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Florence to renew flood concerns in northeastern US early this week

By Renee Duff • Sep 17, 2018 at 2:04 PM

Florence will unleash disruptive downpours and raise the risk of flooding in the northeastern United States through Tuesday.

While rainfall from the upper Ohio Valley to the central Appalachians and southern New England will not be measured in feet like in North Carolina, even a few inches of rainfall can cause trouble in the saturated Northeast.

The good news is that Florence will be moving at a faster pace across the Northeast, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.

“However, even 2 to 3 inches of rain can bring more flooding concerns since streams and creeks throughout the region are still running high,” Elliott added. Isolated mudslides can also occur in the higher terrain.

Unlike Gordon’s deluge which lasted several days in early September, the quicker pace of Florence will result in the wet weather generally lasting less than 24 hours in most locations.

The short duration of the storm may not limit its impact on some communities.

There is the potential for as much as 6 inches of rain from western Virginia and the mountains of West Virginia to Pennsylvania, southern New York state and Massachusetts.

Motorists along this swath will need to be on the lookout for flooded, washed out or closed roads, and should slow down in the downpours to lower the risk of hydroplaning.

"Localized flooding issues may also occur along the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston and west of the Appalachian Mountains from Huntington, West Virginia, to Erie, Pennsylvania," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Even in the absence of flooding, the downpours can cause disruptions to commutes, flights, sporting events and other outdoor activities.

Major League Baseball games in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City could be delayed or postponed early this week.

AccuWeather meteorologists cannot rule out the potential for a brief tornado to spin up to the southeast of Florence’s center. This risk will be highest from parts of North Carolina to Virginia and Maryland today.

“After Florence departs, high pressure building down from the northwest will bring a much more refreshing air mass into the Northeast on Wednesday,” Elliott said.

Humidity levels will be slashed and sunshine will return, making for great weather to head outdoors or open up the windows.

Steamy conditions are predicted to return late in the week ahead of an approaching storm system, which will also bring the next opportunity for rain.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Renee Duff is an AccuWeather meteorologist.

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