Weather

Beneficial rainfall coming then tropical storm Joaquin threatens this weekend

I shut off my irrigation system this morning. Although we have had less than 50% of the average rainfall the past couple of months, we are about to undergo a huge shift in the pattern, and when the sunshine returns early next week, the water deficit could be completely gone.

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It’s been a great stretch of weather, and as if on cue, Mother Nature is throwing us a huge curveball to close out September and begin October. We haven’t had many days this year where it rains all day, but a day or two (or three) of washouts are likely on the way. Remember, even during a rainy day, there are small breaks in the rain.

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Heavy Rain

The weather map for tomorrow shows a stalled out frontal system along the east coast. Waves of low pressure will induce and enhance rainfall along this front. The morning commute Wednesday will likely be a mess with torrential rain in some areas causing flooding of low-lying roads. Areas that typically see lots of water ponding on the roads during these events will once again be under water.

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I tweeted yesterday (@growingwisdom) about checking window wells, gutters, and sump pumps. The flood watch which is currently posted is for mostly street flooding, the type occurring very quickly, but mostly a problem for commuters. Any time we see a lot of rain in a short of period of time, some of it can run into basements. So check the things that remove or protect water from getting into your house.

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The good news is that rivers and streams are at levels far below flood stage, so even areas that end up with over 4 inches of rain tonight through Thursday won’t see that type of flooding.

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Winds will be quite gusty along the coast on Wednesday and continue with a long-duration flow from the north/northeast. There could be isolated power outages tomorrow in some areas, but these will be limited. There is a gale watch posted for the eastern Massachusetts coast. I don’t expect the winds to penetrate very far inland, no more than a few miles at best. Some beach erosion is also possible in the next 48 hours.

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After the heavy rain tomorrow, clouds and scattered showers continue Thursday and Friday. The rainfall during this time will be light and not amount to very much. Then all our attention turns to the tropics to see what our latest tropical storm will do.

Tropical Storm Joaquin
The models are all over the place with this storm and the eventual track will impact how much rainfall we do see this weekend. There’s a chance this could take a track similar to Sandy heading into New Jersey or New York and keeping the heaviest rain south.

Joaquin isn’t forecast to become a hurricane, but will bring strong winds and torrential rain in its path. The National Hurricane Center’s official forecast runs through Sunday. Notice how the storm is hundreds of miles off the coast. If it makes a turn to the left, we miss much of the heaviest rain. If it comes up the coastline and into New England, some areas, especially west of the track, will see another 3-6 inches of rain.

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The models we use to forecast these tropical storms are leaning towards a track into the mid-Atlantic, but this is so far away, much can change. (Image credit-Weatherbell) I’ll be updating frequently here and on Twitter as new information is available, but we won’t know with much certainly for a few days how the weekend forecast is going to play out.

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