A windy, rainy Wednesday will follow Tuesday’s humidity

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WASHINGTON — We threw it back to summer Tuesday with temperatures around the 80-degree mark and humidity seeping through mostly cloudy skies. The other thing that makes it feel like a summertime forecast is the threat of some severe weather for your Wednesday.

A powerful storm crawled across the southern tier of the United States lifting to the north through Tuesday, while an area of low pressure lifted toward the Ohio Valley and its attendant cold front moved slowly to the east-northeast. The cold front will eventually cross through the area Wednesday, making it into the Atlantic and east of the Chesapeake Bay by the early overnight hours on Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service in Sterling has issued a Flood Watch for most of the area beginning at 10 a.m. and lasting through the evening.

The windy conditions will make driving more difficult, especially for high- profile vehicles. There is also a chance for some downed trees with the stronger gusts.

Through Wednesday morning, the frontal system will continue to slide to the east bringing the rain with it. Showers and some isolated storms will increase in coverage through the early morning hours and the rain and storms will continue to spread to the east through the early afternoon. Unfortunately, this looks like it could be a messy commute for both the morning (if you are traveling from the west) as well as the evening (for everybody). Some of the storms in the afternoon hours could bring some damaging winds. However, the main threat will be rainfall.


From Tuesday to early Thursday morning, the region could receive anywhere from 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches of rain accumulation east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and as much as 3 inches of rain accumulation west of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley.

We are expecting the rain to be heavy at times, because this system is feeding off moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. We will continue to monitor the issuance of a Flood Watch for the area from the National Weather Service in Sterling, but none has been issued so far.

The good news is, we could use the rain.

D.C. is about 0.53 inches below normal rainfall for the month of October and 3.14 inches below normal since Sept. 1. The U.S. Drought Monitor has placed some areas in Virginia and Maryland in the “abnormally dry” sector, which means that there is a chance that the region outlined in yellow is headed into drought conditions. Short-term dryness means slower planting and slow growth of crops or pastures.


By Thursday, the heavy rain will be off the coast and the frontal system will be east of the region. However, we are still looking at some spotty rain showers for Thursday with cloud cover as that area of low pressure moves through the Great Lakes region (again — its attached cold front will be east of D.C.). Temperatures will drop back to just slightly above normal for this time of year, in the low 70s.

Sunshine returns for Friday!

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