Flooding Concerns Mount From Maine to Florida

By , AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist
July 3, 2013; 7:09 AM ET
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An atmospheric fire hose of relentless downpours will continue to cause incidents of flash and urban flooding over part of the eastern third of the nation during the remainder of the Independence Day week. There is also the risk of a couple of damaging thunderstorms as well.

A stream of tropical moisture all the way from the Caribbean Sea to the Gulf of Mexico to the Appalachians and neighboring areas to the west will continue the pattern of daily, if not hourly, torrential downpours in some cases.

Many locations have received two to three times their normal rainfall since June 1. The ongoing pattern this week has the potential to bring another 3 to 6 inches of rain through Friday. Some places may end up with 15 to 20 inches of rain for the 40-day period through July 10.

Actual Rainfall Totals From June 1 to July 2 Compared to the Percentage of Normal Rainfall

City
Rainfall Total (Percentage of Normal)
Wilmington, Del.
13.76 inches (330%)
Raleigh, N.C.
11.10 inches (294%)
Hartford, Conn.
12.08 inches (264%)
New York City, N.Y.
11.02 inches (236%)
Philadelphia, Pa.
10.87 inches (295%)

While widespread, major river flooding is not expected, low-lying unprotected areas are at risk to take on water in this pattern.

Downpours on Monday caused incidents of flash and urban flooding from northern Pennsylvania and New Jersey through parts of New England. Flash flooding Tuesday and Tuesday night across New Hampshire and Vermont led to several water rescues. There were also a few roads washed out across the region.

For residents living right along the East coast, relief from the wet weather is on the way. AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring a pattern shift that would send this firehose effect of repeating showers and thunderstorm westward beginning on Wednesday.

This means the most frequent downpours would move west of much of I-95 by Independence Day. It also would mean a greater chance of repeating downpours and flooding risk for areas from Mississippi and Louisiana to Ohio and Kentucky. At the same time, the risk of flooding would continue over much of the Appalachians.

Meanwhile, folks on vacation and heading to the beaches from the Carolinas to Long Island and southern New England would only have to deal with more isolated, mainly afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

However, much of Florida and Georgia to upstate New York and northern New England would likely continue to get bombarded by frequent downpours. People camping in the Appalachians are likely to be in for a wet time.

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Typical of early July, any thunderstorm that develops in such a humid weather pattern can be briefly severe, causing lightning strikes to cluster in a localized area.

A small number of places can be hit with winds strong enough to down trees and power lines. In a handful of cases, there can also be highly localized large hail.

While the frequency of the downpours will decrease in part of the East later in July, the saturated state of the ground will represent an ongoing risk of flooding. The overall moist flow from the tropics is likely to continue, and that will translate to very humid conditions at the very least.

Meteorologists Alyson Hoegg and Ben Noll contributed to the content of this story.

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