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Eyes turn to Charley...

Jason Samenow @ 7:07 AM

Per the previous post, the combination of the cold front and tropical moisture from Bonnie produced some heavy rains last night. The center of Bonnie's remnants will pass just to our east this morning, producing some heavy rain, but east of the District. Friday afternoon and Saturday daytime look mostly dry.

Charley radar imageBut Charley is a problem Saturday night. Gaining steam near the Florida coast, Charlie is on a track to make landfall near Tampa sometime late in the afternoon. It appears he will be a powerful hurricane when he strikes, likely a Category 3 storm. See the National Hurricane Center site for the latest statements and discussions. (Pictured on the left -- National Weather Service radar image of Charley from Key West at 8am today. Notice the well defined eye, healthy outflow and the storm's symmetry--all indications of powerful and dangerous storm)

Charley rain forecastCurrent track projections take the remnants of Charley over northern Virginia Saturday night. He will likely still have tropical storm force winds and very heavy rain at that time. Indications are that 2-4 inches of rain may fall over the area and that would cause some flash flooding. The image on the right is the simulated rainfall for our area by a forecast model (the red shaded region represents 3-4 inches of rain). In addition, a few isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out. Scattered power outages are possible. All of these impacts are contigent upon the hurricane following the forecasted track. If the storm track shifts to the east or west, the impact will not be as large for our area.

Tomorrow night I will provide another update as well as recommendations for preparing for the storm.

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