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PM Update: Rainy tonight, continued damp and chilly on Thursday

Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

A raw day with blustery northeast winds has set the stage for the arrival of our first coastal storm of the cool season. Highs only made it into the low 60s most spots, and it was hard not to feel a bit of a chill to the air. Just a few sprinkles have pushed through the area so far, but there’s plenty more rain to come.

Through Tonight: Coverage and intensity of rain increase this evening from southeast to northwest. Periods of moderate and briefly heavy rain are a good bet, particularly late evening and into the overnight. Rain may lessen by morning, but if so, it’s just a break in the action. Temperatures slowly settle to around 50-55 for lows. Winds are from the northeast around 10-15 mph.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Periodic rain remains likely (80% chance). Right now, it seems like most of the rain during the day should be on the lighter side, but it may still add up hour after hour through the evening. Plus, some heavier batches may form. Daytime temperatures might only make the mid-50s to near 60 in the rainiest scenario. If we get an extended break in the rain, readings could “jump” into the low 60s or so. Winds continue to blow from the north and northeast around 10-15 mph.

See Dan Stillman’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Rainfall totals through 7 a.m. Saturday from the European (ECMWF) model. (

Potential rain totals: The coming storm may be remembered less for its short-term heavy rains than its drawn out nature. The bulk is expected to fall over the next two days though, with a good chunk falling tonight. As of the most recent runs, model forecasts for our area include 1-3″ (far west to far east) from the GFS and Canadian GEM, as well as a general 1.5″-2″+ on the European model. Shorter term mesoscale models like the NAM also show substantial rains, mainly in the 1-3″ range locally, with varying locations of focus. The Weather Prediction Center is forecasting 1.5″-2.5″ through Friday evening across the area.

Totals centered on D.C. mostly come in near or past 2″. While it’s likely places nearer the coast end up with the most rain overall, high totals (even past 3″) are possible just about anywhere in the region, and some enhancement near the ridges in western parts of the area is possible as well. Since it has been rather dry, general flooding is not a huge concern, but some could occur.

Pollen update: Prior to rain arriving, pollen counts were running low for trees, grass and weeds. Mold spores are in the moderate/high range.

Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.
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Jason Samenow · October 9, 2013

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