Morning Notes

Pathway totlot playground (via vantagehill/Flickr)

D.C. Area Under Code Orange Alert — A Code Orange Air Quality Alert has been issued for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, as smoke from wildfires in the West carries over to the East Coast. The alert means that “air pollution concentration is unhealthy for sensitive groups, especially those w/medical conditions like asthma. Limit strenuous outdoor activity.” [Ready Fairfax/Twitter]

Former Fairfax County Police Indicted — Police Chief Kevin Davis and Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced yesterday (Tuesday) that former Fairfax County police officer John Grimes was indicted by a grand jury indicted on Monday (July 19) for unwanted sexual contact with a 16-year-old. The incidents took place between Nov. 12 and Dec. 16, 2019 when Grimes was conducting ride-alongs with the victim. [Patch]

County Announces Millions in Affordable Housing Funds — “The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) has announced the availability of local, state, and federal funds to support the development and preservation of affordable housing in Fairfax County. More than $18.7 million is currently appropriated and is now available for multifamily affordable housing development projects; an additional $15 million in federal funding has been preliminarily identified for this purpose; and additional state funding will be announced in the very near future.” [Fairfax County Housing and Community Development]

Reston Software Company Acquired — “Avantus Federal, a McLean-based IT defense contractor and NewSpring Holdings company, has acquired Reston-based software company Occam’s Razor Technologies LLC, it announced Thursday…ORT, founded in 2011, is a software engineering and consulting firm that works with defense and intelligence clients.” [Virginia Business]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Wayne Schiffelbein Art Studio and Gallery (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Medically Fragile Task Force Vaccinates Homebound Residents — “For the past six months, a dedicated group of Fairfax County Health Department staff and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighter/paramedics have been working to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to those who need to be vaccinated but cannot leave their homes. Through this the successful partnership, nearly 600 homebound residents of the Fairfax Health District have been vaccinated!” [FCHD]

Energy Use Surges Amid Heat Wave — “This week’s heatwave and high temperatures mean a higher demand for power, with Dominion Energy reporting more than double the demand it typically sees during moderate weather. For Dominion Energy’s service area in Virginia and parts of North Carolina, Porter said demand averages 8,000 megawatts a day during moderate weather. But so far this week, it has more than doubled, exceeding 19,500 megawatts a day.” [ABC7-WJLA]

Herndon Residents Surprised by Tree Removal — Town of Herndon residents raised “a furor” when an old oak tree was removed on Tuesday (July 13) during construction on Elden and Center Street improvements. Town Manager Bill Ashton said the tree’s removal was approved as part of the project design back in 2015 because it contributed to visibility issues at the intersection. [Patch]

County Prosecutor Launches Data Program — Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced yesterday (Wednesday) that his office will partner with criminal justice reform and data analysis experts to develop a “state-of-the-art data program to track and mitigate racial disparities in Fairfax County’s justice system.” The office will also join a national “Motion for Justice” program to reduce racial disparities in local legal systems. [Fairfax County CA/Twitter]

Reston IT Company to Sponsor Cybersecurity Competition — “Leidos, a Fortune 500 information technology, engineering and science solutions and services leader, has joined as a top sponsor of the inaugural US Cyber Games…Through its sponsorship, Leidos is helping to equip, train and send the first-ever US Cyber Team to compete in December at the inaugural International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) in Athens, Greece.” [PR Newswire]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Updated at 3:45 p.m. — A Flash Flood Warning has been issued for Fairfax County until 6:30 p.m.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. — The Severe Thunderstorm Warning has now been extended to 3:30 p.m. for Fairfax County, including Reston.

Earlier: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area, joining a Flash Flood Watch that will take effect at 2 p.m. today (Thursday).

The thunderstorm watch took effect at 12:40 p.m. and will remain in place until 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has also been issued for the northeastern part of the county, including Reston and Herndon. That will be in effect until 1:45 p.m.

The Severe Thunderstorm Warning from the NWS says:

* At 103 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located over Ashburn, or near Broadlands, moving east at 25 mph.

HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

* Locations impacted include…
Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Reston, Olney, Herndon, Broadlands, Lansdowne, Lowes Island, Brambleton, American Legion Bridge, Aspen Hill, Potomac, North Bethesda, Ashburn, Sterling, North Potomac, Redland, Wolf Trap and Great Falls.

“For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building,” the NWS advises.

https://twitter.com/ReadyFairfax/status/1410646981861597186

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The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County.

The alert will take effect at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday) and last through 8 a.m. on Friday (June 2). Thunderstorms could bring up to four inches of rain in some locations.

Here is more from the alert:

* From Thursday afternoon through Friday morning.

* Several rounds of thunderstorms are expected Thursday afternoon through early Friday morning with localized rainfall rates of up to 1-2 inches per hour possible. Total rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches, with locally higher amounts up to 4 inches are possible.

* Heavy rain in short periods of time will cause the potential for streams and creeks to quickly rise out of their banks as well as the potential for flash flooding in urban areas.

“You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued,” the NWS says.

According to the NWS forecast for Reston, the storms are expected to bring the area’s temperatures from the 90s back to the 60-70 degree range for the weekend, setting the stage for a mostly clear, sunny Independence Day.

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Morning Notes

Heat Turns Up in D.C. Area — Daytime temperatures are expected to stay in the mid-90s for much of this week, with a possible heat index of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit through Thursday (July 1), according the the National Weather Service. Fairfax County says to stay hydrated, remain in shaded or air-conditioned locations as much as possible, and check on neighbors who may be vulnerable to the heat. [Fairfax County Government]

Unattended Candle Ignites Herndon House Fire — A small house fire in the 13000 block of Farthingale Drive in Herndon was started on Friday (June 25) by an unattended lit candle in the bedroom. The blaze was extinguished quickly, but it still displaced three people and resulted in about $20,000 in damages. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Few Restrictions Anticipated for FCPS Fall Return — “Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Scott Brabrand said he’s ready to get students back in schools, and said he thinks it will be pretty normal as far as precautions go… ‘Our planning assumptions include no social distancing in our classrooms,’ Brabrand said.” [WTOP]

Juneteenth Celebrated at Frying Pan Farm — “The Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park sponsored its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration on June 19 at Frying Pan Spring Meeting House on Centreville Road. While generally not open to the public, the integrity of the historic 230-year-old Meeting House and its adjoining springs, baptismal pond, grounds, and cemetery proved an appropriate location for the celebration.” [Reston Connection]

via vantagehill/Flickr

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Rain at Lake Anne Plaza (Photo via vantagehill/Flickr)

The Flash Flood Watch that took effect at noon today (Thursday) has now been upgraded to a Flash Flood Warning for Fairfax County.

The National Weather Service says an additional one to two inches of rain could fall in the affected areas, including Reston and Herndon, until 8:15 p.m.

Here is the full alert, which was issued at 5:05 p.m.:

* Flash Flood Warning for…
Central Fairfax County in northern Virginia…
Southeastern Loudoun County in northern Virginia…
The Western City of Alexandria in northern Virginia…
The City of Fairfax in northern Virginia…
The City of Falls Church in northern Virginia…

* Until 815 PM EDT.

* At 505 PM EDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the warned area. Between 1 and 3 inches of rain have fallen. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly.

HAZARD…Life threatening flash flooding. Thunderstorms producing flash flooding.

SOURCE…Doppler radar.

IMPACT…Life threatening flash flooding of creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses.

The NWS advises against traveling, noting that the majority of flood deaths occur in vehicles.

“A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring,” the NWS said. “If you are in the warned area move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property.”

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Fairfax County and other areas in Northern Virginia have been put under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning on top of a Severe Thunderstorm Watch that will be in effect until 10 p.m.

Here is the full alert from the National Weather Service, which is scheduled to last until 4:45 p.m.:

At 405 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located near Warrenton, moving northeast at 30 mph.

HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

* Locations impacted include…
Centreville, Reston, Annandale, South Riding, Herndon, Fairfax, Mantua, Dulles International Airport, Burke, Linton Hall, Oakton, Sterling, Chantilly, Merrifield, Bull Run, Haymarket, Arcola, Manassas, Sudley and Manassas Park.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

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The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, as still-strong winds bring an unseasonable chill to the region.

Issued around noon, the warning will take effect at 2 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) and last until 9 a.m. According to the forecast for Reston, tonight will bring west wind speeds of seven to 13 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 22 miles per hour.

Here is the full alert from the NWS:

…FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM EDT FRIDAY…

* WHAT…Sub-freezing temperatures around 30 degrees.

* WHERE…Portions of northern Maryland and northern and central Virginia near and west of Interstate 95, and portions of the eastern West Virginia panhandle.

* WHEN…From 2 AM to 9 AM EDT Friday.

* IMPACTS…Frost and freeze conditions will kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

For precautionary measures, the NWS advises taking steps to protect plants and outdoor pipes from the cold.

“To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly,” the NWS said. “Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing.”

Image via NWS

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If you’ve stepped or looked outside this afternoon, it will likely come as no surprise that a wind advisory has been issued for Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area.

Sent out at 2:47 p.m., the National Weather Service says that the advisory will be in effect until 8 p.m., with wind gusts potentially reaching up to 50 miles per hour.

Here are the details from the full alert:

…WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 50 mph expected.

* WHERE…Portions of The District of Columbia, central and southern Maryland and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…Until 8 PM EDT this evening.

* IMPACTS…Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

“Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle,” the NWS said. “Secure outdoor objects.”

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A ghostly rainbow formed entirely out of fog descended over Lake Fairfax on Monday as a dense fog advisory blanketed most of the region.

The fogbow was spotted by a Twitter user who was surprised by its strange appearanceThe Capital Weather Gang chimed in to offer some clues on its cloudy appearance.

Rainbows form when lights enters a water droplet. Each beam of sunlight travels at a different speed, slowing down at different rates when hitting a raindrop. Light is refracted and cast into an arc of color.

Fogbows, however, form from extremely small droplets, resulting in less refraction.

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Updated 6 p.m. — A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is now in effect until 6:30 p.m.

Earlier: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for Reston and Herndon until 8 p.m. today (Friday). The watch covers 13 counties.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect from 5 p.m. today to 4 a.m. on Saturday.

The National Weather Service says that scattered showers and thunderstorms will hit the area this evening, potentially causing heavy rain in some areas.

Storms remain in the forecast as Tropical Storm Laura makes its way to the region. The storm is expected to affect Virginia on Saturday, according to forecasters.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A wintry mix complicated the morning commute as the workweek begins.

The National Weather Service warns that a period of snow and sleet is possible after 4 a.m. on Monday.

Here’s more from the alert:

There is a potential for hazardous commuting conditions for the Monday morning commute, primarily for the western suburbs of Baltimore and Washington. A period of snow and sleet is possible Monday morning, mainly after 4 AM. Up to an inch of snow is possible through Monday morning.

If this threat does materialize during the Monday morning rush-hour, many roads could quickly turn slippery. This could lead to hazardous traveling conditions, multiple accidents, and extensive delays.

If commuting Monday morning, be aware of the POSSIBILITY of significant travel disruptions. Plan ahead by allowing for extra travel time, and consider using public transportation and telework options.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Herndon Police Department Offers Safe Trade Zone — If residents are planning to buy or sell online or need a safe place to meet for the exchange of payment and goods, the police department offers a place to do so at 387 Herndon Parkway. [Herndon Police Department]

Design Review Board Training — Reston Association’s Design Review Board met yesterday (Tuesday) at the organization’s headquarters to receive training on responsibilities, objectives of design covenants, and design guidelines. [Reston Association]

Be Wary of Black Ice This Morning — State transportation officials remind residents to drive safely due to possible slushy areas and black ice after last night’s rain. [Virginia Department of Transportation]

Photo via Flickr/vantagehill

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Reston is under a severe thunderstorm warning until 6:15 p.m. today.

The watch, which was issued by the National Weather Service, covers most of the DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Reston is under a several thunderstorm warning until 11:15 p.m. today (Monday).

The National Weather Service issued the alert, which says to expect wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour and quarter size hail.

Here’s more from the alert:

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as

damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

* Locations impacted include… Reston, Herndon, Fairfax, Vienna, Lowes Island, Mantua, Potomac, Oakton, Sterling, Chantilly, Tysons Corner, Wolf Trap, Great Falls, Merrifield, Countryside, Dunn Loring, Darnestown, Belleview,

Bradley Farms and Sterling Park.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

Photo via NWS/Twitter

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