When severe weather is headed your way, you need to know as soon as possible. If you sign up for DC area weather alerts and warnings, you can get information about:
- Hurricanes (e.g. hurricane watch and hurricane warnings)
- Tornadoes (e.g. tornado watch and tornado warnings)
- Floods and flooding (e.g. flood watch and flood warnings)
- Winter weather storms (e.g. snowstorm watch, ice storms warnings)
- Heat advisories, watches, and warnings
- Severe thunderstorms (e.g. thunderstorm watch and thunderstorm warnings)
When the National Weather Service issues warnings or watches, you’ll get local weather alerts with information about what’s happening in your area. If you’re signed up to get DC area weather alerts on your cell phone, you’ll get short text messages with the most important information. If you get weather alerts by e-mail, you’ll get additional details, such as where to take shelter and how long these weather warnings are forecasted to last.
Alert Examples: Real Weather Alerts and Weather Warnings
These are real text alerts and email alerts sent from Washington, DC area emergency alert systems:
Tornado Warning: The NWS has issued a TORNADO WARNING for Frederick Co at the Montgomery Co line. Seek shelter if you live or are traveling in the area of New Market and Mt Airy.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: The National Weather Service has issued a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING for Montgomery County until 5:30PM EDT. This storm has a history of producing damaging hail!! At 4:42pm, Doppler radar indicated a thunderstorm approaching the County which has intensified well past severe limits. RESIDENTS SHOULD SEEK SAFE SHELTER NOW! Significant cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm. All outdoor activities in the following areas should be postponed until this storm passes. Locations in the path of this storm include: LEESBURG, POINT OF ROCKS, POOLESVILLE, BOYDS, GERMANTOWN, GAITHERSBURG, NORTH POTOMAC, MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, DAMASCUS.
Flood Warning: The NWS has issued a flood warning for the National Capitol Region until 3:45 p.m today. Specific areas for Fairfax County include Accotink Creek, Popes Head Creek, and Sugarland Run. The effects of this precipitation could affect the Potomac River area by late tonight into early tomorrow morning. Radar indicates an area of moderate to heavy rain will move across portions of the Washington DC Metro area within the next 1-2 hours. The rain is moving northeast at 20 mph. Doppler radar and area rain gages indicates that between 1-2 inches has fallen over the warned area, with another 1/2 inch to 1 inch expected by 3:45 this afternoon. A flood warning means that flooding is imminent or has been reported.
Sign Up Now for Instant Emergency Alerts
To register for any of the emergency alert systems, select the city or county where you live or work. Capital alert is your way to sign up for any of the 17 DC area alert systems. Because you'll get alerts by cell phone or e-mail, you'll get this free, instant information wherever you are.