wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Local

Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 04/20/2012

Weekend storm threatens heavy rain, gusty winds for parts of mid-Atlantic


Accumulated rainfall forecast (in inches) from the GFS model for Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon. (NOAA)
Computer models have wavered a bit on just how much rain we might see from a coastal storm Sunday into Monday. But they are now starting to reach a consensus for not only a soaking rain from around midday Sunday into or through Sunday night, but also an extended period of gusty winds later Sunday possibly lasting into Tuesday.

Coastal areas may see the worst of both the rain and wind, while Western Maryland and the mountains of West Virginia could see accumulating snow Sunday night into Monday.

In the D.C. area, total rainfall from both low pressure riding up the coast Sunday into Sunday night, as well as a cold front that brings a good chance of showers and maybe thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening, could approach 2 inches in parts of the area. That would be welcome relief for our developing drought. Wind gusts near or past 40 mph are possible Sunday night and Monday with Sunday highs probably struggling to get out of the 50s.

But there may also be a sharp cutoff in the higher precipitation amounts, with areas east of the cutoff seeing a lot of rain and areas west of the cutoff seeing much less.

Not unlike a some of our winter storms, predicting exactly where the cutoff would be is difficult at least for now.

What about the mid-Atlantic coast/beaches?

Areas along the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coast should follow the evolving forecast of this storm closely. Depending on the strength and track of the storm, the coast may experience very heavy rain (2-3”+) and wind gusts over 50 mph. Minor to moderate flooding and beach erosion are possible.

But again, this isn’t unlike a winter storm where the forecast could still change quite a bit. The track, and thus the greatest impacts, could shift west or east. Impacts to the mid-Atlantic coast would also be lessened if the storm doesn’t strengthen until it gets further up the coast, which is a possibility.

Stay tuned for updates through the weekend.

By  |  12:45 PM ET, 04/20/2012

Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company