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    Northeast Update: Tropical-Like Rain Unfolds

    By By Andy Mussoline, Meteorologist
    May 19, 2011, 1:42:37 AM EDT

    "Rain that is typical for an entire month of May will fall in a matter of days."

    Drenching rain will inundate portions of the Northeast through at least Thursday, with rainfall totals mimicking that of a tropical storm; this has elevated flood fears in the region.

    The rain-making storm will be slow to move through Thursday. Counter-clockwise winds around the storm will pinwheel moisture from the northern Caribbean and Bahamas into it, aiding in the heavy rain threat.

    "It's behaving somewhat like a tropical storm in terms of heavy rain, but without an actual tropical storm," said Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.


    Although a true tropical storm is not forecast this week, bands of heavy rain, mimicking the characteristics of a tropical storm, will target the region.

    Rainfall will average 2 to 4 inches over portions of the Northeast through Thursday, including major cities such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. Up to 6 inches cannot be ruled out.

    Rain that is typical for an entire month of May will fall in a matter of days.

    Farther north, flooding continues to be a problem on Lake Champlain, which borders New York, Vermont and Quebec, Canada. According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews, "the rain over the next few days will cause another flood crest on Lake Champlain, above the historical record before 2011."


    Although flooding on Lake Champlain and surrounding areas is an ongoing problem, most Northeast waterways are not flooding as of early Tuesday; however, this is expected to change.

    Low-lying and poor drainage areas will be most susceptible to flooding in the region.

    The intensity of the rain will decrease noticeably after Thursday as the storm weakens and moves offshore.

    Unfortunately, the Northeast will remain in a wet, unsettled pattern through at least the end of May, which could prompt future flood threats.

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