AccuWeather meteorologists predict that this week’s storm brewing off the coast of New England will be too far away to bring widespread and drenching rain to a region that desperately needs it.
Due to its distance from the East Coast, the storm’s most dramatic impacts, such as heavy rain and strong winds, which are typical of a wintertime nor’easter, will remain largely offshore as the storm develops a couple of hundred miles out to sea through the middle of this week. However, the region will continue to be wetted by rain because the cool air is sticking around.
As the storm turns northward midweek, it is likely that Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, will experience some persistent rainfall. West of here, however, the rain will be more sporadic, coming in the form of isolated downpours and thundershowers. Although heavy rain and flash flooding in urban areas are possible, experts say they are extremely rare.
The atmospheric energy that will eventually help the storm form offshore has already contributed to the weather on land. This feature brought a few inches of rain to parts of West Virginia and Virginia between Sunday night and Monday, leading to localized flooding. Nearly 4.5 inches of rain fell on Charleston, West Virginia, between Sunday night and Monday morning.
Drought conditions this summer have wreaked havoc on lawns and gardens across the Northeast, so most homeowners will be grateful for any rain they can get, even if it doesn’t lead to flooding. On the other hand, some people may be dissatisfied with the amount of precipitation they receive.
The United States Drought Monitor reports that abnormally dry and drought conditions are present across the Northeast. Approximately half of the area was deemed abnormally dry. During the past week, the drought in Massachusetts has gotten significantly worse, to the point where roughly a quarter of the state is now experiencing exceptional drought.
Besides West Virginia, Virginia, and Maine, most places won’t see more than 0.25 inches of rain from the pattern this week, despite the nearly daily risk of showers.
Showers are likely to increase in southeastern New England this week as the offshore storm retains enough energy to do so. In August, when water temperatures are typically at their highest, many people flock to this section of coast for beach and boarding activities.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dean DeVore predicted that “beachgoers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the islands will have to contend with strong winds and rain at times, especially from Tuesday to Thursday.”
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Tuesday and Wednesday could be dangerous for setting up beach umbrellas due to high winds along the coast. A woman in South Carolina was killed in early August when her beach umbrella collapsed in the wind.
By midweek, winds from the north and northeast are predicted to average 12-25 mph, with gusts possibly near 40 mph across much of Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, and southeastern New Hampshire. Further south across much of the mid-Atlantic, winds are likely to be active but weaker.
New England boaters and fishermen should be aware of the potential dangers posed by the large waves that will be generated by the strong winds out at sea. This week, rip currents may be more common and stronger than usual for the month of August, putting swimmers at risk.
However, the persistent cool air will be the most noticeable aspect of the weather pattern this week.
This past weekend brought a taste of cooler weather to some parts of the region, particularly many inland areas. early morning lows in the central and northern Appalachians dipped into the upper 30s and lower 40s Fahrenheit.
The blanketing effect of cloud cover at night means it is unlikely that these areas will get that cool again this week. The jet stream will dip to the south, allowing the September-like air to spread toward the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts.
Through Wednesday, the majority of the Interstate 95 corridor can expect temperatures to be 5 to 8 degrees below normal. Boston will see highs in the upper 60s to low 70s, and New York City will see highs in the low to mid 80s. The District of Columbia can expect highs in the low 80s.
Midweek, temperatures will be 8-16 degrees below average over the Appalachians, with highs in the 60s and 70s likely.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham, “the jet stream dip and the cool air will lead to conditions favorable for waterspouts over the Great Lakes, especially on Erie, Ontario, and Huron through midweek.” As an alternative to the more typical southeastern shorelines of these lakes, “steering breezes may direct these mini storms toward the southwestern shorelines.”
While damaging waterspouts on the Great Lakes are exceptionally unusual, any time a whirlwind of this type makes landfall, it can cause hazardous conditions.
Temperatures will rise and the frequency of daily showers and thunderstorms will decrease over the Northeast by the end of the week and over the weekend as the offshore storm pushes into Atlantic Canada and the jet stream dip begins to lift northward. Friday and Saturday will have highs that are within a few degrees of normal.
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