Rain continues as Ian’s leftovers impact DC area

Gusty winds and the occasional light rain will be felt throughout the D.C. area Saturday as Hurricane Ian’s leftovers pass through the region.

Strong winds will affect the WTOP listening area throughout Saturday as the rain has lightened into a sporadic drizzle. Precipitation picks back up Sunday afternoon and will go into the early part of Monday, bringing the chances of flooding up as well.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin both mobilized their states’ emergency resources on Saturday.

Ian’s center is expected to move into West Virginia and stall as the storm becomes post-tropical.

“The winds are really gonna be the story today,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Clay Anderson said.

North and north-easterly gusts from 15 to 20 mph, and upwards of 35 mph when crossing the Chesapeake Bay bridge, will be the most significant weather feature for Saturday, according to Anderson

The relative lull in rain is a brief reprieve from the wet end to Friday that carried overnight into Saturday, but will become more intense by Sunday afternoon. That’s when the chances for flooding pick back up.

“The persistent easterly wind through the weekend will put those vulnerable spots along the Chesapeake Bay’s western coastline and the Lower Potomac at risk for flooding,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Chad Merrill said.



Overall, about 2 to 3 inches of rain are expected through Monday.

Here are the rainfall totals in inches for various parts of the D.C. region as of 9 a.m. Saturday:

  • Alexandria — 0.50
  • Fredericksburg — 0.97
  • Culpeper — 1.20
  • Leesburg — 0.92
  • Falls Church — 0.97
  • Silver Spring — 0.65
  • Jarrettsville — 1.25
  • Adamstown — 0.82
  • Hagerstown — 0.42
  • Catonsville — 1.01
  • Washington — 1.24
  • Annapolis — 1.01

“While regionwide flood watches have not yet been issued, in this particular scenario, there is a good chance for minor river, creek and stream flooding late Sunday into Monday as the runoff takes time to empty into the river basins and trigger rising levels,” Merrill said. “Also note, the persistent easterly flow at the mid-Atlantic beaches will produce flooding and coastal erosion this weekend.”

Coastal Flood Warnings and Advisories

  • DC: coastal flood advisory in effect from 10 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Sunday, with some flooding possible near the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial.
  • Maryland: St. Mary’s and Anne Arundel counties have coastal flood warnings in effect until 2 a.m. Sunday. Charles and Calvert counties have a costal flood advisories in place until 2 a.m. Sunday. A gale watch is in effect for lower portions of the tidal Potomac and Chesapeake Bay.
  • Virginia: Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church have coastal flood advisories from 10 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday. King George County has a flood advisory in effect until 2 a.m. Sunday.

When will the rain end?

On Tuesday, the rain is expected to let up. There’s a rain shower expected early in the morning but the rest of the day should be dry, Storm Team 4 meteorologist Steve Prinzivalli said.

The rain picks up pace again on Sunday afternoon as a cold front settles in the D.C. area. That cold front will “interact with Ian’s remnant low pressure swirling across the southern mid-Atlantic,” Merrill said.

There’s a higher risk of flooding on Sunday.

“Combined with rainfall so far, small creeks and streams and lower lying areas will likely see standing water, although we are not anticipating widespread flooding,” Merrill said.

Rain will end between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday as the front pushes moisture east. The sky will be clear by nightfall.

“Tuesday will be a pristine autumn day with deep blue sky and pleasant temperatures,” Merrill said.

State of emergency in Virginia; canceled events in DC area

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin already declared a state of emergency in anticipation of possible effects from the storm.

“We want to ensure that our communities have the resources needed to respond to and recover from any potential effects from the storm,” Youngkin said.

Lauren Opett, spokeswoman with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said the state planned for rainfall projections anywhere from 2 to more than 6 inches.

The southern, central and eastern portions of the state are expected to get hit the hardest.

“It’s important to note that even when the storm exits, higher-than-normal tides could continue until Tuesday,” Opett said.

The expected severe weather has led to cancellations or postponements of events scheduled to take place through the weekend.

Forecast

The rain from the remnants of Ian may persist into Monday night or Tuesday.

  • Saturday: Drizzle to occasional light rain. Wind: NE 15-20 mph, with gusts to 25 mph, diminishing to 5-15 mph. Temperatures in the 50s.

  • Saturday night: Cloudy and windy. Rain continues. Wind: Northeast 20-40 mph. Lows in the 50s.

  • Sunday: Steady rain redeveloping. Flooding possible late. Wind: NE 12-20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph. Highs in the 50s.

  • Monday: Rain ending by mid-afternoon with partial clearing. Flooding possible early. Highs in the 50s.

  • Monday night: Clear with fog. Patchy frost North and West. Lows in the mid 40s.
  • Tuesday: Partly cloudy and pleasant. Highs near 70.

Current Weather

Outages

Northern Virginia has had a few power outages. Southern Virginia though has seen many more. 5,000 Dominion Energy customers in Virginia Beach and Norfolk had no power Saturday afternoon, according to the energy company.

Representatives for Dominion Energy and Pepco said the power companies are preparing possible power outages.

“Dominion energy is preparing for strong gusty winds and the potential for power outages in central, eastern and southside Virginia later this evening and into early Saturday morning. We have more than 400 bucket trucks in position across all three regions. Our crews are prepared to work around the clock to restore any customer outages. We also have crews remaining in Northern Virginia to respond as needed.”

WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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