick up to 2″ of rain

To Recap, keep an eye to the sky between 4 and 8pm as a squall line may develop across the central Shenandoah Valley around 4pm… and then it may race northeast and impact portions of the Washington Metropolitan Area with damaging wind gusts and hail.  The threat for tornadoes today is low.


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