WASHINGTON — The calendar says February and meteorological winter, but Mother Nature could send some strong thunderstorms to the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas late Wednesday.
Cloud cover, drizzle and showers through Wednesday which will help to limit overall severe potential. But this storm system has a lot of wind energy with it, so we still believe that a few storms could become strong or severe.
The main severe weather threat is damaging winds. Many of these gusts will be below severe criteria, but will still rattle trees and howl through the crevices of the windows on your house. Gusts could be 40 to 50 mph. Isolated severe storms could have gusts around 60 mph, if they materialize.
The critical timing for these heavy, gusty showers and storms is from now to midnight.
Wednesday 9 p.m. to Thursday 12 a.m. - The line of showers and embedded thunderstorms moves through the western suburbs along I-81, I-70, and west of D.C. along I-66 through 10 p.m. Towards the second half of this time frame, the storms move into the heart of the D.C. metro, mainly between 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., with gusty winds and a few bursts of heavy rain. An isolated strong or severe storm is possible.
Thursday 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. - The last of the showers will taper off in the overnight. Dry weather returns afterwards but winds pick up around sunrise Thursday.