A bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river on the West coast; Extreme tornadic thunderstorms across the central US; And two Nor’Easters on the East. The US is experiencing (will experience in the next few days) some pretty nasty weather events from the West the the East to mark the final week of October. Be ready to be drenched!
Severe thunderstorms, flooding rainfall target millions across central US
A series of storms charging across the country will set the stage for rounds of explosive thunderstorm development and heavy rainfall through midweek across the central and eastern United States.
Round one of thunderstorm activity will roar to life as warm and humid air clashes with an advancing cold front across the central U.S. through Sunday night, threatening places like Kansas City, St. Louis, Joplin, Missouri and Little Rock, Arkansas.
On Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Storm Prediction Center received a report of a tornado and debris in Troy, Kansas.
As thunderstorm activity fired up along the cold front Sunday afternoon, individual thunderstorm cells are expected to congeal into a powerful line of thunderstorms by sunset. This will increase the chances and coverage of damaging wind gusts through Sunday night.
Interstate 44 across much of Missouri will likely prove to be a troublesome travel zone late Sunday afternoon into the evening hours as powerful thunderstorms roll through the area. High-profile vehicles can be especially susceptible to strong wind gusts capable of blowing big rigs over.
While widespread damaging wind gusts may be the primary threat, embedded areas of rotation may form within any thunderstorm, which could produce tornadoes.
Severe thunderstorms will not be the only hazardous weather to contend with through the day on Sunday, as areas farther north will be dealt a deluge of steady rain.
Cities along Interstate 80 from Des Moines, Iowa to Cleveland, Ohio, will likely experience a steady rain developing during the day on Sunday, which will continue through the overnight hours. A widespread swath of at least 1-3 inches of rain is expected along this corridor, and an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 8 inches of rain is possible.
The parent storm responsible for Sunday’s severe thunderstorm and heavy rain threat will shift eastward by Monday, refocusing the threat for thunderstorms and flooding rainfall farther east.
While the atmospheric setup for severe weather on Monday is not quite as impressive as Sunday’s setup, all of the ingredients needed for damaging thunderstorms will still be in play. Spanning across the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys, the southern Appalachians, and into the piedmont of the Carolinas, the threat for damaging wind gusts, hail and an isolated tornado are all possible.
Larger metropolitan areas that lie within this risk zone include Knoxville, Tennessee, Charleston, West Virginia, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia.
A steady, soaking rain will continue to fall north of where the severe thunderstorm threat resides. From the Great Lakes into New England, a grey, chilly, wet and nasty Monday is in store.
The severe thunderstorm threat will diminish across the Eastern states by Tuesday as the storm slides off the East coast. Heavy rain may continue to be a concern in New York City and Boston as the storm is expected to intensify and gain characteristics of a nor’easter off the coast.
Focusing on the risk for severe thunderstorms, attention will shift back to the Plains on Tuesday. The bomb cyclone responsible for bringing heavy rain and snow to the West will begin to march out of the Rockies and into the Plains, setting the stage for another round of severe weather.
An atmospheric wildcard may enter the picture across the southern Plains and Gulf Coast states by midweek, as remaining upper-level energy from Hurricane Rick is expected to lift north of the Mexican border. The potential interaction between the storm exiting the West and what remains of Rick could bring about yet another round of severe weather on Wednesday across the South.
2 rare Nor’easters
Many in the northeastern United States have rarely had to bring out rain coats and jackets due to the lack of chilly temperatures and relatively dry conditions so far this October, but a change in the weather pattern will throw a wrench into the unseasonable warmth this week ahead of Halloween.
Remember Memorial Day weekend? It was rainy, unseasonably cold and positively miserable from Philadelphia up through New York City and Boston – and probably the last time folks in these metro areas have felt that combo of raw, rainy conditions. Forecasters say the days leading up to Halloween could feel a lot like that in the Northeast.
Two nor’easters could take aim at the region this week, which is unusual for this time of the year. One could start the week and then another could arrive toward the end of the week.
While there will be a brief rebound in rising temperatures across some parts of the Northeast ahead of the next storm, chilly air will accompany the arrival of a series of storms this upcoming week. After originating over the Pacific Ocean and slamming into the West Coast with potentially devastating consequences this weekend through early week, the storms will move west-to-east across the country. They will continue to unleash drenching rain and severe thunderstorms that will target millions across the central and eastern United States before moving into the Northeast.
While severe thunderstorms will be confined in the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys, rain and showers will spread farther north ahead of the potent storm Monday and Monday night. By Tuesday, the storm will strengthen as it moves off the southern New England coast, bombarding residents with heavy rain and increasingly windy conditions.
“An early season tempest could bring a wind-driven, chilly rain to portions of the Northeast from Monday through Wednesday,” AccuWeather meteorologist Randy Adkins said, adding that flooding could be a significant concern across southern New England.
The nor’easter, which is simply any large storm that brings northeasterly winds along the Atlantic coast of North America, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) definition, is expected to move up the New England coastline Monday night through Wednesday. Flooding downpours will set up from southern Maine to eastern New York in cities such as Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts, which are expected to pick up 4 inches to the AccuWeather Local Stormmax™ of 8 inches as the storm intensifies off the coast.
“Heavy rain, gusty winds and coastal flooding can occur Monday into Tuesday across New England,” DePodwin said, noting it could be an early season nor’easter.
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 Jersey Shore Tuesday to the southern shore of Nova Scotia in Atlantic Canada by Wednesday with the most intense winds confined to Cape Code extending north to coastal New Hampshire. Cities such as Provincetown, Plymouth and Boston, Massachusetts, could experience wind gusts from 60 to the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 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.
Blustery conditions that will accompany this storm, along with the combination of clouds and rain will produce AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures 5-10 degrees lower than the actual temperature Monday and Tuesday. This cooler change from the unseasonably warm conditions felt last week across much of the Northeast may be enough to result in some shock value for residents where temperatures have averaged 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal during the first 21 days of October.
On top of that, AccuWeather meteorologists say the developing weather pattern will have staying power. But will the miserable weather stick around and throw a wrench in the plans of trick or treaters?
By Thursday, the nor’easter will move away from the eastern United States and much of the Northeast will be able to dry out, while another storm is expected to approach the region from the west.
“The same massive storm that is currently bringing heavy rain, snow and strong winds to the Western states is expected to slowly move eastward across the country this week,” AccuWeather Senior meteorologist Brett Anderson explained.
Unfortunately, it appears that this storm may bring another round of significant rain and strong coastal winds to the northeast just in time for the Halloween weekend, potentially throwing a wrench in the plans of trick or treaters Sunday night for residents in the Northeast. [AccuWeather1, AccuWeather 2]