Alberto-Related Rains Head to D.C. Region

By Daniela Deane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 14, 2006; 1:36 PM

The remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto will skirt the Washington area late Wednesday, perhaps bringing much-needed rain to the metropolitan area, meteorologists said.

The National Weather Service predicted a 40 percent chance of precipitation in the Washington area Wednesday afternoon and evening.

"We're just on the edge of the path of the storm that was Alberto," said Weather Service meteorologist Andy Woodcock. "It might tease us a bit."

Woodcock said rain from Alberto was falling in Albemarle and St. Mary's Counties as of 1 p.m. this afternoon.

He said a good rain would be beneficial for the Washington area, which has had 6.16 less inches of rain since the beginning of the year than average. This year, the metropolitan area has had 11.7 inches of rain; 17.86 is the average.

"We definitely need rain," said Woodcock. "We don't want to start the summer under the amount of rainfall, since summer is normally a dry period." Woodcock said the National Weather Service has termed the Washington area "abnormally dry".

After making landfall in Florida without packing too much of a punch, Alberto weakened from a tropical storm to a tropical depression over the Carolinas today. All tropical storm warnings were discontinued.

As it moved up the East Coast though, the storm spawned nasty weather. At least six small twisters were reported in South Carolina, one in downtown Charleston that broke car windows during the rush hour yesterday, according to news agency reports.

Two to 4 inches of rain were forecast for the Carolinas and parts of Virginia, with heavier rain along the coast.

After last year's 15 record hurricanes, Alberto, the first named storm of the 2006 season, caused a brief scare and prompted a call to evacuate 20,000 people on Florida's Gulf coast.

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