The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area.
In effect from noon until 8 p.m. today (Tuesday), the alert says a combination of strong wind gusts and low humidity have raised the risk of outdoor fires.
“A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly,” the NWS said. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.”
The full alert is below:
…RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR VIRGINIA, SOUTHERN MARYLAND, AND EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA PANHANDLE…
* WINDS…West 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.
* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…As low as 15 percent.
* IMPACTS…Critical fire weather conditions are expected through this evening. All outdoor burning is discouraged, as fires could rapidly spread and become uncontrollable.
* FUEL MOISTURE…Dropping to around 7 or 8 percent.
It’s a higher-level warning than the “elevated threat” alert that the NWS issued last Wednesday (April 12) when there were similar weather conditions.
The Fairfax County Department of Emergency Management and Security advises that cigarettes and other smoking materials should be disposed properly in water, sand or an ash tray.
The Virginia Department of Transportation said there were “several reports of brush fires” last week. A brush fire near the Evergreen House apartments in Annandale on Thursday (April 13) affected about 2 acres of land, though the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported that there were no injuries.
Virginia’s spring fire season typically falls between Feb. 15 and April 30, according to the state’s forestry department.
The D.C. area is currently in the midst of its warmest year on record, the Capital Weather Gang reported, with the 46.9-degree average temperature at Dulles International Airport surpassing the previous record in 2012 by 1 degree.
[4/18 at 12:15 PM] 🚩A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 8 PM. A Red Flag Warning means warm temps, very low humidity, & strong winds are expected to produce an increased risk of fire danger. Dispose of smoking materials properly. Sink it or soak it in water/sand/receptacle. pic.twitter.com/Zkxgs3DAaA
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) April 18, 2023
A #RedFlagWarning has been issued from Noon-8 pm today. We had several reports of brush 🔥 last week during similar conditions, so please dispose of smoking materials properly. #VaWX pic.twitter.com/gnrsgew7Vh
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) April 18, 2023
Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area should be on alert for potential outdoor fire hazards today (Wednesday), the National Weather Service says.
A combination of wind gusts and dry weather has created an “elevated threat” of wildfires throughout the region until the early evening, according to a special weather statement issued just after 9 a.m.
From the alert, which will be in effect until 8 p.m.:
…ELEVATED THREAT FOR THE SPREAD OF WILDFIRES THROUGH THE EARLY EVENING…
West to northwest winds of 10 to 15 mph are expected with gusts around 20 to 25 mph through this afternoon and relative humidity values will fall to between 20 and 30 percent. Given recent dry weather, fuels are very dry. Therefore, an elevated fire danger will continue until about 8 PM before the winds gradually weaken and humidity rises.
Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged during this time. Please refer to your local burn permitting authority on whether you can burn. If you do burn, use extreme caution and ensure fire suppression is readily available.
Some areas of Northern Virginia further to the west are under a Red Flag Warning.
The fire risk comes as temperatures are expected to reach the low 80s, which is well above average for April, according to the weather service.
That warmer-than-average trend is projected to continue into tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday (April 14), the Capital Weather Gang forecasts, stating that the next couple of days could feel like early summer.
Clouds will be on the decrease this morning, with sunny skies expected during the afternoon hours. Temperatures will be well above normal for April. pic.twitter.com/mOQblDA2p1
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) April 12, 2023
The time to get any patio furniture and other loose, outdoor objects inside is now.
At 2:29 p.m. today (Friday), the National Weather Service issued a High Wind Warning for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, in anticipation of an encroaching storm.
Set to take effect from noon tomorrow (Saturday) until midnight, the alert warns of wind gusts that could reach up to 60 mph, raising the potential for power outages and travel difficulties.
…HIGH WIND WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON SATURDAY TO MIDNIGHT EDT SATURDAY NIGHT…
* WHAT…Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph Saturday afternoon, becoming northwest 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph Saturday evening.
* WHERE…Portions of central and northern Maryland, The District of Columbia, and northern Virginia.
* WHEN…From noon Saturday to midnight EDT Saturday night. The strongest winds are expected Saturday evening.
* IMPACTS…Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.
“People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches,” the NWS said. “If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive.”
The storm has been moving east after slamming California with heavy winds, rain and snow earlier this week. Nearly 90 million people across 21 states are under a hazardous weather alert, as the Midwest and some Southern states face the risk of tornadoes just a week after one killed at least 26 people in Mississippi and Alabama.
[3/31 at 2:55 PM] The @NWS_BaltWash has upgraded the High Wind Watch to a Warning tomorrow (April 1). Sustained 20-30 mph winds can be expected, w/ gusts up to 50 mph Saturday afternoon. By the evening, sustained winds are expected to be 25-35 mph w/ gusts up to 60 mph. #VaWx pic.twitter.com/QKAzOkXvXU
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) March 31, 2023
(Updated at 2:35 p.m.) Hundreds of people in Fairfax County have lost electricity today (Tuesday) as winds buffet the D.C. region, taking out power lines and contributing to at least one fire.
Georgetown Pike is currently closed in both directions at Miller Avenue in Great Falls due to a tree that fell on power lines and “a resulting fire,” the Virginia Department of Transportation said shortly after 1 p.m.
The closure extends between Stephanie Circle and Ellsworth Avenue, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
“Expect delays for several hours as emergency and utility crews clear the scene,” VDOT tweeted.
#GreatFalls: Georgetown Pike at Miller Rd closed in both directions for a fallen tree on power lines and a resulting fire. Expect delays for several hours as emergency and utility crews clear the scene. #VATraffic #NOVA #DMVTraffic pic.twitter.com/okCC4QQeQ5
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) March 14, 2023
TRAFFIC ALERT: Georgetown Pike is closed between Stephanie Circle and Ellsworth Avenue in Great Falls due to a tree on wires. The closure is expected to last several hours. Please use an alternate route. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/2n569vx8t1
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) March 14, 2023
That one outage has affected 277 Dominion Energy customers, according to the utility company’s outage map. Power isn’t expected to be restored there until 4-9 p.m.
Further south in the Vienna and Oakton area, Dominion crews are assessing the damage caused by the wind storm in the Lake Vale neighborhood. Power is now being restored to over 800 customers.
Vale Road has been closed between Hunter Mill Road and Stryker Avenue due to fallen power lines, according to Fairfax County police.
“The closure is expected to last several hours. Please use an alternate route,” the FCPD said.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Vale Rd is closed between Hunter Mill Rd and Stryker Ave in Vienna due to power lines in the roadway. The closure is expected to last several hours. Please use an alternate route. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/fbWvWKo1k7
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) March 14, 2023
While those are the largest outages reported so far, power losses and road closures due to fallen wires have been seen across the county today. As of 1:50 p.m., about 1,268 Dominion Energy customers in the county were without power.
The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory that took effect at 9 a.m. today and will remain in place until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).
Winds have been consistently exceeding 40 mph, with some gusts topping 50 mph, according to the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang.
The Wind Advisory has been updated and is now in effect from 9 AM this morning (3/14/23) to 2 AM Wednesday (3/15/23).
Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects. pic.twitter.com/CGgjWXbXsW
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) March 14, 2023
A #windadvisory is in effect until 2 a.m. 🍃
Here's a list of who to contact if you see a downed tree or wires: https://t.co/PGVTIaoj2z
If there’s an immediate life-safety issue, call or text 9-1-1. pic.twitter.com/yIRKqS0u8Y
— Fairfax County Government 🇺🇸 (@fairfaxcounty) March 14, 2023
Not a fun day outside, DC. Temps barely above 40 and winds pretty consistently gusting over 40 mph. Here are peak gusts so far– a few spots topping 50 mph. pic.twitter.com/yiTYLHwSBs
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) March 14, 2023
A major winter storm is headed for the D.C. area, just in time to disrupt holiday travel.
While the snow and ice created by a “bomb cyclone” is expected to stay further west, Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area are in for a downpour, according to the National Weather Service.
The NWS has already issued a Flood Watch for the region that’s set to be in effect from 11 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday) to 1 a.m. Friday (Dec. 23).
…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE THURSDAY
* WHAT…Flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible.
* WHERE…DC and portions of Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Cecil, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Prince Georges, Southeast Harford and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park.
* WHEN…From Thursday morning through late Thursday night.
* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– Moderate rainfall is expected Thursday into Thursday evening, with rainfall totals of one to two inches. This may lead to isolated instances of flooding, especially in urban and poor drainage areas.
The Virginia Department of Transportation advises those planning to travel for Christmas to leave today instead of tomorrow, particularly if they’re going to be in the western half of the state.
“Crews have already begun pretreating and brining the roads and will begin deploying trucks early Thursday morning to treat roads as needed,” VDOT said in an advisory.
The department also warned that temperatures are expected to plummet into Friday, meaning fallen rain might refreeze into ice. Forecasts indicate this weekend may be the coldest Christmas in decades.
#NOVA fam – take 70 seconds to get the #WinterWeather update you need before #WinterTravel! We've got precipitation and LOW temps headed our way soon 🥶 @VaDOT @NWS_BaltWash @VDEM pic.twitter.com/O9sUTMNyul
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) December 21, 2022
Updated at 8:05 p.m. — Fairfax County Public Schools will open two hours late tomorrow in response to the anticipated inclement weather.
Earlier: Fairfax County may get its first serious taste of winter weather for the season overnight.
A Winter Weather Advisory will be in place for the D.C. region from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday), according to a National Weather Service alert issued this morning.
The NWS initially forecast that the anticipated freezing rain and ice could begin at 10 p.m. today but later revised the time frame.
“Wintry precipitation begins overnight and continues into Thursday morning,” the NWS said. “Warmer air should push in later Thursday morning into Thursday afternoon changing the precipitation to rain.”
More from the alert:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY…
* WHAT…Freezing rain expected. Total ice accumulations of a glaze to around one tenth of an inch. Highest ice amounts will be in the northern and western suburbs of Washington and Baltimore.
* WHERE…The Washington and Baltimore Metropolitan areas including the city of Baltimore and the District of Columbia as well as northeastern and central Maryland.
* WHEN…From 1 AM to 1 PM EST Thursday.
* IMPACTS…Difficult travel conditions are possible. The hazardous conditions will likely impact the morning commute on Thursday.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department warns that the rain could affect tomorrow’s morning commute, and Fairfax Connector says it will be monitoring the potential storm, advising that riders watch out for slippery or icy sidewalks.
The Virginia Department of Transportation began mobilizing crews yesterday to prepare roads for the wintry precipitation, noting that it has made some procedural adjustments in the hopes of avoiding a repeat of January’s I-95 shutdown.
The risk of ice tomorrow is expected to be highest further to the west in Virginia, where an Ice Storm Warning has been issued.
Temperatures could drop below freezing overnight in Fairfax County, continuing a cold streak that took hold earlier today (Wednesday).
The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning that will take effect from 1 to 9 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday), stating that sub-freezing temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit can be expected.
“Frost and freeze conditions will kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing,” the NWS said.
Here’s more on what to do from the alert, which covers the D.C. area up past Hagerstown in Maryland:
Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold. To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing.
According to the NWS forecast, this week is expected to close out with temperatures rising to highs in the upper-60s during the day on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 22-23). Nights will see lows ranging from 37 degrees Thursday to 45 degrees on Saturday.
[1:32 PM] The National Weather Service has issues a freeze warning in effect from 1 AM to 9AM EDT Thursday (10/20). Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 30 degrees are expected. pic.twitter.com/ORqZ8hbIIC
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) October 19, 2022
Fairfax County might get a little frosty overnight, in case the yellowing leaves outside weren’t a clear enough signal of autumn’s arrival.
The National Weather Service has issued a Frost Advisory for the D.C. area, warning that temperatures are expected to dip into the 30s, starting at 2 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).
…FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM EDT WEDNESDAY…
* WHAT…Temperatures around 33 to 36 degrees will result in frost formation.
* WHERE…Portions of central, northeast, northern and southern Maryland, The District of Columbia and northern Virginia.
* WHEN…From 2 AM to 9 AM EDT Wednesday.
* IMPACTS…Frost could kill sensitive outdoor vegetation if left uncovered.
“Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold,” the NWS says.
As of 1:30 p.m., the NWS forecast for the county indicates that tomorrow will be mostly sunny, but frost may reemerge between 4 and 8 a.m. on Thursday (Oct. 20), when the low temperature will be 33 degrees Fahrenheit.
The chill comes from a cold front that has traveled southeast across the U.S. from as far away as northern Russia and the Arctic, the Capital Weather Gang reported Friday (Oct. 13).
Photo via sydney Rae/Unsplash
(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) An October weekend once filled with fall events is starting to clear out, as Fairfax County braces for Hurricane Ian.
The storm that devastated Florida after making landfall on Wednesday (Sept. 28) is expected to weaken as it heads north, but its rain and winds could still prove dangerous, the Fairfax County Department of Emergency Management and Security (DEMS) warns.
According to the department, remnants of Hurricane Ian are projected to arrive tonight (Friday), bringing scattered flooding and strong winds:
- Scattered localized flooding is possible from rain. Overall, we are not expecting significant flooding impacts from this event. The rainfall totals are expected to be between 1″-2″ with a high end of 3″ over the three day period of Friday through Sunday. A rumble of thunder may enter the area early Saturday morning, but no significant thunderstorm threat is expected.
- Winds will be sustained at 15-20 mph with gusts between 20-30 mph throughout the weekend.
- Tidal anomalies of 1-2 feet are possible, but no significant tidal flooding for Fairfax County is expected.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a State of Emergency earlier this week, giving the state authority to mobilize resources in preparation for the storm.
Remnants of #HurricaneIan expected to impact #FairfaxCounty Friday – Sunday (Sept. 30-Oct. 2) w/potential of up to 3 inches of rain. Localized flooding possible. #FCFRD & county agencies will continue to monitor Ian and provide updates as needed. More: https://t.co/KQQQsuY3Sf pic.twitter.com/1latw5DiA4
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) September 29, 2022
Several events planned across the county for tomorrow (Saturday) have already been canceled or rescheduled, with organizers citing the impending inclement weather. Others are still monitoring conditions before making a determination.
The McLean Project for the Arts pulled the plug on its annual MPAartfest on Wednesday, though the 2022 McLean 5K is still on for now.
“This is a rain or shine event, we have no plans to cancel,” McLean Community Center General Programs Director Mike Fisher said. “If we do cancel, that decision will be made in the moment as a result of on the ground conditions at the event site.”
Reston Community Center’s first-ever Silent Dance Party at Reston Station has been postponed to 5 p.m. on Oct. 9, while Reston Association announced yesterday (Thursday) that its popular Reston Community Yard Sale has moved to next Saturday, Oct. 8.
This morning, the Town of Vienna officially canceled tomorrow’s Oktoberfest, which drew more than 35,000 visitors last year. The Fall Native Plant Sale has been bumped to Oct. 8.
In lieu of the town’s official Oktoberfest, the Vienna Moose Lodge (9616 Courthouse Road) has teamed up with Caboose Brewing Company to host indoor festivities with draft beer and pretzels from noon to 9 p.m.
Both Fairfax County Park Authority events set for tomorrow have been altered. Bug Fest at Lewinsville Park in McLean has been postponed to Oct. 22, but Buktertoberfest at Burke Lake Golf Course has been canceled.
In Fairfax City, the Out of Darkness Walk to raise awareness about suicide and mental health impacts is currently still a go, but the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says it will provide an update by 5 p.m. if that changes.
Map via NOAA
A Tornado Warning is in effect for Fairfax County this evening, per the National Weather Service.
The warning is in effect until 5:15 p.m. today (Monday). A map detailing the area that may be impacted is below.
Tornado Warning including Cherry Hill VA, Triangle VA and Dumfries VA until 5:15 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/Gp0VfQQhyR
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) September 12, 2022