Monday, September 28, 2015

East Coast Rains To Be Too Much Of A Good Thing

Ocean surging onto the beach in Duck, North Carollina
this weekend. More coastal erosion is likely all week.  
It's been dry during the late summer and early autumn up and down most of the East Coast, but that sure is changing this week.

An interesting weather pattern has been setting up over the past couple of days and will come into full force this week.

The weather pattern will feature lots of rain, some wind, and especially damaging tides and beach erosion up and down the East Coast. Those coastal problems have already started.

Generally, the expected big rains are welcome because it has been so dry, but in some places, this might turn out to be too much of a good thing.

Some of the heavy rain has started too. The Carolinas, which had been dry, have gotten locally five or more inches of rain since late last week.

More rain is developing. There are flood watches now in the Florida Panhandle, which had also been dry. There has already been some nasty flooding around Mobile, Alabama. 

Over the course of the next seven days, three to five inches of rain could come down from the Middle Atlantic states into the eastern half of New England.

The weather pattern that's causing all this features a strong high pressure system over eastern Canada. Once it fully sets up, it won't move much most of the week. The clockwise winds around the high will bring lots of east to northeast winds to much of the East Coast.

The long fetch of east winds over water and astronomically high tides will continue the beach erosion and flooding during high tides that much of the East Coast has experienced the past couple of days.
High tides thsi weekend bring a kayaker
into the streets near Norfolk, Virginia  

That flooding could get worse as storminess increases along the coast, too. There's been a lot of wannabe tropical systems that never quite got going, including what was Tropical Storm Ida.

There's oodles of moisture with these wannabe systems, and just a general flow of intense wetness wanting to come up the East Coast.

On top of that, a tropical depression has formed between Bermuda and Florida. 

It will probably increase in strength a little to become Tropical Storm Joaquin.  There is a chance Joaquin or its remnants could head toward New England maybe next weekend.

That would increase the potentially flooding rains, the winds and the coastal flooding and erosion.

Luckily, as noted, it's been dry in New England and elsewhere in the East, so any flooding that does develop won't be as bad as it had been wet.

Inland in New England, where I live in Vermont, I was working in the yard yesterday and it was dust, dust, dust. A good one to three inches of rain is due in Vermont over the next seven days, which will be nice.

Not so nice is the long, long stretch of wave action on the coast. Expect lots of reports of serious beach erosion and repeated inundation of low lying areas.

This won't be anything like the epic coastal flooding of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, but the repeated high water and wave battering all this week is going to cause a lot of headaches, for sure.

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