Heavy rain leads to flooding in Culpeper area; flood risk remain through DC region

Heavy rain caused flooding in Culpeper, Virginia, Thursday night, while parts of the D.C. region could see some rain overnight into Friday morning before clearing up and paving the way for a pleasant weekend. Here’s what you need to know.

Most of the D.C. area is under a flash flood watch until midnight. A flash flood watch means conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.

In Maryland, a flood warning has been issued until 1:15 a.m. Friday for northeastern Carroll County. A flood warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring.

The flash flood warning in central Fauquier, Rappahannock and Culpeper counties in Virginia has been extended until 12:30 a.m. Friday.

The National Weather Service reports several trees and wires down in the Culpeper area, and there were more than a dozen calls for roads blocked by flooding.

Estimates indicate over 9 inches of rainfall in a short period of time came down in Culpeper County, Storm Team4 meteorologist Matt Ritter said.

The severe weather is due to a cold front coming into a “moist and unstable environment that will continue to spark numerous showers and thunderstorms,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Steve Prinzivalli said.

As the cold front continues to through Virginia Friday, it will lead to a few more showers and storms, with much cooler highs only in the lower 70s.

The high volume of rain combined with the slow-moving nature of the storms created some difficult conditions during the evening commute period. A water main break in D.C. added to some traffic headaches Thursday, and the deluge led to the Washington Nationals game being rained out.

Steady rainfall tapers off early Friday, with only a passing shower in the forecast by Friday night. Friday won’t be pleasant, but the passage of the cold front means there’s reason to be more optimistic about Saturday’s weather.

Some in the D.C. region have already felt an active weather pattern this week: St. Mary’s County in Maryland saw flooding and wind damage late Wednesday, after a strong storm over the Western Shore downed tree limbs and stranded at least one vehicle in rising water near Piney Point.


  • Friday: Cloudy, cool and rainy. Storm totals of between 2 and 3 inches, with locally higher amounts possible. Highs in the mid 60s to low 70s.
  • Saturday: Partly cloudy with a small chance of a passing shower. Highs in the upper 70s to low 80s.
  • Sunday: Clouds move in, with a few afternoon showers possible. Highs in the low to mid 80s.

Current conditions:

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino, Zeke Hartner and Thomas Robertson contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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