Developing coastal low deals us rain into weekend
Persistent northeast winds, energized by a slow-moving coastal storm intensifying off the Carolinas, and high pressure over New England, will keep Maryland in a northeasterly flow off the Altantic for the rest of the week. And that will mean a series of cool, gray, drippy days, with gusty winds and increasingly high tides. So much for what had been a sunny forecast for the end of the week.
Some of this mess can be linked to the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida, including much of the rain that has moved into the region overnight and the energy that is fueling the coastal storm.
The counter-clockwise flow around the coastal low is combining with the clockwise flow around the New England high-pressure center. And that is funneling northeast winds into the region.
The storm is shoving Gulf and Atlantic moisture northward into the region, where it is running up against the cold front and clear, dry air, that lies to our north and west. And that flow is what's delivering our drizzle and rain today. (Those are The Sun's ginkgo trees, on Calvert Street, at right. The photo doesn't do them justice.)
The heaviest rain is expected to remain south and east of the Baltimore-Washington area. So will the gale-force winds forecast for the central and southern portions of the Chesapeake. Along the coast, winds will reach 15 to 20 mph in the next day or two, with gusts to 25 or 30 mph.
All that wind, coupled with an approaching new moon, will drive more water onto the beaches, and hold it against the Chesapeake shoreline. Coastal Flood Watches have been posted for Friday on the Chesapeake Bay and the tidal Potomac River. Minor to moderate flooding is possible at periods of high tide Friday afternoon and Saturday.
A Gale Warning is up for Thursday on the lower tidal Potomac and the Bay south of Sandy Point.
Out on the ocean beaches, there is heavy rain in the forecast. (Ocean City's beaches, left, were deserted this morning.)
The National Weather Service's Wakefield, Va. forecast office has posted High Wind Warnings from Maryland to the Outer Banks, effective from 6 p.m. Wednesday evening until 11 a.m. Friday morning. Winds will average 30 to 40 mph with higher gusts.
High Surf Advisories Coastal Flood Warnings are also up for the Delmarva beaches, with tides two to four feet above predicted levels.