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Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued

Lightning flashes over the District (file photo)

Arlington County and the surrounding D.C. area is under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch through 10:00 tonight.

Forecasters say severe thunderstorms may form later this afternoon and early this evening. From Arlington County:

Those with outdoor plans this evening should monitor the skies and be prepared for threatening weather. Lightning is the number one severe weather killer in the US. If you are outdoors and a storm approaches, seek safe shelter indoors.

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH means conditions are favorable for severe storms in and close to the watch area. Severe thunderstorms can and occasionally do produce tornadoes with little or no advanced warning. Residents should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings.

From the National Weather Service:

DAMAGING THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. RESIDENTS IN NORTHERN AND CENTRAL VIRGINIA…NORTHERN AND CENTRAL MARYLAND…AND THE EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA PANHANDLE SHOULD MONITOR THIS SITUATION VERY CLOSELY AND ENSURE YOUR NOAA WEATHER RADIOS ARE SET TO ALERT MODE. SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGS MAY BECOME NECESSARY.

HERE ARE SOME SAFETY RULES TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN SEVERE WEATHER IS EXPECTED OR IS OCCURRING.

IF A WARNING IS ISSUED…SEEK SHELTER INDOORS IMMEDIATELY. A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM IS DEFINED AS PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE OR GREATER HAIL AND WIND GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR MORE.

TORNADOES OFTEN FORM VERY RAPIDLY FROM SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. IF YOU ARE IN A TORNADO WATCH…AND A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR AREA…MONITOR LOCAL CONDITIONS CLOSELY AND BE READY TO TAKE QUICK ACTION TO SAVE YOUR LIFE.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO…COMMERCIAL RADIO OR TELEVISION FOR THE LATEST ON THIS POTENTIAL SEVERE WEATHER EVENT. ADDITIONAL WEATHER INFORMATION…CAN BE FOUND AT WEATHER.GOV/WASHINGTON OR WEATHER.GOV/BALTIMORE.

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