Arlington County and the rest of the D.C. region are now under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch.
The watch is in effect until 9 p.m.
Severe storms packing damaging wind gusts and large hail are possible this afternoon and evening, forecasters say. There’s also a threat of flash flooding and a brief tornado.
More from the National Weather Service:
It will be an active weather day as severe thunderstorms are expected to impact areas east of the Alleghenies. These storms are forecast to reach the I-95 corridor during the evening rush hour. Thunderstorm chances persist into the early overnight hours. #MDwx #DCwx #VAwx #WVwx pic.twitter.com/8x1I13n4fp
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) June 26, 2023
Severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon with localized damaging wind gusts and large hail being the primary threats. Please stay weather aware, and be ready to seek shelter if warnings are issued. pic.twitter.com/cw9lnHTCmC
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) June 26, 2023
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for portions of Maryland, the eastern West Virginia Panhandle, and northern Virginia until 9 PM EDT. Scattered damaging winds and isolated large hail are the main hazards this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/uybPvF10wZ
— NWS Storm Prediction Center (@NWSSPC) June 26, 2023
VDOT, meanwhile, says its crews are preparing for the worst.
Earlier today much of the state — including Richmond, Virginia Beach and most of Northern Virginia — were placed under an “enhanced” threat of severe weather by the NWS Storm Prediction Center. That designation is usually only issued once or twice per year for our area.
More, below, from VDOT.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is prepared to address the potential impacts of the forecasted severe weather expected this afternoon and into the evening.
At this time, forecasts indicate that heavy rain and wind gusts will arrive in the Commonwealth between 2 p.m. in western portions of Virginia to midnight in the eastern areas, with regions east of Interstate 81 experiencing the worst conditions. Severe weather threats along and east of the I-95 Corridor could include wind gusts up to 75 mph, large hail and possible isolated tornadoes. The safety of the traveling public and our crews is VDOT’s top priority. As forecasts and conditions could change, travelers should pay close attention to local weather reports and announcements from officials and limit their travels based on conditions.
The weather impacts may cause downed trees, power lines and other debris, as well as flooding that will make roadways extremely hazardous or impassable. Stay away from downed wires and do not approach or touch trees or limbs that are entangled with wires as they could be extremely dangerous. If those are in state maintained roadways, VDOT crews will await the power company to remove any electrical hazard before addressing downed trees or other roadway debris.
“Whenever severe weather is expected, we partner with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia State Police to coordinate efforts,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich, P.E. “Teams throughout the Commonwealth are prepared to address impacts from this storm. We ask for the public’s assistance to remain safe and stay aware of changing weather and road conditions in their area and along their travel routes.”
Travelers should use extreme caution on roadways:
- Obey all “road closed” signage.
- “Turn around, don’t drown” – Do not attempt to travel through flooded roadways. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the primary causes of flood-related deaths occur to individuals driving into or walking in or near flood waters.
- 6 inches of flood water is enough to knock an adult off of their feet
- 12 inches can move most cars
- 18-24 inches can carry away most large SUVs, vans and trucks
- Be alert to debris, downed trees and power lines
- Move over for emergency crews operating in or near roadways.
- Be alert to High Wind Advisories, especially on bridges or taller structures. High-profile vehicles such as tractor trailers, SUVs or box trucks are especially vulnerable and should not cross a bridge when a High Wind Advisory is posted.
Prior to travel, the public should check road conditions by calling 511, visiting www.511Virginia.org or checking the 511 Virginia mobile app.
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