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Charley's on his way...

Jason Samenow @ 11:11 PM

The title sounds like a cheesy song or a bad sitcom, but it's true. Charley's coming...

Hurricane CharleyAs I write this, Charley is about to move offshore Daytona Beach. He has weakened substantially over Florida, but not without producing extensive damage. Wind gusts near the coast were over 125mph and 105mph as far inland as Orlando. There is extensive coverage of Charley's impacts all over the net. The Tampa Tribune and the Orlando Sentinel provide great coverage. So does, of course. And the blog at has provided frequent updates. The 3-D satellite image on the left, courtesy of NOAA, shows Charley just as he was making landfall on the west coast of Florida.

What does Charley do from here? Charlie will be over the ocean for a while before re-emerging onshore on the south coast of North Carolina. This may provide him with the brief opportunity to re-strengthen just a bit. He'll likely then move through eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia and up the Chesapeake Bay before heading up the New England coast.

For us, expect scattered showers in the morning associated with the front that has been stalled west of the area since late Wednesday. As the day wears on, the winds will increase and by late in the afternoon, the rain from Charlie will be approaching. The best chance of heavy rain and wind from Charlie will likely occur between 7pm and midnight. Current guidance suggests areas just east of Washington may bear the brunt of Charley as he moves through--especially near the Bay. Areas west of Fairfax and Montgomery county may just get grazed.

As I've mentioned in several posts, the exact track will determine who gets hit hardest and any slight deviation in the forecast track will have significant implications for everyone.

Here's my best shot at what the impacts will be for the area during the brunt of the storm (between 7pm and midnight):

DC and points east: 2-4" of rain with locally higher amounts. Winds to 35 mph. Scattered power outages Saturday night.

Fairfax and Montgomery counties: 1-3" of rain. Winds 20-30mph. Isolated power outages.

West of Fairfax and Montgomery counties: A glancing blow. A few heavy showers with winds 15-25mph.

A Flood Watch is in effect for the entire area.

I will be providing updates throughout the day today. Stay tuned.

Before signing off, I'll mention two more tropical systems have formed in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Danielle and Tropical Depression #5 (which will likely be named Tropical Storm Earl soon). Both will have to be watched carefully especially Depression #5 as it looks to follow a similar track to Charley, at least as it traverses the Caribbean.

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