Timing Saturday’s Strong Thunderstorms

We are in a moderate drought and unfortunately the cold front that will roar through the Metropolitan Area on Saturday afternoon will provide very little in the way of drought relief. 


A squall line will likely cross the Blue Ridge around noon and then move across the immediate Washington Area & 95 corridor between 2 PM and 4 PM.  How much rain could fall in your back yard?

Latest High Resolution North American Model (NAM) below shows squall like with possible “bowing segments” (forward bending comma shape to the line of storms) moving through our region between 11AM and 4PM and clearing the Chesapeake Bay between 4 and 7PM. Wind damage and small hail are the primary threats with these storms. 


Because the storms will be moving through pretty rapidly, a widespread tenth of an inch of rain is likely with some locations picking up around a quarter-inch of much-needed rainfall. 


Temperatures will plummet pretty quickly behind the front into the 40s and 50s with gusty northwest breezes through Sunday.  The winds should relax on Sunday night allowing for radiation cooling with temperatures dropping between 27 and 34 degrees. Make sure if you live in the suburbs you cover any sensitive plants that may have already bloomed. 

Medium Range:

  •  More showers are likely Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.


  • Powerful “Arctic Front” may slide through the DC Area on Wednesday afternoon (watching the potential for strong thunderstorms Wednesday as this system moves through).


  • Much Colder air is in store for the Mid-Atlantic Thursday March 2nd through the following weekend with the potential for sub-freezing low temperatures and early February like high temperatures. A parade of clippers will need to be watched March 4th through the longer range as any track south of DC would threaten our region with accumulating snow. Winter isn’t over just yet (don’t pack the coats away). 

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