East US Alert: Flooding Potential Begins This Weekend

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
June 26, 2013; 6:21 AM
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Blazing sunshine and hot, humid conditions in the East now will yield to even more humid weather by late-week with more numerous showers and thunderstorms. The pattern could evolve into a significant regional flooding threat within days.

Temperatures will continue to peak well into the 80s to lower 90s through midweek over the Appalachians and the I-95 corridor. AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures will top 100 degrees for several hours in many areas away from the Atlantic beaches.

While a change is coming later in the week, it is unlikely to bring cool air, blue skies and a refreshing breeze for very long.

Outdoor projects and vacations could soon be in for more disruptive weather conditions than the random, pop-up thunderstorm late in the day.

The upcoming pattern into the Independence Day week is likely to remain quite humid, but become very unsettled.

An area of high pressure at most levels will build and get very strong over the West. As a balancing act, this is forecast to develop a swath of frequent showers and thunderstorms from areas just west of the Appalachians to the Atlantic coast.

Similarly, an area of high pressure will build off the Atlantic coast. This Bermuda high will likely direct a stream of moisture from the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico northward along the Atlantic Seaboard and Appalachians for days.

According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, "The upcoming high-amplitude weather pattern has the potential to bring very dramatic weather conditions."

The pattern, which now favors highly localized thunderstorms, mainly during the afternoon and early evening hours will transform to the potential for multiple downpours per day and the risk of a downpour at just about any time.

Such patterns can continue to progress to a greater risk for flooding, moving beyond highly localized urban events.

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According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "The upcoming pattern suggests there is a risk for stream and perhaps river flooding, especially where the rain persists into the heart of the tropical season, later in the summer."

Currently the vast majority of stream and river levels in the East are running close to normal, but there is potential for significant rises on some waterways moving forward into next week.

"It is certainly something to to keep an eye on," Margusity said.

The pattern has the potential to unload several inches of rain on a daily basis in parts of the region.

Temperatures will trend downward late in the week into next week, so technically it will be cooler relative to the start of this week. However, temperatures are likely to stop at average or slightly above-average levels for this time of the year. Factoring in humidity and other atmospheric conditions, it may feel and look like a tropical rainforest at times.

In the meantime, the best ways to beat the heat will be to take breaks from it, hang out at the beach or linger in the air conditioning.

Strenuous manual labor or exercising should be avoided during the afternoon hours the next few days, when temperatures are the highest and the sun is the strongest. If you must work, take frequent breaks and be sure to drink plenty of fluids.

This story was originally published on Monday, June 24, 2013.

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