Clouds and Showers Increase Today Ahead Of Tropical Storm Elsa

Hello everyone!

A rare run-in with a tropical storm is in the forecast for tomorrow as Elsa moves rapidly up the East Coast. Having been deprived of its fuel source (warm water) over 24 hours ago, Elsa is not going to deal the region a devastating blow like a real hurricane would. However, it’s moving fast enough to not completely fall apart by the time it gets up here so we will deal with some substantial impacts.

Elsa’s biggest impact by far will be in the form of heavy rain beginning today. Moisture will be siphoned off the system by an approaching cold front today so while Elsa’s primary rain shield remains well to our south, it’ll still be a wet day across much of the area. This is especially true in the north and mountains where proximity to the front will favor steadier rains this afternoon. Farther south, rain will come in the form of pop-up showers and thunderstorms so will be a bit more hit-or-miss, though a few towns could pick up an inch of rain in short order given the moisture-laden airmass.

Thick clouds and showers will hold temps in the low to mid 70s for most today with plenty of humidity for those who for some reason wish it were warmer.

Elsa blows through the region tomorrow with torrential rain possible along the coastal plain and foothills. Most guidance indicates 3-5″ of rain is a good bet for much of the I-95 corridor extending west to the southeast-facing slopes of the mountains. Much of that rain will fall during a rather brief window between 9 AM and 3 PM which means that flash flooding is likely. If your basement takes on water easily or if you live in a low-lying area prone to flooding, now is the time to take appropriate precautions for high water. Move sensitive stuff to higher ground, dust off the sump pump and make sure it’s in good working order, etc.

Most of the area won’t have to worry much about Elsa’s wind, though some exposed spots on the Midcoast could make a run towards 40-50 mph gusts.

Elsa will be a distant memory by sunset tomorrow as the system races northeast into Canada.

-Jack

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