Heavy rain, flood risk to close out spring-like week for DC region

Cancel the picnic: Heavy rain will close out the work week with a flood risk for the D.C. region, sure to hamper any outdoor plans along with seesawing temperatures.

A strong frontal boundary will bring periods of heavy rain to the WTOP listening area started late afternoon Wednesday and is expected to last through sunrise Friday.

One to 2 inches of rain are in the forecast — and though a flood watch hasn’t been issued yet, low-lying areas and roadways could see high water, especially late Thursday into Friday.

Here’s what else you need to know:

An icky Wednesday: Temperatures crashed into the 40s, with wind chills near freezing by sunset.

A dream of spring: Warm air rushes back into the area on Thursday morning, with highs back in the 60s after record-setting temperatures earlier this week — only to dive into the 40s yet again on Friday afternoon.

Plan for a rough Friday drive: “Flood watches (and perhaps even some warnings) are expected during this time,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Chuck Bell said. “The Friday morning commute promises to be a nightmare and delays at our local airports are likely.”

Stash away the shovel: The vast majority of the D.C. and Baltimore metro areas will be too warm for snow, with a chance of icing in far western Maryland, eastern West Virginia and north over the Pennsylvania stateline.

Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, and his forecast is off to a good start: Monday’s high temperature of 67 degrees at Dulles Airport became the highest on record for a Feb. 3 there, breaking the previous record for that date of 66 degrees set in 1932.

Wednesday also marks the 10th anniversary of the aptly-named Snowmageddon, one of D.C.’s largest snowstorms ever. Up to 2 feet of snow fell from Feb. 5 to Feb. 6, 2010, a distant memory compared to this week’s record-setting temperatures.


Wednesday: Overcast and rainy. Highs in the low to mid-40s.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy with rain likely. Highs in the upper 50s.

Friday: Wet and cloudy, with a few sun breaks. Highs in the mid-40s.

Current conditions

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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