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Wake up! Heavy AM Storms bring DC to stand-still

While we found ourselves waking up to yet another sultry morning on the Carolina Coast, Washington DC was wide awake as flat-out nasty severe thunderstorms plowed through the District during the morning commute. As you can see from the picture below, this was the view on what was supposed to be a bright and sunny morning. (Thanks to my friend Dan in Arlington, VA for the photo!)

A large cluster of thunderstorms pushed south through Pennsylvania overnight and blew up after reaching the heat and humidity in the DC Metro area where temperatures were balmy, around 80 degrees. By 6:45 - they had reached the northwest suburbs and turned severe, before setting their sites inside the beltway.


This was the scene around 7:45am Thursday as seen by our StormTrack 3 radar. The hundreds of lightning strikes you see clogging up the image all occured in a five-minute period. Reports out of DC suggest that there were as many as 800 strikes found in this storm, with rainfall rates as high as 4 - 5 inches per hour!

Given that the storm timed its arrival in concert with thousands of commuters, you can imagine what havoc it caused on the already strained DC morning rush. Several metro stations were flooded, shut down, and some lines even entirely off-line. Roadways were closed after as much as 3-4 feet of water stood in the way. And not surprisingly, winds as high at 70 mph made for widespread power outages to over 100,000 people.

Needless to say, fighting the traffic and Mother Nature for hours to start your day makes the slight slow-downs on College or Oleander seem like a walk in the park!


Back in our neck of the woods, the story remains the heat! Heat Advisories are up yet again across the area today -- make sure to take it extra easy outside, especially between 12pm - 6pm.

We'll see if we can make a run at another record high today after tying one yesterday. Our record for today, is 97 - we're forecasting 95. We'll see. We should see a stormy afternoon and evening as a backdoor "cold front" slides into the region from the north.

Note the quotations around cold front as I simply cannot say that highs of 90 behind the front are much of a cool down. I guess it's all relative!

That's all for now. Stay cool.

- TB


By: Tim Buckley