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Severe storms hundreds of miles long begin to hit area

Saturday - 6/2/2012, 7:17am  ET

Funnel430.jpg
A cloud forms into a funnel shape near Anne Arundel County. (Photo courtesy Charles Hutton)
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WASHINGTON - The D.C. area is now upgraded to a "moderate risk" of severe weather as widespread thunderstorms drop heavy rains, and warnings throughout the area.

The Twitter feed in this story will cover specific information related to flash floods, tornado warnings, and Metro and Union Station delays due to downed trees.

"I think we're going to see severe Thunderstorm Watches that are hundreds of miles long," says Doug Hill, ABC 7 chief meteorologist. "It's a very large system. The entire listening area is going to see bad weather."

The worst conditions are expected in northern and central Virginia, north-central Maryland and the western suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Check out the WTOP Weather Center for up- to-the-minute reports.

Rainfall beginning in the mid-afternoon is expected to grow increasingly heavier into the evening.

Clouds are expected to thicken quickly on Friday afternoon, with the worst weather expected between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Some forecasts say the area will see serious thunderstorms, hail and possible tornadoes.

"You have to make plans," Hill says. "You don't want to schedule a round of golf (Friday) afternoon or be outside without shelter to get to."

The likelihood of severe weather is very high, but it's impossible to pin down exactly where storms will hit the hardest, he says. He suggests area residents check for Thunderstorm Watches and make sure they're somewhere where shelter and safety are nearby.

See anything? Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #WTOPstorm .

After the system crosses the Chesapeake Bay, the storms should subside, Hill says.

Saturday is expected to be mild, with temperatures in the 70s, sun and a few clouds.

On Sunday, there is a 30 percent chance of showers.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)