A hurricane from the Gulf of Mexico is anticipated to hit Florida on Saturday and strengthen as it moves up the East Coast over the weekend, bringing heavy rain, high winds, and coastal dangers with it.
Despite the fact that a major snowstorm is not forecast this time of year, this very warm, wet, and blustery storm could nonetheless snarl early holiday travel and knock out power.
The storm’s path is becoming apparent as additional computer models used to generate forecasts show it hugging the Atlantic coast on Sunday and Monday after passing across Florida on Saturday.
Each day, expect the following:
Florida suffers a setback on Saturday
Heavy rain is anticipated to reach parts of southern and western Florida by mid-morning Saturday and intensify throughout the day. By Saturday night, torrential rain will have soaked practically the whole state and will have extended into the Southeast.
On Saturday, a modest chance of extreme rainfall – or Level 2 out of 4 – is anticipated for the majority of Florida and far southern Georgia. Rain could fall heavily enough on Saturday to create flash flooding and rises in streams and rivers.
Following many rounds of heavy rain this week, South Florida is most prone to flash flooding, but it may happen anyplace there is a prolonged deluge.
Where rain is forecast for this week
The heavy rain will be accompanied by severe winds, with the greatest winds occurring Saturday evening when the storm’s center approaches the Florida coast. Wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph are expected to be widespread across much of the Florida Peninsula into Saturday night.
Stronger gusts are expected along the coast, but the exact path the storm takes as it approaches the Florida shore on Saturday remains unknown.
A little departure in the storm’s route north or south, as it approaches the Florida Peninsula, will modify the area of the greatest winds and make a substantial impact on the location and extent of coastal flooding.
Across the Florida Peninsula, damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes are probable late Saturday and overnight. Tampa and Miami have a Level 2 risk of severe thunderstorms.
Rain and wind swept across the East Coast on Sunday
On Sunday, the storm will head northeast out of Florida and hug the East Coast, affecting Georgia and parts of the Northeast.
A small danger of extreme rainfall – or Level 2 out of 4 – is anticipated for Sunday from South Carolina north into Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
As the storm strengthens and begins to move up the coast, the greatest rain will fall over the Carolinas and coastal Georgia during the day. Rain will begin to fall across the mid-Atlantic and parts of the Northeast by Sunday afternoon, with the heaviest falling late Sunday and into Sunday night.
Flash flooding is probable in places impacted by multiple deluges.
On Sunday, strong winds will slam coastal areas from the Southeast to the mid-Atlantic, and the coastal Northeast on Sunday night. For much of the coast, frequent gusts of 40 to 50 mph are anticipated, while inland locations will be breezy but spared the strongest winds.
The combination of strong gusts and heavy rain will most likely slow travel across a large chunk of the region, particularly along the major I-95 corridor. Strong winds and poor visibility may cause some flights to be delayed.
Monday: The storm reaches its peak power in the Northeast
The storm will reach its full power on Monday, just in time to cause havoc across most of the Northeast. During this time, it is expected to track very near to the Northeast coast, although it may potentially travel further away from the coast.
Regardless of its precise path, the storm will have nor’easter-like effects on the coastal Northeast on Monday – sans the snow.
The heaviest rain and highest gusts are expected to fall on New England on Monday, but rain and strong winds will be the norm for much of the Northeast.
Wind gusts of up to 60 mph are likely along the New England coast beginning early Monday morning and continuing into the afternoon around coastal Maine. Winds this high can cause power outages in the region, especially when combined with heavy rains, which soak soils and make trees more prone to falling.
Wind-driven coastal flooding is also possible, and it has the potential to be significant if the timing coincides with high tides.