Flash Flood, Tornado Watch Into Tonight
Friday evening commute may be impacted by rain, wind and hail.
Update Tornado warning downgraded to watch.
5:53 p.m. Friday: National Weather Service upped its flash flood watch to a warning for Fairfax City.
3:30 p.m. Friday: The National Weather Service has issued flash flood and tornado watch alerts across Northern Virginia. The flash flood watch will last until midnight. The tornado watch will last until 9 p.m. There is now a tornado warning in Loudoun County and in Mongomery County, Md. until 2:45 p.m.
Winds are starting to pick up and scattered rain is developing across Northern Virginia ahead of the cold front that will bring strong thunderstorms to the area during rush hour.
Tips on driving safely in inclement weather are below, and also review tips on what to do in the event of a tornado.
Update 6 a.m. Friday: Isolated thunderstorms may start popping up in the early afternoon Friday ahead of a cold front with stronger and more widespread thunderstorms.
Thunderstorms are expected to increase right before rush hour this evening with the strongest storms predicted from 7-9 p.m.
High temperatures on Friday will be in the low 80s.
Original Post - Thursday, May 31
Weather forecasters in Northern Virginia are casting a wary eye toward the west, where severe thunderstorms are developing ahead of a cold front. Those storms could hit Northern Virginia around 5 p.m. Friday and have a significant impact on the evening commute.
“There may be a couple waves of storms affecting the region through midnight or so with heavy rain, gusty winds and dangerous lightning. Some storms may contain damaging winds and large hail with the outside chance of isolated tornadoes,” Capital Weather Gang’s Jason Samenow predicted Thursday.
Friday will start out cool and partly cloudy, with temperatures in the upper 60s around sunrise. Temperatures will rise into the low 80s with an increasing threat of scattered thunderstorms throughout the day before the evening storms roll into the area.
While driving tomorrow evening, remember these tips for driving during severe weather from The Weather Channel:
- Turn on your lights (low beams) and leave plenty of distance for braking.
- If you do not feel safe driving or visibility gets too low, pull over and off the road to a safe location and wait for the rain to subside.
- In a lightning storm, your car generally is a safer place to be than outside.
- If the power is out at an intersection, treat it as a four-way stop.
- Do not drive through large puddles – your car may stall or flood.
Friday is the first day of meteorological summer and the first day of the 2012 hurricane season, which may be “near normal” according to some forecasters.
Temperatures will rise only into the 70s on Saturday as skies clear.
The Capital Weather Gang is predicting a slightly warmer-than-average June in the D.C. metro area despite a cool start.