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Dreary Midweek, Delightful Weekend

Dan Stillman @ 11:45 PM

Don't let the dreariness of today and tomorrow get you down. The weather for Friday and the weekend promises to brighten even the bluest of moods.

Today and Tomorrow

Rain Timeline

Through 9pm tonight: 30% chance of showers

9pm tonight-2pm tomorrow: 70% chance of steadier rain.

Remainder of tomorrow: A lingering shower or drizzle.
Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighCloudy, cool and sometimes rainy. As low pressure approaches from the west, we'll have a 30% chance of showers through early evening as high temps struggle to reach the upper 60s. A substantially better chance of steadier rain enters the forecast for tonight through early afternoon tomorrow. The remainder of Thursday will continue mostly cloudy and possibly drizzly with a high in the low 70s, though some clearing is possible toward evening. Lows tonight and tomorrow night should bottom out in the low-to-mid 60s.

Friday and the Weekend

Forecast Confidence: HighGorgeous. High pressure will bring us partly to mostly sunny skies (though we could see some lingering clouds early Friday) with daytime highs near 80 and nighttime lows in the low 60s in town, mid-to-upper 50s in the burbs.

Next Up: Tropical Depression Eight

Hurricane Florence has lost its tropical characteristics, and Hurricane Gordon looks like it will track far from any significant land masses. The attention now turns to Tropical Depression Eight, which is expected to slowly strengthen as it moves west-northwest across the Atlantic. In his analysis yesterday, tropical expert Jeff Masters gives the storm only a 20% chance of striking land.

Back from the Beach

Having spent last week at Bethany Beach, I got to see firsthand the impacts Tropical Storm Ernesto had along the Delaware and Maryland coastlines. I arrived during the late afternoon on Saturday Sept. 2. A light mist was all that was left of the strong winds and heavy rain that pounded the area the previous day and night. But on the ground there was plenty of evidence that a powerful storm had come through.

Many roads were impassable and blocked off due to standing water. I saw a few trucks carrying fallen tree limbs -- probably the tail end of a clean up process that had started early in the morning. The most striking impact of all was the beach, or rather its lack thereof. The beach at Bethany was closed that afternoon and evening, and rightly so considering there was no beach. Ernesto's storm surge had pushed the ocean water all the way up to near the sand dune at the back of the beach. Conditions improved slightly on Sunday, as the beach was reopened and the water had retreated enough to expose approximately 15-20 ft. of sand. The water receded more and more with each day, and the beach seemed to be back to normal by the middle of the week.

Storm impacts were still noticeable on a mid-week visit to Ocean City. There was tons of sand on the wrong side of the boardwalk -- the inland side -- and boardwalk storeowners said that at the height of the storm, the water was up to the front of their stalls. I noticed a few street signs were also toppled or missing.

Ernesto, which made landfall more than 300 miles south of the Delmarva area and had weakened to a depression by the time it reached the North Carolina-Virginia border, should serve as a huge wake-up call for residents, resorts, businesses and elected officials along the Eastern Shore. Just imagine the damage a stronger storm making more of a direct hit could do. In the wake of the storm, beach replenishment projects are getting renewed attention.

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