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November 11, 2009

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.Calvert Street ginkgos 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.

Town of Ocean CityAll 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.  

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:20 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Forecasts
        

Comments

Frank,

What are the rainfall totals so far for 2009? I would imagine we are way over normal amounts?

FR: Indeed we are. We blew past the annual average (41.94 inches) sometime in October. At midnight on Tuesday, the total at BWI stood at 43.3 inches, almost 7 inches above normal for the year to date. And we're not quite halfway through November.

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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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