Posted at 9:45 a.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch in effect from 2 p.m. this afternoon through Friday evening for the potential for flooding from heavy rain. Localized areas of flooding of small streams and urban areas are possible today and tonight.
A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.
From 2 p.m. this afternoon through Friday evening, periods of rain will continue across the region. This rain will be heavy at times, with overall additional rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches. While flash flooding cannot be ruled out, the primary concern is flooding of small streams and low-lying areas. Streams are already elevated and soils saturated from earlier rainfall, increasing the flood threat.
Turn Around Don’t Drown
Flooding is one of the leading causes of weather related fatalities in the U.S. On average, flooding claims nearly 90 lives each year. More than half of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving.
- Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult.
- 12 inches of water can float a small car. If that water is moving, it can carry that car away.
- 18 to 24 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs.
It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters.
Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don’t Drown.
Posted at 8:30 a.m.
According to the National Weather Service, a combination of gusty winds, low relative humidity and low fuel moisture will enhance the threat for the spread of wildfires late this morning through this afternoon.
Residents are urged to exercise caution handling any potential ignition source, including machinery, cigarettes and matches. Be sure to properly discard all smoking materials. Any dry grasses and tree litter that ignite will have the potential to spread quickly.
Posted at 7:45 p.m.
High winds continue across our region, with gusts commonly between 40 and 60 mph over land, and 40 to 60 knots over water. A High Wind Warning remains in effect for most of our area until 6 a.m. Saturday.
National Weather Service Update
The National Weather Service says this “is a prolonged, high-impact windstorm” for the region. The duration of the winds will add to the hazardous nature of this event. While gusts will slowly diminish in intensity this weekend, they will remain around 40 mph Saturday. This will hamper the repair of power lines and tree removal.
Travel is dangerous on the roads, especially for high profile vehicles. Be aware of rapidly changing road conditions due to the potential of downed trees and power lines.
Pedestrians will also face very hazardous conditions, and need to be aware of wind-borne projectiles. People should avoid being outside. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your homes during the windstorm and avoid windows.
Posted at 4:25 p.m.
The National Weather Service (NWS) isn’t taking the high winds expected lightly — and doesn’t want you too, either.
According to a new update from NWS, the winds will be “dangerously strong and long-lasting.” The NWS forecast calls for winds starting at, or soon after, midnight in “one of the most powerful windstorms in recent years.”
Take action now to be prepared. See our article this afternoon for more tips on what actions to take now.
Posted at 3 p.m.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is increasingly confident of a prolonged period of strong to damaging winds late Thursday night through Friday evening affecting Fairfax County, most of Northern Virginia and the National Capital area.
Damage to trees and power lines, power outages and even minor structural damage are possible, along with hazardous driving conditions for high profile vehicles.
NWS reports that this wind event has the potential to produce the strongest wind storms in at least 3 years.
Please stay tuned to this emergency information blog and the county’s social media channels for further updates, and begin considering wind-sensitive preparations, such as securing lightweight outside objects and checking flashlights, batteries and other items you may need in case of a power outage.
Also, if you’re not yet signed up to receive severe weather alerts (by text and email) from Fairfax Alerts, do that today. You can sign up for free at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts.