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    Flooding Rain Threatening Washington, D.C., Today

    By By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
    August 18, 2010, 4:28:45 AM EDT

    Rain and thunderstorms are making for soggy conditions across the mid-Atlantic today. Despite threats of localized flooding and travel disruptions, the wet weather is needed to ease rainfall shortages.

    The rain, falling heavily at times, will continue to spread from Virginia to southern New Jersey today. The rain will soak Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., Dover, Del., and Atlantic City, N.J. The wet weather will also clip Philadelphia, Pa.

    Up to 2 inches of rain is expected across the mid-Atlantic into this evening. Localized flooding problems may arise, especially where there are isolated higher rainfall totals.

    Flash flooding was already reported around Washington, D.C., early Wednesday morning with high waters stalling vehicles and forcing road closures. Power outages also resulted.


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    Poor drainage and low-lying areas, as well as places along small streams would be most susceptible to flooding.

    Even where flooding does not occur, the rain threatens to disrupt travel. Motorists should be prepare for a slower commute, while airline passengers will likely encounter delays.

    Despite the threat of localized flooding and travel disruptions, the rain will prove to be beneficial by providing drought relief.

    Much of the mid-Atlantic continues to suffer from a rainfall shortage. The United States Drought Monitor reported last Thursday that most of northern and eastern Virginia (amounting to roughly a third of the state) was enduring a severe drought.

    Richmond, Va., received 4.32 inches of rain from June 1 to Tuesday. That is well below the 10.57 inches that typically falls. Atlantic City measured 54 percent of its normal rainfall during the same time frame.

    Today's rain will also keep temperatures from soaring into the 90s across much of the mid-Atlantic. Temperatures will struggle to rebound to the 80-degree mark in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia this afternoon.

    The heat relief, however, will be brief. Widespread 90-degree heat will return to the mid-Atlantic on Friday.

    Today's rain originated in the southern Appalachians on Tuesday. As the rain passed over southwestern Virginia, flooding ensued in Weber City. A 16-year-old male is reportedly dead after he was swept into the flood waters and drowned Tuesday evening.

    Today, a new round of rain will press from Kentucky and Tennessee into southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia.

    Content contributed by Heather Buchman, Meteorologist

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