Update: Tornado watch issued until 2 p.m.

WEATHER NEWS: Update: Tornado watch issued until 2 p.m.

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Today’s weather key points

  • A tornado watch is in effect until 2 p.m. and a flood watch is in effect through the evening
  • Multiple rounds of storms are possible: the first around midday; a second toward late afternoon into early evening; and a third around sunset or a little after. Storms may be most widespread in the first and third rounds.
  • Storms may be severe, with torrential rain, lightning, damaging winds, hail and perhaps embedded tornado activity. The first round may be most intense but severe storms cannot be ruled out in the second and third rounds. Repeated downpours may lead to areas of flash flooding.
  • Storm updates will be added as severe weather develops immediately below. The forecast through the holiday weekend can be found by scrolling farther down.

6:40 a.m. — Tornado and flood watches issued for area

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for much of the region until 2 p.m. Storms in southwest Virginia have already exhibited some signs of rotation and prompted tornado warnings in that region. These storms — which may intensify — should reach the Washington area between around 11 a.m. (in our southwest areas), around noon in the Beltway area and 1 p.m. east of Interstate 95 and toward the Bay.

The storms will be capable of torrential rain, lightning, damaging wind gusts, hail and perhaps some quick-hitting tornadoes in a few spots.

“A gradual ramp-up of thunderstorm intensity and coverage should continue through the remainder of the morning,” the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center writes. “A few tornadoes and scattered damaging to locally severe gusts are possible.”

Remember that a tornado watch means ingredients are in place for the possible development of tornadoes; they are not a guarantee. However, if a tornado warning is issued for your location, it means a storm capable of producing a tornado is imminent or that a tornado has been detected. In a warning situation, take shelter in the lowest level of a strong building, in an interior room away from windows.

In addition to the severe thunderstorm and tornado risk, multiple rounds of heavy downpours could lead to flooding in some areas prompting a flood watch. One to two inches of rain could fall in a short time and some areas could see in excess of three inches from the combined rounds of storms.

“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations,” the Weather Service writes.

Remember that if water is crossing a road, do not attempt to drive across it as the water level is difficult to judge. Turn around, don’t drown.

After the midday wave, scattered storms will be possible in the late afternoon hours, with a possible final round near or after sunset. These additional storms could also be severe.

We will add updates to this article as storms develop and move into the area and on our Twitter feed; the next update will probably be around 9 a.m.

Detailed forecast from 5 a.m.

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

3/10: Hard to grade higher. Storms aim severe weather threats at the region: damaging winds, isolated flooding, large hail and even a tornado or two. Less sunshine equals less powerful storms.

  • Today: Strong to severe storms possible. Highs: Mid-70s to near 80.
  • Tonight: More strong storms; evening flooding? Lows: Low to mid-60s.
  • Tomorrow: Clearing morning, mainly sunny afternoon. Highs: Mid-70s to around 80.
  • Sunday: Mostly sunny. Highs: Low to mid-80s.

Remember when staying weather-aware today, have more than one source for your severe weather warnings. Much of the East Coast has the chance of storms into tonight, with multiple severe threats possible. After a bit more unsettled weather tomorrow, our skies clear nicely for Sunday into Memorial Day as heat returns.

Get our daily forecasts on your Amazon Alexa device.

Today (Friday): Showers are possible almost anytime. Storms may begin moving in during the afternoon. Any sunny breaks in the clouds only heat and bubble up more instability — fuel for later storms to be strong to severe. The more clouds the better, as far as I’m concerned — lower the severe storm chances. More sun increases chances that we see damaging winds, large hail and even a couple of tornadoes. Muggy mid-70s to near 80 (sunniest spots) is our high temperature range. Southerly winds could gust to around 20 mph even outside of storms. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Gusty showers and storms may last past midnight. Heavy rain may cause localized flooding, especially if storms repeatedly track over the same area and drop 2 inches or more of rain, rather than the nearly 1 inch expected for most spots. Low temperatures bottom out in the low to mid-60s. Confidence: Medium-High

Follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates. Keep reading for the forecast into next week …

Tomorrow (Saturday): Skies are partly sunny, with clouds tending to dissipate during the day. A scattered shower or storm can’t be ruled out during the afternoon. Slightly humid high temperatures aim for the mid-70s to around 80 degrees. Westerly breezes try to stay under 10 mph. Near dawn, gaze east, to catch the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Shower chances disappear through the evening hours. Otherwise, skies slowly clear. Low temperatures aim for the upper 50s to low 60s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday: Skies may stay mostly sunny, so grab that sunscreen! High temperatures readily warm with the strong May sunshine, heading up into the low to mid-80s with humidity under control. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday night: Skies should stay mostly clear. Low temperatures enjoy fairly calm winds and clearer skies — cooling more readily when this happens — heading down into the low to mid-60s. Confidence: Medium

Seasonably hot temperatures near 90 to mid-90s are back for Memorial Day into Tuesday. Humidity tries its best to stay moderate — so we may thread the needle for beach weather while not overly sweating away from the water! Skies should remain more sunny than not for those barbecues, too. We’ll keep you posted if anything changes. Confidence: Medium

N.J./Del./Md. beaches: Thunderstorm chances Friday/Saturday (strong Friday night?), mostly sunny Sunday/Monday. High temperatures in the mid- to upper 70s/low temperatures upper 50s to low 60s. Wave heights 1 to 3 feet and water temperatures range from 60 to 70.

Va./N.C. beaches: Scattered storms Friday/Saturday (strong Friday night?), mostly sunny Sunday/Monday. High temperatures in the low 80s/low temperatures in the mid- to upper 60s. Wave heights 1 to 3 feet and water temperatures low to mid-70s.

Read more about Capital Weather Gang’s confidence rating.

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