4:15 p.m. - Rain storm is departing. Cool, windy weather to follow.
The bulk of the rain has now pushed into northeast Maryland and over the Delmarva, with just a few trailing showers sweeping through the Washington region. These will exit over the next hour and sunshine is even beginning to poke through the clouds in our western areas.
As noted, in the 3:15 p.m. update below, today’s rainfall was the biggest in Washington since July 8. Here are a few rainfall totals from the region:
- Washington (as measured at Reagan National Airport): 1.35 inches (close to the daily record of 1.38 inches from 2002)
- Dulles: 1.04 inches
- Baltimore: 1.27 inches (still raining)
- Damascus, Md.: 1.11 inches
This is the last update in this post. For the detailed forecast through the weekend, scroll down. We’ll also post a fresh forecast for tonight and tomorrow in our PM Update, which will publish by 5 p.m.
3:15 p.m. - Heaviest rain exiting immediate area
The steady, driving rain has departed the Beltway and is focused from Annapolis to Baltimore and and to the north and east. Just light showers are lingering in its wake which should end over the next hour or so.
In the past hour, Washington picked up another 0.16 inches, bringing the storm total to 1.33 inches - which is at the high-end of projections. This total is also just 0.05 inches away from the daily record of 1.38 inches from 2002. It’s possible, though unlikely, additional rain over the next hour could get us close to that.
Today’s rainfall will help put a nice dent in the drought, but won’t end it - as our rainfall deficit since mid-July is still around 5 inches, and still about 3.5 inches since the beginning of September.
2:15 p.m. - Rainfall tops an inch in Washington, but end in sight
Washington tacked on another 0.41 inches of rain in the last hour, pushing the storm total to 1.17 inches - an impressive amount in essentially three hours. This is now the rainiest day in Washington since July 8, when a historic torrent unloaded 3.44 inches on the city. Today’s rainfall even the tops the total in the preceding 60 days (1.16 inches) back to Aug. 16.
Just one more hour of moderate to heavy rain is likely inside the Beltway as the storm pushes off to the northeast. Steady rain has begun to taper off south and southwest of Burke and Chantilly, where more spotty, intermittent showers are moving through.
The rain should shutoff entirely across the region between about 4 and 6 p.m. from southwest to northeast.
Here are a few other rainfall totals, from the WeatherBug network:
1:15 p.m. - Half an inch of rain falls in last hour!
Washington logged 0.52 inches of rain in the last hour pushing the storm total up to 0.76 inches. In other words, we received about as much rain in the last hour as we did in the previous 8 weeks (dating back to Aug. 24).
Rain continues to fall heavily but may only last a couple more hours. Radar shows the back edge of the steady rain already northeast of Charlottesville, right around Culpeper. That said, storm totals should top an inch in many spots before the rain tapers off.
12:15 p.m. - About a quarter of an inch of rain has already fallen
In the past hour alone, Washington received 0.22 inches of rainfall, bringing the storm total up to 0.24 inches. Heavy rain continued falling at noon and should continue for at least a few more hours. Seems like an inch of rain is certainly in play for this event.
11:20 a.m. - Moderate to heavy rain overspreads region
The Washington region hasn’t seen a radar like this in a long time. It shows a large area of moderate to heavy rain covering the region that will continue for the next several hours.
Modeling suggests this rainfall will persist through between about 4 and 6 p.m. putting down 0.75 to 1.25 inches of rain, which would be the most since early August.
Here are predicted rainfall amounts for Washington from different models:
- HRRR: 0.7 inches
- American (GFS): 1.0 inches
- European model: 1 to 1.25 inches
- High-resolution NAM: 1.2 inches
- NAM: 1.2 inches
- High-resolution Canadian: 1.0 inches
- Canadian: 0.9 inches
Shown below is the forecast from the National Weather Service:
Original forecast posted at 5 a.m.
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
8/10: A soaking rain late morning through afternoon could slow the commute home. But gotta give a fairly high score for rain we badly need.
Today: Cloudy with rain. Highs: Upper 50s to mid-60s.
Tonight: Rain exiting early, clearing skies and breezy. Lows: 40s.
Tomorrow: Partly sunny, breezy. Highs: Upper 50s to low 60s.
View the current weather at The Washington Post headquarters.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
Finally we have ourselves what looks like a soaking rain later this morning and through the afternoon, with around a half-inch to one inch of rain expected. That won’t wipe out our rainfall deficit, which coming into today was close to 5 inches below normal since Sept. 1. But it’s a start. Dry weather returns tomorrow into the weekend with gradual warming, and perhaps another shot at some rain by late Sunday or Monday.
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Today (Wednesday): As low pressure develops along an approaching cold front, we finally get solid rainfall around here. Rain moves into the area from the west and southwest about 8 to 11 a.m. The rain is moderate to heavy at times late morning through afternoon, before exiting from west to east about 5 to 7 p.m. Cloudy skies cap temperatures in the upper 50s to mid-60s. Winds are light from the south-southeast, before starting to pick up from the west and northwest toward evening. Confidence: Medium-High
Tonight: Any remaining rain should be exiting to the east by 7 p.m. or so. That leaves us with clearing skies this evening and overnight as winds turn breezy from the northwest, around 15-20 mph with gusts near 35 mph. Evening temperatures fall through the 50s with overnight lows in the 40s. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow (Thursday): Dry weather returns with a brisk breeze as well. Winds blow from the west around 15-20 mph with gusts near 35 mph. The cool breeze helps keep temperatures in check, with highs in the upper 50s to low 60s under partly sunny skies. Confidence: High
Tomorrow night: Winds diminish somewhat during the evening, but a breeze persists into the overnight at around 10-15 mph from the northwest. Skies continue partly cloudy with lows in the 40s. Confidence: High
A LOOK AHEAD
High pressure builds in Friday and dominates on Saturday. That means a duo of partly to mostly sunny days with Friday highs in the low-to-mid 60s and still a bit of a breeze, and Saturday highs in the mid-to-upper 60s with light winds. Confidence: Medium-High
Sunday trends a bit warmer with highs in the upper 60s to mid-70s, but we’ll have to watch the chance of some rain approaching from the south later in the day. Confidence: Low-Medium