Tammy Could Bring Needed Rain to Washington

By Fred Barbash
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 6, 2005; 2:18 PM

A heavy rainfall, courtesy of the fading tropical depression named Tammy, could finally bring some relief starting tomorrow for the Washington region's long-suffering flora and fauna, according to the National Weather Service.

Starting tonight, with light rain, and extending into the weekend with heavier downpours, the area can expect three to five inches before Monday, forecasters said, with localized accumulations of up to six inches.

In fact, after exactly .11 inches of rain in September--making it the driest September in more than a century--the Weather Service is now warning of possible flooding in poorly drained areas and from small streams.

Whether such a sudden bounty will be of much help is another question, however.

The heat and dearth of rain have produced parched lawns, dusty schoolyards and withered gardens throughout the region. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared several Virginia counties, including Loudoun, Fauquier and Clarke, agricultural disaster areas. And fire officials have worried that if showers do not come soon, pine needles and leaves could fuel wildfires.

The precipitation expected over the next few days is the result of a cold front from the West colliding with the remnants of Tammy moving up the coast.

The Weather Service said there is a 50 per cent chance of rain tonight, probably less than a tenth of an inch.

Friday, after 11 a.m., could bring between one and two inches, with another one or two possible during the night.

Saturday looks like a rainout in the morning, perhaps an inch, with only a slight chance of rain after that.

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