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June 4, 2009

Did I mention rain? Roll up your pants

Watervapor/NOAA 

"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

 

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:55 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Forecasts
        

Comments

Oh thank God we got a guy to clean out our gutters a month and a half ago! And luckily we have a pretty new sump pump (3 years old), though it rarely has to kick on.

FR: We finally installed caps over the gutters last month. They seem to work fine. A fine, reassuring gurgle. The sump pump is now 12 years old and runs plenty in heavy rain. Thinking maybe I should replace it before it quits in a storm.

It's becoming increasingly frustrating dealing with this amount of rain! What is the reason for all the rain we have had in the past 2 months? Will it ever stop? Is there an end in sight, or because of atmospheric conditions or the jet stream is this weather pattern going to continue thoughout the summer?

FR: Sure it'll stop, maybe as suddenly as it began on April 1. We just don't know when the patterns will change. The long-range forecast for the summer shows no particular trend on either side of the averages for precipitation. But the 7-day forecast shows more of the same - showers and t-storms - after we get a short weekend break.

Frank, All of this rain is getting ridiculous and very depressing!!! I don't think we'll ever see the sun again. I looked at the extended forecast and 7 of the next 9 days call for more rain. Is this entire summer going to be a washout?? Why is it we always seem to have either drought conditions or be under a flood warnings???...Never a happy medium. Perhaps the people worried about global warming need to spend a Spring or two around here given what we've experienced the past couple of years. Thanks

FR: Not sure what your point is about global warming. But GW theory does predict more extreme wet and dry events. We've certainly seen that this year. On the other hand, "normal" weather stats are no more than the net effect of events at either extreme. When we look back on 2009, it may all wash out as "average."

When is this going to stop? The veggies I got in last week are doing great , but I have four trays full of seedlings that are rapidly growing way too big for the peat pots. When will I get them out? And since the soil here is clay - turns into brick if you work it when it's wet - this is going to be tricky.

I've heard of rain dances - how about a sunshine dance?

I like following the weather and have a mini weather station at home. I've been searching for a site that gives up todate presipitation data. WBAL has a great weather site, but, trying to locate this data is not, at all, easy. You'ds think that it would be there, "in your face".
Thanks for allowing, me to rant!
KWA-Severna Park

FR: The Sun's online weather page provides rainfall totals (from midnight, from our own Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station at Calvert and Centre streets) updated every 10 minutes: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/weather/
You can also link to BWI data through The Sun's weather page from the "Detailed history and climate" link, found just below WJZ's video forecast on the same page.

Global warming does indeed predict more severe, erratic, and variable weather as we have been seeing here. However, no one seems to have the will to take action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, so we will just have to cope the best we can with the excessive rain, floods, droughts, forest fires, hurricanes, etc.

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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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