Wednesday storms bring slight chance of hail, tornadoes

UPDATE: Wednesday – 6/11/2014, 3:17pm ET

WASHINGTON – The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for most of the WTOP listening area until 9 p.m. Wednesday:


Maryland: Allegany; Carroll; Charles; Frederick; Garrett; Howard; Montgomery; Prince Georges; Washington

Virginia: Arlington; City of Alexandria; City of Falls Church; City of Manassas Park; City of Winchester; Clarke; Fairfax; Fauquier; Frederick; Loudoun; Prince William; Shenandoah; Warren


EARLIER: Wednesday – 6/11/2014, 2:04pm ET

WASHINGTON – Here we go again. Even though the official first day of summer is not until June 21, the recent weather forecast would tell a different tale.

Temperatures once again Wednesday will climb into the 80s with high humidity levels and we have the chance for some afternoon storms.

However, today will be slightly different. Not only are we expecting storms, we are expecting widespread storms across much of the WTOP listening area and we are expecting strong to severe storms that could pack quite a punch.

Today’s atmosphere set-up is quite juicy and will give us all a good chance to see storms develop. There is a stationary warm front just to the north of the listening area putting us in the muggy and warm sector, allowing moisture to stream up from the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time there is also a piece of energy moving in from the Mid-West.

And while not everybody may have experienced rain yesterday, there is a portion of our listening area that received torrential downpours Tuesday morning that led to flash flooding. Check out some of the rain totals from yesterday morning:


Some of these totals reflect rain that fell within just a matter of two hours, which led to several water rescues from the flash flooding. Yesterday’s storms moved extremely slowly. But one of the only pieces of good news for today is that any storms that do form should move along quicker to the north, northeast.

It is not going to take much rain to create flash flooding issues for today. Here is a look at the most recent Flash Flood guidance for the region:


The above graphic shows how much rain needs to fall in one hour to create the potential for flash flooding conditions. While D.C. needs only 1.2 inches of rain to fall, counties in Southern Maryland need more than 2.25 inches of rain to fall.

The Weather Prediction Center believes that the best chances to see flash flooding are the locations within this green area:


Unfortunately, the flash flood threat covers much of our listening area.

With all the moisture in the air, expect heavy downpours with any storm cells that move across the region. While above picture shows the best chance for flash flooding, all locations have a good chance for severe weather. At anytime this could include damaging winds of more than 58 mph, hail up to 1 inch in diameter and a chance of isolated tornadoes.


While we could see severe weather this afternoon, there is a 5 percent chance of tornadoes across the region, a 15 percent chance of damaging winds and a 15 percent chance of hail larger than 1 inch in diameter.

The best chance to see storms in our region will be from about 3 p.m. to around 8 p.m. Wednesday night.

The storms will move from the west, southwest to the north, northeast. With the loss of daytime heating, the threat of storms should wane. But I predict we’ll see a few lingering storms and showers into the overnight hours.

And while I do think there will be more storms to finish out the work week, I believe the best shot for widespread severe weather will be this afternoon and this evening.

As we head into the weekend, we will see lower humidity levels, some sunshine and temperatures in the 80s. With the exception of just a slight chance of showers and storms on Sunday evening (mainly to the west), we could be in store for what would be the fifth, nice and quiet weekend in a row! Hopefully we can keep up that trend the rest of the summer.

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