WEATHER NEWS: PM Update: Less humid, cooler air follows storms
6:00 p.m. — Storms pushing away, temperature fall 20 degrees
The heaviest of the storms has exited the region while some trailing rain is sliding through areas along and east of Interstate 95. Most of this rain should end over the next hour or push over the Chesapeake Bay.
The rain has cooled the air by about 20 degrees — from the low 90s to the low 70s:
While most of the storms that passed weren’t too intense, there were a few reports of strong, damaging winds. Dulles Airport and Frederick gusted to 56 and 64 mph as the storms passed. The National Weather Service also received a handful of reports of downed trees, mainly southwest and northwest of the Beltway.
Rainfall wasn’t too impressive — generally between 0.1 and 0.25 inches, but there were some localized amounts over 0.5 inches.
4:20 p.m. — Storms most intense south of Beltway — warnings along Interstate 95 corridor
Severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for many areas south of the Beltway over the next 45 minutes as storms with heavy rain, lighting and strong winds plow eastward. If your commute takes you on I-95 south of the Beltway, you might want to delay an hour or so until these pass. From the Beltway and points north the showers and storms are more benign, but brief downpours, gusty winds and lightning are still possible.
A long line of showers and storms is sweeping across the metro region from the west, with activity nearing the zone from Manassas to Oakton to Olney. This line should move inside the Beltway a little after 4 p.m. and probably clear the eastern side of the Beltway around 5 p.m. — with rain lasting 20 to 30 minutes in most locations.
Aside from a small segment of intense storms passing through Culpeper and headed toward southern Fauquier County, which is under a severe thunderstorm warning (until 4:15 p.m.), these storms should be less than severe. Still, heavy downpours, gusty winds and lightning are possible.
Today was the hottest of this week-long heat wave. Temperatures making the mid-90s in the city felt more like 100 or higher for much of the afternoon. As a cold front slides this way from the west, a bunch of showers and thunderstorms have developed west of the area. They’re beginning to move into the western suburbs as we cruise through the afternoon. Even before arriving, storms are already causing local travel troubles. The Federal Aviation Administration issued ground stops for Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport because of the storms.
Through Tonight: Scattered to numerous showers and storms pass through the area into evening. This activity is ongoing in far western suburbs and will probably reach the immediate area in the 4-5 p.m. time frame, exiting into the bay by sunset. Any storms in the first round of activity could be locally intense, with damaging winds a possibility, in addition to heavy rain and dangerous lightning.
A few more showers or a storm could pop before midnight, but probably of lesser intensity if so. Skies clear out substantially near and after midnight. Lows range from the mid-60s to around 70. Winds are light from the west and turning to come from the northwest over time.
Tomorrow (Wednesday): Loads of sun, diminishing humidity and a nice breeze from the northwest. Sounds good to me! High temperatures are in the mid-80s in most spots, which might be in the upper 80s downtown. Winds blow at around 10 mph, with gusts near 20 mph.