Hermine: What you need to know

WASHINGTON — As Hermine continues to move up the East Coast, and it is hitting the Maryland and Delaware beaches. Closer to home, St. Mary’s County could see some flooding from storm surges that ripple up the Chesapeake Bay.

To help plan, or rearrange, any Labor Day weekend plans, here are the basics of what meteorologists say to expect from Hermine.

Q: When is the worst of the storm expected to hit Maryland?

A: Rain moved into the southern Maryland peninsula and the Eastern Shore locations well south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Saturday morning. But the worst of the winds (anything greater than 39 mph) are not likely to make it any farther north than St. Mary’s County and the Cambridge area on the Eastern Shore.

Q: How much rain could fall?

A: Charles and St. Mary’s counties could see 1 to 2 inches of rainfall by Saturday evening. Closer to the Interstate 95 corridor including the immediate D.C. metro area, but south of Baltimore, about 1/10 inch to 1/2 inch of rain could fall in the same time frame. Areas near U.S. 15 and near Interstate 70 are unlikely to see any rainfall.

Q: What type of damage could 39 mph winds cause?

A: That’s the low end of Tropical Storm strength. Those winds won’t cause widespread damage, but could take down a few twigs and branches, especially if they were already weakened by decay. They can certainly blow some things around a yard or deck that don’t weigh very much. As a matter of comparison, wind gusts in severe thunderstorms are stronger than these types of winds.

Q: What are the chances Hermine regenerates into a hurricane?

A: According to the National Hurricane Center, there’s about a 20 percent probability the center of the storm will regain hurricane force winds (74 mph) by Sunday evening when the storm parallels the Delaware beaches. But by that time, the storm will no longer have tropical characteristics (i.e. warmer at the core than the surrounding environment). It would be structured like a Nor’easter (colder at the core).

Q: If I stay home, will I be able to grill out on Labor Day? (aka: Will it be wet in the D.C. metro area Monday?)

A: On Monday, at this time it does not look like it will be raining much if at all in the D.C. area. But it may still be raining hard right along the beaches, especially Delaware and New Jersey.

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