Another Flash Flood Threat for Rain-Weary Northeast

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
August 1, 2013; 4:10 AM ET
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A slow-moving cold front will spark drenching showers and thunderstorms into Thursday night from Pennsylvania into New England.

While not everyone will see the soaking storms, some of the cities and towns most at risk include Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Scranton, Binghamton, Syracuse, New York City, Hartford and Boston.

The threat of flash and urban flooding will be greatest from the coastal mid-Atlantic to upstate New York and western New England into the evening, shifting to New England overnight.

Rainfall amounts will average 0.50-1.00 inch across the region through Thursday night, but some localized areas could have up to 2.00-3.00 inches if trapped beneath a slow-moving storm.

It was only last weekend when a similar situation led to tremendous, record-setting rainfall in Philadelphia.

According to Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, the 8.02 inches of rain on Sunday shattered the previous record for the day of 3.28 inches set in July 1969.

Northeast Regional Radar
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Elliot Abrams' Northeast Weather Blog

It also established a new record for the most rain on any calendar day, breaking the previous record of 6.63 inches on Sept. 16, 1999, during Tropical Storm Floyd.

Further, the 13.24 inches through July 31th makes this July the wettest on record and the second wettest month overall, between 19.31 inches in August 2011 and 13.07 inches in September 1999.

While an event of this magnitude is not likely to be repeated any time soon, the water-logged soil left behind will contribute to additional flooding concerns.

Flash flooding of poor drainage areas and across highly urbanized areas will be the biggest threats. Water will pond quickly in areas where rain falls very hard.

Flooding of creeks, streams and smaller rivers is also a possibility, especially over some of the more flood-prone waterways.

If you need to travel, be on the lookout for rapidly changing skies and blinding downpours. Interstates 80, 81, 78 and 95 are all under the risk for showers and thunderstorms.

The rain will come to an end on Friday across the region, as cooler and much drier air will arrive in its wake.


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