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WEATHER BLOG: Wild Weather

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Bernadette Woods

What a wild weather day Sunday.

Drenching downpours flooded many towns across the Eastern Shore and I-95 corridor. Easton reported over 7″ of rain alone, while St. Michaels came in with over 6″. Salisbury was just under 5″, and Baltimore City registered more than 3″. It was a record day at BWI-Marshall with 3.36″ worth of rain. That cut our yearly rainfall deficit down from 8″ to 5″. It also put August on the surplus for rainfall. With only a few days left, it looks like we will end August with above average rainfall after a string of months below average. There were also tornado warnings and waterspout sightings around Cobb Island.

Thunderstorms trained over the same areas most of the day as a low pressure responsible for the stormy weather slowly drifted through Maryland. That low has weakened and moved away. In its wake, it’s still muggy and unstable with just a spotty thunderstorm or two out there Monday afternoon. A new front is moving our way from the west. It will bring a round of scattered thunderstorms Monday night and Tuesday before moving out to sea Tuesday night.

Cooler and much drier air will follow the front starting Wednesday morning. Temperatures will only be in the 50s to start the day before topping out close to or slightly below the average of 84 degrees. High pressure will keep the dry air around for a few days as temperatures rise to near 90 degrees Thursday and Friday.

There is a big question mark with this weekend’s forecast. It all has to do with Isaac.

Currently, Isaac is up to a 70 mph tropical storm churning in the Gulf of Mexico. It is moving off to the northwest at 14 mph. Isaac’s pressure has been dropping all day long. Usually, when pressure drops, winds go up but winds have barely increased. It looks like Isaac will strengthen to a hurricane before the end of the day or overnight – that is a storm with 74 mph winds. Isaac is fighting some dry air, which usually inhibits strengthening. But Isaac is moving over some very warm water, and into an area which will likely allow Isaac to strengthen to a strong category 1 or maybe even a 2 before making landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast between the Florida Panhandle border and the Texas/Louisiana border. That is expected late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.

After moving onshore, there are still questions about Isaac. It will weaken to a tropical storm and eventually depression in the days following landfall. However, there are signs that the next front could draw Isaac’s moisture northeastward toward the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic for the weekend. Obviously, we have a lot to get through before that would happen – so we will keep a close eye on everything and update you through the week. Stay tuned…

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