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Fri Apr 19, 2019, 12:55 PM

Tornado watch until midnight: Storms through Fri. evening could be severe with damaging winds, rain

Capital Weather Gang
Tornado watch until midnight: Storms through Friday evening could be severe with damaging winds and flooding rain (Updates)
A few tornadoes are possible in the region.

By Jason Samenow and Jeff Halverson
April 19 at 1:27 PM

* Tornado watch until midnight | Flash flood watch noon Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday *

Key points

• Two main rounds of showers and storms are likely, the first mid-to-late afternoon, the second this evening.

• Some storms could contain damaging winds and flooding rain. A few tornadoes are also possible in the region. Both a tornado and flash flood watch are in effect.

• It will not rain continuously and some areas will get hit harder than others. Conditions should rapidly improve by midnight or so.


1:25 p.m. - Strong to severe storms moving into far southwest part of Washington region
A large area of rain with embedded thunderstorms is approaching the Washington region from the southwest. A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for parts of Fauquier, Stafford, Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties until 1:45 p.m.


To summarize, during Round 1 of storms later this afternoon, any strong to severe storms will be isolated to scattered. They will be heavy rainers though, with the greatest severe threat being isolated damaging wind gusts. However, given the amount of wind shear in the atmosphere — which can cause storm updrafts to rotate — a weak tornado cannot be ruled out.

Round 2 may be the more intense of the two, and impact more people in the Washington-Baltimore region. Like last Sunday night, we can expect one or multiple, parallel bands of intense showers and thunderstorms … including short bowing segments. These segments can create small corridors of damaging, straight-line wind. Small areas of rotation may also develop along these wavy lines, triggering a weak tornado or two.

In this second round, lightning activity may not play out everywhere . . . so the normal visual and audible cues that warn of impending storms could be absent. Accordingly, everyone should have ready access to a device that can provide automated weather alerts and warnings, or be tuned in to radio or TV.

Jason Samenow is The Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association. Follow https://twitter.com/capitalweather

Jeffrey Halverson, a contributor to The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang, teaches meteorology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

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Reply Tornado watch until midnight: Storms through Fri. evening could be severe with damaging winds, rain (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2019 OP
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