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Posted at 12:05 PM ET, 09/24/2008

In Focus: A Wind-Swept Soaking Tomorrow

By Jason Samenow

Coastal storm could become tropical system

*High Wind Watch in effect Thurs. for higher terrain to the W and NW*
*Gale Warning for Tidal Potomac, Chesapeake Bay Thurs. into Fri.*
*Coastal Flood Watch in effect Thurs. along Bay, Eastern Shore.*

A major early fall storm, which could become tropical in nature later today or tonight, will buffet the entire region with heavy rains and strong winds tomorrow with lingering rains lasting into early Saturday. The National Weather Service in Sterling does a nice job summarizing the overall scenario:

rainpotential-092508.gif
Rainfall potential map from NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. The darkest blue shade indicates 0.5" of rain, the lightest purple shade indicates 1.5" of rain, and the darkest red indicates 3" of rain.

LOW PRESSURE IS BEGINNING TO ORGANIZE ABOUT 200 NAUTICAL MILES OFF THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST. THIS STORM SYSTEM IS FORECAST TO RETROGRADE AND MOVE INLAND INTO THE CAROLINAS THURSDAY NIGHT. TIGHTENING PRESSURE GRADIENT BETWEEN THE HIGH OVER
NEW ENGLAND AND THIS LOW WILL CREATE WINDY CONDITIONS ESPECIALLY
EAST OF I-95 CORRIDOR. STRONG ONSHORE FLOW WILL ALSO DRAW IN PLENTY OF ATLANTIC MOISTURE. GLOBAL FORECAST SYSTEM MODEL SHOWS WIDESPREAD 1.0+ INCH TOTALS WITH UP TO 2.5 INCHES CLOSER TO THE PA BORDER. HEAVIEST RAINS EXPECTED THURSDAY AFTERNOON-EVENING.

Keep reading for more storm details, including wind estimates and posted watches and warnings. Also, see our full forecast through the weekend, and NatCast for tonight's second-to-last home game of the season.

By Thursday afternoon, winds may be sustained at 20-25 mph in the metro area with gusts over 40 mph, and up to 50 mph or so east of I-95. Even stronger winds are possible in the higher-terrain areas to the west and northwest -- sustained speeds up to around 40 mph with brief gusts to 60 mph, according to the National Weather Service -- where a High Wind Watch is in effect for tomorrow.

Gale warnings are in effect for the tidal Potomac and Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay Thursday afternoon and evening. Coastal flood watches are out for the west side of the Bay, including Anne Arundel, St. Mary's and Calvert County where waters may run two to three feet above normal. For the Maryland beaches, in addition to a coastal flood watch, a high surf advisory is in effect where waves upwards of 8 feet are possible.

This coastal storm is not related to the tropical disturbance in the northern Caribbean (over Hispaniola), which still has the potential to become a tropical depression and even develop into tropical storm Kyle, that is if the coastal storm doesn't take the name first.

As this tropical disturbance moves northward, there's a chance of some interaction between these two systems, but probably too far north and east of our region to affect the weather here. Eastern New England stands the best chance of being impacted by the possible merging of these two systems.

By Jason Samenow  | September 24, 2008; 12:05 PM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Comments

Expect Tropical/Subtropical Storm Kyle in a little while...


000
WONT41 KNHC 241402
DSAAT
SPECIAL TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENT
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1000 AM EDT WED SEP 24 2008

SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM CENTERED
ABOUT 250 MILES...400 KM...SOUTHEAST OF WILMINGTON NORTH CAROLINA
IS ACQUIRING SOME TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS. THIS SYSTEM COULD
BECOME A TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT AS
IT MOVES WESTWARD OR WEST-NORTHWESTWARD. THE LOW IS ACCOMPANIED BY
WINDS OF UP TO 65 MPH...100 KM/HR...TO THE NORTH AND NORTHWEST OF
THE CENTER. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT THIS SYSTEM WILL BRING
STRONG WINDS...COASTAL FLOODING...HIGH SURF...AND DANGEROUS RIP
CURRENTS TO PORTIONS OF THE U.S. EAST COAST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE
OF DAYS. SEE STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICES FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND WARNINGS. AN AIR
FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THE
SYSTEM THIS AFTERNOON.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH/BERG

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 24, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

That would be something if this ended up giving us a sneak punch harder than Hannah did, wind-wise anyway.

Posted by: jmbethesda | September 24, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Eastern New England stands the best chance of being impacted by the possible merging of these two systems."

Oh fabulous. I'm traveling to Mass. on Friday for my parents' 50th anniversary this weekend. I hope this holds off until after I fly out on Sunday.

Posted by: cab91 | September 24, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes...and I'm already calling this coastal storm "DANCEWRECKER"!!! Even if the Friday night VIP dance remains "on", all this darned wind and rain will cut attendance sharply if the mess persists into late Friday! It may be just as well simply to stay home. Our best hope is that things begin letting up Friday afternoon with no flood or wind warnings, and that power remains on throughout the duration of the storm.

The cirrus/cirrostratus field for "Dancewrecker" is already quite impressive. I might as well go outside and see if I can spot a halo.

Bobby's Promotion/VIP Dances is monitoring Weather.com. As of now the dance is still on.

Posted by: El Bombo | September 24, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

What is the outlook for Friday afternoon? I'm wondering about riding my bike in tomorrow morning and riding home Friday afternoon (Metro in between).

Posted by: Larry | September 24, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Larry -- Friday afternoon looks breezy with occasional showers. But probably not as rainy, and not nearly as windy, as Thursday.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | September 24, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Keep us up to date on the status of the dance. Thousands of readers are on the edges of their chairs.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

know its way early, but Saturday, are we looking at still windy/rainy conditions? NOAA says 40% chance of showers- is that realistic?

Scheduled to have a party outside on Saturday afternoon, but unsure what the weather is going to be like. Should I move it indoors?

Posted by: jbroon | September 24, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Sure doesn't look good for them to be able to the final Nationals' home game of the season Thursday night.

Or am I missing something in this forecast?

Posted by: Nats Fan | September 24, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

El Bombo: unless a dance is outdoors (which I doubt), wouldn't rain ENCOURAGE people to come to a dance? What else would there be to do?

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 24, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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