From the ABC 7 Weather team

Severe storms possible in the D.C. area this afternoon (Live Blog)

August 14, 2012 - 12:04 PM
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A flash flood warning is in effect for Howard County, Md. until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.


11:28pm Final Update: Classic D.C. split - strong storms moved North and South of D.C. The severe threat is over for the Nation's Capital, but we could see more storms develop tomorrow afternoon.  We'll be sure to monitor the storms and keep you informed, as they develop.

10:07pm Update: Strong storms north and south of D.C.  Baltimore remains under a severe thunderstorm warning until 10:45pm.  Another batch of heavy rain and storms is moving out of Eastern Frederick county and through Carroll county.  Also, strong storms near Orange, VA.  Light showers are still around the D.C. area.

Live Doppler at 10:05pm

9:32pm Update: Flash flood warning now in effect for Baltimore city, Baltimore County, and East Central Howard County until 11:30PM due to extremely heavy rainfall that has fallen over the past hour.

9:30pm Update: Storms are now firing up over Frederick and drifting to the East.  Heavy rain and a lot of lightning associated with these storms.  Few showers around the D.C. metro area, but nothing severe at this time. 

9:15pm Update: Strongest storms over Baltimore.  Tornado warning has expired, but severe thunderstorm warning in effect through 10PM.  A little closer to home, showers continue through Fairfax and Prince William county and stronger storms South of Culpeper.  Not feeling as confident with storm development over D.C.  Maybe a few showers, but severe threat definitely continues over Baltimore. 

Live Doppler at 9:15PM

8:14pm Update: Showers and thunderstorms are now developing over Northern VA - particularly over Northern Fauquier county and drifting to the NE.  Storms also stretch South into Rappahannock and Madison counties.  I think D.C. could get in on some storm action between 10PM and midnight.

7:30pm Update: Storms are slowly moving East.  Right now storms near Culpeper.  These storms could produce some small hail, heavy rain, and a lot of lightning.  The D.C. area remains rain-free.  A few scattered showers have developed in Northern Montgomery county, but nothing widespread or severe.  The bulk of the storms West of D.C. could move into the region in the next few hours.  We'll keep a close eye on it.

Live Doppler at 7:35PM

6:45pm Update: New severe thunderstorm warning for Hardy and Hampshire counties in West Virgina until 7:30PM.  Flash flooding remains a concern over Rockingham county where heavy rain has been falling for the past few hours.  There hasn't beem anymore development of showers and storms around the D.C. metro area, but we still haven't nixed the concern for any showers or storms to pop up within the next few hours. 

5:52pm Update: Still seeing a few showers popping up around the D.C. metro area, but no severe weather in this vicinity.  The strongest storms are still well West of the metro region and in the last few minutes of lost a little intensity - particularly the storm cell over Luray. 

Live Doppler at 5:55PM

5:32pm Update: Small hail under an inch was reported near Luray in Page County, VA in the storm that is severe until 6pm. There is also a small shower that has developed inside the Beltway near Annandale heading into Arlington, VA.

5:15pm Update: Numerous storms are starting to show severe characteristics with large hail and damaging winds. There is even some rotation being noted in some of these storms so it does appear like the threat is beginning for much of the D.C. area. Storms are still located west of D.C. but will continue to push east as we head into the 6 and 7 o'clock hours.

4:22pm Update: Storms continue to move into the western portions of the viewing area and only a few of them have been severe. Closer in to the D.C. Metro, a few showers have tried to develop but really just haven't been able to get going yet. I think that is because of some of this high thin overcast creating a bit of a cap and not allowing for thunderstorm development. The storm threat still looks a little better later this evening into the early overnight hours.

3:45pm Update: Severe thunderstorm warning for Allegany, Hampshire, and Mineral counties in effect until 4:15pm.  These storms are moving to the Northeast at 15mph.  These cells could impact Fort Ashby, Ridgely, Cumberland, and La Vale.

3:05pm Upate: Storms over Shenandoah, Rockingham, and Hardy counties have indicated some rotation, so a TORNADO WARNING remains in effect through 3:15PM.  These cells are moving East at 10mph.  Your best bet is to stay indoors and away from windows until these storms pass.  The rest of the viewing area is relatively quiet at this point.

Live Super Doppler as of 3:05PM

2:44pm Update: Storms will begin to cross into the Shenandoah Valley over the next hour from West Virginia. A few of these storms may be strong with some gusty winds and small hail. Nothing has really developed yet east of the Blue Ridge besides a few storms in Southern Maryland. I'm thinking it will be quiet over the next hour or two and the larger storm threat will be later into the evening hours.

2:13pm Update: Storms have started to develop across the region but none have been severe as of yet. The Storm Prediction Center issued a Mesoscale Discussion over our region saying that a T-Storm Watch appears unlikely even with the developing storms. Storms will still be possible through the afternoon and evening with the potential for a few to be severe, so don't let your guard down just yet.

1:23pm Update: Storms are beginning to initiate over the mountains of West Virginia just west of Petersburg and Romney, WV. We'll be keep an eye on these as they develop and push east into the Shenadoah Valley.


Original Post: A low pressure system and associated cold front continues to approach the region from the west today and bringing with it strong to possibly severe storms. The highest threat for severe weather will be from 3 p.m. this afternoon through 8 p.m. this evening. Storms will have the capability of producing damaging winds, large hail and possibly even an isolated tornado or two. The Storm Prediction Center has our entire area under a Slight Risk for severe storms.

With rapid clearing after the morning showers, the region should experience destabilization rather quickly and storms should begin to fire out ahead of the front by early this afternoon. All of the ingredients will be in place for strong storms, ample moisture, strong instability from heating, and lift from the front.

Atmospheric shear while not huge across the area still appears strong enough for some rotating updrafts. The best shear profiles are just north and east of D.C., closer to BWI Marshall and points north and east to Philadelphia.

We'll keep you updated on this blog through the afternoon to let you know where storms are developing and heading. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Alexliggitt and stay tuned for the latest updates.

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