Big Changes Coming to DCA — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has revealed updated designs of the coming changes at Reagan National Airport. Among the changes are a new commuter terminal, replacing the outdoor commuter gate 35X, and a new structure to house security checkpoints, which will be positioned before travelers enter the airport’s main terminal B/C hallway. [WTOP, WTOP]
Ethiopian Restaurant Coming to Courthouse — Chercher Ethiopian restaurant is expanding from the District to a new location at 2000 14th Street N. in Courthouse. It will be the first Virginia outpost for the acclaimed Ethiopian restaurant. Its owner says he chose Courthouse because the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor lacks Ethiopian dining options. [Washington Business Journal]
Tornado Drill Today — Yesterday was the first day of spring and today, at 9:45 a.m., Virginia is holding its annual statewide tornado drill. The drill is “a yearly opportunity to prepare Virginians for tornado emergencies and to test public warning systems.” [Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management]
Va. Pols Speaking at Arlington Dems Dinner — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello and state Attorney General Mark Herring will be the headline speakers at the Arlington Democrats’ annual “Blue Victory Dinner,” formerly known as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, on April 8. The other Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, “had a conflict and will not be able to make it.” [InsideNova]
School 5K to Close Streets — Roads will be closed in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood Saturday morning for the second annual Discovery/Nottingham Friendship 5K. [Arlington County, Discovery Elementary School]
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards
APS Considering Elementary Options — Arlington Public Schools is considering a number of options for increasing elementary school capacity in South Arlington. Among the options are moving current Patrick Henry Elementary students to a new building while moving Drew Model School Montessori students to the current Patrick Henry building. APS is also considering the construction of a new elementary school in Pentagon City. [InsideNova, InsideNova]
Tornado Drill Today — At 9:45 a.m., Virginia will hold its annual springtime tornado drill. The Commonwealth experiences 15-20 tornados per year on average, usually between April and September. [Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management]
2016 ARLnow Reader Survey — ARLnow.com is conducting our first annual reader survey. We’ve designed a survey that should take only 10 minutes to fill out, but could help ARLnow better serve the Arlington community for years to come. We would greatly appreciate your time in filling it out. [SurveyMonkey]
Update at 7:35 p.m. — Arlington is now under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA… SOUTHERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… NORTHERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF FAIRFAX IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF FALLS CHURCH IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… SOUTHEASTERN LOUDOUN COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
* UNTIL 800 PM EDT
* AT 712 PM EDT… DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED OVER HERNDON… AND MOVING EAST AT 30 MPH.
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… ARLINGTON… ROCKVILLE… GAITHERSBURG… HERNDON… FAIRFAX… VIENNA… FALLS CHURCH… RESTON… SOUTH RIDING… PIMMIT HILLS… MANTUA… DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT… GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY… NATIONALS PARK… AMERICAN LEGION BRIDGE… OLNEY… BETHESDA… HOWARD UNIVERSITY… MCLEAN AND FORT TOTTEN.
A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE AREA. ALTHOUGH A TORNADO IS NOT IMMEDIATELY LIKELY… IF ONE IS SPOTTED… ACT QUICKLY AND MOVE TO A PLACE OF SAFETY IN A STURDY STRUCTURE… SUCH AS A BASEMENT OR SMALL INTERIOR ROOM.
Update at 5:40 p.m. — The evening’s first storm has passed and blue skies have returned. The storm knocked out power to more than 3,000 Dominion customers in the Falls Church area and caused some damage in Arlington.
Trees were reported down on 26th Street N., near Marymount University and on 25th Street near S. Dinwiddie Street. A large branch was reported down at N. Fillmore Street and Pershing Drive.
Earlier: The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Arlington County and much of the surrounding D.C. area.
The watch is in effect through 8:00 p.m. Forecasters say strong storms or even tornados are possible tonight.
A TORNADO WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREAS UNTIL 8 PM THIS EVENING. SEVERE THREATS ARE DAMAGING WIND GUSTS…LARGE HAIL…AND ISOLATED TORNADOES. THUNDERSTORMS MAY ALSO PRODUCE HEAVY RAIN AND LOCALIZED FLOODING TONIGHT.
Forecasters say severe storms are likely late this afternoon and this evening and that an isolated tornado is possible.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to reach the around the evening rush hour.
From the National Weather Service:
THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. A FEW OF THE THUNDERSTORMS MAY BECOME SEVERE WITH A THREAT OF DAMAGING WIND GUSTS…LARGE HAIL AND AN ISOLATED TORNADO.
Arlington Spends More on Low-Income Students — Arlington Public Schools spend about $21,000 per pupil on low-income students, compared to the $12,000 it spends on more affluent students, according to data from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. [Greater Greater Washington]
Tornado Struck Alexandria Last Week — A weak EF-0 tornado struck part of Alexandria this past Wednesday. A Tornado Warning was issued for Arlington as the tornado tracked north. [National Weather Service]
Teachers Endorse Kanninen — The Arlington Education Association’s political action committee has endorsed Barbara Kanninen for School Board. The teachers group said “Barbara understands that all types of students need personal support and that teachers are important partners in making this happen.” Kanninen is running against Audrey Clement.
Arlington’s ‘Ten Commandments’ — A parody video showing “Arlington County Government’s Ten Commandments” has been created by someone calling themselves “Jim Taxpayer.” The video includes commandments like “With These Riches, Which Have Become Thine, Build A New Covenant, A Glorious Car of Street, Thy Chariot of Vanity.” [YouTube]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Arlington this afternoon as a dangerous storm system rolled through the area.
The tornado warning has since been canceled, but a flood watch remains in effect through 8:00 p.m. (See below.)
Medics in Arlington responded to at least one report of a person struck by lightning during the storms.
Police reported significant flooding along Four Mile Run in the area of I-395. Flooding was also reported on S. Scott Street near the Wellington apartments, and on Route 50 near Glebe Road.
As of 1:15 p.m., 212 Dominion customers in Arlington County were said to be without power. According to a reader, the Harris Teeter at Lee Highway and N. Harrison Street was among those that had lost power.
…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING…
THE FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR
* PORTIONS OF MARYLAND…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND VIRGINIA…
* UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING
* A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL IMPACT THE REGION TODAY. A PLUME OF HEAVY RAINFALL IS MOVING SLOWLY ACROSS THE REGION FROM WEST TO EAST THROUGH THIS EVENING. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF ONE TO THREE INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.
* THE HEAVY RAINFALL MAY CAUSE FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS… ESPECIALLY IN URBAN AREAS AND LOCATIONS ESPECIALLY PRONE TO FRESHWATER FLOODING. NEVER CROSS ROADS THAT ARE FLOODED. TURN AROUND DON`T DROWN.
A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS.
YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP.
Arlington County and the D.C. region is under a tornado watch until 9:00 tonight.
Forecasters say that severe thunderstorms are likely between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. Tornadoes are possible as part of the expected severe weather outbreak.
From the National Weather Service:
… SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING ALONG WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR ISOLATED TORNADOES…
WITH TEMPERATURES REACHING THE MID-TO-UPPER 80S WITHIN AND SOUTH OF THE WASHINGTON DC METROPOLITAN AREA… THE REGION IS UNDER THE THREAT OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SOME OF THESE STORMS WILL LIKELY CONTAIN DAMAGING WIND… FREQUENT CLOUD- TO-GROUND LIGHTNING… AND LARGE HAIL. ADDITIONALLY… TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE IN A FEW OF THE STRONGEST THUNDERSTORMS. THE MOST LIKELY TIME FOR SEVERE WEATHER IS BETWEEN 400 PM AND 800 PM EDT.
THE AREA MOST VULNERABLE FOR SEVERE WEATHER IS NORTH OF INTERSTATE 64 ACROSS VIRGINIA’S NORTH-CENTRAL PIEDMONT AND WEST OF INTERSTATE 95 SOUTH OF THE CITY OF BALTIMORE MARYLAND TO FREDERICKSBURG VIRGINIA. THIS INCLUDES THE GREATER WASHINGTON DC AND BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREAS… HAGERSTOWN MARYLAND… THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL SHENANDOAH VALLEY… AND CHARLOTTESVILLE VIRGINIA.
RESIDENTS AND VISITORS TO THIS REGION… ALONG WITH MARINERS ON THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER… SHOULD HAVE AN INCREASED AWARENESS OF THE THREAT OF HAZARDOUS WEATHER THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
IF A SEVERE WEATHER WARNING IS ISSUED… SEEK SHELTER INDOORS IMMEDIATELY… PREFERABLY IN A BASEMENT OR THE LOWEST LEVEL OF A STURDY BUILDING. IF YOU ARE IN A BOAT… SEEK SAFE HARBOR IMMEDIATELY.
The drill will take place at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday. Participants are asked to “go low and stay low” by going to the lowest level of the building they are in, staying away from windows and doors, and crouching down and covering their heads, according to OEM.
Those with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios will get a test alert at 9:45, notifying them that the drill has begun.
The full press release from OEM, after the jump.
Photo courtesy NOAA via Wikipedia
Update at 12:40 p.m. — The tornado watch has been canceled.
Update at 12:30 p.m. — The cold front passed relatively quietly through Arlington, mostly producing light rain. Our tornado danger appears to be over.
The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for the Arlington County and the D.C. region through 5:00 p.m.
The watch signifies a slight chance of tornadoes from a cold front that will be moving through the area in the early afternoon. Thunderstorms and damaging winds are also possible with the front. From NWS:
THUNDERSTORMS CONTAINING DAMAGING WINDS AND ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA…THE INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR AND POINTS EAST. RESIDENTS 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.
Arlington County and much of the rest of the D.C. region is under a Tornado Watch through 5:00 p.m.
Forecasters say an incoming cold front could produce strong storms and possibly tornados. From the National Weather Service:
A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL MOVE INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES TODAY. SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS COULD PRODUCE A PERIOD HEAVY RAINFALL THIS AFTERNOON WITH LOCALIZED FLOODING MAINLY IN URBAN LOCATIONS. AN ISOLATED TORNADO AND LOCALLY DAMAGING WIND GUSTS ARE POSSIBLE WITH ANY THUNDERSTORMS THAT DEVELOP.
In light of strong storms that are expected to blow through the area this afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for the D.C. metro area, including Arlington. It is in effect until 10:00 p.m.
TORNADO WATCH 377 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM EDT FOR THE
. VIRGINIA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE
ARLINGTON FAIRFAX LOUDOUN
VIRGINIA INDEPENDENT CITIES INCLUDED ARE
Storms could bring strong winds and flooding tonight and tomorrow. More from NWS:
LOW PRESSURE AND ITS ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT WILL LIKELY TRIGGER
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SOME
THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WIND
GUSTS…LARGE HAIL AND HEAVY RAINFALL THAT COULD LEAD TO ISOLATED
FLASH FLOODING. AN ISOLATED TORNADO CANNOT BE RULED OUT IN THE
STRONGER STORMS…ESPECIALLY ACROSS NORTHEASTERN MARYLAND.
A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE MARYLAND PORTION OF
THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND LOWER TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER FROM 10 AM TODAY
.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY
NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP ONCE AGAIN ON FRIDAY. A FEW OF
THESE STORMS MAY BE SEVERE…PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS GUSTS.
LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING WILL BE POSSIBLE SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY
DUE TO REPEATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE REGION.
Update at 3:00 p.m. — A Flash Flood Warning has been issued for Arlington, D.C., Alexandria and Fairfax County. The National Weather Service says very heavy rain has produced the imminent risk of flash flooding around streams and low-lying areas.
A Tornado Watch has been issued for Arlington and the surrounding region.
The National Weather Service says weather conditions are conducive to the formation of tornadoes. The watch is in effect until 10:00 p.m.
From an earlier weather advisory:
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE OUTLOOK AREA UNTIL MIDNIGHT. EPISODES OF HEAVY RAINFALL WILL LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING IN SOME AREAS…PARTICULARLY THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
IN ADDITION…SOME THUNDERSTORMS MAY BECOME SEVERE DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. THE PRIMARY THREAT WILL BE DAMAGING WIND GUSTS…HOWEVER A FEW TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE.
Arlington County will participate in a statewide tornado drill tomorrow (Tuesday) as part of Tornado Preparedness Day.
The County is reminding residents that a tornado can strike in Arlington, and that it’s important to prepare for such an event ahead of time.
From an Arlington County media release:
March 12, 2013 is Tornado Preparedness Day in Arlington County. Unlike hurricane season, there is no such thing as a “tornado season,” and no part of the Commonwealth is immune from tornadoes. They can hit at any time of the year and at any time of the day.
Every family, business and organization should do two things to get ready:
- Get a NOAA Weather Radio with SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) alerts.
- Participate in the statewide tornado drill Tuesday, March 12, at 9:45 a.m.
Arlington schools, businesses and residents have an opportunity to practice their tornado safety plans. At the same time, the National Weather Service (NWS) will be testing their public warning systems.
“The best and fastest way for anyone to get a tornado warning is by NOAA Weather Radio,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “With a weather radio, you get weather data directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. When we issue a tornado warning, the weather radio sounds an alarm or flashes lights and then gives information on where the storm is, which way it’s moving, and telling people in its path to take cover. This radio could be a lifesaver.”
NOAA Weather Radios with SAME alerts are available at electronics and sporting goods stores, discount and department stores, and online. They come in battery-powered models, and many also have AM/FM bands. A special needs NOAA Weather Radio is available as well. The special-needs NOAA Weather Radio can warn deaf and hard-of-hearing persons of hazardous conditions, giving them around-the-clock, up-to-the-minute weather information.
The general rule for tornado safety is “go low and stay low”, which means go to the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and crouch in a low position with your head covered.
A tornado watch means current weather conditions may result in a tornado. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted. If a tornado warning has been issued for your area, you should take cover immediately.
The majority of tornadoes occur between 3 and 9 pm. Think of where you would normally be during that time…at school, work, home, or in the car. You may only have a few seconds to react. Decide NOW where you would go if a tornado warning were issued.
Tornadoes can occur with little or no advance warning. It is important to have a weather radio nearby so you can listen for tornado and other severe weather watches and warnings.
If the National Weather service issues a tornado warning for Arlington, your weather radio will sound an alert, indicating that you need to move to a safe area immediately.
Sign up for Arlington Alert to receive free emergency messages within seconds to pagers, cell phones and e-mail. This is a great way to receive emergency information and critical safety messages when you need them most. To sign up at no cost, go to www.arlingtonalert.com. Alerts are available in Spanish, also.
Pre-set your battery operated radio to 1700AM Arlington for up to date emergency information including weather emergencies. You may also access 1700AM Arlington by calling 1-415-655-0811. (Long distance charges apply.)
For more information about tornado preparedness, visit the Arlington Office of Emergency Management website.
For help in conducting a tornado drill and to register for the statewide drill, go to www.ReadyVirginia.gov. Although registration is not required, people participating in the statewide drill are encouraged to sign up to show their support. The annual drill is a joint effort of Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and NWS.
Arlington and the entire D.C. area is under a Tornado Watch through 7:00 tonight.
Forecasters say a line of strong storms will make its way through the area between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. The storms could produce damaging winds, heavy rains and isolated tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED ALONG AND AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT THROUGH THIS EVENING. HEAVY DOWNPOURS COULD LEAD TO LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING. IN ADDITION…SOME THUNDERSTORMS MAY BE SEVERE AND PRODUCE DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND ISOLATED TORNADOES. THE MOST LIKELY TIME FOR SEVERE WEATHER LOOKS TO BE FROM 1 PM TO 7 PM.
Update at 8:45 p.m. — The number of Dominion customers without power in Arlington is currently listed as 5,762.
Update at 4:55 p.m. — Dominion is now reporting 9,262 customers without power in Arlington, mostly in South Arlington.
Update at 4:50 p.m. — The Arlington 9-11 Memorial 5K race is still on, but may follow an alternate route due to flooding on Long Bridge Drive. The race start time may also be slightly delayed, organizers say.
Update at 4:35 p.m. — Traffic on southbound I-395 is backed up from the downed tree near King Street to the area of the Pentagon. Most of the potential for severe weather in the area has now passed, according to forecasters.
Update at 4:25 p.m. — Numerous trees and power lines are reported down in parts of south and north Arlington. A tree is currently blocking the southbound lanes of S. Eads Street in the area of 12th Street, in Pentagon City.
Update at 4:15 p.m. — At least 1,000 Dominion customers in Arlington are currently without power, mostly in South Arlington along S. Glebe Road and S. Walter Reed Drive.
Update at 4:10 p.m. — A tree is down across all but one lane of southbound I-395 near King Street.
Update at 4:00 p.m. — Arlington County is dispatching a technical rescue for a report of a person trapped under a stage at the Rosslyn Jazz Festival. Update: The individual is no longer trapped and being evaluated by medics.
Arlington County is under a Tornado Warning through 4:15 p.m.
From the National Weather Service:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A
* TORNADO WARNING FOR… CITY OF FALLS CHURCH IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… SOUTHERN ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… EASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
* UNTIL 415 PM EDT
* AT 343 PM EDT… A CONFIRMED TORNADO WAS REPORTED NEAR FAIRFAX… AND WAS MOVING EAST AT 50 MPH. THIS TORNADO HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY COUNTY OFFICIALS.
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… ALEXANDRIA… HUNTINGTON… CRYSTAL CITY… BALLSTON… THE WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE… REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT…
TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING AND AVOID WINDOWS. IF OUTDOORS OR IN A MOBILE HOME OR VEHICLE… MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.
MOTORISTS SHOULD NOT TAKE SHELTER UNDER HIGHWAY OVERPASSES. AS A LAST RESORT… EITHER PARK AND STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE… OR ABANDON YOUR VEHICLE AND LAY FLAT IN A LOW SPOT.
THIS TORNADO MAY BE WRAPPED IN RAIN AND HARD TO SEE. TAKE COVER NOW.