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Less Scorching, But Still Muggy

Steve Scolnik @ 3:57 PM

A "back-door" front lurking just to the northeast of the Washington DC region is keeping temperatures less scorching this afternoon, but humidity remains high. At mid afternoon, temperatures had reached 90° at a few locations, but the major local airports were only at 88. Dewpoints were still in the sticky upper 60s to low 70s. At the beach, on the other hand, Ocean City was 70° with clouds and fog. Further south, it was clear but only 79° with a southeast breeze on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Radar showed a respectable line of thunderstorms from far western Maryland southwestward to south of Elkins WV, but although it was expanding, it wasn't moving very much eastward as of post time.

Pictured: Surface weather map and satellite picture at 2pm today from HPC/NCEP/NWS

Tonight and Tomorrow

There is still a chance of a shower or thunderstorm through this evening. Otherwise, tonight will be warm and humid with lows near 70 in the city to the mid 60s in the cooler 'burbs. Tomorrow will feature cloudiness increasing in the afternoon along with a 40% chance of showers or thunderstorms with highs in the mid 80s.

Scroll down to Dan's Post immediately below for the rest of the forecast through the weekend.

Where is Your Flood Plan?

With May preparing to go into the record books at less than 60% of average rainfall for the month and capping off a dry spring, this may seem a bit out of place, but a letter to the editor in yesterday's WaPo raises an interesting and important question. (This might be available online, but life is too short to contend with the pathetic search function of the online WaPo, and it doesn't turn up in Google, so if you want the full text, you'll have to retrieve it from the bird cage or cat box.) Larry Silverman, who is identified as the vice chair of the MoCo Water Quality Advisory Group, commends the WaPo for its attention to flood control fiascoes in distant locations (i.e., NoLa with Katrina) but asks, "what about the flood control systems for the Potomac, Anacostia, Four Mile Run and other rivers and streams close to home?"

The answer of course, is that they are virtually non-existent. Large areas of Alexandria, Southwest DC, the National Mall, and Anacostia are at or near single digit elevations and therefore highly vulnerable to flooding. Since the major inundation of Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972, 34 years of development in upstream areas have drastically increased the threat of flash flooding from rapid runoff of heavy rain. Furthermore, Agnes was a rain-only event, without the storm surge that The Big One, when it hits, will provide to the tidal Potomac.

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