Timing Tonight’s Thunderstorms

Enough sunshine broke through the clouds today across the Piedmont of Virginia and Maryland away from the water to allow for destabilization of the atmosphere.  The high resolution forecast models suggest a steady rain with embedded thunderstorms are likely across the Washington Area late this evening through the overnight.

The image above (courtesy Pivotal weather) shows a broken line of thunderstorms approaching Washington’s western suburbs between 9pm and midnight with the bulk of the steadiest rain forecast to exit the region on Sunday morning.  Another line of showers and storms may approach the DC Area on ….

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Numerous Severe Storms Possible Tuesday Afternoon

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed portions of the immediate Washington Metropolitan Area under an “Enhanced Risk” of Severe Thunderstorms” on Tuesday afternoon. 

What does an enhanced risk mean?

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Afternoon Damaging Wind Threat for DC Region

The Washington Region remains under a “slight risk” for severe thunderstorms this afternoon. Increasing lapse rates out ahead of an approaching upper level trough along with ample daytime heating will produce the ingredients necessary for storms capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 60 – 70 mph. Cloud to ground lightning, torrential rain and hail are also possible in these storms.

The high resolution NAM model (image above courtesy Tropical Tidbits) predicts that a line of thunderstorms will approach the Shenandoah Valley around 2pm, pushing eastward into the Washington Region between 3 and 6 pm. I would not be surprised to see a Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for our region during the early afternoon hours.