The Washington area is on high alert as destructively strong storms are expected to hit the region. Forecasters are predicting the possibility of tornadoes, hail, and lightning, urging residents to take precautions in preparation for potentially dangerous conditions.
The ominous dark gray sky, accompanied by rainfall that began shortly after 5 p.m., serves as a warning sign of the severe weather that is about to unfold. As a result, officials have advised residents to stay indoors and be ready for the worst.
To emphasize the seriousness of the situation, the National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the greater D.C. area. This watch will remain in effect until 9 p.m., along with a flood warning that extends until Tuesday morning. In a special statement, the Weather Service emphasizes the significant threat of damaging hurricane-force winds, large hail, and even strong tornadoes.
This extreme weather event stretches across 10 states, from Tennessee to New York, but the area of most concern revolves around the Washington-Baltimore region according to the National Weather Service.
Severe Weather Causes Disruptions Across the U.S.
By late Monday afternoon, the impact of severe weather on air travel was evident, with over 1,300 flights cancelled and 5,500 delayed across the United States, according to FlightAware. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport bore the brunt of the cancellations, as it worked to recover from disruptions caused by Sunday storms. The Federal Aviation Administration took preemptive measures by rerouting planes away from stormy areas headed for the East Coast. It also issued a warning that flights in and out of major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, Charlotte, and Atlanta could face pauses.
Adjustments in Presidential Schedule and Government Closure
In response to the severe weather conditions, the White House made adjustments to President Joe Biden's travel plans. His departure for a four-day trip to Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah was pushed up by 90 minutes. Additionally, a back-to-school cybersecurity event featuring First Lady Jill Biden, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as well as school administrators and educators nationwide, was canceled.
The Office of Personnel Management also took action, announcing that all non-emergency employees must leave their offices before 3 p.m., when federal offices closed due to the worsening weather conditions.
Significant Impact on the Mid-Atlantic Region
Meteorologist Chris Strong from the National Weather Service addressed the severity of the weather situation in a Facebook live briefing, stating, "This does look to be one of the most impactful severe weather events across the Mid-Atlantic that we have had in some time."
Storm Alert: Urgent Safety Precautions
Timing and Impending Danger
Personal Safety First
Stay safe and remain indoors until the storms subside.
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