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Nor'easter to Unleash Rain, Wind From Virginia to Maine


By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
October 21, 2014; 4:00 AM ET


A storm will spin up along the New England coast at midweek and will take on characteristics of a nor'easter with drenching wind-swept rain and coastal flooding in some locations.

Several days of rainy, windy and unsettled weather conditions are in store this week for the northeastern United States from Virginia to Maine and into Canada from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island and southeastern Quebec.

The worst of the storm will be Wednesday into Thursday in the U.S. and Thursday into Friday in the maritime provinces of Canada.

It may become too windy for umbrellas to be of much use in New England on north, where the heaviest rain and strongest winds will occur. The combination of rain and wind can cause travel problems. Wind gusts can top 40 mph (65 kph) in these areas.

Localized flooding may also occur due to the persistent rain, particularly in New England and New Brunswick where trees have already shed most of their leaves.

Fallen leaves can be washed away into streams and storm drains, disrupting the water flow and causing flooding issues. Low-lying and poor drainage areas are the most susceptible for this type of flooding.

Rain and fallen leaves can make roadways extra slick. Wind-swept rain can make for very poor visibility.

While a thorough soaking is in store for northern New England and part of northern upstate New York, the rainfall will be more sporadic farther south in the mid-Atlantic. A general 1 to 3 inches (25 to 75 millimeters) of rain will fall from northern New England into New Brunswick, with locally higher amounts. Much less rain will fall over the mid-Atlantic.

Gusty winds ranging from the west and northwest in the absence of steady rain can lead to flight delays at some of the airports in the I-95 corridor.

The combination of onshore winds and high astronomical tides during the approach of the new moon can lead to coastal flooding from eastern Massachusetts to Nova Scotia. Tides in these areas will run from 1 to 3 feet above published levels.

Farther south, winds will be from the north, northwest and west during much of the storm, which will tend to push ocean water offshore and will work against the effect of the new moon.

Despite the negative impacts that the rain will bring, it will have some positive impacts.

Since the start of September, some locations in the Northeast have received well below-normal rainfall amounts, leaving the ground drier than normal.

This includes cities such as Providence, Rhode Island, which has only received 45 percent of its average rainfall from Sept. 1 to Oct. 18. During the same period, rainfall has been 44 percent of average in Albany, New York and 25 percent of average in Rutland, Vermont.

The storm system will begin to weaken and move away from the region on Friday and Saturday, allowing for dry conditions to move in from southwest to northeast.

Dry weather is forecast to make a full return to the Northeast for the first part of the weekend, making for great weather for college football games, 5K runs and other outdoor activities.

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed content to this story.