A coastal storm is forecast to bring strong winds, heavy rain showers, and coastal flood threats to portions of the U.S. East Coast this weekend. This will be a slow-moving, multi-impact, multi-day storm event.
In general terms, an area of low pressure will move into the Ohio Valley Friday with a warm front lifting northward across parts of the Mid-Atlantic. Later Friday night into early Saturday, this low pressure system will track off the Mid Atlantic coast and stall. During the first half of next week, the storm system will drift south and southwest, lashing much of the east coast with rain and wind for at least part of the next several day period.
The prolonged storm will produce significant rain, with 2.5-3.5″ possible over portions of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, West Virginia, and Ohio. Much of that rain will fall this weekend; as the storm system meanders down the east coast, less rain will fall over portions of the Carolina over time.
Winds will blow strong around this storm, whipping up large waves just off-shore. While the greatest wave heights will be seen just off-shore, high surf and coastal flooding could become problematic, especially for portions of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia coastal communities. People there should prepare for the possibility of storm surge flooding in addition to fresh water flooding threats from heavier rain showers.
The strongest wind gusts tied to this coastal storm will lash the immediate coastline, with New Jersey and Delaware seeing the highest winds. Eastern Pennsylvania, all of New Jersey and Delaware, and much of eastern Maryland will see wind gusts in excess of 30 mph from this storm; however, 40-50 mph or greater wind gusts could impact the Jersey Shore and Delaware Beaches. This wind alone could drive local beach erosion and coastal flooding. Wind gusts throughout the East from this storm could lead to trees, tree branches, and wires snapping, knocking out utility services for some.
This coastal storm is forecast to finally leave the U.S. coast by the weekend after next, only to allow for a new area of low pressure to swing through the northeast from the Great Lakes.