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Posted at 3:45 PM ET, 03/ 9/2011

PM Update: Soaking rains gradually arrive

By Jason Samenow

Flood watch through Thursday night

For most of the region (except Frederick and western Loudoun county), the rains have held off today. Nonetheless, it's been gray and dreary, with highs mainly in the mid-to-upper 40s. Rain increases in areal coverage during the evening hours and sticks around through a good part of Thursday night.

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.

Through Tonight: Rains currently confined to our west and southwest should fill in over the area after around 6 p.m. from southwest to northeast. The delay in the rain is good news for the evening commute. The rain is mostly light when it starts, but should reach moderate intensity late at night and toward dawn, with even some pockets of heavy rain possible. Lows range from 43 to 48.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Rain is likely, and may be heavy at times. The best chance for heavy rain is during the afternoon and evening. A few embedded thunderstorms are possible within the rain bands. Increasing winds from the southeast, at 15-20 mph, push temperatures up through the 50s. Allow extra time for both the morning and evening rush hour, when heavy rain could fall and cause ponding of water on the roadways. Also, remember never to attempt crossing a flooded road - turn around, don't drown. Rainfall potential through Thursday evening is 1.5-3" with locally higher/lower amounts certainly possible.

See Dan Stillman's forecast through the weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Severe thunderstorms rake New Orleans: Yesterday I wrote about the tornado threat in southern Louisiana into Mississippi. Unfortunately, tornadic storms materialized in the region with three twister reports in the vicinity of New Orleans. At New Orleans International Airport, Accuweather reports a wind gust was clocked at 77 mph and incredibly, in just half an hour, three inches of rain fell. Fortunately, the line of fierce storms was polite enough to tear through the Big Easy around 6:30 a.m. this morning, in the wake of most of the Mardi Gras festivities.

By Jason Samenow  | March 9, 2011; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Images of day: Massive storm, big time rains


Just hold the floodgates back for a few more hours.....

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | March 9, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if it were about 10-15 degrees cooler. Yikes.

Posted by: 20009matt | March 9, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

you can see that bow of "red stuff" that went through new orleans is now in georgia and florida.

this is a very cool radar loop, but it only shows what's happening over land. is there any radar or satellite composite or some sort of graphic loop that would show what (if anything) is happening over the gulf of mexico?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 9, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What's all this about torrential rains? I'd like to pass on that, I've had enough rain thank you. Also I have to stand out and wait for a bus in the afternoon tomorrow and don't want to arrive at my destination looking like the swamp thing.

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 9, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm just worried about a pattern setting in. This area seems to like patterns. Not too long ago we seemed to have settled into a pattern of 1 nice day followed by a couple of days of a deluge. And, the rains came on the weekend! Talk about insult to injury. I'd like my rains evenly spaced out through a season.

Posted by: jojo2008 | March 9, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse
Walter, that is the best I could find for you. Really radar only reaches, effectively, 120 Nautical Miles. Not that far out into the Gulf.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: getjiggly1 | March 9, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

thanks camden. yeah, i know radar only goes so far, but there's some way that they make pretty good images of offshore hurricanes. so, when they're tracking a hurricane, is it satellite images which are somehow enhanced? is there anything like that?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 9, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

we sure are in for a soaking:


yeah, i'm a big fan of that radar image too; it's the most hi res i've been able to find. it gives you a much better perspective than the local radar loop.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | March 9, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm consoling myself with the knowledge that the green things yet to sprout need this water, and when the sun finally comes out they should spring to life after such a good soaking.

Posted by: angelicat | March 9, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

So far, this forecast has been a total bust. Based on predictions of rain in the afternoon I didn't ride my bike to work. As of 8:30 PM it's still not raining here. I could have ridden and saved the gas. What happened to the models? As it turned out I would have had at least a few hours of margin without getting wet. Contrast that to a week ago Monday when the rain came earlier than predicted and I got soaked on the way home.

Posted by: alrob8 | March 9, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

alrob8 - where are you located.. are you seeing showers now? You should be.

walter - usually you are seeing piped-in radar from cancun, belize, cuba even.. but in the dead center of the Gulf of Mexico--nothing. There have been experiemental radar buoys placed out there, but nothing has worked long term that I have seen.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

@alrob8: Weather happens. Or not. You're blaming a Web site for this?

Posted by: weathergrrl | March 9, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse


Yesterday, we said a 60% chance of rain this afternoon. This morning we dropped that down to a 50% chance of rain this afternoon. That should've made it clear to you afternoon rain was no sure thing. Rain has gradually developed this evening everywhere as expected.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

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