* Flash flood watch Friday into Saturday for 2 to 4 inches of rain *

Two hour radar loop of rain and storm movement through the area. Refresh page to update.

7:30 a.m. update: Overnight models shifted east some with the track of Hurricane Joaquin somewhat reducing though not eliminating the likelihood of a direct hit in the Mid-Atlantic Sunday into Monday. Heavy rain ahead of the storm and areas of flooding are still possible Friday into early Saturday. The forecast for Sunday into Monday is more of a wild card now and we will have additional updates based on the latest information in new posts later this morning.

TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

4/10: Showers return, which no gardener will spurn, but gusty winds are a flaw and the cooler temps feel just plain raw.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Cloudy, windy, increasing showers. Highs: 59-63
Tonight: Rainy, gusty winds. Lows: 50-56
Tomorrow: Occasionally heavy rain, strong winds. Highs: 55-59

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Today’s showers and gusty winds are just a sneak preview for what promises to be a windy and wet next several days. Even if Hurricane Joaquin follows tracks passing to our north or out to sea, we still face a good old deluge Friday from tropical moisture driving directly into cold air pushing down into our area (ahead of Joaquin). If Joaquin follows the many models toward the Mid-Atlantic, Sunday into Monday could be even more inclement with the potential for flooding and damaging winds.

Programming note: We will post a fresh update on Hurricane Joaquin by 10 a.m., and a detailed post on the most likely impacts for the D.C. area by noon.

Today (Thursday): Clouds race across the sky much of the morning with scattered, intermittent showers. By afternoon, more significant showers may start to push across the area from southeast to northwest. Northeasterly winds of 10-20 mph with gusts to 30 mph are likely through the day. Rain amounts are not likely to be more than a half inch or so, but there is plenty more coming. Highs are almost shockingly cool, ranging from the upper 50s to lower 60s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: The showers should continue to pick up the pace overnight with some areas likely to pick up as much as an inch and most of us better than a half inch. Winds remain unabated from the northeast at 10-20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph. Lows hold in the low to mid-50s. Confidence: Medium-High

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…

Tomorrow (Friday): Most of the morning showers tend light to moderate. The day remains almost chilly with highs in the mid- to upper 50s. A stronger surge of tropical moisture slams into the area from the east by afternoon with heavy rains (1-2 inches) probably assaulting the entire region. Areas of flooding are possible. Winds are mainly northeast at 10-20 mph but could gust well up into the 30s during heavier rains later in the day. This could well make for a very complicated evening commute, so patience and perseverance, everyone. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: The rain continues to come in torrents through the evening and then should start to lighten up late at night. Winds do not diminish through the night, never varying coming in from the northeast. Lows could reach the upper 40s northwest of town to the mid-50s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High


National Weather Service rainfall forecast through Saturday morning. Note this does not include rainfall from Hurricane Joaquin, which may affect the area late in the weekend. (WeatherBell.com)

A LOOK AHEAD

Saturday may be the calm before the storm, though winds remain gusty from the northeast. Off-and-on light showers are possible throughout the day and night. The cool air that was entrenched Thursday and Friday starts to give way to tropical air from the southeast, and highs warm modestly to the mid- to upper 60s. If the hurricane approaches as many models project, winds and rains could begin to pick up very late Saturday night. Confidence: Medium

Anything can happen on Sunday, but if the western-focused models win out, conditions would deteriorate rapidly with very strong and even damaging winds as well as prolonged periods of heavy downpours that could lead to flooding. However, if the storm does stay out to sea as some models are now trending to, we’d have lighter and more occasional showers coupled with stiff but not severe northeasterly winds. Highs are currently expected to be mid-60s to lower 70s and overnight lows fall to the upper 50s to lower 60s. Confidence: Low

Monday is likely to see showers taper off late in the day and winds drop off slowly but surely. Highs should be in the mid-60s to lower 70s. Let’s hope we are mopping up just some puddles and a few stray branches, but do prepare for the worst. Confidence: Low-Medium