Flood watch through Thursday night

For most of the region (except Frederick and western Loudoun county), the rains have held off today. Nonetheless, it’s been gray and dreary, with highs mainly in the mid-to-upper 40s. Rain increases in areal coverage during the evening hours and sticks around through a good part of Thursday night.

Through Tonight: Rains currently confined to our west and southwest should fill in over the area after around 6 p.m. from southwest to northeast. The delay in the rain is good news for the evening commute. The rain is mostly light when it starts, but should reach moderate intensity late at night and toward dawn, with even some pockets of heavy rain possible. Lows range from 43 to 48.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Rain is likely, and may be heavy at times. The best chance for heavy rain is during the afternoon and evening. A few embedded thunderstorms are possible within the rain bands. Increasing winds from the southeast, at 15-20 mph, push temperatures up through the 50s. Allow extra time for both the morning and evening rush hour, when heavy rain could fall and cause ponding of water on the roadways. Also, remember never to attempt crossing a flooded road - turn around, don’t drown. Rainfall potential through Thursday evening is 1.5-3” with locally higher/lower amounts certainly possible.

See Dan Stillman’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Severe thunderstorms rake New Orleans: Yesterday I wrote about the tornado threat in southern Louisiana into Mississippi. Unfortunately, tornadic storms materialized in the region with three twister reports in the vicinity of New Orleans. At New Orleans International Airport, Accuweather reports a wind gust was clocked at 77 mph and incredibly, in just half an hour, three inches of rain fell. Fortunately, the line of fierce storms was polite enough to tear through the Big Easy around 6:30 a.m. this morning, in the wake of most of the Mardi Gras festivities.