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May 6, 2009

More rain ... again

If it seems like it's been raining all month, that's because it has. BWI has clocked more than two inches already since the first of the month. And there's more to come as winds across the continent remain largely west-to-east. The "zonal" flow just keeps sending repeated bundles of low pressure and moisture our way, and we get showers.

Here's the tally since May Day. The amounts on some days are tiny, but what we remember is the mist and drizzle, the occasional heavy showers, and the gray skies ... the incessant gray skies:

May 1: 0.02 inchNOAA

May 2:  0.01 inch 

May 3:  0.82 inch

May 4:  0.84 inch

May 5:  0.42 inch

Points west have seen much more rain than we have. The National Weather Service has posted Flood Warnings for the Potomac River at Point of Rocks. The river was a foot above flood stage and minor flooding was expected today.

Flood Watches are up for the western part of the state, from Washington County westward. They're expecting as much as two inches of rain. Soils are already saturated, so whatever falls will run straight into the creeks and rivers, producing localized flooding Wednesday night into Thursday.

The NWS has also posted a Hazardous Weather Outlook for today and tonight that includes eastern Allagany, Washington, Frederick, Carroll, Montgomery and Howard counties. They can expect minor river flooding along the Potomac as heavy rains push some streams out of their banks through Friday.

The cloudy, drippy skies forced the postponement of last night's planned launch of the U.S. Air Force Minotaur rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The rocket is carrying an Air Force remote sensing technology test satellite, along with four other private, university and NASA satellites. Once airborne, if skies are clear across the region the rocket's climb toward orbit should be visible for hundreds of miles around. Another Minotaur launch from Wallops Island in December 2006 was clearly visible in daylight from my front window in Cockeysville. 

The next launch window at Wallops opens at 8 p.m. Thursday. The forecast for Thursday night is a little better, with partly cloudy skies expected for Baltimore.  

That said, the forecast out of Sterling shows no mention of sunny skies here until Sunday. We can expect more showers and thunderstorms right through Saturday. Temperatures will climb toward 70 today, and well into the 70s through Saturday as another low-pressure system slogs through and pushes a warm front across the region. Those highs would be 5 to 10 degrees above the seasonal norms.

Behind that low we should see high pressure work its way into the area behind the next cold front. That will bring cooler, more seasonable temperatures and SUNSHINE by Sunday. The same unfamiliar golden orb may even stick around through Tuesday ... unless it doesn't. Forecasters say the same old zonal flow could deliver another package of clouds and showers anytime during that period.

Keep the umbrellas handy.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:24 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Forecasts


Please let us know if the Wallops is going up Thursday? I'd love to watch for it.
FR: I will try to keep tabs on the Minotaur launch from Wallops and post updates here as needed. But you can track the countdown and launch prospects yourself by following the Wallops Tweets on Twitter at I have also been Tweeting on the topic from my own perch, at

Gee, Frank, weren't you just blogging about the drought conditions throughout the state of Maryland ?

FR: Yup. It's over:

Good grief- no one predicted the deluge I received last night. we had local flooding and added another 1.5 inches to an existing 3.5 inches that fell in the past week in Kingsville.

I was up at 1 a.m. unclogging everything- luckily my gutters were clear, but the road was a river of leaves.

boy, we have had 10" of rain since April 1st. That storm last night was something else -- pounding rain, thunder and lightning, and a my dog hiding under the desk! we had more rain in 3 hours than in the entire month of February.

It didn't seem like we got too much rain last night (downtown), but we got lots of thunder and lightning. The dog was NOT happy and felt the need to try and sleep on my head, which would be fine, but he's a 65 lb. lab.

FR: The Sun's gauge at Calvert and Centre clocked 1.11 inches in the 24 hours from 5 p.m. Wednesday.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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