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Tornado watch remains in effect as heavy rain drenches Tri-State

September 18, 2012

A tornado watch remained in effect in Washington County and other parts of the Tri-State area Tuesday as a cold front accompanied by heavy rain moved through the region.

The watch, affecting Washington and Frederick counties as well as Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia, is in effect through 7 p.m., the National Weather Service reported.

Southern Washington County is under a flash flood warning until 4:45 p.m.

Southern Washington County and parts of Frederick and Jefferson counties were under a severe thunderstorm warning effective until 1:30 p.m., the weather service reported.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Witt said the southeastern part of the county, primarily near the Potomac River, is under the greatest threat of being flooded.

The rain storm that is moving through the Tri-State area could drop another 1 1/2 inches of rain by the end of Tuesday night, before a cold front moves in later this evening, National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Witt said.

Witt warned people to stay away from high, fast-moving water that might be on roadways. "It's better off to take another route," he said.

Today's storm dumped nearly 1 3/4 inches of rain on the Tri-State area by 1 p.m., according to i4weather.net, a website maintained by local weather observer Greg Keefer.

"We are expecting heavy rain," Witt said shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday. "I want to say the heaviest will be between now and the middle part of this evening."

Witt said the storm probably would dump another 1 1/4 to 2 inches of rain before it moves out to the east.

Localized heavy rain and strong wind gusts will be the main threat Tuesday afternoon in Washington County, the weather service said in a special weather statement late Tuesday morning.

Storms will have the potential to be strong to severe, the NWS statement said.

HMTV6 meteorologist Brittany Beggs said today's storm has the potential to be severe.

"High pressure will quickly build tomorrow (Wednesday) over our area, however, we'll feel the effects from the cold front with cooler high temperatures in the 60s and lows in the 40s,"  Beggs said. "Once this system passes, we should remain dry for the remainder of the week."

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