Thursday, April 6, 2017

Flood Watch Continues, Southern Tornadoes, And, Snow?

As the rain began to fall in earnest today, the little brook
by my house was already muddy and high. 
Up here in New England, we're continuing with our flood watch for most of the region, as waves of rain move through today, as forecast.

Though there's still a flood risk for sure, the amount of rain we are now expected to get is just a smidge less than earlier forecasts, at least here in Vermont and the rest of the North Country.

The storm system causing this wet weather has gaps in its precipitation moving south to north up the East Coast.

That means it'll rain most, but not all of the time for the rest of the day and tonight. Sometimes the rain will come down quite heavily, sometimes it'll be pretty light.  As I write this at 12:45  p.m. Thursday, it's raining pretty hard in St. Albans, Vermont.

However, the rainfall, combined with snow melt and rain from a few days ago, is already raising water levels in area rivers.

Some will go over their banks by Friday.  If not sooner.

There are already some spotty flood warnings and advisories in parts of southern New England and New York State as rivers rise.

This isn't going to be a repeat of the devastating floods of Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, but you still want to take any flooding seriously.

That means you don't drive over flooded roads. The water might be too deep. It doesn't take much to float a car away. Even if the water is shallow, the flooding might have undermined the road, so you'll fall in if you try to drive over it.

It's always wiser to take a detour, even if it makes your trip a bit longer. Just deal with it, OK?

Rain will continue Friday, and gradually change to snow in the higher elevations later in the day. Some snow might reach valley floors Friday night, but there won't be a huge amount of accumulation if any.

So don't worry about a major return to winter. Plus, we're still expecting temperatures to get into the 60s to near 70 early next week for a brief, but welcome taste of full-on spring.


Places further west and even south did get some snow from this, or are about to. A few inches of snow piled up in Michigan during this storm, and accumulating snow is likely in the central Appalachians tonight.

Even there, the snow will quickly melt as spring keeps working to overwhelm the last vestiges of winter.

Also in the Great Lakes, high winds are pushing big crashing waves into many shorelines, including the Chicago lakefront today.

Out West, though, a major winter storm is going to hit the Sierra Nevada mountains again. (They often get heavy snows in April in the higher elevations of those mountains.)

This storm will be pretty hefty in California, with two to four feet of new snow expected at elevations above 6,000 feet.

Lower elevations of California can expect quite a bit of rain and wind out of this storm Friday and Saturday. After an incredibly wet winter, storms tapered off a bit in March, but it looks like California is going to get one or two last minute soakings in April to top off quite a water winter.


Yesterday, I said we should hope for good luck in the Southeast with an expected tornado outbreak, and we kind of got that good luck, though not everybody would think so.

There was a lot of damage and some injuries, but no deaths that I know of. There was at least one very strong, long lasting tornado, the kind that people feared the most yesterday. But that tornado largely stayed out of large towns and cities. It also wasn't as wide and as long lasting as first reported.

That big tornado damaged many houses and trees in southwestern Georgia, though. And there were fewer tornadoes overall than there could have been, given the volatile weather situation. The Storm Prediction Center said there were 10 reports of tornadoes Wednesday, mostly in the Southeast.

Damage from tornadoes, flooding, high winds and hail were reported in several states from Missouri to South Carolina.

There is the chance for some severe thunderstorms in the Middle Atlantic States for the next few hours until the storm system's cold front passes off the coast.

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