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Posted at 9:45 PM ET, 11/11/2009

PM Update: Rain continues through tomorrow

By Ian Livingston

Storm not in a hurry to move away from the area

* Veterans Day often signals stormy weather | Photo contest *
* Outside now? Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall | Traffic *

Ida's juicy remnants are plaguing the region with rain, and that's not about to change. The southern half of the area has gotten the brunt of it so far, but almost everyone has seen pretty consistent rain since morning. Daytime highs near 50 mainly occurred around sunrise with most spots spending the day in the upper 40s thanks to the rain and breezy northeast winds. Hopefully you're a fan of clouds, rain and some wind, as this storm is in no hurry to depart.

Radar: Latest regional radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past three 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 persists through the night. As with today, the heaviest action should be centered on the southern half of the area, but the heavier rain shield may lift north at times to cover the whole area. Lows should settle into the low-to-mid 40s as breezes continue, maybe even increasing a bit, from the northeast.

Tomorrow (Thursday): The storm sticks around on Thursday, bringing more rain to the area. Again, the most intense activity should focus on southern and eastern sections. But everyone should see at least some rain. Highs look to range between 45 and 50 as a chilly northeast breeze persists around 15-25 mph with higher gusts.

By late in the day or evening, the north and west suburbs may see a break in the action, but this is a slow-moving storm and more rain is expected into the overnight.

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

Rain so far: As we've been talking about here, rain totals are generally skewed higher the further south one goes. This is most evident outside the immediate area. Some select totals through 2 p.m. today include: National, 0.29"; Dulles, 0.43"; Baltimore-Washington, 0.20"; Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, Va., 1.26"; Richmond, Va., 1.19"; and Dover, Del., 0.26". This general pattern should continue with some places, especially south of us, receiving multiple inches of rain when all is said and done.

By Ian Livingston  | November 11, 2009; 9:45 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Must say... really wish the 4-6" of rain that's supposed to fall outside were snow. Had it been, it might have rivaled the 38" I measured outside my backdoor during the blizzard of January 1996. Would love to see that much snowfall again (and no, I don't want to move to Colorado/Tahoe/Wherever to see it)...


Posted by: Registration1982 | November 11, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Overnight highs more like 60 than 50:

DCA 60 1222 AM
IAD 58 1226 AM
BWI 58 1224 AM

Posted by: CapitalClimate | November 11, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I had actually meant highs during daylight though it was clearly wrong as worded. Thanks!

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | November 11, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Does the NWS ever apologize for completely missing a forecast? This weekend they had this storm staying south and east of us, and didn't seem to shift until late yesterday. AccuWx had it nailed almost a week out. NWS still only has the rain chance at 70% for Friday. Seriously?

Posted by: DHinDC | November 11, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

KD, I wish it were snow too. Here on the Blue Ridge at 1900 ft, after a late night high temp of 49.5F, we dropped below 40F this AM. Since the sunset, we've dropped to 37.9F. While there is some mixed precip now showing up on intellicast radar on the WV/VA border, I don't think there is going to be enough cold air tonight for snow on the Blue Ridge :-(

Posted by: spgass1 | November 11, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Yikes guys - as of 9:45 this morning, you were still calling for a non-event.

Posted by: fleeciewool | November 11, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse


What part of the 9:45 a.m. forecast are you calling incorrect?

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 11, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

1.80" so far in NW Sptsy.

Posted by: VaTechBob | November 11, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I think we've been pretty on target for the storm if not needing to do some catching up initially. Highest totals are still generally south... a deformation band set up on the northwest periphery of the shield (sort of like a winter storm) which has brought some higher totals but mainly the northern and western ends are still running behind the rest. Tough system with the cutoff right over us. Not to swipe at AccuWx but they usually go with the extreme solution, so maybe that's why they seemed to score here.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | November 11, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

High elevations of west virginia and western virginia (highland county) are getting hit pretty hard tonight with snow. 3-7 is being predicted for the snowshoe area and i wouldn't be surprised if it is on the high end of that based on current radar trends. current temp at snowshoe is 28.

Posted by: jfva | November 11, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I have to give myself some props -- Thoughts From Sunday.

Main thing here might be that everything seems a bit north of past few days modeling, though it has caught up. Instead of some in the area staying somewhat dry it looks like everyone ends up with a good dousing with highest totals probably still hitting south and east more than north and west.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | November 12, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse


How would this system be different if it ran into sub-freezing temps in our area? I know the conversion is about 10" to 1" snow to rain, but would colder and dryer air cut-down the precip amounts and/or cause the system to move more quickly?

Posted by: caphillse | November 12, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the late reply guys, but since I've impugned your meteorological integrity on more than one occasion since joining Weymouth & Co., and since you've called me out specifically this last time, I think it's only fair that I respond:

From the 9:45 am forecast: (today) "a steady, though generally light rain is likely to last through much of the day..." [and] (tonight) continued overcast and breezy with showers likely, especially but not limited to south and east of town."

In my lifetime of DC weather forecasts, that is (to me and probably many others) calling for the area to be grazed, if not missed, by a noreaster passing to our south and east.

Posted by: fleeciewool | November 12, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Guys, you could at least leave up my reply to your post of 9:54 pm. Now it looks as though I've left you hanging. Oh well, plenty of noreasters to follow this one, I'm sure.

Posted by: fleeciewool | November 12, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse


Ummm, all three area airports essentially reported light rain the entire day yesterday and through the night, with heavier rain reported to the south and east. I guess anything's open to interpretation, but that sure sounds a lot like the forecast of "a steady, though generally light rain is likely to last through much of the day" and "showers likely (at night)" ... "calling for the area to be grazed, if not missed, by a noreaster passing to our south and east." are your words not ours.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 12, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to rant, but AccuWx doesn't take things to the extremes. They make calls, and stand behind them. You don't see confidence ratings next to their forecasts or in their videos. From your approach on the blog, you can never be right or wrong. Just generally in the neighborhood.

Sunday morning, they had the storm redeveloping along the coast and sticking through Friday. The link you posted from Sunday had rain passing by and ending yesterday afternoon.

What fun is predicting the weather if you don't make real predictions and see if they validate? The world has changed. More people read your forecast online then the paper. It's ok to be wrong sometimes, as long as you have a point of view.

Posted by: DHinDC | November 12, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

DHinDC, I linked to the comments section where I personally mentioned the growing chance of a storm.

Regarding AccuWx and our forecast: I would be willing to track over time how often AccuWx goes with the scenario that grabs headlines for the east coast against when they downplay (correctly or incorrectly). I also think a storm like this should be considered a fairly difficult forecast days in advance if for no other reason that the dividing line between heavy rains and little is very close if not over us.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | November 12, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the comments. We use confidence ratings because that's how the science of meteorology works. Sometimes the data allows forecasters to be more confident about a prediction than others, and we think it's only fair to the user that we be transparent about that.

Sometimes our forecasts are fairly deterministic when the data allows, and sometimes we present more than one scenario (and sometimes say which way we are leaning) when the situation warrants.

Obviously, in most cases at some point we have to make a more deterministic forecast and go with it. It's up to you and the rest of our users to judge how accurate and helpful our forecasts are.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 12, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

OK, last point. I appreciate what you are all doing on the blog. My broader point is that blogs like this should realize that their audience is made up of weather enthusiasts.

If people are looking for risk averse, safe forecasts they have plenty of options (NWS, Weather Channel, NBC4, etc.).

On the Web, it's better to have a point of view that sometimes doesn't work out then to be "sort of right" most of the time.

Hedging is for hedge funds. Have some fun and tell us what you really think!

Posted by: DHinDC | November 13, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse


Totally get the spirit of your comments. And I think there are definitely times that are right to take a stand based on the data, our experience and instincts. But I would also point out our audience is not at all limited to weather enthusiasts. We have thousands of users (and hope to attract thousands more) that are not necessarily weather enthusiasts but very much interested in using our forecasts to plan their day-to-day lives. Our goal is to do the best we can to cater to the D.C. area weather consumer, enthusiast or not. That said, I can't overstate how critical the enthusiasts are to the personality and community of the site.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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