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May 18, 2011

So where's all the rain?

So I've been sitting here on Calvert Street for days, cranking out posts to relay dire warnings from the weather service about showers and thunderstorms and flash flooding. There have been watches and warnings and ... So where's all the rain?

BWI-Marshall Airport is reporting just 0.38 inch since early Tuesday morning. We've had only 0.13 inch here at The Sun's weather station. It seems like there's been more water lapping over the City Dock in Annapolis than has been falling across the region.

It appears that most of the rain with this stubborn "cutoff low" has been falling to our west, in the mountain counties of Maryland and down in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Accident, in Garrett County reported 1.88 inches by 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to the CoCoRaHS Network.

The Potomac River is expected to crest at Paw Paw at 25.8 feet at 2 p.m. today, forecasters said - just above flood stage. Hancock was headed for 23.5 feet tonight - just below flood stage. Harper's Ferry and Sheperdstown should see peaks tomorrow, with Point of Rocks and Little Falls cresting on Friday.

The National Weather Service is reporting more than 2 inches in parts of Western Maryland, and upwards of 3 and 4 inches of rain down in parts of Virginia and West Virginia. Here's a sampling from both

Winchester, Va.:  3.4 inches

Jones Springs, W.V.:  3.25 inches

Hollymead, Va.:  2.59 inches

Bridgewater, Va.:  2.32 inches

Eldersburg, Carroll Co. Md.: 0.90 inch

Columbia, Howard Co.:  0.75 inch

La Plata, Charles Co.:  0.69 inch

Severn, Arundel:  0.66 inch

Westminster, Carroll Co.:  0.49 inch

Bel Air, Harford Co.:  0.09 inch

That's not to say we've dodged the rain here in Baltimore. NWS forecasters continue to warn there's more coming. Showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and evening could produce heavy rain and flash flooding. Some could be severe, with damaging winds, large hail and even an isolated tornado.

Central Maryland remains under a Coastal Flood Warning as persistent southeasterly winds keep water bottled up in the Chesapeake. The winds, coupled with a full moon, are making for high Tides Onlinetides in excess of two feet above normal today.  

Showers and thunderstorms remain in the forecast through Friday as the sluggish low drifts north from the southern Appalachians into the Ohio Valley.

"The heaviest rainfall is expected late this morning through this afternoon when instability will be at its highest," forecasters said.

The low is forecast to continue pumping loads of Atlantic moisture into the region, keeping us gray and drippy. Whenever solar energy is able to trigger thunderstorms, they are likely to drop heavy rain, with a risk of large hail and and damaging winds.

"This has been one of the most persistent upper lows I've ever experienced here," one forecaster said in this morning's forecast discussion. "But the end will be occurring soon."

By Friday the low will have moved into New Jersey. We'll still feel its effects, but they will be easing. And by Saturday we should see partly sunny skies with highs near 80 degrees.

Are we having fun yet?

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:51 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: By the numbers, Forecasts


I live just across the border in York County, PA (Stewartstown), and we got 2.95" monday night in about 4 hours. It was raining hard....washed out my newly planted garden. We did miss most of the rain yestarday and last night, though.

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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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