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Nor'easter to Inflict Heaviest Rain, Wind on New England to Nova Scotia


By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist
October 23, 2014; 4:42 AM ET


A nor'easter will strengthen while moving up the Atlantic coast into Friday with the heaviest rain, strongest winds and biggest waves taking aim on New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada.

The worst part of the storm will be Wednesday night into Thursday in New England and Thursday into Thursday night in the maritime provinces of Canada.

The rainstorm will be rather prolonged in Boston, Portland, Maine, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, but short-lived from New York City to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The combination of rain and wind will lead to poor visibility and other travel problems. Flight delays are possible, along with a slow commute on area roadways.

Enough windswept rain will fall to cause localized flooding. A general 1 to 3 inches (25 to 75 mm) of rain will fall from northern New Jersey into New Brunswick, with locally higher amounts. The combination of heavy rain and leaves in the way of storm drains can lead to street flooding.

Locally drenching rain will reach parts of northern upstate New York and southeastern Quebec.

While this storm is far from being a major nor'easter, wind gusts can top 40 mph (65 kph) in some locations. Winds of this strength can knock down some weak tree limbs and cause isolated power outages.

The storm was already producing 10-foot seas along the coast of eastern New England. The combination of the new moon and onshore winds can lead to minor coastal flooding at times of high tide from eastern Massachusetts to Nova Scotia. Tides will run between 1 and 3 feet above normal levels, according to tidal charts. High tides at Boston through Thursday occur during the late morning and late evening hours.

Beach erosion can also occur, due to the prolonged onslaught of crashing waves, spanning several days in some locations.

Some areas along the coast may experience a thunderstorm.

Rainfall will be more sporadic farther south and west over the mid-Atlantic from western upstate New York to Virginia. However, gusty winds ranging from the north and northwest in the absence of steady rain or in its wake can lead to flight delays at some of the airports in the I-95 corridor.

Dry air will sweep around the storm's backside from southwest to northeast spanning Thursday to Saturday. Near-shore seas will subside this weekend throughout the region.

A weaker storm system, compared to the nor'easter, may race in from the northwest with clouds and showers during Saturday night into Sunday across upstate New York to New England.

That storm may create blustery conditions as well.

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

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada, "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 just prior to the start of this storm."

During the same period, rainfall has been 44 percent of average in Albany, New York, and 25 percent of average in Rutland, Vermont.