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DC region under severe thunderstorm, flood watch for remainder of Saturday | WTOP


By sunrise Saturday, the temperature was already near 80, and the day looks to reach a high in the mid-90s before afternoon showers provide the first chance for relief.

By sunrise Saturday, temperatures were already near 80, and the day looks to reach a high in the mid-90s before afternoon showers provide the first chance for relief.

However, those showers come with thunderstorm and flood watches starting at 2 p.m. for most of the D.C. area.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Most of the D.C. area is under thunderstorm and flood watch until 11 p.m. Saturday.
  • Severe storms could roll through the northwestern part of the area starting around 3 p.m.
  • Severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Culpeper, Spotsylvania and Fauquier counties in Virginia until 3 p.m.
  • Parts of Baltimore City and County under severe thunderstorm warning until 3:30 p.m.
  • Western Loudoun County, Fauquier County and western Prince William County is under a thunderstorm warning until 3:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service said a flash flood watch runs from Northern Virginia all the way to the Maryland/Delaware border along Interstate 95 starting at 2 p.m. and ending at 11 p.m.

The weather service said some of the storms moving through the region had winds up to 60 mph and contained quarter-sized hail.

NBC Washington Meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts said early Saturday morning that the heat and humidity make for a “dangerous” combination.

As a result, the D.C. Heat Emergency Plan has been extended through Saturday, opening dozens of cooling centers across the city and a warning against strenuous outdoor activity whenever avoidable. A list of open cooling centers can be found online.

The chance of strong showers increases as the afternoon continues, with a severe thunderstorm watch until 11 p.m. Meteorologist Matt Ritter described Saturday’s humidity level as as “tropical.” The storms could bring high winds and hail. The storms should move toward the south overnight.

Storms may arise closer to D.C. around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. on Saturday. Some could be strong to severe with damaging winds, frequent lightning and downpours.

Before the clouds move in, the humidity will make for a heat index as high as 107.

NBC Washington Meteorologist Matt Ritter said while the storms are scattered, some areas could be hit multiple times, increasing the threat of flooding.

Saturday comes on the heels of a scorching Friday, with temperatures reaching 95, and a humidity level that made it feel closer to 100.

NBC Washington Meteorologist Chuck Bell said July 16 and 17 are statistically the hottest days of the year, with temperatures reaching at least 90 degrees 73% of the time. This year is no different.

He said Sunday will see temperatures drop by about 10 degrees into the mid-80s.

Early next week, the temperatures will be somewhat milder but Tuesday will still reach the low 90s, Ricketts said.



Forecast

Saturday: Very hot and humid with increasing clouds. Scattered showers and thunderstorms developing, especially in the late afternoon. Some storms could reach severe limits and also produce flash flooding. Highs in the low to mid 90s. Heat Index: 100-105

Saturday night: Any lingering showers and thunderstorms ending before morning. Turning a bit less humid north of DC. Otherwise warm and muggy. Lows in the mid 60s in the northwestern suburbs, low 70s elsewhere.

Sunday: Partly sunny. Seasonably very warm but not as oppressively humid. Chance of a few showers/t’storms toward central VA, far southern MD. Highs in the mid to upper 80s.

Monday: Mostly sunny. Very warm but pleasant. Highs in the upper 80s to near 90.

Tuesday: Hazy and hot. A bit more humid. Highs in the upper 80s to near 90.

Current weather

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report.

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