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Posted at 3:20 PM ET, 10/15/2009

PM Update: Rain, Showers and Drizzle... Brrr!

By Ian Livingston

Cold and moist pattern persists through the weekend

* Harvest Moon over Arboretum | Record Cold Climate Misconceptions *
* Outside Now? Radar, Temps, Clouds & More: Weather Wall *

Rain and cold air made today feel a bit like winter has begun. In fact, I can recall similar January days over recent years! Many parts of the area have seen around a half-inch of rain since yesterday, including totals (through 2 p.m) of 0.44" at DCA and 0.55" at IAD. While the intensity and consistency is scaling back as the first batch heads northeast, precipitation stays in the forecast for the near future. Highs that reached the upper 40s to near 50 won't drop too fast but we'll be quite chilled again -- as if we're not already -- overnight.

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: Though the first main batch of rain will be off to the northeast, additional moisture will stream across the area. Intermittent rain and drizzle is likely through the night as lows fall to the upper 30s and lower 40s.

Tomorrow (Friday): We stay cloudy and continue with a good chance of rain. Compared to today, the rain should be lighter in nature much of the time. There could also be some lulls, though drizzle may still fall during those periods as the air remains saturated. Best odds for more significant rain returning look to be centered on afternoon into evening. Temperatures crawling toward the mid-40s should do it most spots.

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.

Colorado Balloon Incident: (3:45 p.m. update) Authorities in Colorado were tracking what they believed to be a young boy in a helium balloon that lifted off from his home. Denver meteorologist Marty Coniglio -- also a pilot -- said that conditions could be worse weather-wise, as it's currently clear with generally light winds. Winds in the area are from the northwest around 15-20 mph and they pushed the balloon southeast, to the east of Denver. The balloon has since landed with no sign of the boy inside.

By Ian Livingston  | October 15, 2009; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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According to the Denver Post, the 'balloon boy's' father is am amateur meteorologist.

From the Post: "Richard Heene is an amateur scientist based out of Fort Collins. He and his partners call themselves the "psyience detectives." Heene is a storm chaser who collects data to prove that rotating storms create their own magnetic fields.

He began his research in 2002 with lab experiments, then moved on to dust devils. In 2005, he flew a plane around Hurricane Wilma's perimeter."

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | October 15, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It all sounds a bit fishy at this point. I'm not balloon expert like they had on FOX News, who suggested the kid might be hiding under his bed, but it looks like there was no real way into the balloon from what they showed on the ground. Then the other question is was this enough helium to lift a kid?

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | October 15, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Looks like there was no child in the balloon after all. We can only hope that the boy is somewhere safe in his neighborhood and that he didn't fall out of the balloon...

Posted by: Ann-CapitalWeatherGang | October 15, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Just found ballooon boy - hiding in the attic of his parent's house:

Posted by: kridgely | October 15, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess that's good news even if the whole thing seems a bit ridiculous now.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | October 15, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Today was RAW, but we definitely need the rain, so I'm satisfied.

Posted by: wecndo | October 15, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Anybody have a good explanation for this formation? I wish I had been there to see it!

Posted by: CM_in_Fairfax | October 15, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately we seem to be locked into a five-day "much-needed-rain" raw spell. I'm already fed up with this raw weather; even the crickets have run into hiding or are being prematurely killed by all this cold.

This is some of the worst weather I've seen for so early in the season--it compares only with 10/10/79 when we got the unusual early snow here in Arlington. Wonder if it will dip into the thirties & we might see some sleet or snow before all this crud exits us.

Our only problem--we can't ever seem to get this sort of five-day spell later in the season when we could use a good multi-day snow event. All we ever seem to get is this lousy, cruddy long-term cold rain.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 15, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry El Bombo but some of us welcome this rain. We have not had any rain in October and for those who do not live in a concrete jungle it is essential that the shrubs and trees get the moisture at this time of the year. Hope it doesn't interfere with your dances.

Posted by: MKadyman | October 15, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

My folks up near Williamsport PA have 2 inches of snow on the ground so far (9 pm). Reminds me of the only other time I saw it snow up there in mid-October. We got 4 inches on Oct 17, 1977. And we all know what kind of winter that was. I'm just saying.

Posted by: curtmccormick | October 15, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree this weather is raw.
At least you didn't have to be outside in it for much of the day like I was.
Working at an airport is tough, especially on days like today. So the next time your flights delayed and you're aggravated that you've sat on the ground for 3 hours, just be thankful you're in a nice warm airplane, or inside the terminal, instead of outside in the rain with the ground support guys.

Posted by: Havoc737 | October 15, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

CM_in_Fairfax, I think it is a hole punch cloud.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | October 16, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

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