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A Rainy Recipe

All the ingredients are coming together to create a significant rain maker for central Virginia and the eastern seaboard.

Our stretch of dry weather has come to an abrupt end, with several inches of rain falling earlier this week and more rain in the forecast. Getting all of this rain in a short period of time now has us concerned about the possibility of flooding. What's causing all the rain this time? The answer consists of many different parts, starting with the tropics...

Tropical Storm Nicole formed near Cuba early Wednesday morning and quickly lost its tropical characteristics. Regardless of whether or not it is "tropical," it does contain copious amounts of tropical moisture. This moisture laden air originating in the Caribbean Sea is pointed at the eastern seaboard. This will give us the bulk of our rain, but there are a few more features at play here.

We've also got a stationary front that has been hanging out to our southeast for the past day or two. This is serving as an area where the winds are converging and rain is forming. When air converges, it's forced to go up. This causes the air to cool and condense and sometimes rain forms. Stationary fronts can lead to serious flooding if they persist for several days. This front is helping to enhance the rain and it's acting as a set of train tracks for the remnants of Nicole to follow.

In addition to the remnants of Nicole and the stationary front, we also have an upper air disturbance over the deep south. This will also lift toward our area, helping to enhance the rain even more. You combine the three different features and you've got the recipe for some heavy rain. Our official forecast shows the potential for three to five inches, which would be enough to cause some flooding concerns--especially in low-lying areas. Minor street flooding is also a possibility.

As always, I welcome any rainfall totals that you may have from this next round of rain. You can always send us an e-mail to with your rainfall total and your location. Our weather feed can also be found on Twitter by following @CBS19Weather.

Stay dry,


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