Today is an unusual weather day here in western Maine and New Hampshire as we deal with the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa. As of 9 AM, Elsa is still located south of Long Island but is moving northeast quickly. Rain is already breaking out over the area with the steadiest and heaviest rain still a bit to our south.
Most of Elsa’s rain will fall in a period of torrential downpours between 11 AM and 4 PM as the core of the storm moves into the Gulf of Maine. During this time, 3-5″ of rain is likely to pile up along the coastal plain and foothills with some towns making a run at 6″+. This volume of rain in this short a time is very unusual for New England and poses a serious flash flood risk.
Flooding of small creeks and streams along with low-lying areas is expected, and some places that don’t usually see high water during heavy rain events are likely to experience some inundation today. If your basement is a frequent flooder (or even an intermittent flooder) or if you live near a small creek prone to overflow, now is the time to wrap up your preparations for high water. Fairly serious damage to roads near stream crossings is possible so try to limit travel this afternoon if at all possible. Remember to never drive through floodwaters, especially in flash flooding situations like this, as there is no way of knowing whether the underlying road remains intact or not.
Elsa and its associated downpours will exit rapidly to the northeast this evening with some partial clearing possible in western areas by sunset. Aside from the rain, Elsa’s passage will substantially increase the humidity with dew points making a run into the upper 60s/low 70s. Some gusty northeast winds are possible but with the storm’s center tracking to our east through the Gulf of Maine, the strongest winds will remain over water and no widespread wind issues are expected.
High temps today will sit within a few degrees of 70 thanks to northeast winds and thick cloud cover.