At 9:11 p.m. this evening, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for areas within the vicinity of Washington D.C. and Baltimore. A developing tornado was indicated by Baltimore/Washington doppler radar 9 miles southwest of Spotsylvania, Virginia or in the vicinity of Gatewood, moving northeast at 35 mph. A tornado warning has been issued for North Central Virginia (Spotsylvania County) and Eastern Virginia (Fredericksburg), effective until 9:45 p.m.
The tornado is expected to affect the following communities: Gatewood, Penneys Crossroad, Post Oak, Snell, Thornburg, Spotsylvania, and Standards Mill. Again, the National Weather Service has detected a developing tornado - this is not a tornado watch, this is a tornado warning, which means a tornado sighting has been confirmed or is imminent.
According to the NWS, if you are in the path of a tornado, the safest place in a home or business is an interior room on the lowest floor possible. Avoid windows.
In related news, a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for North Central Virginia and Eastern Virginia. This warning went into effect at 8:44 p.m., shortly before the tornado warning. According to the NWS, severe thunderstorms produce damaging wind in excess of 55 mph, destructive hail, deadly lightning, and very heavy rain.
A flash flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service at 7:59 p.m. for Northern and North Central Virginia. The NWS reports that heavy rain this evening will cause flash flooding - small streams and creeks will quickly rise with flooding in some locations. The NWS warns not to drive your vehicle into areas where water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely. Vehicles caught in rising water should be abandoned quickly - move to higher ground.
Today’s unusual weather has made life challenging for area ski resorts. Some resorts, such as West Virginia’s Snowshoe, were forced to close lifts due to high winds, while other resorts, such as south Pennsylvania’s Whitetail, closed for the evening due to heavy rain. Before making a trip, check with area resorts to make sure they are operating under normal conditions.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
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