NEAR TERM /THROUGH SATURDAY TONIGHT/...
Newly named Tropical Storm Ophelia is expected to move north
through tonight, making landfall along the North Carolina coast.
Ophelia will track into southeast Virginia, eventually losing
its tropical characteristics and becoming an extratropical
system as it moves across Virginia. This is the reason for the
combination of tropical (Tropical Storm Warnings) and non-
tropical (Wind Advisory) headlines in our area. Regardless of
its designation, this system is expected to bring widespread
rainfall and strong winds to the area starting tonight and
persisting through Sunday morning.
Light rain is expected to reach far southern Maryland this
evening, then spread north through the overnight. Most of the
area should be in light rain come sunrise Saturday. The
heaviest rain should hold off until late Saturday morning.
Temps tonight settle in the low to mid 50s, with upper 50s to
low 60s from D.C. down to southern Maryland.
Strong northeast winds are expected to develop along and east of
the Blue Ridge as the circulation of Ophelia pushes northward.
Wind gusts of 35-45 mph are expected, with stronger gusts up to
50-55mph along the immediate coast of the Western Shore and
Tidal Potomac. The combination of long duration wind gusts and a
saturated ground from rain will result in higher chances for
downed trees across the area.
A drenching rain is expected from the Blue Ridge eastward with
2 to 4 inches of rainfall, locally approaching 5 inches through
Sunday morning. Given upslope flow against the east slopes of
the Blue Ridge Mountains, some localized heavy maxima are not
out of the question. Forecast highs are in the upper 50s to mid
60s, locally down into the upper 40s to mid 50s across the