Flooding, Gusty Winds Threaten East Tuesday

By Jordan Root, Meteorologist
April 15, 2014; 1:20 PM ET
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Play video Breaking weather news is detailed in the above AccuWeather.com video.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms will span the East on Tuesday, putting many at risk for dangerous flooding and damaging winds.

The storm system and cold front that blasted through the Plains over the weekend and the Deep South on Monday, will trek into the East on Tuesday and will continue to wreak havoc on communities.

Damaging winds and flash flooding will threaten the Southeast while rivers may overflow their banks in the Northeast.

Strong storms are expected to rumble across the Southeast Coast on Tuesday as a blast of cold air meets warm and moist air centered over the region.

Cities in the threat zone include Norfolk, Va., Raleigh, N.C., Charleston, S.C., Jacksonville, Fla., Orlando Fla., and Tampa, Fla.

Rainfall rates of an inch per hour may occur which would create a fast rise in rivers and streams, prompting flash flooding emergencies.

"Folks out on the road may encounter blinding downpours throughout the day," AccuWeather Meteorologist Maggie Johnson said. "Water may pond on roadways and motorists should use caution in their travels."

Along with the flash flooding, gusty damaging winds may sweep across areas as well.

Winds could gust up to 60 mph which have the ability to topple trees and take down power lines. Some areas will be forced in the dark due to power outages.

A quick spin-up of a tornado cannot be ruled out as well, but chances are expected to remain low.

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This cold front has had a history of creating dangerous storms in the past. Over the weekend, a few tornadoes spun up, large hail pelted towns, and gusty winds toppled trees and tore down power lines across the Plains.

Water rescues were conducted on Monday night across the Deep South as high water left some people stranded.

Like the Southeast, areas in the Northeast, specifically New England, will need to keep an eye on area rivers and streams.

Drenching rain will spread across the Northeast during the day with heavier downpours expected in the afternoon.

The heavy rain itself could cause some flash flooding to occur in low-lying and poor drainage areas, but the bigger threat will be rivers and streams flowing over their banks.

Many waterways have been left swollen across northern New England due to the recent warmth melting deep snowpack across the region.

Rivers and streams have been running rather high and with heavy rainfall in the forecast, it won't take much to push them over their banks.

The Hudson River at Fort Edward, east of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is one of many examples of high flood potential. Water levels on Tuesday morning were already approaching flood stage and the heavy rain isn't expected to arrive until Tuesday afternoon.

Many river gauges across New England are reporting high water levels as of Tuesday morning. Some flooding is already occurring and the heaviest rain is still to come. (Photo Credit: NOAA/AHPS)

Those living in flood-prone areas should prepare to move to higher ground to ensure safety.

Motorists are urged to turn around if the road ahead is overtaken by high water. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs and pick-up trucks.

The rain will come to an end at night. However, cold air will move in and may allow for a little snow to fall.

Some of this snow may cause small accumulations on grassy surfaces. Although the calender says spring, winter just does not seem to want to go away.

"Just when people were getting used to the idea that spring was really here, winter pulls a sucker punch," AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.

Although Wednesday will feature breezy and cooler conditions, dry weather will span most of the East, bringing an end to the flooding and storm threat, as well as the snow.

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