Ida arrives tonight, heavy rain begins to fall


Tuesday night: Cloudy with rain arriving, becoming very steady by sunrise. Winds: Var. 3-5 mph, Low: 68 (66-71)

Wednesday: Cloudy with heavy rain and storms. Flash flooding and river flooding are likely, with severe storms also possible to the south. Winds: E 5-10 mph, High: 75 (72-77), Low: 63 (61-66)

Thursday: Partly cloudy with isolated AM showers. Highs will be in the middle to upper 70’s with lows in the 50’s.

Friday: Mostly sunny skies. Highs will be in the middle to upper 70’s with lows in the middle to upper 50’s.

Saturday: Mostly sunny skies. Highs will be in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s with lows in the upper 50’s to lower 60’s.

Sunday: Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Highs will be in the lower to middle 80’s with lows in the lower to middle 60’s.

Labor Day: Mostly sunny skies. Highs will be in the 80’s with lows in the lower to middle 60’s.

Forecast Discussion

We should stay fairly dry through the morning as clouds continue to thicken up, but those showers to the west will move in this afternoon and evening. The edge of Ida’s heaviest rainfall will move in tonight, picking up in intensity toward Wednesday morning.

Unfortunately, models have been steadily coming into agreement on rainfall totals, and they’ve been very consistent with extremely high amounts across the area. There will be steady rain falling from Wednesday morning straight into Thursday morning the more north and west you go, with some occasional breaks for locations to the south and east. The catch is those same areas to the south and east will be at higher risk for severe storms, which is typically the case south of a weakening tropical system. So, across Northern Virginia and southern MD, strong winds and spin-up tornadoes are possible.

The main concern will be flooding though, especially across the higher terrain. Rainfall totals of 3-6” are looking likely, with locally higher amounts up to 8” possible as well. This will lead to flash flooding concerns as the rain occurs tomorrow, and then river flooding concerns will continue into Thursday and Friday. Take every precaution you can today to be prepared for flooding, clear gutters and storm drains and bring in any outdoor items you can. The good news is that all of this rain will clear out by Thursday morning, and we’ll have a quiet stretch straight through the weekend that will allow us to dry out some. We’ll even be feeling very comfortable, with low humidity and temperatures in the 70’s during the afternoons and 50’s at night.

Have a great Tuesday and stay weather aware out there!

Meteorologist Damon Matson

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