The National Weather Service has issues a tornado watch for Clarke County and much of the Washington DC metro area until 9:00pm
A “tornado watch” means that weather conditions are favorable for severe weather and residents should stay alert to rapidly changing weather conditions.
The National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia predicts that severe weather is likely this afternoon and evening for Washington DC and the Baltimore metropolitan areas and the surrounding region.
A series of strong-to-severe storms are likely across the Clarke County and the surrounding region this afternoon and evening. The strong weather will also bring an increased threat of flash flooding.
The National Weather Service says that the severe weather will come in to rounds.
The first round of anticipated severe weather has already started according to NWS meteorologists. Scattered strong-to-severe thunderstorms will continue to develop east from the Blue Ridge and move north through the region through 6:00 pm.
Threats from the first round of storms could include damaging wind gusts, large hail, isolated tornadoes and very heavy rain.
The second round of severe weather will cross the region during the evening from the west as a line of thunderstorms develops over central West Virginia and southwest Virginia this afternoon. The line of thunderstorms will strengthen while moving east across Interstate 81 corridor between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm then across the Interstate 95 corridor between 6:00pm and 8:00pm before finally reaching the Chesapeake Bay around 9:00 pm.
The primary threat from this round of severe weather will be damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes.
The NWS says that although all of the region has the possibility of experiencing tornadoes today, the most likely time will be from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in an area along the interstate 95 corridor from Fredericksburg, Virginia north to Baltimore, Maryland then east to the Chesapeake Bay. This area includes the major metropolitan areas of Washington DC and Baltimore, Maryland.
While NWS says that these are the best approximations for timing at this moment, residents across the region should be prepared for severe weather anytime this afternoon through midnight tonight and have a safety plan in place. NWS reminds residents that even though the weather may be calm at times during severe thunderstorm or tornado watches, conditions can deteriorate rapidly and become life threatening. Please monitor the weather and tune into NOAA Weather Radio along with your favorite radio, television or internet information sources.