Flood watch for D.C. area, except southern suburbs, through Friday evening *

As my grandfather used to say, “Today was a good day for the birds.” We are seemingly stuck in a perpetual birdbath as we conclude our fifth consecutive rainy day. And we aren’t done with the string of rainy days yet, not by a long shot. It’s hard to believe that the first 11 days of May in our region were historically dry. Yet here we are. So keep the umbrellas and rain boots on standby. You are most certainly going to need them over the next several days.

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Through Tonight: Intermittent rain showers will continue to rotate in from the south for the remainder of the evening. There will be brief breaks in the steady rain, but those dry periods will become more scarce as the evening wears on. The steadiest pocket of rain will eventually lift north of our area well after midnight, but scattered showers will remain a possibility right through daybreak. Warm and sticky overnight with low temperatures and dew-point values in the low 60s. Some patchy fog is likely to develop after 3 a.m.


Jaime Soriano attempts to catch one of the hundreds of fish stranded in puddles in Baker Park in Frederick, Md., on May 16, 2018, after severe storms dumped more than six inches of rain in a few hours the night before. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

View the current weather at The Washington Post.

Tomorrow (Thursday): The flood watch officially goes into effect at 2 p.m., and we should remain mostly dry up until that point. That said, we are in a moisture-rich environment, so the chance of scattered showers (even in the morning/early afternoon) remains elevated. Afternoon highs will top out in the upper 60s to low 70s, with elevated dew points making it feel rather sticky. By tomorrow afternoon and especially by tomorrow evening, a broad area of heavier rain will slowly approach the D.C. region from the south. Some of these storms may contain a rumble of thunder or two, but the real story will be the rain. Heavy rain will spread over the entire area late Thursday into Friday morning, falling onto a surface already oversaturated from rainfall earlier this week.

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

How many consecutive days of rain can we get? It may seem like a rather depressing question. But with five consecutive days of measurable rain already in the books and another five consecutive rainy days in the forecast, it’s worth asking: Are we in record territory here?


Top 10 periods with consecutive days of measurable rainfall at DCA.

If we do have at least 0.01 inch of rain at DCA through Monday, that would mark 10 consecutive days of measurable rainfall. That would be good enough for second place (after 15 consecutive days of rain in 2016) at DCA, with records dating to 1941. It’s interesting to note that in the past two years, DCA has had three independent periods of 15, nine and seven consecutive days of rainfall! Do I sense a trend?

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