Countywide

Park facilities close as potentially severe thunderstorms approach Fairfax County

The National Weather Service’s radar shows a line of storms approaching the D.C. area from the west (via NWS)

Updated at 5:35 p.m. — The storm has been deemed “destructive” for Clifton, Burke and Annandale, with the National Weather Service warning of “considerable damage to trees and power lines” and that “your life is at significant risk if outdoors.”

Earlier: A storm bringing intense winds and potentially even hail or a tornado is bearing down on the D.C. area.

In anticipation of the weather, the Fairfax County Park Authority closed several outdoor facilities at 4 p.m., including the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, the Martin Luther King Jr. Pool in Gum Springs and Our Special Harbor Spray Park in Groveton.

All golf courses and driving ranges, marinas and park amusements, like carousels, have also been shut down. Outdoor classes and activities have either been canceled or moved indoors.

With the line of storms moving eastward, the northwestern part of the county is expected to get hit first. The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 5:15 p.m. for that area, including Reston, Herndon and possibly Tysons.

The alert warns of 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-sized hail.

“Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall,” the NWS said. “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.”

The storm is expected to arrive during the afternoon rush-hour around 5-7 p.m., prompting local federal government offices and other many workplaces to send employees home early.

Metro is “deploying additional resources to respond to weather-related issues” that may affect its service, activating its Emergency Operations Center.

“Severe delays, disruptions, and detours in Metro bus, rail, and paratransit service are possible due to extremely high winds, road conditions and other hazards,” Metro said in a news release.