From the ABC 7 Weather team

D.C. Wednesday forecast: Severe weather possible in the D.C. area

January 29, 2013 - 01:13 PM
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A potent cold front will spawn severe weather in the central United States today but our region will see a chance late tomorrow.

The first severe weather outbreak of the season is occurring through the mid-section of the United States today. Damaging winds and the threat for tornadoes are possible from eastern Oklahoma through southern Missouri and Arkansas. This region for potential severe weather stretches even farther with slight and moderate risks for severe storms placed by the Storm Prediction center.

Today's Severe Weather Outlook by the SPC

Above is today's severe weather outlook. Numerous tornado watches have been issued as well as a severe thunderstorm watch. So far there have only been reports of hail and damaging winds, but I assume as the day goes on we'll see some tornado reports as well. There is a higher liklihood later today through the moderate risk regions.

SPC's Wednesday Severe Weather Outlook

The risk shifts to the D.C. area tomorrow as shown above. This is a giant slight risk area, but it extends through the entire cold front, which will extend from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. The highest probability for severe weather exists to our south over SW Virginia, the Carolinas, Alabama and Georgia as you can see shaded in red. Our region is still under a risk and damaging winds should be the main threat in any storms.

Here is a look at a model depiction of the line of showers and storms anticipated to move through the region tomorrow evening and tomorrow night.

4km WRF forecast for tomorrow evening

It shows a strong line of storms just to the west of D.C. tomorrow evening. This is the line that will bring the potential for damaging winds as well as heavy rain. Rainfall totals with this system may reach 1 to 2 inches before it exits the region around midnight tomorrow. Winds only a couple thousand feet off the surface are upwards of 80mph. The sounding below is for 10pm tomorrow night with 850mb winds (5,000 feet) at 100kts! This could be a little on the high side, but even so, if only some of those winds make it to the surface with some heavy rain, damaging wind gusts will be possible.

12Z GFS Bufkit sounding for 10pm Wednesday

The majority of Wednesday looks pleasant, with temperatures nearing 70 degrees once again under partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies. Models are actually showing a better chance for fog tonight into tomorrow morning with the added moisture that has made it into the region, so I am sure we will add that into the forecast as well. The chance for storms should hold off until after tomorrow evenings commute, but I would hold off on making plans to go out as you may want to stay home until these potential storms push through the area. We will be sure to keep you updated throughout the day and evening tomorrow.

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