There was a big storm set to attack the East Coast heading into this weekend, and it hit Washington, D.C. — and hit hard — until it didn't. By Thursday evening the ominous impressionist-grey skies over the nation's capital had turned yesterday's-news blue, leaving behind only photo evidence and a windswept, powerless streak of a so-called "derecho" that never quite was. The derecho, as this special storm system is called, was expected to dump a bunch of rain up and down the Eastern seaboard. Unlike a regular rainstorm, there's a lot more wind involved in this thing, as a useful Mother Jones post explains: "In order for a weather event to be classified as a derecho, the wind damage zone must extend more than 240 miles and include wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour" — which, yeesh, sounds very blustery. Except the winds reached up to 68 miles per hour, according to the Washington Post, which is a lot, just not quite a derecho. But a tornado reported in Maryland has taken out power for some 60,000 area residents. From Twitter freak-outs to, well, the social-media all-clear, it appears the most dramatic part of the storm passed DC in the late afternoon, whipping its way elsewhere but leaving some dramatic images — and Vines!
Here's a before-and-after from National Journal's Brian Fung:
The calm before the storm at the Washington Monument and White House:
The Library of Congress looking like its about to get swallowed up:
This panorama from Foster Designs of Alexandria is insane:
Here's a brave soul driving during the tornado warning:
And here's a Vine of the storm and winds in action — pretty intense: