Flooding risk, drought relief on the way for Northeast
Downpours will continue to drench portions of the northeastern United States, threatening localized flash flooding through early this week. Even areas that have missed out on recent wet weather — including areas facing drought conditions — are expected to experience rainfall as showers and thunderstorms become more widespread.
Soggy areas across the Ohio Valley will face additional rainfall early in the week, but the main focus of the rain will shift eastward and center on the interior Northeast as a storm tracks across the region. Showers and storms will also douse coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England early in the week.
Monday is likely to be the wettest day for the Interstate 95 corridor, including the major metro areas like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. Downpours could lead to ponding on roadways as well as localized flash flooding, especially in low-lying areas, and the heaviest rainfall could reduce visibility and lead to travel slowdowns.
The downpours are predicted to expand from Hartford, Connecticut, to Boston Monday evening, potentially impacting the evening commute.
The wet weather could put a damper on outdoor plans early in the week, and potentially the first day of school for some students, but much of the area could use the rain. More than 50% of the Northeast region was abnormally dry, according to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report released last Thursday.
Southern New England has been experiencing the harshest drought conditions of the region. Much of Rhode Island — 99% of the state — is in an extreme drought, and 75% percent of Massachusetts is in a severe or extreme drought.
Since July 1, Boston has only picked up 0.89 of an inch of rain. Typically, more than 5 inches of rain falls on average from early July through the middle of August.
The exact track of the storm into Tuesday will determine how much rain parched areas in New England might receive to help alleviate the persistent drought.
If the dry conditions continue through the remainder of August, fall foliage could be impacted.
AccuWeather long-range meteorologists warned earlier this month, in the 2022 fall forecast, that dry conditions and lingering warmth could bring a delay in peak of fall foliage.
"If the dry conditions continue over the next month or so, it could endanger the vibrancy of the fall leaf colors," explained AccuWeather Meteorologist Nicole LoBiondo.
For those looking to get outside and enjoy the last few weeks of summer, the wet pattern will eventually break. Drier conditions are likely to return to the Northeast for the second half of the week.
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