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March 8, 2011

Hard rain due Thursday; Flood Watch posted

Today looks fine, with sunshine and highs near 50 degrees. And the weekend looks great, with more sunshine and highs in the 50s beginning on Friday. But in between, like the great Greenwich Village forecaster Bob Dylan said, it's a hard rain a-gonna fall - as much as 3 inches in some locations.

The National Weather Service regional forecast office in Sterling, Va. has posted a Flood Watch from Washington County in the west to Cecil County in the east, and reaching as far south as NOAA/NWSPrince George's and Anne Arundel counties.

In effect from Wednesday evening through Thursday evening, the Watch for the Baltimore region predicts as much as 3 inches of rain could fall in some locations as a slow-moving cold front approaches the region, and takes its sweet time moving off to the east.

The storm is already gathering strength in the Central Plains states, and is threatening the lower Mississippi Valley with severe thunderstorms, hail, destructive winds and even tornadoes late today. Even the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans could be overtaken by storms late tonight.

Baltimore's forecast calls for rain chances to pick up after 1 p.m. Wednesday, becoming moderate to heavy after 10 p.m., with up to a half-inch possible before daybreak Thursday. More rain, heavy at times, is in the works for Thursday, with new amounts of 1 to 2 inches. Thursday night add to the total - as much as three-quarters of an inch more - before it ends early on Friday.

NWS: "The forecasted rainfall amounts likely will cause flooding of low-lying areas, as well as cause small streams and creeks to rise out of their banks. The runoff would then create significant rises on area rivers."

The flood risk is made more likely by the heavy rain that fell Sunday, and which is still making its way down the state's rivers and streams. Saturated soils will not be able to absorb as much of the next storm as they managed to soak up over the weekend.

Cold air sweeping down from the north around the backside of the departing low on Thursday night could set off some snow in the higher mountain elevations. Here in the lowlands, we can expect mostly sunny skies behind the storm, with seasonable highs in the 50s for the weekend. 

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:53 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Forecasts


a little colder and we would have had back to back blizzards.

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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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