Back to Work Monday: Heavy Rain, Mountain Snow and Damaging Wind Gusts

A Nor’easter will ride up the Mid-Atlantic coastline bringing our region some periods of heavy rain, rumbles of thunder, gusty winds and even some heavy, wet, snow in the higher elevations of the Appalachians.

The latest High Resolution North American Model (NAM) shows the evolution in storm track of an inland low pressure system eventually spawning a coastal storm as it rides up the New Jersey coastline before pulling out to sea.

A period of heavy rain and or thunderstorms is possible Monday during the mid-morning hours through the first half of the afternoon rush hour. Wind gusts close to 50 mph are possible in some of these thunderstorms.  Areas along the Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Potomac could see sustained winds of 30 to 4o mph with gusts to 58 mph!


Here’s a look at Rainfall and Snowfall Potential:

  • Generally one to three inches of rain is likely with higher amounts possible in locations that receive training thunderstorms or the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge mountains where orographic lift will enhance totals (image below courtesy WeatherBell).

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Heavy Rain Sunday and Monday will Relieve the Moderate Drought Conditions but what about Snow?


The interstate 95 corridor is still experiencing moderate drought conditions after what was a very dry Autumn. Regardless of the eventual track of our next storm, it’s likely to produce several rounds of heavy rainfall across the metropolitan area Sunday afternoon and again on Monday.


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Potential increasing for Heavy Rain and Snow across the Mid-Atlantic early next week

There has been an interesting development among the latest forecast models today with the potential for a very complex storm system set to impact the Mid-Atlantic and New England early next week.  For one, the NAO is forecast to be negative and an arctic high is forecast to build over eastern Canada. The trough is forecast to become negatively tilted and if future runs begin to consolidate on more of a coastal track with colder air sliding further south, we could be talking about heavy wet snow in the higher terrain west of the big cities or possibly rain going over to heavy wet snow in the big cities.  As of now, the models favor rain in the big cities with the potential for heavy snow in interior sections but this is definitely not set in stone.

Here is the latest “Trend GFS” model (image courtesy tropicaltidbits) showing the last 5 runs of the GFS showing the potential location of the coastal storm on Monday at 7pm next week):

  • Notice that with each subsequent run for the same time frame (7pm Monday of next week) the coastal low pressure system has trended deeper (stronger) and further offshore.
  • Also notice the 1026 mb High pressure system anchored over eastern Canada (the blue H)… if future model runs continue to deepen this system colder air could get drawn closer into the storm system setting up the stage for a heavy, wet snow in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and New England. 


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After a Warm Up this week Watching the last Weekend in January for a Potential East Coast Storm


Much of the Metropolitan Area dodged a bullet with temperatures holding just above freezing. I don’t think anyone wanted ice so this was a good end result in what was an extremely tricky forecast.

  • With that said, those of us who are waiting ever so patiently for a significant snow storm we will need to keep an eye out for the last weekend in January.
  • The pattern that we have been in seems to send storm systems through the Washington Region during the Friday-Sunday time frame. 

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Caution: Wintry Mix Could Surprise to the Upside Late Tonight & Tomorrow


The latest radar image out of the Ohio River Valley shows some moderate to heavy rain falling.  This will need to be monitored closely as the current forecast is based on the premise that temperatures may not dip as low as we had thought and the precipitation would come in bouts of drizzle or very light precipitation.

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