Soaking Rain Headed for Mid-Atlantic

August 17, 2010; 10:07 AM
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Play video Paul Pastelok has more details on the stormy weather expected along the front in this video.

The same cold front that sparked damaging thunderstorms across the Northeast Monday will continue affecting the mid-Atlantic into Thursday. Its impacts on people across the region will be both positive and negative.

The Negative

Heavy rain and thunderstorms will develop along this front late tonight into Thursday morning, disrupting travel and threatening localized flash flooding. Rainfall totals are expected to reach 1 to 2 inches with locally higher amounts possible.

Areas from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., to Richmond and Roanoke, Va., are at risk. People in these areas should be prepared for a slow commute right off the bat Wednesday morning. Airline passengers should also anticipate delays.

Flash flooding in not expected to be a widespread problem but could impact a few communities by Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Low-lying and poor drainage areas are especially susceptible.

The Positive

Despite these short-term problems, many people will actually welcome the stormy weather. Much of the mid-Atlantic is in a drought, and the rain will help put a dent in rainfall deficits.

The latest release from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of eastern Virginia and southeastern Maryland in a severe drought as of Aug. 10, 2010.

Since May 1, Richmond has only received 46 percent of its normal precipitation. Typically, about 14.5 inches of rain falls during this time frame. This year, the city has picked up less than 6.70 inches.

In addition, the stormy weather will provide some brief but significant heat relief. High temperatures in Washington, D.C., for example, will drop from the mid-90s Tuesday to the upper 70s Wednesday. The last time the nation's capital had highs in the 70s was early June!

Related to the Story:

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