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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 05/ 4/2009

Forecast: Week Starts Wet, Will Turn Warmer

By Jason Samenow

* NatCast | Later: Stunning Images of the Earth *


Today: Periods of rain. Near 60. | Tonight: Rain gradually diminishing. 50-55. | Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy. 65-69. | A Look Ahead


Are you sick of the clouds and the rain yet? Hang on for another day, and we should get a short break while, at the same time, temperatures begin a slow ascent. More rain enters the picture late Wednesday through Friday before the fortuitous return of sunshine for the weekend.

Today (Monday): The latest in a series of seemingly endless low pressure waves will dump more rain over the region (90% chance). The rain will vary in intensity, but most spots should pick up another 0.25-0.5". High temperatures will only be around 60 as a cool breeze from the northeast pitches in clammy air. Confidence: High

Tonight: Rain is likely early but will gradually decrease in coverage and intensity. Most of the rain should have stopped before dawn. Lows will drop to between 50-55. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend....

Cherry blossom petals dot an Oakton, Va. lawn on Friday -- the last time we saw much in the way of sunshine. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): The stalled out front responsible for our recent rain should get a push far enough east to cut most of the rain off. The day should be mostly cloudy, and probably (80% chance) rain-free -- although a few rain showers cannot be entirely ruled out -- especially towards the Bay. High temperatures will likely reach the mid-60s -- with an outside shot at 70 if the sun shows itself. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Weak high pressure briefly builds in so some partial clearing is possible, with lows in the mid-40s in the cooler suburbs to near 50 downtown. Confidence: Medium-High


On Wednesday, partial sunshine is a possibility in the morning, before clouds increase ahead of a northward moving warm front. High temperatures should approach 70 before a chance (40%) of showers in the late afternoon or evening. Rain becomes more likely Wednesday night (60% chance), with lows near 60. Confidence: Medium

A cold front moves into the region Thursday, bringing more showers (60% chance). Highs should range from 70-75 (or even a little higher, if we get any sunshine). The front is likely to get hung up over the region Thursday night, keeping a chance (30%) of showers in the forecast. Lows will be near 60. Confidence: Low-Medium

With the front still in our vicinity on Friday, skies will probably be variably cloudy, and some afternoon showers and thunderstorms are possible (40% chance). Highs should be from 70-75. Confidence: Low-Medium

By late Friday night and Saturday, high pressure building in from the west may push the front far enough to the east to all but end rain chances and bring back a good deal of sunshine. Highs Saturday should be in the low 70s with overnight lows near 50. Confidence: Low-Medium

Sunday, while a long way off, has the potential to be nice. Right now, I'll call for partly to mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid-to-upper 70s. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Jason Samenow  | May 4, 2009; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: NatCast: Rain to End?
Next: NASA Celebrates Ten Years of Stunning Images



Make it stop. So sick and tired of the rain.

My grass will be 8 ft. tall before I can get out to mow it again.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | May 4, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse


You're right, ThinkSpring. This DELUGE is getting UREASONABLE and is now expected to run at least through Saturday! There's more than just my dance attendance at risk. We now won't be seeing decent drying conditions until Indian Summer...late October at the earliest. My mold sensitivity, absent lasrt weekend(!), is now asserting itself. By now it's getting too darned WET to put in the crops, and it's time to call a halt to all this CRUD before we start putting ARKS in our driveways.

Let's quit the rain dances and get on with the swing dancing!!!

El Bombo

Posted by: Bombo47jea | May 4, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

It's funny how quickly people forget what spring can be like. We've had so many abnormally dry springs in a row now, this one just feels wetter than normal to a lot of people. In reality, it seems like a lot of past springs I can remember - unsettled and rainy.

CWG, in honor of our spring-like weather, perhaps you could ask readers for their favorite things to do in the rain? Mine is to get all dressed up, pop open my umbrella, and take public transportation to a good swing dance. What about others?

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | May 4, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

how are we doing on the drought? seriously, what are the "numbers" on this? are we back to "even" yet? how do they determine what is "even"?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 4, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

It was just windy enough to get that drizzle and light rain underneath my umbrella! Anyone wear a poncho today??

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | May 4, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@ walter -

If the forecast holds, we'll probably be less than an inch below normal for the year by the end of the day.

We were about 2.5 below normal for the year at the close of yesterday, but those numbers don't reflect the overnight rains, which were substantial. Then, of course, we have the rains today.

There never really was a "drought" in the true sense this year. It was dry early in the year, but that dryness is in our rear-view mirror.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | May 4, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

We'll do a post updating on the "drought" in the next couple days.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | May 4, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Drought update with maps through 8 am today is here.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | May 4, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Is this what they call a coastal eddy?

Posted by: bh-dc | May 4, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Last year, both April and May (near-record-breaking) were wet, and spring was over 200% of average. In the last 10 years, only 1 spring (2006) has been more than 1% below average. May is the wettest month on average.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | May 4, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Technical correction:
Accounting for 1 fewer day, Sept. slightly beats out May.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | May 4, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

According to Tucker Barnes of Channel 5, we've just achieved our normal precipitation for the year to date, so any further precipitation in the short term becomes a precipitation surplus. Folks, the drought is over!!!

In addition we've now got flood watches and warnings to our west. Further continuation of this gloomy weather is likely to lead to a recurrence of seasonal affective disorder which now seems a bigger threat than swine flu UNLESS WE GET SOME SUNSHINE SOON!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | May 4, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

thanks guys, and jason i look for that drought post.

i went to the links and they all talk about year-to-date, i think. i remember last year people at some point were talking about a drought. how are we doing say over the last 5 or 10 or 20 year period?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 4, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

When did DC become La Jolla, CA? I need to remind you folks that DC has a higher average rainfall than Seattle, WA. Do what i do. Grin and bear it.

Posted by: jojo2008 | May 4, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

DC's distribution is less extreme than the "other" Washington:

        SEA	DCA
Jan 5.13 3.21
Feb 4.18 2.63
Mar 3.75 3.6
Apr 2.59 2.77
May 1.78 3.82
Jun 1.49 3.13
Jul 0.79 3.66
Aug 1.02 3.44
Sep 1.63 3.79
Oct 3.19 3.22
Nov 5.9 3.03
Dec 5.62 3.05
Total 37.07 39.35

Posted by: CapitalClimate | May 4, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm developing a vitamin D deficiency.

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | May 4, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm a gardener - I like the rain. BUT more importantly, I'm an Astros fan. I want to see the Astros beat the Nats tonight! Is the rain going to let up enough by game time to avoid a rainout again today? I need to decide whether to go to the stadium!

Posted by: AstrosFanInExile | May 4, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Long-term rainfall averages or totals are only point specific for a precise latitude and longitude as in GPS positioning. Wide variations exist within a 10 mile radius because of warm season variables.

At my specific location in the central Shenandoah Valley the 30 year average annual precip. (including melted snowfall) from 1979-2008 is 41.64".

The 10 year average from 1979-1988 was 42.59". The 10 year average from 1989-1998 was 42.95". The lowest 10 year average was from 1999-2008 at 39.98".

2007 and 2008 were both dry years at my location, averaging 36.52 per annum. 2007 total: 36.61", 2008 total: 36.43. Therefore, I carried a 2 year deficit of 10.64 inches into Jan. of 2009, compared to the 30 year norm.

Hopefully, the remainder of 2009 will continue to dump copius amounts of rainfall (Bombo: MY LOCATION!) as witnessed during the past 14 days (3.66") to balance the two previous dry years.

Posted by: AugustaJim | May 4, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Significant rain is over for most areas until the next batch moves in tomorrow afternoon and evening.

Posted by: AugustaJim | May 4, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

interesting info augustajim,
so obviously there are many ways of measuring a drought. there may not even be a proper answer to this, but when people say "we're in a drought" are they generally referring to a year-to-date deviation from the 30 year norm? or do you have to be a certain amount below the norm for a few years in a row for it to be a drought?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 4, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse


"different strokes for different folks"

Drought can manifest itself in more than one way.

An agricultural drought can occur with a severe 30 day deficit of rainfall during the growing season.

A hydrological drought which impacts the subsoil water table can result from several years of a deficit.

That is my greatest concern at the moment and the reason that I and many others understand that we need above normal precip. this year.

Spring,fall and winter surplus is required to break a true drought because the nature of summer rainfall dictates high runoff and evaporational rates create a substantial loss of summer precip.

Posted by: AugustaJim | May 4, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

you know, now that you mention it, i guess i was thinking of the "water table" kind of drought.

obviously "drought" is subjective term - depending on what you want the water for... it could rain/snow all winter and be dry all summer and that's a drought for a farmer. i bet there are all sorts of metrics for what's a drought.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 4, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

nice #s capital climate. washington dc really is consistent compared to seattle. apparently, april is our 2nd LEAST showery month...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 4, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse


You've got it!!

A beautiful long stretch of sunny dry weather for the boating or sports enthusiast can unfortunately be a drought for the farmer, who is producing food for everyone.

An ideal situation would be a balance for all !!

Posted by: AugustaJim | May 4, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

yes, for me all this rain means nothing. i measure droughts in terms of annual SNOWfall...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 5, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Just had a heavy thunderstorm develop right over us in the past half hour...

AugustaJim, have you been able to PLANT anything??? [Probably not, as everything here is POSITIVELY WATERLOGGED!!!] By now, the Shenandoah River must be above flood stage. I saw a reading from Paw Paw a couple days ago...but haven't seen any readings from Harpers Ferry, Cootes Store or other points upstream.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | May 7, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

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