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Tuesday Morning Notes

Behind the video — In this follow-up story, the man who recorded a video of a former Reston Association employee yelling racial slurs tells his side of the story. [WJLA]

Heat advisory continues today — The National Weather Service has issued an advisory from noon to 8 p.m. today. Residents are encouraged to limit outdoor activity, wear loose-fitting clothing and hydrate as much as possible. [National Weather Service]

It’s not too late — Slots in select Frying Pan Farm Park camps are still open. The park offers camps for children between the ages of 3 and 14. [Frying Pan Farm Park]

Nearby: funding for transportation — Fairfax County projects will get more than 40 percent of the more than $1 billion allocated for regional transportation projects. Several proposals for Reston projects didn’t make the cut. [Fairfax County Times]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Reston Under Flash Flood Watch This Afternoon

A flash flood watch is in effect from 2 p.m. through late tonight (May 31). Between two and four inches of rain are expected to fall in the area.

The National Weather Service issued the following alert earlier today:

* NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING HEAVY RAINFALL ARE EXPECTED TO APPROACH THE REGION THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUE PAST MIDNIGHT. LOCALIZED RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE EXPECTED.

* RAPID RISES OF CREEKS AND STREAMS WILL BE POSSIBLE DUE TO TORRENTIAL RAINFALL, POTENTIALLY SPILLING BEYOND THEIR BANKS. IN ADDITION, LOW POINTS ALONG ROADWAYS MAY BECOME IMPASSIBLE DUE TO ACCUMULATING RUNOFF. FLASH FLOODING MAY DEVELOP QUICKLY.

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.

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Updated: Flash Flood Warning Issued for Reston, Penny-size Hail Reported

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Fairfax County until 10 p.m. today. Residents should avoid flooded roads.

tornado warning for the area was canceled at 6:45 p.m. today. Penny-size was reported as a rain, hail, thunder, and strong winds swept into the area. 

Earlier:

A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Leesburg. 

Residents should take cover by moving to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building, according to the alert.

Here’s more from NWS:

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…
Lansdowne around 620 PM EDT.
Broadlands and Brambleton around 625 PM EDT.
Arcola around 630 PM EDT.
Ashburn and Countryside around 635 PM EDT.
Dulles International Airport around 640 PM EDT.
Reston, Herndon, Lowes Island, Oakton, Sterling, Chantilly and
Great Falls around 645 PM EDT.

Other locations impacted by this tornadic thunderstorm include
Congressional Manor, Belmont, Belleview, Sterling Park, Bradley
Farms, Cabin John and Fairfax Station.

Photos by @Cynthia_Adler, @wdudley2009 and @NWS_BaltWash

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Air Quality Alert Issued For Reston, Washington Metro Region

A National Weather Service code orange air quality alert has been issued for the Washington Metro region, including Reston.

The alert states that “air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups.” That includes children, asthma sufferers, the elderly, and those with heart and lung conditions.

Anyone outside of those groups are unlikely to experience any side effects.

For the sensitive groups, however, staying inside and avoiding exertion are the best ways to avoid air pollution effects, according to the alert.

A code orange is not an indication of the worst air quality. The color alert scale ranges from, in order of least to most harmful, green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and maroon.

The AQI, or air quality indicator, ranges from 0-500. Maroon would indicate the highest, most hazardous health concern, with an AQI of 301-500. The alert today (May 2), a code orange, indicates an AQI of 101-150.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Goff

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Wintry Mix Expected to Hit Reston This Afternoon

Freezing rain is expected to hit Reston and surrounding areas beginning this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS issued a winter weather advisory that will remain in effect from 3 to 9 p.m. today. Freezing rain or rain that will freeze upon contact with cold surfaces. Sidewalks, roads and bridges are expected to very slippery.

“Even if temperatures rise above freezing, the ground and other surfaces are still extremely cold due to  the recent Arctic blast. This increases the likelihood of a glaze of ice on surfaces,” according to the advisory.

All Reston Community Center programs have been cancelled. Fairfax County Public Schools closed today because of the possibility of freezing rain.

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Freeze Watch In Effect on Friday and Saturday

The National Weather Service issued a freeze watch today for Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. In Reston, the freeze watch is in effect from Friday evening through Saturday morning.

Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing after sunset Friday night and through Saturday morning at around 10 a.m.

Freezing temperatures may kill or damage sensitive vegetation like outdoor plants, according to NWS.

The Farmers Almanac provides the following tips to protect your plants from frost:

If a frost is predicted, cover your plants, both to retain as much soil heat and moisture as possible and to protect them against strong winds, which can hasten drying and cooling. You can use newspapers, baskets, tarps, straw, and other materials to cover your plants. Cover the whole plant before sunset to trap any remaining heat. Be sure to anchor lightweight coverings to prevent them from blowing away.

Keep the soil moist by watering your plants the day a frost is predicted.

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Outdoor Plants Beware: Frost Advisory To Be In Effect Wednesday Morning

As the calendar moves into the second half of October, weather forecasters are predicting a sure sign of the season.

A frost advisory will be in effect for the entire region from 1-9 a.m. Wednesday. According to the National Weather Service:

The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has issued a Frost Advisory, which is in effect from 1 AM to 9 AM EDT Wednesday.

* TEMPERATURES…Dropping into the mid 30s by dawn, especially away from larger bodies of water and urban areas.

* IMPACTS…A Frost Advisory means that widespread frost is expected. Sensitive outdoor plants may be killed if left uncovered.

The Farmers Almanac provides the following tips to protect your plants from frost:

If a frost is predicted, cover your plants, both to retain as much soil heat and moisture as possible and to protect them against strong winds, which can hasten drying and cooling. You can use newspapers, baskets, tarps, straw, and other materials to cover your plants. Cover the whole plant before sunset to trap any remaining heat. Be sure to anchor lightweight coverings to prevent them from blowing away.

Keep the soil moist by watering your plants the day a frost is predicted.

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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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Effects of Hurricane Irma Could Reach Our Area Early Next Week, Weather Service Says

As the southeast U.S. prepares for the onslaught of Hurricane Irma, the National Weather Service in DC/Baltimore says the Mid-Atlantic region should be paying attention as well.

While the storm will likely dwindle after weekend landfall, the NWS says it may still be able to pack a punch between Monday and Wednesday of next week if its track takes it up the Eastern Seaboard to our region. According to the NWS, if the storm tracks here, threats it will bring will include damaging winds, possible tornados and flooding brought on by rainfall. Tidal flooding is also a concern for coastal area.

“Families and businesses should ready their disaster plans and kits,” the NWS warns.

Residents are encouraged to monitor the National Weather Service in DC/Baltimore, as well as the National Hurricane Center, for updates on the track and power of the storm as it continues through the rest of this week and into the weekend.

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey passed through our area last Friday and Saturday, bringing heavy rain at times and forcing the cancelation of events including the Lake Anne Jazz & Blues Festival.

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Extreme Temperatures in Thursday Forecast Prompt Issuance of Heat Advisory

As the area remains embroiled in a heat wave, the National Weather Service has again issued a heat advisory that will be in effect Thursday from noon to 7 p.m.

According to the NWS alert:

The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has
issued a Heat Advisory, which is in effect from noon today to
7 PM EDT this evening.

* HEAT INDEX VALUES…Up to around 105 degrees.

* IMPACTS…The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during
outdoor exertion or extended exposure.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Heat Advisory means that a period of high temperatures is
expected. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity
will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When
possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or
evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when
possible and drink plenty of water.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks
in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by
heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke
is an emergency — call 911.

Heat advisories were issued last week as temperatures neared triple digits, as they are expected to do again in coming days.

Residents are encouraged to avoid any activity that keeps them in the extreme heat for lengthy periods of time. Anyone who must be outside in the heat should know the signs of heat-related illness.

Anyone who finds themselves in extreme distress because of a lack of air-conditioning or other means to keep themselves cool can seek the assistance of a county-designated cooling center. Local centers include the Reston Regional Library and Southgate Community Center.

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Heat Advisory Again In Effect; Slight Risk of Severe Storms As Well

(This article was updated at 1:45 p.m. after a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for the area.)

The National Weather Service has again issued a heat advisory for an area including Fairfax County, as the sizzling hot temperatures that we’ve felt all week just won’t go away.

From the NWS alert:

…HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM EDT THIS EVENING…

The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has
issued a Heat Advisory, which is in effect until 7 PM EDT this
evening.

* HEAT INDEX VALUES…Around 105 this afternoon.

* IMPACTS…Risk of heat-related illness for those without air-
conditioning or those outdoors for an extended period.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Heat Advisory means that a period of high temperatures is
expected. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity
will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When
possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or
evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when
possible and drink plenty of water.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks
in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by
heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke
is an emergency — call 911.

In addition, the NWS has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area that will be in effect until 9 p.m.

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Heat Index of Up To 105 Degrees Possible Thursday

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for the area that will be in effect from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday.

According to the NWS:

The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has
issued a Heat Advisory, which is in effect from noon to 8 PM EDT
Thursday.

* TEMPERATURES…Highs in the mid to upper 90s.

* HEAT INDEX VALUES…Around 105 degrees.

* IMPACTS…Risk of heat-related illness for those without air-
conditioning or those outdoors for an extended period.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Heat Advisory means that a period of high temperatures is
expected. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity
will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When
possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or
evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when
possible and drink plenty of water.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks
in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by
heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke
is an emergency — call 911.

Fairfax County urges residents who do not have air conditioning to find somewhere cool: head to the movies, visit shopping centers or go to one of the county’s designated cooling centers — including Reston Regional Library and the Southgate Community Center.

In addition, residents should know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

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Tips for Staying Cool, Healthy as Temperatures Near Triple Digits This Week

If you ever had that fantasy of cracking an egg on the sidewalk and watching it sizzle to perfection, this week may be your chance to make that a reality.

Today, the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for Fairfax County and other Northern Virginia areas. This outlook applies to the coming days as well. In the next few days, the mercury will be way up on the thermometer — even nearing the triple-digit zone.

While your instinct may be to throw some “floaties” in the pool and stock up on bottles of rosé for the fridge, you may want to keep an eye out for symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

According to the National Weather Service, symptoms of heat exhaustion include feeling faint or dizzy, sweating excessively, cool, pale or clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, a rapid, weak pulse, and muscle cramps. It is recommended that anyone experiencing those symptoms should go indoors to a cool place, drink water, and take cool showers or use cold compresses.

Signs of heat stroke include throbbing headaches; the absence of sweating; a body temperature above 103 degrees; red, hot, dry skin; nausea or vomiting; a rapid, strong pulse; and the potential to lose consciousness. Should a person encounter this scenario, they must call 911 immediately.

For those who do not have air conditioning in their house, Fairfax County recommends going to the movies, visiting shopping centers or going to one of the county’s designated cooling centers — including Reston Regional Library and the Southgate Community Center.

The county also recommends that citizens:

  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Take several breaks from the heat, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and sunscreen. Remember that you should reapply sunscreen every three to four hours.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check on friends or neighbors during extremely hot days and have someone do the same for you.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.

Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization in Reston, offers short-term emergency financial assistance to people who need help with their cooling bills.

So, keep cool and carry on.

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Reston: When Will the Rain Stop?

You’ve undoubtedly noticed, it’s a wet and rainy morning around Reston. Will the rain let up today?

According to the National Weather Service, there’s a chance, but not a big one.

Rain and the chance of thunderstorms is likely until at least 2 p.m. Friday, with the added likelihood of “gusty winds.” Temperatures will mostly remain in the 60s, with a possible high of 73 degrees.

Around mid-afternoon, there is a chance the rain will finally stop between 2 to 4 p.m. Then, the chance of showers tonight goes down to around a 30-percent likelihood. Temperatures tonight will hover in the 50s.

For the weekend, sporadic rain is highly likely. The chance of rain is 70 percent between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, with a mostly clear mid-day leading to a 30-percent chance of rain returning around 8 p.m. Temperatures will linger in the 50s with a high near 64.

Thankfully, it looks like Restonians may be able to enjoy a dry Sunday. There is only a 20-percent chance of showers around 8 a.m. However dry, though, it will likely be an overcast and windy day, with temperatures in the 50s and wind gusts of up to 24 miles per hour.

 

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Thursday Morning Notes

More Info Released on Herndon Tornado — After detailed analysis, the National Weather Service says a tornado that touched down in Herndon on April 6 was one of seven in the area during that storm. It is now estimated the tornado first came to ground near the Dulles Greene and Capstone apartment complexes in Herndon and lasted about five minutes. It downed numerous trees, including one that was thrown into the window of an apartment building. [National Weather Service]

Reston Islamic School Spotlighted by NPR — Al Fatih Academy (12300 Pinecrest Road) was the subject of a segment on today’s Morning Edition on NPR. The academy’s goal is “to cultivate and nurture a thriving American Muslim identity that balances religious, academic and cultural knowledge and imparts the importance of civic involvement and charitable work.” [NPR]

Local College Student Fighting Pollution — Reston’s Elizabeth Merin, a junior biosystems engineering major at Virginia Tech, is part of a group of students working to scrutinize emissions at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Blacksburg, as well as pollution in the New River Valley. The students have started a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, calling their group Citizens for Arsenal Accountability. [Roanoke Times]

Herndon Farmers Market Now Open, Rain and All — The opening day of the Herndon Farmers Market, which goes through 12:30 p.m. today, is on despite this morning’s rainy weather. It will take place each Thursday into November, in front of the caboose on Lynn Street. [Reston Now/Twitter]

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