Heavy rain soaks DC area with fading threat of severe storms

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Heavy rain and a risk for scattered thundershowers continues in the D.C. area but the threat of severe storms Thursday evening has largely faded.

After hours of watching for whether the storms would turn severe in the D.C. area, the possibility for damaging storms is wrapping up. Earlier severe thunderstorm watches for the region have largely been cancelled, with any remaining local watches set to expire at 9 p.m.

“The risk for severe weather is coming to an end, fairly quickly,” said WTOP meteorologist Mike Stinneford.

Earlier, Stinneford said some worried the D.C. area was in for a repeat of Wednesday, when an outbreak of tornadoes tore through Montgomery County, Maryland, toppling trees onto homes and downing power lines.

Earlier in the afternoon on Thursday, one storm in Frederick County, Maryland, sparked a brief tornado warning from the National Weather Service.

“But then the atmosphere stabilized a bit, kept a lid on any other severe weather popping up,” Stinneford said. “Even though we did have discrete thunderstorm cells moving through with some heavy rain, gusty winds, we never really saw any severe weather across the region.”

The storm quickly weakened and the weather service canceled the warning.

The forecast had previously called for potential severe weather as a cold front approached Thursday evening, destabilizing the atmosphere.

“Not everybody is going to see storms but any storms that do develop may produce damaging winds and an isolated tornado,” Stinneford said.

The showers and storms are expected to dissipate by late Thursday night. The good news? After the past few days of unsettled, tumultuous weather, Saturday’s forecast includes sunshine, pleasant temperatures and low humidity.

The evening showers and storms come after an intensifying thunderstorm along Interstate 270 hammered Gaithersburg in Montgomery County — which also bore the brunt of Wednesday’s storms — with gusty winds and heavy rain around 3:30 p.m.

Several strong supercell steamrolled their way through the D.C. region Wednesday evening, triggering a total of 22 tornado warnings by the National Weather Service — the fourth most on any day since 1986, according to 7News meteorologist Eileen Whelan.

The storms were concentrated in Montgomery County, where at least two tornadoes were believed to have touched down, downing trees and power lines, damaging several homes and injuring at least five people.


Scattered showers and storms
Late day clearing
Highs: 83-87
Winds: Southwest 5-10 mph
After a wild Wednesday evening of weather with multiple tornadoes reported and observed, calmer conditions are expected this morning before another round of potentially strong storms arrives later today. It will remain very humid with afternoon highs reaching the mid 80s, which will keep the atmosphere primed for strong storms. Today’s greatest risk is damaging winds in any storms that develop. Make sure you have a way to get alerts, so you can seek shelter if necessary. Conditions improve this evening with gradual clearing. 

Partly cloudy
Lows: 65-70
Winds: West 5-10 mph
Skies will gradually clear during the overnight as temperatures fall into the 60s. Humidity levels will slowly decrease. 

Mostly sunny
Highs: 80-85
Winds: Northwest 5-10 mph
We’ll round out the week with really nice weather! Plan for sunshine, low humidity and seasonably warm highs in the 80s. 

The second weekend of June is looking comfortable. Humidity levels will be low with afternoon highs in the upper 70s. 

Current weather

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Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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