* Flash flood watch for most of the area (except far north & west) 11 a.m. through late tonight *

10:15 a.m. update: After some early-morning showers, the rain shield is arriving right on time. If anything, we look to be rather square in the cross-hairs of the heavier precipitation potential today. If you had stuff to do outside, hopefully it’s done. Plan on rain to pick up most spots through the rest of the morning, although the heaviest focus may remain around and east of 95 in the short term, and with the eventual totals.

From 5:00 a.m…

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

5/10: We could still use the rain in most spots. I am not sure that we’ll be saying that next week at this time.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Periods of rain, some heavy. Highs: 68-75.
Tonight: Rain tapering in the evening. Lows: Near 60 to mid-60s.
Tomorrow: Partly to mostly cloudy. P.M. downpours. Highs: Near 80.

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FORECAST IN DETAIL

After days of brilliant weather, we’re about to get some payback. Clouds and increased shower chances are the first major signs of the changes at hand. Soon we’ll have downpours, puddles and some mud to go along with. Rain that becomes likely today probably sticks around through next week. It won’t be wet all the time, but it’ll probably be wet enough. A flood risk may grow with time as well.

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Today (Saturday): Showers of the morning seem likely to turn into a steadier rain with time. It should tend to be the case that the heaviest activity focuses east and lighter stuff falls out west. This in mind, we’ll need to watch the orientation of the heavier bands and anyone is at risk for a dousing, with an inch or two (or more) a good bet in the hardest-hit spots. Rain should tend to taper off as we get through the evening, although it could hang on for a while, especially the farther north and east you are. If rain is consistent enough, we may struggle to get deep into the 70s and deal with some flooding. So we’ll say daytime readings ranging from about 70 to the mid-70s. Winds are from the northeast about 10 mph early, rising to around 20 mph with higher gusts late. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Rain tends to taper off. It should largely so before sunset, but some may hang on if you’re north and east of town in particular. As skies begin to break, winds out of the north blow about 20 mph with higher gusts early. They should continue into the night, but tend to taper off quicker after midnight. Temperatures fall to a range from near 60 to the mid-60s. Confidence: Medium-High

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Tomorrow (Sunday): The coastal storm system is out of here, but a big upper level low is still spinning in the region. This means our rain chances are not going anywhere. There’s less of a major forcing mechanism for rain, so we should see some sunshine at times in the morning through midday. This is the type of sun we like to call “self destructive,” as it allows the conditions for showers and storms to develop to come together. With lots of moisture in the atmosphere, any of these showers and storms can drop heavy and perhaps locally flooding rains. Temperatures should rise to within a few degrees of 80 for highs, and maybe a bit higher if we see enough sun. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Showers and storms tend to wane at night, but given a frontal boundary in the region, we could keep some of that activity going after dark. It will remain the case that anything that falls could be quite heavy. It’s extra soupy by this point, so lows are mainly in the 70 to 75 range or thereabouts. Confidence: Medium


Water lilies and lily pads at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens in Northeast Washington. The annual “Lotus and Water Lily Festival” at the park is Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

A LOOK AHEAD

The same general pattern continues for Monday and Tuesday. With a front locked up in the area and little waves in the atmosphere around, periodic showers and thunderstorms are likely across the region. Given that it is a couple of days out, pinpointing specifics is difficult. This said, any rain could cause a flooding risk, so plan on that as a potential issue as needed. Highs are in the near 80 to mid-80s range both days. Confidence: Low-Medium