The Atlantic Ocean looks like a baseball stadium with players in the field. LOTS of tropical systems and we are ONE storm away from reaching the end of the of the hurricane name list before we move into the Greek alphabet!
Closer to home, SALLY may become a concern later in the week. Right now, Sally is moving VERY SLOWLY towards the Alabama coastline with maximum sustained winds near 80 mph. Sally is forecast to become absorbed into a cold front by late in the week. However, a lot of this tropical moisture will likely make it into Central and Southern Virginia. There is also a TIDAL FLOODING THREAT due to high pressure across the Northeast, which will provide a northeasterly flow.
The combination of the northeast flow off the Atlantic and the “leftovers” from Sally is going to produce tidal flooding. Right now, it’s too early to know the magnitude, however, I would say at least minor to low-end moderate flooding is on the table for locations along the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and the Sounds across Eastern North Carolina, including the Outer Banks, with water inundation ranging 1 to 2 feet above ground level.
Model Comparison: The NAM and GFS American models are the furthest north, showing very heavy rainfall extending as far north as Central Virginia, with some moderate rain possible across Northern Virginia. The European model has a stronger high to the north, resulting in the rain much further to the south, with only has Far Southern Virginia and Hampton Roads seeing a few inches of rain. It’s going to take until Wednesday afternoon to get a better handle on the northward extent of the rain.
Another concern will also be flash flooding. At this time, the threat for flash flooding will be mainly south and southeast of Richmond, across Southern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and into North Carolina. However, if some of the models are correct with the northward trend, flash flooding issues are cerinly possible as far north as Central Virginia.
Rainfall Forecast (Thursday afternoon through Friday morning): THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Right now, we are leaning more on the NAM and GFS American models and also using a blend of the SREF model for our forecast. 2 to 4 inches of rain is certainly possible across Southern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Areas north of Richmond could see an inch of rain, but the Washington, D.C. area and much of Northern Virginia will likely NOT see much rain, due to high pressure to the north — maybe one quarter inch of rain at best. Again, this COULD change and will depend on the strength of the high pressure system.