UPDATE 2:45 p.m. — Alexandria is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 3:15 p.m. Storms approaching the area are capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 60 mph.
According to the city's website, this is a dangerous line of storms. The city advises residents to move indoors to a sturdy building and away from windows.
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UPDATE 2:15 p.m. — The National Weather Service has reported severe thunderstorms in the area of Winchester with more than 2 inches of rain in a 45-minute period. These storms are expected to hit the Alexandria area between 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. today.
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They will also have strong winds and there is a possibility for local flooding. A wide swath of Virginia, including Alexandria, is under a tornado watch until 7 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
"The ingredients may be there for a tornado," said meterologist Kevin Witt of the National Weather Service's Sterling office.
The National Weather Service is forecasting that severe storms will move through the City of Alexandria, and the entire Washington metropolitan region, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. today. These storms could bring damaging winds up to 55 miles per hour, isolated tornadoes and localized flash flooding. Rainfall of up to 1.5 inches is expected; up to 2 inches of rainfall is possible.
"As of now there are severe lines moving west to east and southwest to northeast, with some stronger than others," Witt said. "There is more potential for severe weather between 2 and 8 p.m."
If severe weather strikes during a commute home in traffic, Witt warned that the safest place to be is in a sturdy building, but if there is no time to move to a building, "stay in your car with the windows up."
If a driver comes upon a flooded area while driving, "stop or turn around," Witt advised.
Read more about how you can prepare for severe weather on the City of Alexandria's Communications and Public Information site.