Severe thunderstorms packing damaging winds and hail pound DC area

Strong winds and hail, as large as a golf ball in some areas, hammered parts of the D.C. region late Thursday afternoon and early evening, as severe thunderstorms developed from the west.

The strongest weather moved east of D.C. and cleared out before 9 p.m. Thursday. Showers lingered later into the evening.

The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the entire D.C. area until 10 p.m., but the watch was lifted around 8 p.m., except in two Southern Maryland counties.

Current weather advisories

  • Severe thunderstorm watch for Calvert and St. Mary’s counties until 10 p.m.

The first severe thunderstorm warning in the region was issued for Spotsylvania County, Virginia, just after 4:30 p.m. The weather service warned the storm could bring 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-size hail.

Southern Maryland saw its first severe thunderstorm warning less than an hour later, as the storm system moved to the east. From around 5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., it was producing large hail, according to Stinneford.

“It looks like there’s golf ball-size hail falling around the Charlotte Hall area toward the Benedict area,” he said. “Get your car in the garage as quickly as possible.”

Trained spotters and emergency management workers reported to the National Weather Service that the storm brought some trees down. According to a weather service storm report, multiple trees were knocked down in the 3000 block of Partlow Road in Spotsylvania County and along Trinity Church Road in La Plata, Maryland.

Weather service storm reports also said winds gusted up to 61 mph in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, and up to 58 mph in Spotsylvania. The largest hail was spotted in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, and was measured at 1.75 inches — larger than a golf ball.

A severe thunderstorm also passed over the D.C. metro area. It was not packing hail, but the weather service warned of winds up to 60 mph.

Once the cold front clears, temperatures will drop overnight into the upper 40s and mid 50s, 7News First Alert Meteorologist Steve Rudin said, ticking back up only to the 60s on Friday after the early burst of summerlike temperatures.

Saturday will be cool with clouds and highs in the upper 50s.

It’s expected to be partly cloudy on Easter Sunday with a cold start, but a milder afternoon, with highs reaching up to 65.


THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Warm with afternoon showers and storms. Winds: Southwest 10-15 mph. Highs in the upper 70s to mid-80s.

THURSDAY EVENING: Mostly cloudy and cooler. Winds: North 5-15 mph with gusts of 25 mph. Lows in the upper 40s and low 50s.

FRIDAY: Cloudy and possible isolated showers. Winds: Northwest 5-15 mph. Highs in the low to mid-60s.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Winds: Northwest 5-10 mph. Highs in the low to mid-50s.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy with a cold start, but a milder afternoon. Winds: Northeast 5-10 mph. Highs in the low 60s.

Current conditions:



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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined 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, part of Government Executive Media Group.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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