From the ABC 7 Weather team

Severe thunderstorms in D.C. possible for the evening commute

June 1, 2011 - 03:06 PM
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Severe storms and hail the size of "hen eggs" are possible this evening. Could it get any worse?

The region could be rockin' with lightning and 2-inch-diameter hail between 4 and 7 p.m. today. (Storm Prediction Center)

The type of heat snap that the Mid-Atlantic has been suffering through typically ends with a bang, and today it looks like that pattern will hold true. Here’s the latest forecast for D.C. and seagull-eye’s view from ABC7’s interactive Doppler. Send any storm or weather pictures to iwitness@wjla.com.

The District and its satellite counties are under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10 p.m. as a long cold front, stretching from the Great Lakes to West Virginia, creeps toward the East Coast. The region could soon see hail up to 2 inches thick (“hen egg”-sized? Seriously?) and gusts as fast as 70 m.p.h., potent enough to muss even the most hair gel-armored hairstyles, according to the current assessment by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.

“It is very, very unstable air over us, and once these things start popping there is the probability of some gusty, strong winds,” says Bob Ryan, senior meteorologist for ABC7. (Follow Ryan on Twitter.) “It’s real juicy air up there and it won’t take much.”

The line of storms is beginning to fire up in places like Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They’re not moving fast, but with the hot, humid air the sky could be dark and stormy before nightfall. Ryan estimates that rain and lightning could be pounding the city between 4 and 7 p.m. The local office of the National Weather Service is warning of 3-foot waves on the Bay, so now’s not the time to go snag some puppy drum or summer flounder.

North of D.C., the weather is blowing up. There’s a severe thunderstorm warning for south central Pennsylvania for a blaster that’s capable of throwing out quarter-sized hail and 60 m.p.h. winds. A tornado watch is in effect farther up in central New Jersey. And there is another tornado watch out for the entire state of Maine.

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