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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 10/ 1/2010

Forecast: 'Rainageddon' out, cooler air in

By Camden Walker

Today's gusty winds relax for a cool autumn weekend

* Storm impact coverage: PostLocal | AM commute: Dr. Gridlock *
* Citizen observer rain totals: VA, MD | NWS Mesonet rain totals *
* Outside now? Radar, temps, clouds & more: Weather Wall *
* Later on CWG: Recap of rain totals and more *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the
day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.


Rain relents, but gusty winds pester. Low-to-mid 70s still feel nice enough to keep the digit from dipping lower.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Showers ending. Windy with increasing p.m. sun. Low-to-mid 70s. | Tonight: Clear skies. Upper 40s to low 50s. | Tomorrow: Mostly to partly sunny. Upper 60s to low 70s. | Sunday: Partly sunny. Chance of p.m. showers. 60s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A. Camden WalkerOur tropical deluge -- just the latest extreme weather event of 2010 -- departed overnight after dumping several inches of rain across the area. Even with the heavy rains gone, you may still want to leave extra time this morning for another commute on waterlogged roads. Once we get past today's gusty winds, we have a pretty decent several days in store if you're a fan of fall. Sure, there are a few rain chances along the way. But nothing like the drenching we just saw.

Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Friday): The heavy rain has moved off to the northeast, but some lighter showers may linger through mid-to-late morning (50% chance) along with clouds and maybe patchy fog. Cloud cover may show some cracks by midday with sunshine increasing from west to east during the afternoon as highs make the low-to-mid 70s. Drier air streams in on blustery winds from the northwest -- sustained around 20-25 mph at times with gusts to near 35 mph. Watch out for tree limbs and other objects loosened by our recent rains. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Mostly clear skies (woo!) with slackening breezes. Low temperatures have autumn written all over them -- upper 40s in the suburbs to low 50s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast into next week...

Tomorrow (Saturday): Mother Nature delivers cool, dry Canadian air. Glorious highs in the upper 60s to low 70s will feel great. Agreed? Breezes are light and refreshing, too. Less than 10 mph. Skies should be mostly sunny through much of the day, but some some clouds could mix in later in the afternoon. There's even a small chance a light shower or sprinkle could sneak in toward evening. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Skies may cloud up a bit. Could be a couple light showers around (20-30% chance). Evening temperatures fall through the 60s. Overnight, temperatures drop again toward lows in the upper 40s to low 50s. Looking forward to keeping your windows open? Though you might plan to make sure radar is clear before heading to sleep. Confidence: Medium

Sunday: Clouds may battle the sun, especially during the afternoon when upper-level low pressure could generate some light showers (30-50% chance - a wide range because of how unpredictable this kind of weather pattern is). But we can still enjoy this pleasant air mass with cooler highs in the 60s. Confidence: Low


The chance of light showers could continue Sunday night with lows in the 40s to near 50. Confidence: Low

That upper-level low threatens to stick around Monday & Tuesday, and so do shower chances along with some clouds. Temperatures remain cool with highs likely in the 60s. Confidence: Low

By Camden Walker  | October 1, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Torrential rains swamping region
Next: Rainfall records for D.C., Baltimore


The rain is gone, hallelujah! I thought I was gonna have to build an ark. After months of Southern California type weather everyone was hoping for rain, and we certainly got it. Another case of be careful what you ask for.

Posted by: rwalker66 | October 1, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Can we stop with the whatever"geddon" whenever there's a storm that lasts more than 15 minutes? Snowmageddon wasn't that clever, or "cute" of a term, and neither are any of the spin off attempts. When the world actually does come to an end by way of storm, then you can have your "'geddons."

Posted by: Havoc737 | October 1, 2010 5:54 AM | Report abuse

Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed. It's Friday, lighten up.

Posted by: rwalker66 | October 1, 2010 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Question: is the drought over?

Posted by: wrytous | October 1, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow this forecast was botched pretty bad. We got about 3x more rain than what was originally forecast on Wednesday night. The storm shifted about 100 miles further west than anyone thought. Even Bastardi and co. screwed the pooch on this one. We ended up with about 7+ inches here in Manassas Park with most of it coming in that unpredicted 2nd wave yesterday from 4pm-1am this morning that took all the forecasters by surprise. Not the weather forecasters guild's finest moment for sure.

Posted by: j0nx | October 1, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Don't look now, but we may have another tropical system headed our way by next week. To early to tell for sure, obviously, but worth keeping an eye (pun intended) on.

Posted by: bdeco | October 1, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Arcola, near Dulles - home gauge measured 3.5 inch yesterday morning. Since then? another 3 inch for a total of 6.5. Somewhat inline with official IAD numbers. IAD turned a 5 inch deficit into a net surplus for the year.
CWG's 2-4 inch was right on for the first wave.

Posted by: LoudounGeek | October 1, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse


More than 13" of rain at St. Mary's City. Now that's rain you can believe in.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 1, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

I was wondering if someone was going to attach a "geddon" to the crazy rain! Anyone gonna come up with a funny name for the summer from hell we've had?

Posted by: BruinGirl2001 | October 1, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Wow, it is Commentageddon this morning! I'm just kidding, Havoc, and agree with your overkill viewpoint. But this was an impressive event and the weather models struggled up to the very last minute on the exact track of the heaviest rainfall. In meteorology, it is much easier to forecast rain and even heavy rain than it is to forecast how much. Just like snow storms.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | October 1, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to yesterday's warmth, Cooling Degree Days up to 2,082, compared to the previous 1980 record of 2,006.

So far no Heating Degree Days... but that may soon change.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 1, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Got another inch just north of Harpers Ferry. Rain bucket measurement for storm is 5 inches. Plus 3.3" in previous system on Tuesday. Plus 1" in two T-storms in mid-Sept. So the total for month of Sept. (stretching to call the last inch in before midnight): 9.3 inches. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic for our summer drought: hard on the fields/forest but a lot easier on the house.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | October 1, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Are the chances of rain down on doswell ( kings dominion) still around 30% for tomorrow night? Wife is wanting to go down for the haunt.

Posted by: paul-Sterling | October 1, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Summer of hell, fall of high water?

Posted by: eric654 | October 1, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

After 15 years in Southern California, I love the rain! It was exciting just to christen my new raincoat.

Posted by: padre1957 | October 1, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Summerciless, Falling water

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 1, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1, is that DCA cooling degree days you are quoting? quite impressive if we broke the record...

padre1957, welcome to DC! hope to have more rain for that coat soon, haha

tinkerbelle, that is great news. That area of WV & VA really needed the rain, right?

I thought the 'geddon suffix would be funny because it is so overused; however, it was an impressive record-setting event! please let me have the title-fun, just one more time? :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 1, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

For the wild weather: "Summer Swelter, Fallout Shelter"? (From the lyrics to "American Pie" by Don McLean)

Posted by: gewaldron | October 1, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I will also pile on and request that the Post stop tagging "geddon" on the end of above average storms like we had over the past few days. This storm did not interrupt my life at all like the winter storms which were very disruptive.

Posted by: jjn123 | October 1, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

i think these storm names are silly.

and, if i were serious about naming this storm the name would have to include the date and year to be useful. but i like puns and i like being silly, so....i'd like to offer a slight variation of SpiralStairs' suggestion from yesterday: s/he said "aquapocalypse". that's good, but it has too many syllables to sound like "apocalypse".

so, i suggest "aquacalypse" - pronounced "uh-KWA-kuh-lips".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | October 1, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey Camden,

Here's the scoop from just outside of Sperryville, in a "holler" between two fingers coming off of the Blue Ridge: 2.9" during "phase one" (9/27-9/28), and 6.5" in the latest, for a total of 9.4". The North Fork Thornton was just puddles you can kayak it (but watch out for the barbed wire).

Posted by: NorthFork1 | October 1, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Unbelievable rain. I took this pix of my rain gauge in NE DC (Cap. hill area) for the non believers. My gauge only has markings for up to 6.5 inches. I estimated that we got a tad under 8" total.

Posted by: jojo2008 | October 1, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

It's a blustery day. Put on your boots & break out the kites.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | October 1, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Wow, people are grumpy. For those of you who say the storm impact was nil. I am thinking of sending a rainfall measurement based on the inches of water in my basement.

Posted by: clarkjr | October 1, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Re: "Rainageddon" comments ... I don't think we'll be in the business here of naming every storm for the rest of time. But this was yet another example of an impressive and sometimes relentless overperforming 2010 storm. It fits the extreme theme we've seen this entire year (and back into Dec. 2009 of course), thus the name seems apt. Plus, it's Friday, so we can have a little fun, no?. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | October 1, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Re grumpiness: My observation is that low atmospheric pressure does that to folks. My pets snooze when the barometer drops; my family growls. Of course it's rising now but that was a long stretch of low.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | October 1, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

jjn123 -I hear ya.
walter-in-fallschurch - that's excellent!
NorthFork1 - that is a TON of rain! Yeah I know the that small stream and it always looks inviting, but I wouldn't kayak ;) ps, I miss Sperryville Emporium (long ago) and.. the Appetite Repair Shop :)
jojo2008 - that looks quite impressive. There was no splashing in or near the gauge, right? It's top has a funnel to gently allow the rain in?
FIREDRAGON47 - isn't it great today?? :)
clarkjr - eek, hope you have a shop vac? :(

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 1, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Re grumpiness: My observation is that low atmospheric pressure does that to folks. My pets snooze when the barometer drops; my family growls. Of course it's rising now but that was a long stretch of low.

[Sorry if this posted 2x. My computer has the growls too.]

Posted by: tinkerbelle | October 1, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Jojo2008: I believe you. Most people got between 5 and 8 inches in and around the DC and Baltimore metro areas.

Here in Del Ray (Old Town Alexandria), the final total in my rain bucket for this entire event is a whopping 7.02"! So another almost 1.5" fell since I last looked at 10PM last night. Now... BRING ON THE SUNSHINE!!!!! =o)

Posted by: KJ71 | October 1, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The top of the rain gauge is rectangular. The base is also rectangular but slightly smaller than the top in diameter. I bought it at the kmart a while ago. I figure it's more accurate than those rain bucket measurements that people are reporting. No splashing that I can see. One way I know it's accurate: it always measures more rain than the official weather station at DCA, ha-ha.

Posted by: jojo2008 | October 1, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

In N. Arlington near Marymount I measured a total of 4.5" on back deck rain gauge.

3.1 was in the first part of the storm that ended yesterday afternoon, 1.4 remaining was starting about dusk yesterday evening.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | October 1, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Quick and dirty assessment of our own forecast performance on this one:

From a planning and preparation perspective, I think we did fine. We warned ahead of time of the likelihood for heavy rain and the potential for flooding. For round 1, we got the timing of heaviest rain correct (late Wed. night into midday Thurs.). We didn't begin to get a handle on last night's second round until yesterday morning, though by noontime we accurately predicted yesterday afternoon's lull and the potential to be pounded again last night.

We didn't do as great a job on rain totals, though it wasn't a total bust. What was basically our final official forecast -- 2-4"+ (the plus meaning locally higher amounts, which is always the case with these kinds of storms) -- wasn't on the mark but wasn't that far off either. Rain total reports and radar-estimated precip. indicate much of the immediate metro area finished with around 4-6". We did not do a good job of quantifying the locally higher amounts, most notably along the western shore of the Bay where there were double-digit totals. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | October 1, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

jojo2008, you are funny- I get ya!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 1, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I think the last time we got a rain event like this one was April 2008 when just about anything in my house that could leak ended up leaking. We got over 9" in 30 hours on that storm and this one was right on par with that event except the winds were much stronger in the 2008 event which is what caused the leaking in my house from the windows and doors as the hard rain was blown directly into them. The vast majority of the rain we got in this most recent storm came from the 2nd round that hit us around rush hour yesterday and lasted until about 1am this morning. That forecast was an utter miss on the part of all forecasters and most of them were caught with their pants down as the storm shifted 100 miles to the west and soaked most of the western areas outside the beltway. The storm center appeared to be riding right up I95 for the entire east coast on a beeline to wreak havoc on every east coast major city. Very odd behavior for a storm track...

Posted by: j0nx | October 1, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

So what were the totals?

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | October 1, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

My neighbor's weather station measured 6" since Wednesday. As a result, my basement sump pump has been running every ten minutes or so.

Regarding the next rain event Sunday and early next week, I hope we're talking about much smaller totals.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | October 1, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

anarcho-liberal-tarian - check out Ian's latest post this morning for detailed info:
Here is an excerpt for you:
*National (DCA): 4.66" yesterday (previous record: 2.76" in 1924)
*Dulles (IAD): 4.74" yesterday (previous record: 0.86" in 1976)
*Baltimore-Washington (BWI): 6.02" yesterday (previous record: 1.60" in 1920)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 1, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

david_in_stafford - wow, 6" of rain is an impressive total. I hate the sound of a constantly running sump pump, btw, but it is necessary in rains like this!
yes this weekend's rain will be minor and barely noticeable if/when it does shower--nothing like this tropical rain plume we just had!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 1, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

There were so many big weather events in this area for this year that we'll probably just look back at it and call it "2010ageddon."

Couldn't help but throw a little fuel on the fire....

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | October 1, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Camden, thanks for the reply. Yes, I too dislike the noise of a constanly-running sump pump, but it's better than a flooded basement at this point.

Glad to hear the early week's rainfall will be negligible compared to the 48-hour monsoon we've just experienced.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | October 1, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Tom in Michigan Park is doing his HAPPY DANCE!!!!

Fantastic rain--and we needed EVERY drop (and then some). Two rain gauges (Brookstone & Casey Trees) on the front lawn measured 5.48" and 6.11", respectively. Suspect some 'bounce back' into the Casey Trees gauge as it is lower to the ground.

National Airport remains 2.67" below average for the year. Our deficit has been substantially reduced but not eliminated, so bring on more RAIN!!!

Posted by: TominMichiganParkDC | October 1, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

SkywalkerSS - excellent fuel ;) thanks

TominMichiganParkDC - agree we need a little more, but a break might be good so that new rain doesn't immediately run off. Also, like that you account for ran gauge "bounce back"

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 1, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Camden, the Cooling Degree Days data is for DCA. We gotta' do something about that current DCA deficit of 24 Heating Degree Days.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 1, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Jerry, will try to get some arctic air in here for ya--stat!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 1, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

BTW Southern California is getting thunderstorms as a persistent low parks over the region...please check Vaisala or StrikeStar U.S.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 1, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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