Nate to ease drought, raise flooding concerns in east early next week

AccuWeather reports while Nate will raise the risk of isolated flooding over the interior eastern United States, the storm is likely to ease building drought conditions in some areas.

nateHurricane Nate is forecast to make landfall along the upper Gulf of Mexico coast of the U.S. on Saturday night. Significant impacts are likely in this area.

During SundayMonday and Tuesday, Nate will gradually weaken as it moves inland over the Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, Appalachians and the coastal Northeast.

Southeast of the storm track, very little rain will fall. However, there will be the potential for locally heavy, gusty and severe thunderstorms continuing into early next week. The thunderstorm risk includes the potential for tornadoes.

Nate will unleash a significant amount of rainfall in the region. For some areas, Nate will bring the biggest rainfall in six to eight weeks or longer.

“The heaviest rain is likely to develop to the immediate north and northeast of the storm center,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.

A general 4-8 inches with locally higher amounts will occur from far southern Mississippi and northern and western Alabama to northern Georgia, middle and eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and the Virginia Panhandle.

Rainfall will taper farther to the north and to the east. Part of the southern Atlantic Seaboard may receive little or no rain from Nate.

However, a general 1-3 inches is likely from the upper end of the Ohio Valley to much of the mid-Atlantic and New England. Locally higher amounts are likely in the central Appalachians.

Where the rain falls at a fast pace along the path, there is the likelihood of isolated urban and flash flooding.

“One concern of ours is where leaves have begun to drop and are blocking storm drains,” according to AccuWeather Expert Meteorologist and Chief Operating Officer Evan Myers. “Urban flooding may be exacerbated in those cases, even where a moderate amount of rain occurs.”

For much of this area, however, the rainfall will be beneficial due to abnormally dry to drought conditions that have evolved since late August and early September.

The rainfall deficit in many areas is roughly equal to that which Nate has the potential to deliver.

Rainfall directly associated with Nate is likely to stay southeast of Chicago but could graze Detroit. Rain from Nate is likely to drench Nashville, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and may survive long enough to soak Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

A repeat of the catastrophic flooding that Harvey produced in Texas is highly unlikely.

As long as the bulk of the rain dose not occur in a couple of hours, the ground should be able to soak up the water with few problems.

Nate is likely to maintain a swift pace upon moving inland.

As rainfall from Nate spreads northeastward across the eastern U.S., travel delays typical of most rainstorms will result. However, motorists should use caution for extra slick conditions from fallen leaves and oil buildup.

“Roads will become slick, especially where the prior dryness has caused leaves to drop,” Myers said.

“Gusty winds associated with Nate may knock a significant amount of leaves off the trees.”

Wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph will be possible across the mid-Atlantic to southern New England Monday night into Tuesday. The strongest gusts are more likely along the coast.

Motorists should reduce their speed and allow extra space between vehicles and stopping distance at intersections.

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for

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