The Washington Post

A Saturday soaking, seriously?


Projected rainfall by NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center covering Saturday.

The image to the right shows the preliminary rainfall assessment from NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Generally, 1-1.5 inches is the best bet right for this storm system (around 1” in the metro region to 1.5” toward the mountains)- which will tap both Atlantic and Gulf moisture.

The biggest wildcard right now is the exact timing of the rain. It could start as early as mid-morning or hold off until early to mid-afternoon. And it could end as early as between 7 and 10 p.m. or continue until past midnight. At this point, the heaviest rain seems most likely to fall between late afternoon and mid-evening, when there could be embedded thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service in Sterling is highlighting flood potential, writing in its latest discussion:

SATURDAY - WITH POSSIBLE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES...LOCALLY HIGHER...AND MOIST ANTECEDENT CONDITIONS...FLASH FLOODING WILL BE POSSIBLE. LATEST GUIDANCE SUGGEST THAT HIGHEST [RAINFALL POTENTIAL] WILL BE ACROSS POTOMAC HIGHLANDS...

We’ll keep you posted on the rainy details and any changes to the forecast as the weekend draws closer.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.

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