Friday Update on Local Rain Plus The Tropics

Despite scattered showers in the area we are still way too dry. Through August 16, BWI-Marshall is 1.15 inches below average for the month, 2.92 inches below average since June 1 and 5.60 inches short for the year. The result is a continuing drought situation across Maryland.

(Map courtesy of StormCenter Communications)

Although there is a chance for some additional rain today, the Baltimore area is not the prime target. Areas northeast and east of Baltimore seem to be the areas most likely to see scattered thunderstorm activity this afternoon and evening, some of it possibly severe. Once we hit the weekend it looks dry. Rain chances increase again early next week.

Hurricane Dean is gaining strength and will likely be a category 4 storm in the next 12 to 24 hours.

The current forecast track has Dean near Cancun, Mexico early next week with winds close to 150 mph.

The various computer models are in fairly close agreement on the likely track of the storm over the next few days. Further out in time though a bit of a spread developes. Nonetheless a consensus of models has the storm approaching the Gulf coast around the Texas/Mexico border in five days.

Once again the margin of error in the models grows larger with time. The conditions in the central and western Gulf of Mexico are conducive to supporting and possibly contributing to the strengthening of any hurricanes that enter its’ waters. This is already a powerful and dangerous storm and U.S. coastal areas of the Gulf are vulnerable next week, especially (as it appears at this time) south or central Texas.

John Collins


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