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Tornado Watch Issued For NoVA, DC; Flash Flooding Possible

Patch logo Patch 4/19/2019 Deb Belt
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WASHINGTON, DC — The Easter weekend weather forecast has gone from soggy to possibly dangerous for the District of Columbia and northern Virginia with a tornado watch in effect until midnight on Friday. A flash flood watch issued by the National Weather Service has expanded to more counties; it went into Friday afternoon and runs until 5 a.m. Saturday with thunderstorms capable of dumping 3 inches of rain in parts of the state.

"Showers and thunderstorms will increase in coverage across the area this afternoon, and again this evening," forecasters with the National Weather Service wrote. "Damaging winds, tornadoes, and flooding rain will be possible. Stay weather aware this afternoon and evening!"

Counties under the tornado watch include Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, Greene, Spotsylvania and Warren.

Cities in the tornado watch include: Alexandria, Arlington, Chantilly, Charles Town, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Dahlgren, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fallston, Falmouth, Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Leesburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, McLean, Prince Frederick, Reston, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania Courthouse, Staunton, Sterling, Warrenton, and Woodbridge.

a close up of a map: Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service © Provided by Planck, LLC, d/b/a Patch Media Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service

"Repetitive storms and multiple rounds of heavy rain may result in rainfall amounts which could exceed 3 inches locally. Flash flooding is possible, particularly in urban areas and in areas of steep terrain," the Weather Service warns.

These areas in Virginia are under the flash flood watch from noon Friday, April 18, to 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 20: Prince William, Manassas, Manassas Park, Fairfax, Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria, Stafford, Fauquier, Loudoun, Dale City, Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, Montclair, Reston, Herndon, Annandale, Centreville, Chantilly, McLean, Franconia, Arlington, Alexandria, Falmouth, Warrenton, Turnbull, Purcellville, Leesburg, Ashburn, Sterling. Washington, D.C., and much of Maryland are also under the watch.

"Thunderstorms with heavy rain may cause flooding. Severe weather is also a threat," the National Weather Service posted.

Here's the detailed forecast from the National Weather Service:

Friday Afternoon: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds and heavy rain. High near 77. South wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Friday Night: Showers and thunderstorms before 2am, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm between 2am and 5am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 5am. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds and heavy rain. Low around 61. Southeast wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Saturday: A chance of showers before 8am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 72. South wind 15 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Saturday Night: A chance of showers after 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. South wind 6 to 11 mph becoming light after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Sunday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 65. Southwest wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Sunday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 72.

Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.

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