From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for category D.C.-centric September 2014

Some Heavy Rain Moving into the Washington D.C. Area

September 24, 2014 - 01:38 PM
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Finally! As we edge towards the end of September (can you believe it?), we are finally seeing a good chance of rain headed towards the Washington D.C. area. It certainly looks like rain as those clouds hang thick for your Wednesday with temperatures only topping out in the upper 60s/lower 70s.
An area of low pressure will continue to travel up the eastern seaboard today and through the day tomorrow bring a good amount of rain with it. 

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 With high pressure sitting to the north and low pressure inching its way up from the south, oceanic moisture will continue to stream in to the Mid Atlantic. This will also create a fairly persistent easterly wind through Wednesday afternoon and into the overnight hours moving northeast at 10-20 mph along I-95 and eastward . The winds will be responsible for some of the coastal water levels to rise around the area, resulting in some minor coastal flooding during high tide.

Most of your Wednesday afternoon will be dry, however, rain will build in from the south to the north after about 5p.m. I am just expecting light rain during the evening hours with the heaviest rain falling during the overnight hours and through the first part of tomorrow morning as that high pressure to the north breaks down and more moisture moves into the region-resulting in heavier rainfall.

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 A flood watch has been issued for the Greater Washington D.C. Area from 6p.m tonight until 6 a.m. Thursday morning but the National Weather Service may have to extend and expand the flood watch as we get closer to the event.

Considering this is a coastal system, much of the heavy rain will be concentrated along I-95 and eastward but that does not mean that areas to the west are in the clear. We are still expecting some rain west of the D.C. area but the totals may be much less.

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From the Blue Ridge Mountains moving east to the Bay, accumulated rain totals will gradually increase. Washington D.C. area could expect around 1.00” while just to the east could expect 2.00”+.

Good news is that we need the rain! Ronald Reagan National Airport is running about 2.38” below normal for the monthly rain rate in September. Baltimore-Washington Airport is just over 2.00” below normal for average rainfall in September and Dulles International Airport is 2.79” below normal for the month of September as well!

Dry conditions continue to expand through Virginia as well with a lot of our counties measuring “Abnormally Dry” via the U.S. Drought Monitor.

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U.S. Drought Monitor shades areas in Yellow that are “abnormally dry” as of September 16th.


If you are headed out to Nats Park tonight for the game against the New York Mets, you might want to bring some rain gear. Again, I am just expecting light showers to spread into the region after 5 p .m. and through gametime. Good news is I am not expecting any thunder or lightning with this system so hopefully the game will go on, despite the showery forecast.

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As far as Thursday Night Football goes at Fed Ex as the Redskins take on the Giants, things are looking dry after a wet start on Thursday. If that low slows down, we could have some rain last through the evening hours but as of now, I am keeping things dry for tomorrow evening. Temperatures will drop through the 60s during game time but if you are headed out there early for tailgating, just be prepared with some towels (to dry everything off) and maybe a light jacket that doubles as a rain coat. It will be a cool night at Fed Ex.

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Only A Few Days of Summer Left Before Autumn Begins

September 19, 2014 - 02:19 PM
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Enjoy this last weekend of summer - because it is going to feel more like summer here in the Washington D.C. area! Temperatures throughout this last week of summer have been running below normal giving us a little taste of Fall.  However, by the time we head into this weekend, temperatures will top out in the 80s for much of the region thanks to high pressure clearing out cloud cover and helping us boost into the 80s with a light southeasterly flow.

A cold front will cross the area Sunday which will give way to some clouds and about a 30% chance of showers in the afternoon and evening hours moving from west to east. This cold front will also sweep away any of the summer-like weather we have left and leave us with another spell of Autumn weather around the region.

This is happening right in time because the autumnal equinox arrives at 10:29 p.m. on Monday! People celebrate this moment across the world and really the precise moment is when the sun passes directly over the equator! This happens twice a year as you may recall (the "spring equinox" and the "autumnal equinox"). 

 

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In latin, the word "equinox" means "equal night" --"equi" meaning "equal" and "nox" meaning "night". This signifies the equal parts of daylight and darkness.

However, this is not always so "matter-of-fact." The sunrise on Monday is 6:55 a.m. and the sunset is 7:07 p.m. This isn't exactly equal. In fact, we have to wait until Tuesday, the first full day of Autumn to get the full equal light-equal night. The sunrise on Tuesday is 6:56 a.m. and the sunset is 7:06 p.m.

My colleague Eileen Whelan summed it up correctly when she wrote:

"We have the atmosphere to thank for this oddity. Also, the definition of sunrise and sunset. Sunrise occurs the moment the tip of the sun can be seen on the horizon and sunset is the last minute the sun can be seen before it dips below the horizon. Also, keep in mind our atmosphere refracts, or bends, light, which makes it appear as if the sun is rising or setting earlier.

The true equinox occurs when the center of the sun's disk crosses the celestial equator and this occurs at 10:29 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 22. At the same time the equinox occurs in D.C., it occurs across the globe."

Either way, you won't notice a different from Monday to Tuesday, from Summer to Autumn. However, you will notice that the hours of daylight start getting shorter until the Winter Solstice which begins on December 21, 6:03 P.M. EST (which is also the darkest day of the year meaning the day with the least amount of daylight.

However, as we make the transition into Fall, it may seem a little cooler according the outlook by the Climate Prediction Center:

 

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But, also according to the Climate Prediction Center for the 8-14 day outlook, temperatures may be a little on the warmer side!

 

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So don't pack away those flip-flops yet for those boots. Fall is here to stay but bouts of summer may stick around until early October!

 

 

 

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