Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Coming almost 50 years to the day of Hazel's arrival on Oct 17, 1954 will be two impressive semi-tropical systems riding first over the Mid-Atlantic and then up the Eastern seaboard for most of the weekend, starting Wednesday evening. Those teachers planning to attend the State Teacher's Convention in Ocean City will find themselves in an ocean of rain. Everyone else will have to postpone that hayride or pumpkin patch trip.

The purples and blues indicate 1/2 to 1 inch of rain just for the 6 hour time period of this map from Friday night to Saturday morning.

The Mid-Atlantic is also going to get hammered Wednesday night into Thursday night by the development of thunderstorm lines downwind from the main storm out in the Ohio Valley. This system is the remnants of Matthew, which like many downgraded tropical depressions this year, has held together surprisingly well and continues to drench the Missouri-Indiana area with heavy rain.

A line of strong thunderstorms is developing in the Shenandoah Valley, and should roll towards the I-95 corridor by this evening, moving southwest to northeast. The interaction of the very moist air and very dry air will create some terrific storms, which will seemingly pop out of nowhere. The resulting southwest flow will pump moist air into the Alex and Gaston Zone, allowing our hybrid Hazel system to develop Thursday into Friday and then steer north toward the Mid-Atlantic. Overall, it may appear that the rain began Wednesday, and didn't stop until Saturday night, but it will be two distinct storms over that period.

So take heart in this... Were the storm occuring in winter, and just a few more miles offshore, we all would have had two or three feet of snow when it was all done. Perhaps that an indication of what's in store this winter?

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