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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

1:00 PM | Update on the major storm...a significant rain and wind event followed by an Arctic blast

Paul Dorian


Our major pre-Thanksgiving Day storm is now underway along the I-95 corridor with rain currently falling from the DC metro region to New York City. Atmospheric ingredients are coming together for a substantial rain and wind event up and down the I-95 corridor from DC to Boston over the next 24 hours or so. This entire region should receive 2-4 inches of rainfall from this storm and potentially damaging wind gusts between later tonight and early Thursday. To make matters worse as far as the winds are concerned, they will be quite strong from two different directions during the storm - which never helps the trees - as they will become quite strong tonight from the southeast-to-east and then strong later tomorrow and tomorrow night out of the northwest. Thunderstorms could also mix into the picture; especially, along coastal locations from New Jersey southward. A powerful jet streak in the upper atmosphere is combining with a well-established and “reluctantly-retreating” cold Arctic air mass and northward-moving tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to generate an intensifying low pressure system that will ride up the eastern seaboard over the next 24 hours.

The rain began briefly as a mixture of sleet and rain in some suburban locations to the west and north of DC and Philly, but plain rain should fall from this afternoon into tomorrow morning and the rain will become very heavy at times. Temperatures are just slightly above freezing in many Mid-Atlantic locations at the current time, but they should actually rise throughout the night as strong southeast-to-east winds pump in milder air from the Atlantic Ocean. Once the strong low pressure system pulls to our northeast on Wednesday, a powerful Arctic front will blast through the Mid-Atlantic region causing temperatures to plunge, winds to shift to a northwesterly direction, and lingering rain showers will quite likely change to snow showers in the I-95 corridor. Powerful winds will continue through tomorrow night in the Mid-Atlantic region as the next Arctic air mass pours into the area. Arctic cold will grip the entire region on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

NAM_precip [Total precipitation amounts for this upcoming event from the latest NAM computer forecast model run with a stripe of 3+ inches of rainfall between DC and Boston]