Severe storms possible for DC area; Severe Thunderstorm Watch in effect until 11 pm

- It was a record warm weekend in the Washington, D.C. region. Reagan National surpassed the 90-degree mark for the first time this year, tying a record high of 91 degrees. The weekend capped what was a record setting month in the region. Both Washington, D.C. and Dulles saw their warmest April on record. Baltimore saw its second warmest April.

Sunday’s temperatures for many also soared into the 80s, with D.C. falling just a couple degrees shy of the 90-degree mark once again. While not as warm as the weekend, temperatures Monday afternoon are once again expected to reach the low-to-mid 80s around the region along with unusually high humidity for early May. Today is likely to be the warmest start to the month of May since 2012.

Seasons are about to change from this early summer preview back to more typical springtime weather, however. Later this evening, a strong cold front will cross the area from west to east. As the cooler, drier air cuts into the warm and humid air mass overhead it will likely trigger showers and thunderstorm, several of which could be severe.

The latest guidance shows a strong line of thunderstorms pushing through West Virginia and eastern Pennsylvania during the afternoon before pushing closer to the D.C. and Baltimore metro areas by the evening around or not long after sunset.

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 11 p.m. for the District of Columbia and many areas in Maryland and Virginia.

Models have been consistent with showing the greatest risk for widespread severe weather activity west of the Blue Ridge and north of the MD/PA boarder. These areas encompass the highest tornado risks as well. East of the Blue Ridge, models have shown storms more weakening as we lose they daytime heating of the afternoon. Still, enough moisture is present in the atmosphere and winds are strong enough aloft that a few storms could remain on the strong side. 

The biggest concern with any severe storms locally is strong winds over 60 mph. The best chance for storms arriving in the immediate D.C. metro region is between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. tonight.

Beyond today’s storms, a sunny and much quieter midweek awaits. Tuesday will feature occasionally gusty winds, and will be pleasantly warm with temperatures in the 70s and significantly lower humidity. Wednesday will be even cooler with temperatures in the 60s. The next chance of showers in the D.C. region comes Thursday afternoon, with potentially heavy rain and thunderstorms possible Thursday night into Friday.

The long-term forecast suggest that 80s this afternoon may make this the warmest day of the next two weeks, with temperatures next week expected to be more than 10 degrees below normal.

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