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Wilma and the week ahead: Monster storm scenario?

Jason Samenow @ 12:15 AM

Wilma will barrel across south Florida today, delivering a fast and furious blow. But her business will not be finished. She is set to merge with Tropical Depression Alpha and a Midwestern upper low to form a monster storm off the Mid Atlantic coast. This storm will impact the Washington, DC forecast over the next couple of days. Forecast details follow.

**The Latest on Wilma**

Wilma has strengthened back to Category 3 (max winds of 115mph), and is once again a major hurricane. Landfall should occur around Marco Island or Naples early this morning. The National Hurricane Center is predicting a maximum storm surge of 9-17 feet and 4-8" of rain. While the storm will deliver a hard hit, the impact will be reduced due to its short duration (resulting from its rapid forward motion). The Drudge Report, of all sites, has a nice page with radar and satellite imagery. And WxNation has an extensive set of links and resources.

Week Ahead Details: Washington, DC

As an upper low approaches from the west, today will be cloudy and cool, with rain showers developing, especially in the afternoon. With a light northeast winds, temperatures should hold steady around 50 degrees.

The aforementioned "monster storm" is likely to form off the coast tonight as Wilma races northeastward, absorbing Alpha and interacting with the upper low. Steady rain, heavy at times, as well as strong northeast winds (20-30mph) are possible overnight. We could get a quick 0.75-1" of rain. Conditions are likely to be worse along the Bay and at the Delaware/Maryland beaches with gale force winds and very high surf. (New England is likely to bear the brunt of this storm -- with flooding rain and 60+ mph winds along the coast and snow possible in the interior.)

Image courtesy AccuWeather

On Tuesday, rain will gradually taper off in the morning, but it will remain windy and cool, with highs in the low to mid 50s.

Beginning Wednesday, the weather pattern settles way down as high pressure builds in. Sunshine will return with highs in the mid 50s.

Thursday through Sunday should feature crisp days, and chilly nights -- with highs in the upper 50s Thursday and Friday, moderating into the low 60s Saturday and Sunday. Overnight lows will be in the low 30s to mid 30s in the suburbs (with scattered frost), and near 40 downtown.

Photo of the Day

Sunset in Dumfries, VA yesterday. By photographer Kevin Ambrose.

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