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JUST IN: Tornado Watch issued for Alexandria and much of the region

The National Weather Service has updated its earlier hazardous conditions with a new Tornado Watch.

The watch is in effect for many localities across Northern Virginia and as far down as the Richmond area. The watch and hazardous conditions come one week after another storm hit Alexandria and took out power to much of the city.

The Tornado Watch is in effect until 9 p.m.

Forecasters say the threats include “damaging and locally destructive hurricane-force winds, along with the potential for large hail and tornadoes, even strong tornadoes.”

Winds in excess of 74 miles per hour are possible.

…SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK EXPECTED OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION BETWEEN 2 PM AND 10 PM TODAY, INCLUDING THE GREATER BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREAS…

An outbreak of severe storms is expected this afternoon and evening across the greater Baltimore/Washington region, with numerous severe thunderstorms expected. There is a significant threat for damaging and locally destructive hurricane-force winds, along with the potential for large hail and tornadoes, even strong tornadoes.

The timing of this outbreak varies with your location. West of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can expect the storms to arrive between 12 Noon and 3 PM. East of the Blue Ridge Mountains, timing will be from 4 PM to 8 PM. The greater Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan Areas can expect the storms to arrive between 5 PM and 7 PM.

Now is the time to review your severe weather safety procedures for the possibility of dangerous weather today. Do not be outdoors when the storms arrive. When you hear thunder, go indoors to a sturdy building or structure. While seeking shelter indoors, go to the lowest floor to an interior room. Stay away from windows. Those in mobile homes or weaker structures should plan ahead of time to shelter in a stronger shelter. Be prepared for extended power outages, and the potential for some roads to be blocked by fallen trees.

For the after-event cleanup, do not go outside until 30 minutes after you hear the last thunder, otherwise you will be still susceptible to lightning strikes. Be aware of downed power lines and unstable branches and trees.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, weather.gov, or other media for watches and warnings. If a Severe Thunderstorm Warning or Tornado Warning is issued for your area, move to a place of safety, ideally in an interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.

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