An East coast pattern change will bring much needed rain to the region; however, it may disrupt outdoor weekend plans. We need the rain, though, and we could see quite a bit.
I feel like a broken record talking about how dry it's been, as of late. Up until today, most of the area is about 5 inches below average for the year!
- 2012 D.C. Rainfall Deficits
Abnormally dry conditions persist across our area with parts of the Eastern Shore of Maryland under a severe drought. Things are about to change, though. The weather pattern is changing for this weekend and that means some significant rainfall for DC and many areas along the East coast. Along with the beneficial rain will also come some much cooler temperatures, so get ready for a spring chill!
Let me first explain what is going to happen this weekend. A cold front will approach DC by mid-afternoon Saturday and will trigger afternoon showers and thunderstorms. That's not the main reason we think it's going to be a wet weekend. At the same time the cold front moves into the region, an area of low pressure will develop over the Gulf of Mexico and will intensify, as it moves up the East coast. Here's a snapshot of the 18z GFS model at 2PM Sunday afternoon.
- 18z GFS
Notice the low sitting right off North Carolina and all of the precipitation around the Mid-Atlantic. The low will continue to strengthen and move North (and eventually a bit farther West over New England), but will not only bring D.C. a steady rain on Sunday, but will also usher in some much cooler air. In fact, temperatures on Sunday and Monday will only be in the 50s! That's a bit of a change from the *near 90 degree temperatures we had on Monday!
So back to the rain, just how much are we going to get? Well, I think we could easily pick up an inch. I wouldn't be surprised if some spots got closer to two inches. The most rain will likely fall on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where conditions are even drier than right here in D.C. Regardless, the bulk of the steady rain, associated with the coastal storm will fall throughout the day on Sunday and eventually taper off early Monday. Here's the latest QPF from the HPC.
- HPC QPF
If you were hoping to get some yardwork done this weekend, well, my advice would be to get it done early Saturday morning. Before the front arrives, we'll see a little sunshine, but it will be warm with temperatures in the 70s. Then showers and storms will develop and then that coastal storm will bring us the rain, gusty winds, and cooler temperatures. For all of you that did a raindance... it looks like it worked!