Heavy rain in forecast brings chance of flooding

WASHINGTON – Finally! As we edge toward the end of September (can you believe it?), we are finally seeing a good chance of rain headed towards the Washington D.C. area.

An area of low pressure that traveled up the eastern seaboard today will continue to through the area through the day Thursday, bringing a good amount of rain with it.


With high pressure sitting to the north and low pressure inching its way up from the south, oceanic moisture will continue to stream into the Mid-Atlantic. This will also create a fairly persistent easterly wind into the overnight hours moving northeast at 10 to 20 mph along Interest 95 and eastward. The winds will be responsible for some of the coastal water levels to rise around the area, resulting in some minor coastal flooding during high tide.

I am expecting light rain to fall during the evening hours, with the heaviest rain falling during the overnight hours and through the first part of Thursday morning as that high pressure to the north breaks down and more moisture moves into the region resulting in heavier rainfall.


A flood watch has been issued for the Greater Washington D.C. area through 6 a.m. Thursday morning. But the National Weather Service may have to extend and expand the flood watch as we get closer to the event.

Considering this is a coastal system, much of the heavy rain will be concentrated along I-95 and eastward but that does not mean that areas to the west are in the clear. We are still expecting some rain west of the D.C. area but the totals may be much less.


From the Blue Ridge Mountains moving east to the Chesapeake Bay, accumulated rain totals will gradually increase. The D.C. metro area should expect around 1 inch of rain while areas to the east could see 2 inches or more.

The good news is that we need the rain! Ronald Reagan National Airport is running about 2.38 inches below normal for the monthly rain rate in September. Baltimore-Washington Airport is just about 2 inches below normal for average rainfall in September and Dulles International Airport is 2.79 inches below normal for the month of September as well.

Dry conditions continue to expand through Virginia, with many of our counties measuring “Abnormally Dry” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.


Areas shaded in yellow are "abnormally dry" as of Sept. 16, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Everything should begin to taper off through tomorrow midday. There could be bouts of drizzle through Thursday afternoon. But we will dry out from the south to the north as this area of low pressure continues its trek northward along the coast. Winds will continue to calm down tomorrow after about 6 p.m.


As far as Thursday Night Football goes when the Redskins take on the Giants at FedEx Field, things are looking dry after a wet start on Thursday. If that low pressure system slows down, we could have some rain last through the evening hours. But as of now, I am keeping things dry for tomorrow evening. Temperatures will drop through the 60s during the game. But if you are headed out there early for tailgating, just be prepared with some towels (to dry everything off) and maybe a light jacket that doubles as a rain coat. It will be a cool night at Fed Ex.

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