34°Rain

As Nate Loses Steam, Damp Week Expected in Reston

Scattered rain showers are expected to swing through Reston this week as the former Hurricane Nate slogs through the region.

The storm was downgraded over the weekend from a hurricane to a tropical storm and later to a tropical depression, but it will still send a wave of rain across the East Coast. Nate sped through the Gulf Coast over the weekend as a Category 1 Storm, leaving more than 100,000 customers without electricity in the region. The hurricane was also the first to make landfall in Mississippi since Katrina in 2005.

In Reston, the National Weather Service expects a break from the rain on Tuesday, followed by back-to-back showers on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

On Tuesday, the chance of rain is 20 percent, with temperatures hovering in the low 60s in the evening. On Wednesday and Thursday, the chance of showers is 50 percent. Skies will remain cloudy through Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

The Weather Channel provides a 10-day snapshot of the forecast here.

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Lake Anne Jazz & Blues Festival Canceled Due to Rain Forecast

The Lake Anne Jazz & Blues Festival has gone off for 10 years without a hitch, but the 11th time isn’t so lucky.

Lake Anne Plaza has announced that the festival, which was scheduled for Saturday from 1-9 p.m., is being canceled due to rain in the forecast.

According to the Lake Anne Plaza Facebook page:

JAZZ FESTIVAL CANCELLED TOMORROW: Due to declining weather conditions we’ve made the very painful decision to cancel the Jazz & Blues Festival for 2017. This has been a tough decision to arrive at but in the end we think this is the best thing to do. We did look at the possibility of shifting the event to Sunday but the logistics of that are not surmountable both in terms of permit limitations, (ABC Licenses, County Permits, Fire Marshall, etc.) equipment rental and musician schedules.

This is only the 1st time in 11 years that we’ve actually canceled the festival so the Labor Day weekend has been good to us. I know we’re all disappointed. Thank you for your support- we’ll look forward to the planning of the 2018 festival.

The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang says there will be possible downpours Friday evening, followed by showers and isolated storms Saturday.

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Severe Thunderstorm Watch In Effect for Area Until 9 P.M.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the entire region that will be in effect until 9 p.m. Friday.

According to the alert, isolated hail up to the size of a ping-pong ball is possible, as are scattered wind gusts up to 70 mph. In addition, frequent lighting is possible.

The watch extends from Virginia all the way up the East Coast to Connecticut.

Locally, the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang says they “expect that there will be a few severe thunderstorm warnings,” and to “anticipate scattered power outages from downed limbs.”

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Flash Flooding Possible as Area Could See Several Inches of Rain Starting Friday

Heavy rains are being predicted for the entire region the next two days, and emergency agencies are warning that may mean flash flooding.

A flash-flood watch has been issued for the area, to be in effect Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, a stationary low pressure cell may bring torrential rains.

Low pressure is going to develop over the Mid-Atlantic Friday and remain nearly stationary this weekend. This will have the potential to bring 3 inches or more of rain to the region through Saturday afternoon. Thunderstorms could cause locally higher rainfall amounts.

Heavy rainfall may result in rapid rises in streams and creeks. This could quickly result in flooding… especially in low lying and poor drainage areas.

Precautionary/preparedness actions… a flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang says this storm’s structure is similar to that of a winter storm. They say some pockets within the storm may see upward of 7 inches of rain.

“Heavy storms may line up along a corridor and hit the same areas repeatedly — a worrisome phenomenon known as training,” the CWG says. “Areas that experience training will be most prone to flooding.”

Fairfax County offers some of the following tips of how to stay safe if flash flooding occurs or has the potential to occur:

  • Move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Always stay away from floodwaters.
  • If you must walk in water, walk where water is not moving; use a stick to check the ground.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • Keep your children inside and away from streams and creeks.
  • Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of electric shock or electrocution.
  • Keep your vehicle parked in your garage or on the driveway away from low-lying areas and large drains.

Residents are also reminded not to drive on flooded roads:

  • Stop and take an alternate route. The depth, current and condition of the road are all unknowns and can be deadly.
  • If your vehicle stalls on a flooded road and water is rising, get out of the car, call 9-1-1 and move to higher ground.
  • Be especially cautious during periods of limited visibility or nighttime when it is extremely difficult to see and judge conditions — state law requires headlights when wipers are on.

File photo

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Hot, Hot, Hot! — Last week was sweltering, and the rest of this week may actually be worse. Weather models predict the possibility of triple-digit temperatures and heat indices as high as 110 through this weekend. [Capital Weather Gang]

Pink Fire Trucks Paying a Visit — The Pink Heals organization will visit the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax) on Friday. Pink Heals partners with the public safety, medical professionals, local businesses and community leaders to bring more support for local citizens by keeping fundraising activities local. [Fairfax Fire and Rescue]

Laughs Take Over at Lake Anne — A recent comedy night at Lake Anne Plaza’s Café Montmarte was deemed a great success. Another is being planned for September. [Reston Connection]

FCPD Officer Put on Leave After Crash — Officer Pshko Siteki did not have his emergency equipment on and was going 68 mph in a 40 mph zone prior to the February crash in Falls Church, which left a private citizen with extensive injuries from which he is still recovering. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Portion of Potomac May Shut Down for Trump — Boaters who enjoy paddling their canoes and kayaks in the Potomac River are facing a new hazard on the water: the closure of a 1.6-mile stretch of the river whenever President Trump visits his golf course in Sterling. [Washingtonian]

Photo courtesy Fairfax Fire and Rescue

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Disruptive Storms Possible During Evening Commute

The National Weather Service says there is an increased risk of severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

Threats relating to the severe storm outlook include damaging winds, large hail and flooding.

According to the Capital Weather Gang:

“Between 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., thunderstorms are likely — some of which may produce torrential rain and damaging wind gusts. Rainfall across the region should average 0.5-1.0 inches, but amounts are likely to vary with locally higher and lower amounts to be expected. Flash flooding cannot be ruled out in the hardest hit locations.”

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Friday Morning Notes

Urban Planner: Reston ‘Not Like Its Plan’ — A Harvard University Graduate School of Design urban planning professor comparing the planned community of Columbia, Maryland, to Reston: “Columbia’s development stuck more closely to its original plan than did that of Reston,” which is “not like its plan in a lot of ways.” [Baltimore Sun]

Metro Continues To Be Understaffed  Commuting to work and hear the dreaded “train will be moving momentarily?” WMATA says it’s due to overwhelmed Rail Operations Control Center workers, and it needs to hire 33 more people in order to get things sorted out. [WTOP]

Temperatures Will Roast Us  Buckle up and stay cool. Weather forecasts starting Sunday predict scorching heat through Wednesday. Triple-digit heat indexes are predicted along with potential record-breaking temperatures. [Washington Post]

County Police Warning of Fake Gold — A Fairfax County man is out $9,000 after con artists targeted him in an elaborate scam. Mandarin-speaking scammers seem to be preying on the Chinese community by selling them fake gold. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Volunteers Sought for All-Night Grad Party — South Lakes High School’s graduating seniors will attend a post-graduation party from 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. — unless they don’t get enough volunteer chaperones. Anyone interested in helping out will need to participate in a training session next week. [South Lakes PTSA/Signup Genius]

Photo courtesy Reston Association

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Thursday Morning Notes

Fairfax County School Board Makes Referendum Requests — The Fairfax County School Board is requesting a school bond referendum for $315 million be placed on the ballot for the November general election. The money in the referendum would go toward a plan for a new elementary school in the Herndon area as well as construction, renovations and other work at numerous other schools. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Metro to Retire All 1000 and 4000 Series Railcars by July 1 — Months ahead of schedule, WMATA announced that they will retire their oldest and most unreliable metro railcars by July 1. This is to make room for the influx of newer, chicer 7000-series railcars. [WMATA]

McAuliffe Coming to Lake Anne — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is scheduled to be at Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) at about 4:45 p.m. Friday. The governor will be honoring the brew house for its three medals in the recent Virginia Craft Beer Cup. [Lake Anne Plaza/Facebook]

Meteor Was Visible Across DC Area — A fireball that briefly lit up the sky at about 10 p.m. Tuesday was seen across the region, including in Reston. [Capital Weather Gang]

Fairfax County Government Warns Against Gas Station Scammers — Fairfax County officials say there have been 21 cases at 15 gas stations where account information has been stolen via Bluetooth and money has been robbed. The scam is new and high-tech, and there are no warning signs. [Fairfax County Government]

File photo courtesy Ryan Goff

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Weather Forecast to Blame as Saturday’s Reston Expo is Called Off

Citing a wet and dreary forecast for Saturday, Reston Association has canceled this year’s Reston Expo event.

“We want members and exhibitors to have a great experience at this annual outdoor event and rainy, cold conditions just don’t make it enjoyable,” said Mike Leone, RA’s communications director.

The event, which had been scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of Reston Association’s headquarters, was slated to be an opportunity for area businesses — in the fields of “home, garden and more” — to share their products and services with residents. Food trucks, music and a kids’ tent were also planned for the free event.

Leone said the event went on through light showers last year, but torrential rains are another story. He said exhibitors were “completely supportive” of the decision to call off this year’s event.

“Apparently, there was another similar event in a nearby community last Saturday and many of the exhibitors/vendors participating in our Expo participated in that event,” he said. “The feedback we received was that last Saturday’s event was a ‘bust’ — extremely low attendance due to the rain.”

The most recent weather forecast for Saturday from Capital Weather Gang calls for steady rain, perhaps up to an inch, with brisk wind as the storm passes through.

Leone said RA “hope[s] to find a date to reschedule later this year.”

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Today To Be Warmest of Week — Temperatures should get up into the mid-80s today, with humidity rising a little bit as well. The rest of the week should be “pretty springlike.” [Capital Weather Gang]

Tech Networking Event Set for Il Fornaio — Engineers, tech professionals and executives are expected to gather Wednesday evening at Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) for a “Wine Wednesday” networking event. Registration is free. [Eventbrite]

Dispatchers Honored This Week — This is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and the county’s dispatchers are being recognized for their work at the “first of the first responders.” [Fairfax County]

Herndon TED Talks to Feature Powerful Speakers — The third annual TEDxHerndon event is slated for May 6. The lineup of presenters is filled with innovators, leaders and social changemakers including writers, nonprofit founders, CEOs and more. “Early bird” tickets, available through Monday, are $40. [TEDxHerndon]

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Tornado Warning Canceled for Area, But High Winds and Hail Remain Possible

UPDATE: This alert has been canceled by the National Weather Service as of 1:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for an area including Reston, to be in effect until 2 p.m.

According to the alert, radar has indicated rotation within an incoming storm:

IMPACT…For those in the direct path of a tornado touchdown,
flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
shelter. Damage to roofs, siding, and windows may occur.
Mobile homes may be damaged or destroyed. Tree damage is
likely.

* This dangerous storm will be near…
Linton Hall around 135 PM EDT.
South Riding around 145 PM EDT.
Centreville, Brambleton, Dulles International Airport, Chantilly
and Arcola around 150 PM EDT.
Broadlands around 155 PM EDT.
Reston, Herndon, Lansdowne, Lowes Island, Ashburn, Sterling, Great
Falls and Countryside around 200 PM EDT.

Other locations impacted by this tornadic thunderstorm include
Catharpin, Garrett Park, Derwood, Clarksburg, Woolsey, Washington
Grove, Belmont, Belleview, Bradley Farms and Kensington.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest
floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a
mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter
and protect yourself from flying debris.

A severe thunderstorm warning until 2 p.m. had previously been issued, as well as a severe thunderstorm watch until 5 p.m.

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Friday Morning Notes

Rain, Rain Go Away — Rain that is expected to inundate the area through Friday is forecast to vacate later tonight. Saturday looks to be dry but cloudy, with sun coming back Sunday. Temperatures in the 50s and 60s will make for a nice weekend. [Capital Weather Gang]

RA Election Ends Monday — There are only a few days left to get your ballot in for the Reston Association Board of Directors election. Voting can be done online through RA’s website. Winners will be announced at the annual members’ meeting April 11. [Reston Association]

Submit a Video to Fairfax County Board — In what it says is an attempt to increase the amount of public participation in hearings, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is encouraging residents to submit pre-recorded comments via YouTube. The video-submission program will first be used for the county’s public budget hearings April 5-6. [Fairfax County]

Local Student Presents at Alabama Conference — Christine Roesch, of Reston, was one of 500 University of Alabama undergraduate students who were selected to showcase their research and creative projects during the school’s annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference earlier this week. Her project was titled “The Layout of Grass and a Trip to Starbucks Can Influence Which Way You Walk to Class.” According to her Facebook page, Roesch is a psychology major with a criminal justice minor. [University of Alabama]

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Thursday Morning Notes

Morning Notes - Winter

Reminder: RA Board Meeting Tonight — The Reston Association Board of Directors meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The meeting will also be streamed live on RA’s YouTube channel. [Reston Now]

SLHS Students Attend Science Symposium — South Lakes High International Baccalaureate chemistry students recently attended the event at Georgetown University, sitting in on seminars and hearing talks from experts. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Warm Weather Once Again on the Horizon — We were spoiled by temperatures in the 70s in February and early March before winter came back for one more round. The thermometer is on the rise again, though, and it is expected to top that 70 mark again Saturday. [Capital Weather Gang]

Longtime Herndon Town Manager Honored for Work — Arthur Anselene retired from his position as Herndon town manager last month. His more than 40 years of service to the town was honored at the town council’s meeting last week. [Reston Connection]

Police Seek Ashburn Assault Suspect — Police in Loudoun County are looking for a man who is believed to have assaulted a woman in an Ashburn parking lot last week. [Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office]

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First Snowstorm of Winter Appears To Be On Its Way to Reston

Snow plows/VDOT

After a snowless winter, it looks like Reston will finally be hit.

Forecasters are predicting several inches of snow for the area, with an outside chance of a foot or more, beginning tonight and continuing into Tuesday.

The National Weather Service has placed an area including Reston under a winter storm warning that is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Monday and last through 2 p.m. Tuesday. According to the alert, their official predictions include the following:

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…Snow…possibly mixed with sleet at times
Monday night.

* ACCUMULATIONS…Snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches.

* TIMING…Snow will overspread the area Monday evening and
persist through Tuesday morning.

* IMPACTS…The heavy snow will create difficult travel
conditions and may produce scattered power outages.

* WINDS…Northeast 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

* TEMPERATURES…In the lower 30s.

In preparation for the storm, the Virginia Department of Transportation began pre-treating roads Sunday. The department is encouraging drivers to adjust their schedules to be off roads before the evening rush hour Monday and overnight.

“This will help avoid being stuck on the roads when the storm begins, and to allow crews room to work more safely and efficiently,” VDOT said in a release.

In addition, VDOT asks that vehicles be parked in driveways, or that communities coordinate to all park on the same side of the road, to allow a larger path when plows begin to focus on neighborhood streets.

Such a significant snowfall would also have an impact on public transportation.

Metro will suspend its MetroAccess paratransit services at 4 p.m. today, and they will remain out of service through Tuesday. In addition, Metrobus service changes are possible and will be announced based on weather conditions and forecast.

Fairfax Connector is reminding users that service may be reduced, modified or suspended, on a route-by-route basis or systemwide. Riders are encouraged to monitor schedules online or call customer service (703-339-7200) for updates.

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation on Twitter (@VaDOTNOVA)

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