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Posted at 3:25 PM ET, 09/10/2009

PM Update: Slow-Moving Storm Proves Tricky

By Ian Livingston

Probably damp and cool Friday, unless we see some sun

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Tricky forecasting of recent did not get easier today and we saw more sunshine than expected once again. Rain? It has mostly stayed east of the area today, but a band of more widespread activity is trying to march toward us from the east and may make it this evening or overnight. Highs ranging from near 70 to the mid-70s will only slowly fall back this evening, except in areas where rainfall drags temperatures down quicker. Occasionally gusty breezes from the northeast and north will continue into the night.

Radar: Latest regional radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past two hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Through Tonight: Rain chances tick up this evening and overnight as the slow-moving storm off the coast moves closer. It's still not a given that we see much rain, though some spots -- especially east -- could. Lows mostly range from the mid-50s to around 60. Breezes from the north continue, with some gusts to 20 mph or higher.

Tomorrow (Friday): It's fitting we end the work week with another forecast that's not simple. Do we see breaks of sun like the last two days or are we socked in with clouds and rain showers? I'm leaning toward the latter, but confidence is not high. As recently, best odds of widespread appreciable precipitation should be over eastern and northern parts of the area, and there should be a sharp cutoff with some places south and west not getting much at all. If clouds and rain win out we should see highs rise to around 70. Extra sunshine could push us well into the 70s.

See Josh Larson's full forecast through the beginning of next week. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

El Nino: NOAA's Climate Prediction Center announced today that El Nino is likely to strengthen into the upcoming winter, probably becoming moderate. Currently weak and still developing, the oceanic phenomenon can contribute to snowy (often weak or moderate Nino) or very non-snowy (strong Nino) winters in these parts. Impacts on the U.S. typically do not begin to show up till late fall, but as we've noted here before, El Nino is believed to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity due to increased wind shear across parts of the basin.

By Ian Livingston  | September 10, 2009; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Damp Friday, Winner of a Weekend


Funny (for weather fans) snippet in tonight's Area Forecast Discussion from LWX:

Have been watching this coastal low over the past couple of days not follow model trends or forecasts...not much has changed.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | September 10, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Blue Ridge report (1900 ft east of Front Royal):

Hi today 70.9F
currently 55.9F

Posted by: spgass1 | September 10, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Ian wrote: "...and west not getting much at all."

That's been true all week. I'm sure Bombo47 will be pleased to know I want some badly needed rain ;-)

Posted by: spgass1 | September 10, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this becoming a pattern? Spring we get a deluge. All other months we underperform in the precipitation department?

"The much-needed rain crowd" is back!

Posted by: LoudounGeek | September 10, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

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