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CUMBERLAND, Md. — The National Weather Service posted a flash flood watch Tuesday for Western Maryland and the Potomac Highlands, where two to four inches of rain was forecast through Thursday morning.

“There will be bands of rain and periods of heavy rain Wednesday afternoon and into the evening hours,” said Accuweather senior meteorologist Paul Walker.

Although not associated with any “particular tropical system,” Walker said moisture from the south and a cold front from the west will join forces to deliver the precipitation.

The flash flood watch takes effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday and continues until 8 a.m. Thursday.

With remnants of Hurricane Ida dumping several inches of rain on the region earlier this month, the ground remains mostly saturated, so additional rainfall could be problematic.

“You could see some flooding in flood-prone areas. You will need to watch for sudden rises in creeks and other waterways,” said Walker, who said the hardest hit area for the rainfall is expected to be central Pennsylvania.

Chad Merrill, weather forecaster with the Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack, said “a moisture-logged cold front will slowly cross the Appalachians” over the next 24 hours along with a chance of a brief gusty thunderstorm Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Merrill said 2.5 inches of rain can be expected but waterways were not expected to reach flood stage at any location with the exception of the Potomac River at Springfield.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for sunny and dry conditions Thursday through Monday with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s and around 80 early next week.

Jeff Alderton is a veteran Cumberland Times-News police reporter. To reach him, call/text 304-639-6888, email jlalderton@times-news.com and follow him on Twitter @alderton_jeff.

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