The week is about to take a turn for the dreary. Rain dominates the forecast for the next few days; hope you didn’t make any outdoor plans for the next couple days.
I had meant to plug this when I wrote an update about the Lateral West fire on Monday, but it slipped my mind. This video, from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, shows a variety of their firefighting operations in the Great Dismal Swamp. These were taken when the fire was at its peak during August. Check out the fire whirls!
The tropics have quieted down somewhat, after Katia and Maria went out to sea and Nate made landfall in southern Mexico. However, Tropical Storm Ophelia has formed tonight in the central Atlantic Ocean. The forecast for Ophelia takes the storm near the Lesser Antilles by Sunday. It’s too early to say where Ophelia will head after that, but those with Caribbean plans should keep an eye on the storm this week.
It won’t be tropical in nature, but the big story at home is going to be the rain for the rest of this week. A slow-moving cold front currently crossing the Midwest will push into the Ohio Valley later this week, enhancing precipitation out of a fairly steady moisture flow from the south. When put in combination with a series of upper-level disturbances crossing the region in advance of the cold front, the forecast for the remainder of this week is nothing but unsettled and wet.
Some patchy fog is developing tonight, but will clear out on Wednesday morning. We’ll spend most of the day under partly to mostly cloudy skies with a chance of showers throughout the day. Areas that do see some sun will be at risk for thunderstorms as well, and strong winds and heavy downpours will be the primary threats with these systems if they do develop. Expect a high in the upper 70s and a low Wednesday night in the upper 60s. Expect a repeat on Thursday, with even more favorable rain chances in the afternoon, and another day with highs near 80 and a low in the upper 60s.
Looking ahead, Friday looks to be the main event this week, as the cold front makes its closest approach. Periods of heavy rain showers are likely on Friday, and temperatures will cool off slightly from earlier in the week. Periods of rain continue through the weekend as well, though we will see some clearing as the front begins to slowly move over the Atlantic. All told, we’re looking and somewhere between 1.5 – 3” of rain by Sunday.