Flash Flood Watch issued as heavy rain arrives in DC region

- Flash flood warnings have already been issued for parts of the DC region, and the rain has only just begun. Heavy rains are expected to continue falling through Saturday across the area.

Storms began firing as early as 9 am across western portions of the Beltway, with heavy downpours quickly following. By 10:30 am, flash flood warnings were already posted for Fairfax and Montgomery counties, where as much as 3” of rain had fallen in only a little over an hour. By 11 am, the first reports of water rescues occurring began coming into the weather center. This is only the beginning of what is expected to be a very wet night around the D.C. region.


While scattered, morning storms were bad enough to prompt the National Weather Service to start their Flash Flood Watch at 11 am this morning, when it was originally not supposed to begin until 2 pm this afternoon. Various weather models have noted the threat for widespread 1-3” of rainfall across the region over the next 24 hours, with localized storm amounts over 6” possible.

Recent model trends continue to indicate the heaviest and most widespread rainfall around the region will occur between 8 pm Friday and 4 am Saturday. Given the extreme amount of moisture thunderstorms have available to them, flash flooding remains the primary concern heading into the overnight hours.

A few isolated storms may also contain some gusty winds, and we cannot totally rule out a brief tornado or two given today’s wind field. Stay alert to rapidly changing weather conditions in your region.

Please remember to NEVER drive across flooded roadways. Your car is not as heavy as you think it is in the face of only a few inches of fast moving water. Several water rescues were already reported from flash flooding this morning, please do not make yourself a story on the evening news tonight. It is not worth the risk not to turn around and find a safer way.

Beyond the overnight hours Friday, the news does get a little better as we head into the weekend. Saturday is still not the best of days, but recent modeling as shown less heavy rain in favor of lighter rain by the sunrise hours of Saturday morning. Showers become more scattered during the afternoon hours, before tapering off during the late evening. The coolest temperatures since early June are expected under the gray skies and increasing winds as the storm begins to pull away from the region.

A secondary area of low pressure that was going to threaten the region on Sunday now looks like it will stay far enough offshore that it will not affect the DC region. This means that Sunday once again looks like the best day of the weekend, with lots of afternoon sunshine, low humidity, and temperatures in the lower 80s. 

Stay with FOX 5 DC for updates.

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