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Buzz word: 'Cut-off low' to bring rain to DMV most of the week

Known as "weatherman's woe", a cutoff low may bring more than an inch of rain through the end of the week.

WASHINGTON — You may not have to water your plants for a while, because Mother Nature will likely take care of that for you. It's going to be gray and damp week as rain is expected almost every day of the coming week. 

So why all the rain?  A low pressure sytem will get stuck near the region.  This will keep the rain chances at play through at least  Saturday.  

We can blame it on a cutoff low, also known to meteorologists as the "weatherman's woe". 

The National Weather Service defines a cutoff low as:

"A closed upper-level low which has become completely displaced (cut off) from basic westerly current, and moves independently of that current. Cutoff lows may remain nearly stationary for days."

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(Image from National Weather Service)

A cutoff low happens when low pressure gets displaced from the jet stream or cut off.  Think of the jet stream as a superhighway of air.  It separates the cooler air to the north from the warmer air to the south.  Think of the cut-off low as a car that got stuck on the side of the highway. 

With this pattern, you could literally see the same weather for days.  Parts of the DMV could end up with an inch or more of rain as the low-pressure stalls near the region. 

For the latest forecast click here

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