UPDATE: Tornado, Flash Flood Watch Could Tangle Evening Commute
National Weather Service also issues hazardous weather warning for Fairfax County, metro region.
Update 2:07 p.m.: A flash flood watch has also been issued for Fairfax County until 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Fairfax County says
- Do not drive in flooded roads – "turn around, don’t drown."
- Do not wait for instructions to move: move to higher ground immediately.
- Avoidstreams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly.
- Keep children inside and away from streams and creeks.
- When flooding is predicted, keep your vehicle parked in your garage or on the driveway away from low-lying areas and large drains.
Original: The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Fairfax County and the entire metro region until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The tornado watch, meaning there is a potential for tornadoes to develop, comes on top of a hazardous weather outlook the service issued earlier this morning.
"Showers and thunderstorms are expected along and ahead of a cold front through this evening. Heavy downpours could lead to localized flash flooding. In addition... some thunderstorms may be severe and produce damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes," the NWS's hazardous weather outlook reports. "The most likely time for severe weather looks to be from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m."
- Tune into the radio for weather updates
- Allow more distance between cars for braking
- Do not try to outrun a tornado if you spot one
- Drive slowly with your headlights on
Fairfax County also offers a number of tips for tornado safety, including
- Seek underground shelter, like storm cellars or basements
- "If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible."
- If you're in a high-rise building, go to the lowest floor of the structure and find an interior room or hallway.
- Go to the center of the room; stay clear of doors, windows and outside walls. Also avoid corners "because they attract debris."
- A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
- If you are outside, do not seek shelter under a bridge or overpass. Lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying areas.
Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.