(WJLA) - It’s suddenly cold and wet, with sleet coming down in parts of the DMV area. D.C. resident Rud Nast even found an unpleasant surprise after coming home from work:
"I just came outside to go to dinner, and found my car with a tree on top of it."
His car's roof is smashed and the windows are shattered:
"I'm going to put this tarp on top to try to keep the water out...make sure if there's anything valuable, get it out," he said.
Nast's car was one of three in the line of fire on 29th Street near Woodley Avenue on Monday, as a large tree came crashing down in the late afternoon. After hours of wind, rain, and a saturated ground, neighbors here told us this was an accident waiting to happen.
"All these trees on 29th Street going down to Calvert are all on the side of a steep hill -- and they're all in danger of falling over," said area resident David Arens.
"We're very careful about parking our car on the street because the trees are very old and the slope seems very unstable," added Victoria Mizzi.
The weather was toppling trees all around – another one flattened a car on 31st Street in Northwest, shutting down traffic in both directions. And in Kensington, a massive tree sheared off a chimney and brought down utility lines as it crashed into a home. Fortunately, the homeowner says his wife escaped without injury.
"Sounded like a bomb...very loud crack, scared the cat, scared her and all the neighbors I've talked to," said homeowner Michael Lathan.
And it wasn’t just the trees – there was a lot of water coming down – and fast. It caused flooding all along Rock Creek Parkway near Beach Drive, right at the height of the evening commute home.
GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) - A storm barreled through Mississippi Gulf Coast communities, damaging or destroying about a dozen RV trailers at one campground, downing trees and power lines and cutting electricity in some areas.
The storm blew through the Santa Maria RV Park in Gautier at around 8 p.m. Monday, knocking some trailers off their blocks and overturning or destroying others.
The roads leading up to the RV park were littered with debris, and none of the street lights were working. Despite the widespread destruction in the park, only two people were injured, neither seriously, television station WLOX reported.
Park resident Harrold Robbins said he and his girlfriend Debbie Dales were getting ready for bed and he was at the front end of the camper they share when the wind hit.
"The front end flipped," he said after returning from a hospital where he was treated for bumps and bruises and Dales got stitches to her head. "It launched me back into the back end. Then it flipped over on the other side and came back up in the air and landed on our car."
Jessica Cook said she looked out her window after getting the alert that the storm was approaching and said to herself, "Well, that looks a little bad." She said that when the debris hitting the trailer got bad, she grabbed her son and they huddled together with his father.
"We were just holding each other and telling each other we loved each other because it was that bad," she said.
Cook said her home was knocked off its blocks, but her next-door-neighbor's was completely destroyed and he was pinned under it. She said the fire department managed to free him and he was taken to a hospital.
The National Weather Service doesn't think it was a tornado, meteorologist Robert Ricks told the Sun Herald.
"It was straight-line winds of about 50 mph and none of the RVs were tied down," Ricks told the paper. "In talking with emergency management personnel, there were no power lines down. It appears to be because of the straight-line winds in an RV park configuration without tie-downs."
Jay Huffstatler, a Red Cross official, told WLOX that all of the displaced RV park residents apparently had somewhere else to spend the night.
Keith Davis, the police chief in nearby Moss Point, said there were downed power lines and trees there. He said one power line caught fire but it was quickly extinguished.
A severe thunderstorm warning had been in effect in advance of a strong cold front moving into the region.
It's a full moon tonight as well as a lunar eclipse. Unfortunately for us in D.C. and our neighbors up and down the east coast, it will be too cloudy to get a glimpse of the eclipse.
It will still be a sight for our clear weather friends in the rest of North America. Check out this map where the eclipse will most visible.
Lunar eclipses only occur when there's a full moon. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is directly opposite the sun and passes into Earth's dark shadow. The eclipse will begin by 12:53am EDT and will continue through 4:34am with the "totality" phase occurring around 3:06am.
At the time of the eclipse, the moon will take on a reddish hue. This is because of Earth's atmosphere. The suns' rays will pass through our atmosphere scattering the light, which is the same phenomenon that gives us colorful sunrises and sunsets. Space.com has an even more in-depth explanation of lunar eclipses, if you want to read more.
Even though we in D.C. won't be able to catch sight of the lunar eclipse from home, NASA will live stream the eclipse beginning at 10 p.m. tonight. You can also check the planet Mars' approach, which is the closest the planet's been to Earth since 2008.
This lunar celestial phenomenon will be the first in a series of four eclipses, also called a "lunar tetrad." The next will occur on October 8th 2014, the next April 4, 2015, and the final September 28, 2015.
As the temperatures soared to summertime heights today, people across the D.C. area drank in sunshine and long overdue heat.
Any open space, no matter how far from water, looked a bit like a beach today.
ABC7's Stephen Tschida got out and visited with people enjoying the weather.
The cherry blossom festival culminates Sunday. And what perfect weather to compliment the pink and white blossoms that line the Tidal Basin!
Yoshino cherry blossom trees reached peak bloom Thursday with 70% of the blossoms open. The National Park Service forecast the peak bloom to arrive between April 8th and 12th. They were spot on! Just as the weather turned warmer and brighter, the blossoms responded and are now out in their full glory.
(Courtesy Navin Sarma Photography)
If you haven't made it down to the Tidal Basin to take in the sights, you still have time - but the sooner you arrive, the better. The National Cherry Blossom Festival continues through the weekend with the Cherry Blossom Parade taking place Saturday morning. Check out meteorologist Alex Liggitt (driving StormChaser7) and Brian van de Graaff and Joe Witte waving from out of the sunroof while Adam Caskey greets the crowd from atop of the roof!
The parade is from 10am through noon Saturday and takes place along Constitution Ave from 7th to 17th streets, NW. The parade will feature giant helium balloons, elaborate floats, fourteen marching bands, and big name performers. Among the celebrities that will be in town are American Idol season 12 winner Candice Glover and pop artist Aaron Carter. The forecast for the parade couldn't be better!
The rest of the weekend will be just as nice with plenty of sunshine and even warmer highs for Sunday.
A strong front moving through Tuesday will likely bring heavy rain and wind that could bring down most of the blossoms. Enjoy the cherry blossoms while they're out and share your pictures with us! Click this link to find out how to share them with the ABC7 Storm Watch team.
Special thanks to Brian van de Graaff for the help with this blog!
The first hurricane forecast of the season was put out today from Dr. William Gray and Dr. Philip Klotzbach, who lead up the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University. The announcement was made from the National Tropical Weather Conference this morning in San Padre Island. Meteorologist Nate Johnson from WRAL in Raleigh, NC is at the conference and has been live-tweeting the announcement. Be sure to follow him for the latest from the conference.
Klotzbach: Going for a relatively quiet season in 2014. 9 named storms, 3 hurricanes, 1 major hurricane. #tropicalwx— Nate Johnson (@nsj) April 10, 2014
The forecast is for a quiet season this year with only 9 named storms, 3 becoming hurricanes and only 1 major hurricane. An average hurricane season features 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. They site one reason for fewer predicted in 2014 being the developing El Nino pattern, which can lead to increased vertical wind shear in the tropics which hinders tropical cyclone development.
Other features such as cooler than normal sea surface temperatures will also be a big factor in the tropical season ahead. Dr. Klotzbach wants everyone to remember though that it only takes one bad storm to make for a terrible hurricane season. 1992 only had one major hurricane, and it happened to be Hurricane Andrew. They've given the various probabilities of a landfall below.
Klotzbach: Probabilities of landfall: US coastline 35%, east coast 20%, Gulf Coast 19%, Carribbean 28%. #tropicalwx— Nate Johnson (@nsj) April 10, 2014
With the Cherry Blossoms blooming this week, we know a number of you will be heading down to the Tidal Basin this week and weekend. We would love if you would share your photos with us so we can share them here online and possibly on air throughout the day on ABC 7 News and Newschannel 8.
This picture was taken by our very own Photojournalist James Joslyn this morning in the fog and mist. The next chance for rain in the 7 Day Forecast looks to be Friday night into Saturday morning.
There are a number of ways you can submit them. You can of course send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, which is always accepting weather photos of all kinds. You can also share your photo to our Facebook page above, or any of our Twitter accounts below.
We'll be sure to share or retweet your pictures!
Cherry blossoms in full bloom on Capitol Hill. pic.twitter.com/sD4GamExn3— Mike Stinneford (@MikeSABC7wx) April 8, 2014
After a long, snowy, chilly winter, D.C. 's favorite festival shouldn't disappoint. The National Park Service posted this morning that the cherry blossoms are now at the "Puffy White" stage as of this morning. That means peak bloom is 4-6 days away!
It felt like it would never get here. The cooler than average March in D.C. had some (including me) wondering if the early prediction of peak bloom on April 8-12 would have to be pushed back. Luckily, it looks like the experts were right on track. Still, there are questions of weather the next few days will impact the petals or viewing.
Monday will be a wet one with up to an inch of rain possible, so not the best weather to get out there to view the blossoms.
Tuesday will be drier, but rather breezy, so we will have to keep an eye out for how the wind will impact the blooms. Right now my thinking is that the blooms aren't quite far enough open for the wind to have a big impact or knock down many petals. Wind will be from the West on Tuesday at 10-15 mph, but a few gusts could reach 20 mph. Conditions will become more tranquil midweek with increased sunshine.
A cold front will pass late Friday or early Saturday and could squeeze out a few showers. So, if I had to pick a day this upcoming week for the best possible viewing and color with sunshine and calm conditions, it would be Thursday. Here's the 7 day forecast:
We would love to hear about your experiences at the Tidal Basin checking out the blossoms. Post your photos on the Stormwatch7 Facebook page. You can also post them to my personal facebook page or twitter account and we might just use them on Good Morning Washington. For a list of Festival Activities, click here. Enjoy!!!
(WJLA) - On Friday night, rescue workers in Carroll County, Kentucky are trying to reach this home and any survivors. But this massive mudslide continues pulling downward, making it an active danger zone.
Officials are moving quickly to warn others whose homes might also give way, as dangerous weather rips through the south and Midwest.
Meanwhile, in Hunt County, Texas, Bruce Lee is thankful to be alive after a fast-moving tornado left him unable to reach the storm shelter – just feet away from his front door – yesterday.
At this Wal-Mart in Denton, Texas near Dallas, funnel clouds were forming as tornado sirens warned it was time to take cover – sending people fleeing.
Even for locals used to strong and sometimes violent spring storms, this was a scary combination of strong winds, tornado sightings, and massive hail that pelted through buildings and cars.
From inside her home, Denton resident Jennifer Harriman captured the river of floodwater combined with hail that swept down the street.
And in Franklin County, Missouri, floodwater has cut off many roads, sweeping cars and trucks into swirling pits of rising water as rescuers try to reach those trapped and warn others to stay off the roads.
The peak bloom date is defined as the day in which 70% of the blossoms of the Yoshino Cherry trees are in full bloom. Obviously, this is weather dependent and can vary from year to year; however, the actual Cherry Blossom Festival dates are "set" based upon the average bloom date of April 4th. In fact, taking a look at the statistics, it appears that peak bloom has taken place in a very broad date range, occurring as early as March 15, 1990 and as late as April 18, 1958 (courtesy NPS).
While National Park Service Horticulturists issue several bloom forecasts, they clearly state that "it is nearly impossible to give an accurate forecast much more than 10 days." The forecast for this year's peak bloom is currently forecast for April 8 to April 12. The question on my mind: Will it need to be adjusted?
According to the Park Service, we just began "peduncle elongation" on April the 4th! (see explainer graphics below.)
The way the National Park Service tracks the progress of the trees is by monitoring the progress of the 5 steps of growth. By monitoring these processes the horticulturist can adjust and update the bloom forecast accordingly. Here are the 5 steps and the corresponding imagery. Take a look and then you will be able to better understand the process whether you head down to the basin or not.
Final thought...if you cannot or do not make it down to see the Yoshino Cherry trees you are not 100% out of luck. Kwanzan cherry blossoms are provide a vibrant bloom and generally emerge two weeks later than the predominant Yoshino trees along the Tidal Basin. To catch a glimpse of these trees one need only to head over to the East Potomac Park south of the George Mason Memorial.
*Special thanks to Adam Caskey for his collaboration with me on this blog.
The Washington Nationals play their first home game against the Atlanta Braves this Friday at 1:05pm. Clouds are definitely in the forecast as well as a slight chance for showers ahead of a cold front. The temperature forecast is looking a bit more on the cool side as easterly winds are expected to keep them down, but it should still be a comfortable day at the park.
Temperatures appear like they will be mild, with our forecast high for the D.C. Metro right around 60 degrees. The boundary will be right around our region, and model guidance depicts areas to the north in the 50s and areas just to the south such as Fredericksburg, VA in the 70s!
Winds should be out of the east around 5 to 10 mph and as far as precipitation, an isolated shower isn't out of the question but there should definitely not be a rain-out or rain delay. If something changes, Jacqui Jeras and Eileen Whelan will be all over it tomorrow morning on Good Morning Washington as well as Brian van de Graaff on Newschannel 8, so tune in!
If you are planning to go to the weekend games, the forecast is for plenty of sunshine each day with highs in the low to mid 60s. Saturday will be breezy at times which will make it feel a little cooler, though by the 7pm start, winds should begin to settle down a touch.
If it's in the 60s, jeans and a t-shirt are looking like they way to go. As of now I would plan on bringing a jacket as I don't think the brats and beers will do the job alone while you're sitting in the stands.
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (AP) - No injuries are reported from a tornado that touched down briefly in the St. Louis suburb of University City this morning, damaging some homes and bringing down trees and power lines.
The National Weather Service says the tornado touched down after 5 a.m. as a strong storm system with intense lightning and heavy rain moved through the St. Louis region.
Video from St. Louis media showed trees blocking streets, damage to some homes and power lines on the ground. About 7,000 people were without power shortly after the storm.
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