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Storm to Bring Heavy Rain, Strong Winds to Conn. Tomorrow

A powerful storm system off the Atlantic coast will bring miserable weather conditions to areas from the mid-Atlantic coast to New England this week, and forecasters say it’s just the first of multiple storms that take aim at the Northeast during the final week of October.The storm has been categorized as a nor’easter since it will be spreading northeasterly winds along the coast and is the first such storm of the season to impact the region. The nor’easter is expected to quickly strengthen as it moves along the Eastern Seaboard but is expected to lose forward speed and become stationary off the Northeast coast late Monday evening.

As the storm strengthens, it could undergo a period of rapid intensification known as bombogenesis, which is when the central pressure of a storm drops by 0.71 of an inch of mercury (24 millibars) or more over a 24-hour period to become what is known as a bomb cyclone. Two similar storms developed in the northern Pacific and slammed into the western U.S. late last week and over the weekend. Regardless of whether the nor’easter is classified as a bomb cyclone, it is likely to bring significant impacts to the Northeast. “An early-season tempest could bring a wind-driven, chilly rain to portions of the Northeast from Monday through Wednesday,” adding that flooding could be a significant concern across southern New England. Heavy rain will move into the New York City area Monday evening before it pushes into central and southern New England where it will continue to unload rain on Tuesday.

The intense rainfall could result in flooding issues in low-lying and poor drainage areas. The rain is forecast to diminish in intensity by Wednesday morning, but some light rainfall could persist throughout the day near the coasts. Forecasters say one added concern with the storm besides its strong winds and drenching rain is that it will target areas that were slammed by Tropical Storm Henri and Tropical Rainstorm Ida during the summer.

Impacts from the storm in southern New England will be similar to what Henri caused in late August where travel delays and power outages were widespread. The heaviest rainfall amounts are expected in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island as a widespread 4-8 inches is predicted across these states. Areas that experience particularly intense and long-lasting rainfall will pick up totals near the high end of this range, with 10 inches from Monday night through Wednesday. Elsewhere, rainfall totals of 2-4 inches are forecast from far southern Maine through eastern New York and a large portion of New Jersey.

Localized flooding cannot be ruled out, but flooding incidents will be less widespread. Travel delays could still become a problem where water ponds on roadways. From Nova Scotia westward into the Adirondacks and south into eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware, 1-2 inches of rain are anticipated. Flooding will not be a substantial concern in this area. While some roadways may have standing water during periods of heaviest rainfall, impacts in this area will remain minor.

Defining features of a nor’easter can include howling winds that could be damaging at times. There will be no exception with this storm as winds are expected to gust from 40 to 60 mph from the coasts of New Jersey Tuesday to the southern shore of Nova Scotia in Atlantic Canada by Wednesday.

The most intense winds will be confined to the Cape Code area and northward to coastal New Hampshire. Cities such as Provincetown, Plymouth and Boston, Massachusetts, could experience wind gusts from 60 to 80 mph Tuesday night.

As the storm intensifies off the New England coast Tuesday and Wednesday, blustery onshore winds reaching nearly 80 mph in spots will bring the possibility for coastal flooding, beach erosion and power outages. With a late start to the fall-foliage season underway across southern New England, many trees still have plenty of leaves on them, making the possibility for downed trees due to strong winds a possibility too.

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