From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for October 2013

November weather outlook in Washington, D.C.

October 31, 2013 - 10:24 AM

It's hard to believe October is over and there are only two months left in 2013. October experienced very warm temperatures (remember the 90 degree days early in the month?) as well as very heavy rainfall (over 6" recorded for the month). November continues the downward spiral in temperatures with an additional 10 degrees being lost as far as average temperatures are concerned. The average high tomorrow is 63 degrees, and by November 30th it's down to 52 degrees.

November Normals and Interesting Tidbits

November 2012 featured very cold temperatures as the month ended up 3 degrees below average and the region saw a trace of snow on the 7th and 8th, though I'm pretty sure those were just reports of flurries or graupel. The first day below freezing at Reagan National typically happens in November, with the average being November 18th. Last year Reagan National hit 32 degrees on the 26th, but 30s were common for low temperatures as they bottomed out in the 30s 19 times out of the 30 days in the month.

Related: 1987 Veterans Day Snowstorm

Snow hasn't been a big issue in the month over the past 5 years but it does occur during the month. The biggest snowstorm in November was the Veterans Day storm in 1987 which brought 11.5" of snow to Reagan National. There have also been 3 other snows of 6" or more recorded in the month in 1953, 1938 and 1967. Needless to say, heavy snow hasn't happened in over 25 years in D.C. during the month.

November temperature normals and extremes for Washington.

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Halloween 2013 weather forecast for D.C. area

October 30, 2013 - 01:15 PM


Temperatures are still expected to be comfortable tomorrow night but shower chances remain even as early as trick-or-treating hours. The highest threat for rain will hold off until the overnight hours, but a few showers may slide in as early as the late afternoon and early evening. Even if these showers to come to fruition, they should be isolated and light in nature. Below is a look at the latest 4km NAM Model forecast for tomorrow afternoon at 5pm. A few showers may be dotting the radar around D.C. at that time but they should be rather light.

4km NAM Model Composite Reflectivity forecast for tomorrow at 5pm

Winds look like they will be out of the south around 10 to 15 mph, so it will be a little breezy at times. Temperatures should be very comfortable through the day and evening, as high temperatures will approach the lower 70s and fall into the 60s by the evening. At this point, we think temperatures will stay in the 60s through the evening, so you won't even have to worry about wearing a warm costume out this year!

Showers and the potential for a few thunderstorms will be possible overnight into Friday morning. Winds only a couple thousand feet above the ground will be screaming at 60 mph or greater so a few high wind gusts may be possible early Friday with the rain.

QPF Forecast through Sunday morning from the WPC

This system is expecting to bring more rain to the area, but not nearly as much as other locations in the U.S. Everywhere from Texas through the upper Mississippi Valley is expected to have multiple inches of rain from this system over the next few days. As the frontal boundary moves east, it will become more progressive and should exit the D.C. area by Friday afternoon. At this point, Friday is still expected to be warm with highs in the low 70s, but changes may be necessary if the frontal boundary decides to slow down and hang around.

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Hurricane Sandy anniversary marked a year after massive storm

October 29, 2013 - 04:06 AM

It was a storm of epic proportions that nobody will ever forget. Sandy made landfall on this day one year ago, five miles southwest of Atlantic City, N.J., as a post-tropical cyclone.

Its impacts were far-reaching, including flooding rain, damaging winds and heavy snow from the D.C. area to the far western Appalachian slopes.

The spiral rain bands around Sandy quickly chopped down the rainfall deficit down for the year in Washington. Initially, Reagan National Airport was almost 9 inches behind par for precipitation. Sandy sliced that deficit in half, after the storm produced 4.84 inches of rain in Washington.

Baltimore had its fifth highest rainfall for any day of the year, getting 6.67 inches. Totals were highest east of the Chesapeake Bay where 8 to 10 inches was reported and less along the Interstate 81 corridor with 5 to 7 inches from Hagerstown to Winchester.

Sandy rain

Peak wind gusts ranged from about 35 to 55 mph across the entire metro area. A few of the highest gusts around 60 mph were clocked in northern Fairfax County with widespread 50-55 mph gusts along the Blue Ridge spine.

Sandy wind

Storm surge wasn’t as bad as it could have been had Sandy’s center passed by to the south of Washington. Instead of a strong south or southeast wind producing a long fetch up the Chesapeake Bay or Potomac River, northwest winds coming off the Blue Ridge slopes kept surge to 3 to 3.69 feet above normal tide along the Potomac and Chesapeake.

Sandy surge

Sandy was a unique storm in that it combined with a dip in the jet stream across the Mid-Atlantic, allowing colder air to filter from Canada into the Appalachians.

As Sandy approached this dip or trough, it combined the cold air with the moisture to produce crippling heavy snow in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Highlands. Locally, Skyline Drive at Big Meadows was socked with a foot of snow.

Farther west along the Allegheny mountains, Bayard, W.Va., got slammed with 2 feet of snow. The highest total in Maryland was Redhouse in Garrett County with 28 inches of snow. Strong wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph toppled trees along large stretches of the Alleghenies and Blue Ridge where the snow occurred.

Sandy snow

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NCAA College Football Weather Forecasts-Week 9

October 25, 2013 - 03:23 PM

Week 9 of College football underway and an expansive surface high pressure anchored in the eastern half of the nation will keep temperatures very cool through the weekend with values expected to be below normal for this time of the year. Northwest of the high in Central Canada, a clipper system will continue to drop down towards the Great Lakes region by Saturday morning. Very widely scattered lake-effect rain showers are possible on Friday, with the chances for precipitation increasing as the system gets closer. Most of the
precipitation should be more of a cold rain, but some mixing of snow
cannot be ruled out, especially during the overnight hours of Saturday and
into early morning on Sunday.


Saturday Games

Wake Forest at Miami: SunLife Stadium, Miami, FL Noon: Breezy with winds NE 10 - 20 mph. Plenty of sunshine with temperatures right around 80 through the duration of the game.

#19 Oklahoma State at Iowa State: Jack Twice Stadium, Ames, Iowa 11 AM (CT): Temperatures teeter right around the mid 40s through the game but it will feel much colder than that with the gusty winds! Winds moving out of the NNW at 15-25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph! That will make it feel like it is anywhere from the mid-30 around the 40 degree mark. Sunshine through the game.

UConn at #23 UCF: Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, FL Noon: Starting off in the mid 70s at kickoff and moving to the upper 70s by the 4th quarter. Beautiful with NNE wind at 5-10 mph and all sunshine!

GA Tech at UVA: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA, 12:30PM: Great day but slightly breezy with winds SW 10 -15 mph and plenty of sunshine!

Pitt at Navy: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD, 1:00PM: Mid 50s through the duration of the game with winds increasing through the morning. SW winds 10 - 20 mph with sunshine!

Old Dominion at Norfolk State: Dick Price Stadium, Norfolk, VA 1:00PM: All sunshine with temperatures right around 60 degrees all game. SW winds at 5 - 10 mph.

Tennessee at #1 Alabama: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL 2:30CT: A very chilly morning to start! Light winds and warming into the lower 60s by kickoff. Mid 50s by the 4th with sunset at 6:06PM.

William and Mary at JMU: Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, VA 3:30: Perfect day with a slight breeze out of the SW at 10 - 15 mph. Sunshine and temperatures in the lower 50s to start slipping to the upper 40s by 4th. Sunset at 6:24 PM.

NC State at #2 Florida State: Doak-Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL, 3:30PM: Light winds with sunshine. Falling from 70 at kicoff to the mid 60s. Sunset at 6:56PM.

#9 Clemson at Maryland: Byrd Stadium, College Park, MD 3:30PM: Sunset at 6:16 PM with some breezy winds early (calming through the evening) SW 10 - 15 mph. Temperatures drop from the mid50s to the lower 50s through the game.

#10 Texas Tech at #15 Oklahoma: Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK, 2:30CT: We have rain in the forecast (40%) with some isolated storms in the mix. Temperatures in the lower 60s at the start and headed to the upper 50s by the 4th.  SSW 5-10 mph

Duke at #14 VA Tech: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA 3:30PM: Chilly morning to start and chilly through the game with temperatures only around 50 degrees. Sunset at 6:32 PM, winds SW at 7-13 mph

Eastern Michigan at #18 N. Illinois: Huskie Stadium, DeKale, IL 2:30CT: Sunshine with winds SW 10 - 15 mph. Temperatures static at the 50 degree mark. Sunset at 5:59PM.

WVU at Kansas State: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS, 2:30CT: Sunshine to start with sun setting at 6:34 PM. Winds west at 8-14 mph and temperatures slipping down through the 50s.

#12 UCLA at # Oregon: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR, 4PT: Sunshine with winds decreasing (breezy start, N 10 -15 mph). Sunset at 6:13 PM. Getting chilly as temperatures fall from the upper 50s at kickoff to the mid 40s at the 4th.

#21 USC at #5 MIzzou: Faurot Field, Columbia, MO, 6:00CT: Great night. North wins at 5-10 mph and temperatures falling form mid 50s to mid 40s by 4th.

#8 Baylor at Kansas: Lawrence, KS, Memorial Stadium 6:00CT: Sunshine and clear as the sun will set at 6:27 PM. North winds, 5-10 mph. Mid 55 to start and cooling rapidly to the lower 40s.

Furman at #13 LSU: Tigers Stadium, Baton Rouge, AL, 6:00CT: Clear skies! Sunset's at 6:27PM. Falling through the 60s through the game.

Florida Atlantic at #11 Auburn: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL 6:30PM: Light winds with temperatures dropping through the lower 50s to the upper 40s. Sunset at 5:58 PM a great night for a game!

Penn State at #4 Ohio State: The Horseshoe, Columbus, OH, 6:39PM: Mid 40s to start and falling to low 40s by the 4th. West winds at 5 -10 mph. Decreasing clouds but remaining dry.

#6 Stanford at #25 Oregon State: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon, 7:30PM: Mid 50s at kickoff with clouds. Dropping to around 50 degree by 4th with NW winds at 3-7 mph. Sunset at 6:13 PM.



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Freeze Warning for parts of the D.C. area through 10 am Friday

October 24, 2013 - 01:58 PM

UPDATE 10pm: The *Freeze Warning* has been expanded to include the entire abc7 and News Channel 8 viewing area.  That said, we are not expecting everybody to dip down to freezing.  For example, it's unlikely that the city center of Washington and immediately along the waterways will drop to freezing. Here is the updated map:

Freeze Warning Midnight through 10am Friday


A Freeze Warning has been issued for parts of the D.C. area including everywhere along I-95 and points west. This does not include the District of Columbia. Below is a look at the warning shaded in light blue. Warnings along and east of the Blue Ridge start at 3am Friday and continue through 10am.

Freeze Warning Midnight through 10am Friday

Temperatures will fall into the 30s throughout the region and possibly even upper 20s in the extreme western suburbs and higher elevations. It may also fall into the upper 20s in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Per the Sterling NWS Office,

"A Freeze Warning is issued when significant, widespread freezing temperatures are expected.

A Freeze Warning is issued in the autumn until the end of the growing season (marked by the occurrence of first widespread freeze). The normal end of the growing season is mid to late October west of the Blue Ridge and early November east of the Blue Ridge. However, during anomalously warm autumns, the growing season may be extended past the normal end of the growing season."

4km NAM Model forecast for tomorrow morning

Above is a look at the forecast lows tonight from the 4km NAM model through Now again, these are forecast lows, so they may not be quite as cold as above if the wind stays up by a few mph or if a few pockets of clouds hang around. Regardless, it will be cold and many spots will experience a hard freeze.

Areas around and east of D.C. shouldn't see quite as cold temperatures because of elevation (closer to sea level) and the main influence from the proximity of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay (Water temperatures are still 60°F in both bodies of water).

High temperatures should reach the mid 50s Friday and again dip into the 30s Saturday morning. Additional Freeze Warnings may be possible if areas don't have a hard freeze tonight. If this is the case, we'll let you know. Warmer temperatures in the upper 50s to around 60 degrees are expected through the weekend.


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Western snow, then a frost and possible freeze in the D.C. area

October 23, 2013 - 10:52 AM
Photo: Barbara Michael

Snow fell in some of the higher elevations in the far western suburbs Wednesday morning, and snow showers will continue to be possible through the afternoon in those locations.

We've had a few photos shared with us and also will be showing a great timelapse on air throughout the day from Swanton, Md. Below is a photo shared by our old coworker Alan Auglis. He works for WHAG in Hagerstown, MD and has a fair amount of followers that saw some snow this morning!

Here's another picture sent in to Alan from Oakland, MD.

Here's another pic from our very own Brian van de Graaff of Swanton, Md. on our WeatherBug system.

With cooler air spilling into the region, temperatures are only expected to reach the mid 50s through the majority of the area and possibly the upper 50s downtown. An additional shower or two will be possible through the early afternoon hours as a disturbance moves overhead.

Forecast low temperatures tonight

We'll be cooling down substantially in the overnight hours with lows in the 30s through the region and closer to the 40 degree mark in the city. We may even flirt with the freezing mark in the western suburbs tonight such as in Frederick and points west of the Blue Ridge.

Above is a look at the forecast lows for Wednesday night, which may even be a little warm in the western suburbs. No advisories are posted tonight in the area, but a Freeze Watch has been issued for areas along I-95 and points west Thursday night into Friday morning.

Freeze Watch Thursday Night into Friday morning for the area shaded in blue

Regardless of temperatures tonight, Thursday night and Friday night look even colder, so at this point we think many areas (at least west of D.C.) will see the freezing mark in the next 72 hours or so which will officially mark the end of the growing season.

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D.C. weather forecast: Cold weather expected this week

October 21, 2013 - 09:42 AM

For the first time in months, I had to turn on the seat heaters in my car for the drive in. The coldest air of the season arrived Monday along with Frost Advisories west of D.C. It's the coldest morning we've had in five months. Here's a look at the chilly morning lows.


Monday Morning Lows


No records were broken; in fact, there was little frost to report, but it was a glimpse at what we can expect later this week.

While it might seem like a bit of a shock to the system, the cool air arrived right on time. Check out the average first frost dates for the area.

Average First Frost Dates

On a bright note, we will have a wide range of temperatures Monday and end up in the upper 60s with plenty of sunshine. We need these chilly nights and warm days to help our leaves turn more brilliant colors.
Much cooler arctic air that is in the upper Midwest will make an arrival by midweek. Frost will be even more likely than today with the coldest mornings on Thursday and Friday. Check out the forecast lows by the GFS model for Friday morning. 

GFS Forecast Low Temperatures Friday (WeatherBell)

There is an unofficial rule in meteorology, especially this time of the year, that the second day of high pressure is the coldest. That will be true this time around. Clear skies Thursday night/Friday morning will help aid this. In addition to frost, there may even be a little snow in the mountains. Best chance of that will be on Wednesday night and Thursday. Here is a look at the potential for snow to our West.

GFS Snowfall Forecast Wednesday and Thursday (WeatherBell)

In addition to this blast of colder weather this week, I am seeing signs of another big chill for late next week just in time to wear layers under your Halloween costume.  As always that far out, it is subject to change. The Stormwatch7 team will keep you up to date online and on air.

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College Football Weather Forecasts for around the NCAA

October 18, 2013 - 03:22 PM

Getting into it! Week 8 of College Football! Getting cold out there so how are the forecasts shaping up?

Friday: 8:00 PM UCF at Louisville (#8): Sunset at 7:03 PM this evening in Louisville. A few scattered rain showers cannot be ruled out and the coverage will increase after 8 PM. Temperatures start in the lower 50s at kickoff, dropping to the mid to upper 40s by the 4th with cloudy skies.

Saturday Games

(#11) USC at Tennessee: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN 12:00PM: Plenty of sunshine with temperatures in the low 60s through the game. A slight breeze with WNW winds at 8-12 mph.

(#16) Texas Tech at WVU: Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, WV 12:00PM: Chilly to start off with plenty of clouds of WV. Temperatures stay in the mid 50s through the duration of the game with a southwest wind at 6 - 12 mph. A cold front swinging through will bring a chance of showers in the early afternoon hours. That chance will continue through the first part of the evening.

TCU at (#21) Oklahoma State: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK, 11:00CT: Chilly to start off with temperatures in the upper 40s. Daytime highs will move up to the mid 60s by the game's end. Winds west at 6 - 12 mph.

Navy at Toledeo: Glass Bowl Stadium, Toledo, OH, 12:00PM: Rain chances throughout the game with cloudy skies. Temperatures stay in the upper 40s to right around 50 degrees during the game due to the cloud cover. Rain chances decrease but not until after the game.

(#22) Florida at (#14) Mizzou: Faurot Field, Columbia, MO 11:21CT: Temperatures in the mid 50s to start the game with plenty of sunshine! A nice breeze out of the west at 10 - 15 mph, temperatures will move to around 60 by the 4ht quarter.

Army at Temple: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, 1:00PM: Temperatures in the upper 60s through the game. A little bit of sunshine through the morning hours will lend to an increase in clouds just before kickoff. Dry through the game but rain chances increase through the evening hours.

Howard at Florida A&M: Bragg Memorial, Tallahassee, FL, 2:00PM:  Slight chance of a light passing shower rolling through during the game but otherwise looking at a light wind and temperatures right around 80 degrees with a mix of sun and clouds.

Iowa at (#4) Ohio State: The Horseshoe, Columbus, OH, 3:30PM: Clouds through the game with temperatures only around 50 throughout the game. Rain will be in the forecast for the game but moving out during the late afternoon and evening hours from the west to the east. West winds at 5 - 10 mph.

(#24) Auburn at (#7) Texas A&M: Kyle Field, College Station, TX, 2:30CT: Rain in the early morning but will be dry for kickoff. Temperatures slip from the upper 60s to the lower 60s by the 4th quarter. Rapid clearing of clouds through the game.

(#9) UCLA at (#13) Stanford: Stanford Stadium, Standford, CA 12:30PT: Mid 70s to start with temperatures moving to around 80 with plenty of sunshine through the duration of the game. Winds north at 5 mph.

(#18) Oklahoma at Kansas: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS 2:30CT: After a chilly Friday, temperatures will be on the up and up for Saturday and right around 60 for the entire game. Breezy west winds at 10 - 20 mph and gusts up to 25 mph, winds will decrease through late afternoon. Plenty of sunshine.

UMD at Wake Forest: BB&T Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC, 3:30PM: Decreasing clouds through the game with temperatures decreasing as well from the upper 60s at kickoff to the upper 50s by the 4th quarter. Dry with sw wind at 5-10 mph

Duke at UVA: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA, 3:30 PM: Clouds decreasing through the game with temperatures moving from the mid 60s to the upper 50s by the 4th quarter. SW 5-10 mph.

(#6) LSU at Ole Miss: Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium, Oxford, MS, 6:00CT: Mostly sunny to start to mostly clear skies. Lower 60s at kickoff to the lower 50s by the 4th quarter. Light winds with sunset at 6:20PM.

Iowa State at (#12) Baylor: Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, TX 6:00CT: Clear skies with the sunset at 6:54 PM. Lower 60s to start and lower 50s to end. light winds.

Florida State at (#3) Clemson: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC 8:00PM: Partly cloudy skies with temperatures fairly mild. 60 at kickoff and only falling into the mid 50s by the 4th quarter. Sunset at 6:53 PM and west winds at 5 mph.

(#25) Wisconsin at Illinois: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL 7:00CT: Partly cloudy through the game with WSW winds at 5-10 mph. Temperatures chilly, 50 to start and down to the mid 40s by 4th quarter. Sunset at 6:09PM

UNLV at (#17) Fresno State: Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, CA 7:00PT: Clear skies with temperatures falling quickly from the mid70 to the lower 60s through the game. Light wind and sunset at 6:19PM.



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Penumbral Lunar Eclipse Friday

October 18, 2013 - 09:26 AM

After many cloudy days and nights, I was happy to see the moon and stars on my drive into work this morning. I also noticed the bright moon, which is just about full.

The moon is full Friday night and is called the Hunter Moon. The name was given because, in October, Native American's started hunting and gathering in preparation for the winter months.

Zeke Changuris

Not only is it a full moon Friday, but it's also a penumbral eclipse.  A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the sunlight is partially blocked, but only enough to cast a shadow on the moon.  The sun, the moon, and Earth are a bit out of perfect alignment than in a partial lunar eclipse.  Here's a good visual:

Clear skies will give way to perfect full moon and penumbral eclipse viewing.  The eclipse won't be anything spectacular to see, as it will only be a faint shadow, but it's still something worth looking for.  The penumbral eclipse will be most visible around 7:50 p.m. Eastern time. 

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Fall Foliage 2013 in the Washington D.C. area (Update)

October 16, 2013 - 04:31 PM

After such a dry past few months, the heavy rain finally returned to the D.C. area in the past two weeks. But will it be enough to turn the tide on the fall colors over the next couple of weeks ahead?

Only time will tell. I traveled all the way out to the I-81 corridor this past weekend, and saw glimpses of hope, with some isolated trees showing vibrant color, while others were green and some just brown. Below is a look at the latest fall color map which was put together by the Foliage Network.

We have been receiving photos into ABC 7 over the past few days as we are gearing up our Fall Color Photo Contest, which is voted on every Thursday-Sunday on our ABC7 Facebook Page. (
Be sure to take a look Thursday mornings and vote on the photo you like the best by "liking" it. Five photos will be chosen each Thursday to be voted on, so be sure to send in yours before next week if you haven't sent one already!

Full Contest Post Here

Send you photos to If you could, please let us know your name and where you took the photo so we can also share them on air on GMW, our Noon show, or with Doug during the 5pm, 6pm and 11pm shows.

Tom Brower from New Market, VA took this at the George Washington National Forest

Here's one from Tom Brower while traveling in the George Washington National Forest. Some of the leaves have changed there but not many! You can also see a substantial amount of leaves are already beginning to drop.

Below is a photo from Janet Conant who took this shot from Farmington, PA. The color seems to be much better north of the Mason-Dixon line in the higher elevations.

Janet Conant sent this in from when she was traveling in Farmington, PA

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59th Anniversary of Hurricane Hazel

October 15, 2013 - 11:49 AM

Hurricane Hazel was a very unique storm and a big record still stands to this very day from the event that occurred 59 years ago. Washington National Airport recorded a 98 mph wind gust, the highest recorded at the site. This is also hard to believe, but Hazel was the last hurricane to bring sustained hurricane force winds to the D.C. area.

Morehead City, NC storm surge; Courtesy: East Carolina RENCI

The craziest thing about the storm was the incredible forward speed, as it came ashore in the mid-morning hours and made it to the D.C. area by the afternoon. The forward speed was close to 60 mph as it raced just west of D.C. Sustained winds at Reagan National were up to 78 mph, which is also a record for sustained winds at the site.

To put the winds in perspective, let's take a look at the sustained wind speeds and gusts from 3 recent storms.

Hurricane Isabel (2003) - 39 mph sustained, gust to 50 mph

Hurricane Irene (2011) - 47 mph sustained, gust to 60 mph

Hurricane Sandy (2012) - 41 mph sustained, gust to 61 mph

2012 Derecho (2012) - 49 mph sustained, gust to 70 mph

Hurricane Hazel Surface Map 11am October 15th

Now that you see the list of devastating storms that hit the area and their corresponding wind speeds and gusts, you can imagine the impact a Hazel-like storm would have on the region if it struck today. I would imagine it would have a similar impact to the Derecho, as they both had such a fast forward speed and exited the area in about the same amount of time.

Reported wind gusts in other locations:

Fayetteville, NC: 110 mph

Raleigh/Durham, NC: 90 mph

Myrtle Beach, SC: 106 mph

New York City at the south end of Manhattan: 113 mph

Hurricane Hazel Path

Hurricane Hazel developed as a Tropical Cyclone on the 5th of October near Grenada in the Windward Islands. It developed into a powerful Category 4 hurricane by the 9th of October and moved north from the Caribbean over Haiti (killing between 400 and 1000 people) where it weakened to a 100 mph Category 1 hurricane. As it moved back over the warm waters northeast of the Bahamas, it re-intensified to a Category 4 hurricane with winds to 150 mph and a forward speed of 30 mph. It finally made landfall near Myrtle Beach, SC as a Category 4 hurricane.

Extratropical Cyclone Sandy

It's also interesting to note that this storm was beginning to transition to an extratropical storm (meaning it was losing it's tropical characteristics) as it made landfall. This would mean it would be almost similar to the "frankenstorm" Sandy which also made an extratropical transition as it approached landfall last year. This made it difficult for forecasters to place critical watches and warnings although the storm still had hurricane force winds.

From the event summary made by the NWS office in Newport/Morehead City, NC, "Landfall occurred on the North Carolina/South Carolina border (see path graphic above) on the morning of October 15th as the system was starting to transition into an extra-tropical storm.

The coastal area near the landfall was battered by winds estimated to have been as high 150 mph. Winds of 98 mph were measured in Wilmington while winds were estimated at 125 mph at Wrightsville Beach and 140 mph at Oak Island. A storm surge of over 12 feet inundated a large area of coastline reaching as high as 18 feet at Calabash, where the storm surge coincided with the time of the lunar high tide and Hazel nearly wiped out Garden City, SC."

Numerous postings have been made on Hazel such as this one from National Geographic, and this from Canada about the major impacts it had on southern Ontario after it merged with the cold front to the west and became extratropical. Our friends at the Capital Weather Gang has it as their 3rd worst hurricane or tropical storm to hit the D.C. area.

I wanted to extend a big thank you to the NWS Office in Newport/Morehead City, NC for the information on the event and graphics. I also wanted to thank the NWS office in Sterling for additional information.

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D.C. area October rainfall totals

October 14, 2013 - 11:50 AM
Photo: Brad Bell

Here are some of the unofficial rainfall totals from the past 5 days sent in to the National Weather Service office in Sterling, VA. Plenty of reports of up to four, five, six and even seven inches of rain in locations across the D.C. area. Now that the region is finally seeing a little sunshine into the area, I wanted to take a look at some of the numbers over the past 5 days.

Here's a quick look at the 5-day totals from the local airports:

BWI Thurgood Marshall - 6.59"

Dulles International Airport - 6.26"

Reagan National Airport - 4.99"

Radar estimated rainfall in the past 5-days

That is an incredible amount of rain (Jeff Halverson from CWG wrote a great blog on why we had so much), as Reagan National only averages 3.4" of precipitation for the month of October. Reagan National now sits at 6.12" for the month, which is 4.29" above normal. Does anyone remember the cold front 7 days ago that spawned tornado warnings around the region? About an inch of rain fell throughout the region that day too, so 6.12" is a 7-day total, which is crazy to think.

Dulles Airport and BWI Marshall are both around 6 inches above normal for precipitation for the month. What's more interesting with those two locations is the fact they are both 1.83" (Dulles) and 1.8" (BWI) away from monthly precipitation records, and it's only the 14th!

Reagan National still has a ways to go as far as the record, as with 6.12" for the month and a record of 9.41", the location would still need an additional 3.29" to hit it, which is nearly the monthly average.

There is a dry period in the near future, but a few sprinkles may be possible with a weak cold front late Wednesday and a better chance for moderate rain Thursday night into Friday morning.

Oddly enough, the 5-day rainfall totals from this system were very close to the numbers seen in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Reagan recorded 4.84", BWI 6.67" and Dulles 5.65" from Sandy, which is all within about a half of an inch! Thanks to @MDWeather on Twitter for that interesting tidbit.

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NCAA College Football In-Depth Weather Forecasts

October 11, 2013 - 03:11 PM

Week 7 in full swing! Weather a little dicey around the east coast-how are things shaping up weather-wise for your favorite college football team.

Friday: Temple at Cincinnati: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 8:30 PM: Sunset at 7:07pm and shaping up to be a great night in Cincinnati for football! Clear skies with temperatures in the upper 60s at the kickoff and dropping to right around 60 degrees by the 4th quarter, Light winds. 

Saturday Games

#25 Missouri at #7 Georgia: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA 12:00PM: Plenty of sunshine with little humidity! Westerly wind at 5 - 10 mph and temperatures right around 75 degrees at kickoff. Temps will move into the low 80s by the 4th-just a few clouds hanging around.

#12 Oklahoma at Texas: Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX 11:00AM(CT): Scattered showers and storms possible as a frontal system slips through the state--about a 40% chance of rain. Mid-80s (warm for this time of year) with a SE wind at 5-10mph. Mostly cloudy through the game.

Pittsburgh at #24 Virginia Tech: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA 12:00PM: Patchy drizzle and light rain showers on and off through the day. Low to mid 60s with an east wind at 5 - 10 mph. A gray day in Blacksburg!

Indiana at Michigan State: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI 12:00PM: Beautiful day! Temperatures in the low 70s at kickoff and only rising to the mid 70s by the 4th quarter. A nice breeze out of the south at 7 - 14 mph. Plenty of sunshine!

Iowa State at #20 Texas Tech: Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX 11:00AM(CT): Finally clearing and Saturday features sunshine! Chilly to start with temperatures in the low 60s moving quickly into the mid 70s by the 4th quarter! Light wind and dry with sunshine!

Navy at Duke: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC 12:30PM: Overcast and a chance of patchy drizzle and light rain. Same deal as the last few days in Durham. Temperatures right around 68 degrees with a north wind at 5 - 10 mph.

3:30PM (ET)

#17 Florida at #10 LSU: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA, 2:0PM(CT): Warm and humid with temperatures in the mid 80 at kickoff and upper 70s by the 4th quarter. South wind at 5 - 10 mph and partly cloudy skies. Sunset at 6:36 PM

UVA at Maryland: Byrd Stadium- College Park, MD 3:30PM:

Boston College at #3 Clemson: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC 3:30PM: Temperatures falling through the 70 s through the game but looking nice! Light winds and sunsetting at 7:02PM. Partly cloudy skies.

Richmond at JMU: Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, VA 3:30PM: Still some light rain and drizzle to deal with. Overcast and gray as the precip continues (on and off). Temperatures steady in the lower 60s through the game. NE winds at 5 - 10 mph. Sunset: 6:44PM.


#2 Oregon at #16 Washington: Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA 1:00PM (PT): Temperatures in the mid-50s throughout the game. Partly cloudy and dry. Northwest winds at 5 mph.


#18 Michigan at Penn State: Beaver Stadium, State College, PA 5:00PM: A dreary day in Happy Valley as rain begins to move out. State College received just about 1.75" of rain Friday (a little more through Friday night) but rain will slowly move out on Saturday. Around 60 at game time dropping to mid 50s by the 4th quarter. Light winds with some light rain and drizzle still around through some of the game. Sunset: 6:38 PM.


#5 Stanford at Utah: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City 4:00PM (MT): Sunset at 6:52 PM with plenty of sunshine and clear skies. A mile evening with temperatures in the lower 60s at kickoff and lower 50s by the 4th quarter. Breezy winds out of the southwest at 10 - 15 mph.

7:00 PM

#1 Alabama at Kentucky: Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY 7:00PM: Showers holding off until the overnight hours, looking at a dry game with just a few clouds around. Sunset at 7:06PM temperatures will fall through the 50s. SW wind at 10 - 15 mph.

Villanova at Towson: Johnny Unitas Stadium: Towson, MD, 7:00PM: On and off rain and drizzle through the day. Light precip, if anything falling.unset at 6:34 PM it will be a gray and wet day. Lower 60s through the duration of the game with some fog forming as well. Breezy at times with winds NE 8-12 mph.


#9 Texas A & M at Ole Miss: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MI 7:30PM(CT): Partly cloudy with a light wind, great conditions in Mississippi. 75 at kickoff and only into the upper 60s by the 4th quarter. Sunset at 6:57 PM.

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Record rainfall in the D.C. area Friday

October 11, 2013 - 02:43 PM


Here are the latest rainfall totals from the National Weather Service

Watch for high water on the roads tonight!

BWI Thurgood Marshall and Dulles Airports both broke their daily rainfall records today, with over an 2 inches recorded at Dulles Airport and over 3 inches at BWI. Reagan National also broke the record set back in 1905 as they sit at 1.39" as of 6pm.

Now that I am posting this, I see that I left the show in build mode, which explains the hash marks on the graphic! must be Friday.

These are impressive totals, and two-day totals are even higher with over 5 inches recorded at BWI, over 4 and a half inches recorded at Dulles and over 3 inches at Reagan.

This has really affected the flash flooding guidance as now if D.C. sees another inch or so of rain in the next 3 hours, the potential for Flash Flooding exists. Needless to say (but I'm saying it anyway), if you come across flooded roads or high water, turn around and find another route. You'll see Mark Brady's tweet below and understand why.

This has led to some high water spots across the region as reported through Fairfax County's twitter feed:

Another from Fairfax County:

And Mark Brady's twitter feed which covers Prince Georges County:

And a picture of said car from our reporter Brad Bell:

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D.C. nor'easter already a drought buster

October 10, 2013 - 02:23 PM

As of 2pm, Reagan has seen 2.78" of rain for the first 10 days of October. Scattered shower activity is expected the remainder of the afternoon and evening, and should continue over the next few days. After such a dry stretch, this really puts a huge dent in the rainfall recent rainfall deficit.

Think about this for a minute. August and September had 1.34" and 1.22" of rain respectively. This means in the past 10 days, Reagan National has actually recorded more rainfall (2.78") than the entire two month span of August and September (2.56").

That just happens to be our "Did you know" of the day. Now rainfall totals for this event have been around an inch to two inches. The highest total has been 2.37" so far measured in Culpeper and much lower totals have been noted in the far western and northern suburbs.

48-Hour Rainfall Accumulation (Up to 2pm)

The rain isn't over yet, however, as more can be expected tonight and tomorrow, then periods of drizzle or very light showers Saturday and Sunday. Here is a look at our in-house computer model forecast showing predicted rainfall through Saturday at Noon.

Here's another idea from the 4km NAM model from showing plenty of rain as well with the heaviest north of D.C.
4km NAM (

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Cool, damp & dreary weather headed to D.C. the rest of the week

October 8, 2013 - 03:41 PM

Our real first taste of fall will occur over the next few days, with cloudy skies, scattered showers and MUCH cooler air. The current forecast shows temperatures in the low to mid 60s on Wednesday, 50s Thursday, low 60s Friday and Saturday and back to the upper 60s on Sunday.

The forecast is subject to change but for the most part, the dreary conditions can be expected at least through Sunday. Here's the set up:

An area of low pressure exists along the Carolina coastline, which will move north up the east coast over the next 48-72 hours. This will bring the clouds and precipitation with it, which will overspread the D.C. area by late Wednesday.

Currently, the coolest most dismal day of the week appears to be Thursday. Highs shouldn't get out of the 50s on Thursday, and may only reach the mid 50s in some areas (even with our forecast of 59 on the 7 day). Friday shouldn't be much better, with highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s and the chance for patchy drizzle.

Precipitation Forecast from the WPC Tuesday morning through Sunday morning

Above is an idea of how much rain can be expected over the next few days. The highest probability for heavy rain exists the farther south and east you are from D.C. Closer to town though, an inch to 2 inches is still possible through Friday night. Even with the recent heavy rain, flooding shouldn't be a problem, but there may be some ponding of water so take it slow on the roads Thursday and Friday. Moderate to heavy rain will be possible Wednesday night into Thursday and light rain is expected Friday.

The start of the weekend should experience slightly milder temperatures back into the low and mid 60s, but at this point we still believe the shower chances will exist Saturday. Sunday may get a little bit of sunshine back into the area but for the most part should remain cloudy and cool with highs still in the 60s.

After these next 5 days, it will be rather hard to believe the first 6 days hit 85°F or higher, including two 90°F or higher days as well. These cooler temperatures aren't out of the ordinary though in the month of October. Looking at the past 5 Octobers dating back to 2008, each of those months had a span of 3 to 4 days in a row in the 50s to lower 60s. 2009 even had 4 days in a row in the middle of the month with highs of 52, 50, 45 and 47 in consecutive days.

At least it's better than the snow the area recorded (0.6" at Dulles, more north and west) on October 29th, 2011. Yea, I didn't want you to forget about that!


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Storms soak D.C. Metro area

October 7, 2013 - 10:49 AM
A tree falls on a vehicle at North Carolina and 13th Street in NE D.C. (Photo: Kendis Gibson)


1:54pm: The severe threat has now ended across the region but some very heavy rainfall totals are being noted with a widespread inch to two inches commonplace. Rainfall will come to an end through the late afternoon from west to east and even a little sunshine will be noted by the end of the day.

This is the last post of the live blog, thanks for following. If you have any pictures, please send them to us via our Facebook page or through Twitter. You can also email them to

1:17pm: Storms are beginning to push into the Chesapeake Bay and out of the D.C. area. This should allow the remaining counties under the Tornado Watch to be canceled in the next hour or so. Here is the latest Satellite loop, showing some clearing far west of D.C. over the mountains.

12:43pm: The Tornado Watch has been canceled for parts of the region but is still in effect until 5pm east of D.C. for Anne Arundel, Prince Georges, Charles, Calvert and St. Mary's Counties.

12:30pm: Here are some of the latest WeatherBug rainfall totals and wind gusts...

Big Meadows, VA - 1.87"      BWI Marshall 46 mph

Clarksburg, MD - 1.72"      Smithsburg, MD 44 mph

Leesburg, VA - 1.64"      Bristow, VA 44 mph

Ashburn, VA - 1.63"      WTOP Radio (D.C.) 43 mph

12:24pm: Here is the latest list of Storm Reports from NWS Sterling. So far only a few but I imagine this list may grow in the next few hours as more reports come in.

12:14pm: My thought is that Charles, King George and Southern Maryland will have the best chance for more severe weather over the next two hours. There is still a bit of a notch in the line of storms heading over the Potomac River.

This will affect Southern Charles and Northern King George County near the Potomac River over the next 30 minutes. Watch out if you live near US Hwy 301 everywhere from Owens in VA to La Plata in Charles Co., MD. Radar here.

12:02pm: Good news for those in the Stafford and Spotsylvania areas as the Tornado Warning has been canceled. Current radar imagery can be found here.

11:56am: Here is a look at the current radar imagery (now a few minutes old) and you can see a little notch just to the east of Fredericksburg. That would be the location with the highest likelihood for a weak spin-up tornado. Take shelter if you are northeast of Fredericksburg east of I-95!

11:50am: The highest wind gusts so far from our WeatherBug Network have only been in the low to mid 40s but isolated higher gusts have surely occurred near Winchester (see photos below) and possibly near Fredericksburg where the current tornado warning continues.

Rainfall totals have been very heavy with over an inch and a half of rain reported in Leesburg and Delaplane in VA and Clarksburg, MD.

11:46am: Severe Thunderstorm Warnings have been extended across the Potomac River for Charles and southern Prince Georges Counties through 12:30pm. Warning here.

11:41am: Here is the latest statement from the NWS on the Tornado Warning, "...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EDT FOR THE CITY OF



11:35am: The Tornado Warning continues through Noon and areas near Fredericksburg will really need to watch out and take cover over the next 15-30 minutes. Radar here.

11:32am: A Tornado Warning is in effect until Noon for Stafford, Spotsylvania Counties and the city of Fredericksburg. This is radar indicated along a line of thunderstorms and will be moving over I-95 soon near Fredericksburg.

11:21am: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties in Virginia as well as the City of Fredericksburg until 11:45am. Winds in excess of 60mph will be possible with this storm.

11:12am: Winchester Country Club had some wind damage earlier this morning. Here is a look at the 10th and 11th holes. Also, an awning and many glass tables on the back patio were damaged.

11:04am: Here is a look at the current radar imagery as of 11am this morning. A line of storms has formed just west of D.C. and will move through the region along lunch time.


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D.C. rainy Monday: Timing and intensity

October 7, 2013 - 04:46 AM
Trees came down in Winchester as powerful storms pushed through Monday morning. Photo: Richard Reeve

It has already been an eventful morning throughout the D.C. area, with Tornado Warnings going up and down and a Tornado Watch in effect through early Monday evening.

Monday's early rain is helping eradicate a major dry spell. The rainfall deficit is over three inches in the Nation's Capital since Sept. 1. 

Not only has it been dry, but hot too. On both Friday and Sunday, highs at Reagan National climbed into the lower 90s! 

Get ready for big changes in the temperature department after this front slides through Monday.  The heaviest rain looks likely after the noon hour and into the middle afternoon - likely between noon and 4 p.m. 

Along with downpours, a few isolated severe thunderstorms will be possible, which could contain damaging wind gusts and an isolated tornado.

Here's a simulation of the rainfall via our in-house computer model.  Notice the heavy line that slides through D.C. between 1 and 3 p.m.

Rainfall estimates will range between 1 and 2 inches.  Even though it's rain we desperately need, it's a lot in a fairly short amount of time, so be extra cautious on the roads with localized flooding possible.


Most of the rain should be east of I-95 by 6 p.m. with gradual clearing expected overnight. 

Temperatures will tumble overnight into the 40s in the suburbs to middle 50s downtown. Nn Tuesday, highs will struggle to reach 70 degrees.  Talk about some fall temperature swings! 

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College Football Weather Forecasts

October 4, 2013 - 01:50 PM

FRIDAY NCAA GAMES! Watching some severe weather on some!


BYU and Utah State: 6:00PM (MT) Romney Stadium, Logan UT: Chilly with clear skies. Sunset at 7:08 PM with temperatures in upper 40s at kickoff, around 40 degrees by the 4th quarter. NW winds at 5 - 7 mph. 

Nevada at San Diego State: 6:00PM (PT) Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA: A perfect day (go figure)...Temperatures in the mid 70s at kickoff and mid 60s by the 4th quarter. Sunsets at 6:29 PM with light winds.



Air Force at Navy: 12:00 PM Navy-Marine Corps Memorial, Annapolis, MD: Great day for football! Temperatures right around 80 for the entire game with a touch of humidity. South winds at 3 - 6 mph.

New Hampshire at Towson: 12:00PM Unitas Stadium, Towson, MD: Temperatures right around 80 for most of the game. Plenty of sunshine with a touch of humidity. Winds south at 5 mph.

#7 Louisville at Temple: 12:00PM Philadelphia, PA The Linc: Again, temperatures right around 80 degrees with a mix of sun and clouds. Slightly humid with westerly winds from 3 - 7 mph.

#25 Maryland at #8 Florida State: 12:00PM Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL: Humid! Conditions will start to break down through the game but keeping things dry. Really watching the track of T.S. Karen through the afternoon but clouds will be on the increase. Staying dry with partly cloudy conditions. Temperatures rise through the mid-80s.

Penn State at Indiana: 12:00PM Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN: Temperatures in the upper 70s at kickoff and low 80s by the 4th quarter. Mostly clouds with a 20% chance of showers (that chance will increase through the evening hours).

Ball State at UVA: 12:00PM, Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA: Plenty of sunshine (with some fog in the morning and evening hours) with temperatures right around 80 degrees! Slightly humid with a light south wind at 5 mph.

UNC at Virginia Tech: 12:30PM, Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA: Another game with plenty of sunshine! Tempertures moving from the mid 70s at kickoff to right around 80 degrees by the 4th quarter. A touch of humidity.

Albany at JMU: 1:30PM Harrisonburg, VA: A mix of sun and clouds with temperatures right around 80 degrees. Still a little humid with a south wind at 5 mph.

Clemson at Syracuse: 3:30 Syracuse, NY: Carrier Dome: For tailgating temperatures in the mid 70s with just a touch of humidity. Cloudy with temperatures around 70 by the time people head out of the Stadium. #6 Georgia at Tennessee: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN 3:30: Temperatures right around the mid 80s for the entire game. Light winds with rain holding off. Sunset at 7:17PM Georgia Tech at #14 Miami: Yager Stadium, 3:30PM: Starting in the mid 80s temperatures will drop to the lower 80s by the 4th quarter. Partly sunny with a slight chance of a passing storm. Sunset at 7:05PM. #2 Oregon at Colorado: Folsom Field, Boulder, CO 4:00 PM (MT): Getting pretty chilly but CLEAR through the game! Temperatures start around 50 degrees and drop to the upper 30s by the 4th quarter. No snow-staying dry. Sunset at 6:39 PM

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Tropical Storm Karen path: Will it affect the D.C. area?

October 4, 2013 - 10:36 AM

Karen has weakened over the past 12 hours and now has sustained winds only at 50 mph as it moves to the NNW at 9 mph. Hurricane watches, tropical storm watches and tropical storm warnings are currently in effect and can be found here.

As far as further intensification, here is a statement from within the NHC's latest forecast discussion,


Because of this, the NHC official forecast keeps Karen below hurricane strength through landfall, and Karen will weaken considerably as it moves inland this weekend.

Tropical Storm Karen 11am forecast track

The latest intensity forecast throughout the models also depicts this. Remember, yesterday's model suite only had two members bringing the storm to hurricane strength, so it appears the majority won out, although a little strengthening to a high end tropical storm is still possible over the next 36 to 48 hours. 

T.S. Karen Intensity Forecasts

The timing still appears to be in the Monday to Tuesday morning for heavy rain possible in the D.C. area. The forecast from the Weather Prediction Center below is calling for 1 to 2 inches across the area, but at this time, there's still a little variability and uncertainty in the forecast.

We are expecting the weekend to be unseasonably warm but dry with highs in the mid to upper 80s each day. The cold front to the west along with the tropical moisture from remnants of Karen will make it to the area on Monday. At this point in time, it may not be until Monday around lunch time and will hang around through Tuesday morning. If the track of this system pushes a bit east or west, it will have a large effect on who gets heavy rain and who doesn't get as much. We all need it at this point, so we're crossing our fingers it will pass over the majority of the region Monday.

Looking at some of the flash flood guidance, the region shouldn't experience much in the way of flooding since it hasn't rained in such a long time. The current 3-hour flash flooding guidance shows that it would need to rain about 3 to 4 inches in 3 hours to produce flash flooding, so the area shouldn't be too concerned at this time.

Forecast Precipitation Monday morning through Wednesday morning from the WPC

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