JUST IN: Tornado Watch issued for D.C. area with storms, hail possible today

Storm clouds approaching over Vienna on July 28, 2023 (photo by Jerry Woolsey)

Some more stormy weather could wash over the D.C. area later today.

A Tornado Watch has been issued for the region, including Fairfax County, by the National Weather Service, which has also designated most of the area as at “Moderate Risk” of severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

This is the first time in a decade that the agency has placed the D.C. area under that level of risk for hazardous weather, according to the Capital Weather Gang.

“Widespread damaging wind gusts are likely, with potential for locally destructive winds,” the NWS said. “Tornadoes and large hail are also possible. Have a way to receive warnings!”

The Tornado Watch will be in effect until 9 p.m.

The storms are expected to move eastward, reaching Fairfax County during the afternoon rush-hour, according to the county’s emergency information blog.

Wind gusts of up to 80 mph are possible in central and western Virginia, with most eastern areas facing possible gusts closer to 60-70 mph, the Virginia Department of Transportation said in a news release. The department also warned of localized flooding, large hail and “brief spin-up tornadoes.”

“The safety of the traveling public and our crews is VDOT’s top priority,” VDOT said. “As forecasts and conditions could change, travelers should pay close attention to local weather reports and announcements from officials and limit their travels based on conditions.”

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