Did I mention rain? Roll up your pants
"Tonight could be a very busy one for forecasters and emergency workers," say the NWS forecasters out at Sterling. After near-record rain in May, and a fast start on June's rainfall totals, forecasters are looking at the addition 1 to 2 inches of new rain that is approaching the region tonight and tomorrow and say flatly that flooding is likely.
Flood watches issued earlier today have been expanded to encompass the entire Maryland forecast area from Allegany County east to the Chesapeake Bay. Rain will begin this afternoon, become heavy tonight and continue tomorrow as a new low-pressure system moves from the Gulf into the Carolinas and the Delmarva Peninsula by tomorrow afternoon.
The forecast calls for up to a quarter-inch in Baltimore today, with another 1 to 2 inches on top of that tonight. Tomorrow could bring yet another three-quarters of an inch. Here's the water vapor loop from orbit, showing all that tropical moisture gushing into the Eastern U.S.
That's way more than is needed to trigger flooding, forecasters said.
"In the Washington DC metro area rainfall values that could initiate flooding are extremely low due to the heavy rains of the past week. Less than an inch and a half in six hours are all that would be needed," forecasters said. "Values of two to three inches in six hours will cause problems with flooding. It is possible that these amounts may be reached overnight."
After a very dry fall and winter, the skies opened up in April and May with a 7-inch surplus. May, with more than 8 inches of rain, was the second-wettest May on record for Baltimore since they began keeping track in 1871.
June appears to be starting up in the same pattern, with more than an inch of rain at BWI on Wednesday alone. The next few days could bring the June total close to the long-term average for the month - 3.43 inches. We counted nearly two-thirds of an inch last night on the WeatherDeck in Cockeysville. The Sun's weather station recorded 1.3 inches yesterday.
Fortunately, we will have the weekend to begin to dry out. Forecasters are calling for sunny skies and highs near 80 degrees Saturday and Sunday. But then the old, familiar pattern returns, with rising chances for showers and thunderstorms at least through Wednesday.
Got the roof fixed yet, kid? How is everyone else dealing with the rainy weather? Gardens okay? Sump pump still working? Got your gutters and storm drains unclogged? Ready for the mosquitoes?
Speaking of big rain, look at these totals for Wednesday (actually, the 24 hours ending around 7 Thursday morning):
Cordova, Talbot Co.: 3.25 inches
White Oak, Montgomery Co.: 2.44 inches
Salisbury: 2.38 inches
North Laurel: 1.73 inches
Odenton: 1.63 inches
Crofton: 1.56 inches
Mt. Airy: 1.43 inches