Needed rain to improve air quality, bring drought relief to Midwest, Northeast
The storm will deliver some of the most substantial rainfall amounts in weeks, or even months in some cases, while also helping to chase away the plumes of wildfire smoke over the Northeast.
As a pattern change gets underway across the Midwest and Northeast, a potent storm will bring beneficial rain and improved air quality to the region late this weekend and into next week.
A storm will bring some much-needed rain to drought-stricken areas in the Midwest and Northeast this weekend and continuing into early this week, AccuWeather meteorologists say. The same storm will also help to clean the air by dispersing wildfire smoke from Canada that has been so problematic in early June across parts of the East.
Farmers, gardeners and greenskeepers may soon be jumping for joy as the storm takes shape over the Midwest this weekend. As it develops, it will eventually pivot eastward enough to tap into some moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean and unleash some heavy rain.
In recent days, weeks and even months, drought has become more widespread in the Northeast and the Midwest. The worst conditions can currently be found west of the Mississippi River, according to the United States Drought Monitor.
In portions of the Ohio Valley, the central Appalachians and the mid-Atlantic region, conditions have quickly escalated from abnormally dry a couple of weeks ago to widespread areas of moderate drought according to the latest report that was published Thursday, June 8.
There has been some sporadic rainfall in recent days in the Northeast.
"The storm responsible for the shower activity and for sending thick smoke into the Northeast will move out by way of Newfoundland and Labrador this weekend before the Midwest storm arrives," LoBiondo explained. "These showers have not been drought busters, but the moisture has been welcomed in areas where they occurred and helped to clean out the air a bit."
Much of the Northeast will be dry through most of this weekend. However, the smoke that was pushed to the south and west in some areas may return — albeit in a less dense form — for a time as the circulation from the Midwest storm creates a southerly breeze.
That breeze will help to push temperatures to levels more typical of mid-June and even a bit above the historical average while also gradually boosting humidity levels. As a result, the afternoon hours by Sunday should feel noticeably warmer compared to recent days in the Northeast and part of the Ohio Valley. AccuWeather RealFeel® Sun Temperatures will be well into the 80s in much of the region and more appropriate for the time of the year.
A period of rain — or at least a few showers — will then pivot across the Ohio Valley, central and southern Appalachians and mid-Atlantic regions from Sunday into Monday and then across New England from Monday night through Tuesday.
"Most areas from Missouri to New York should pick up rainfall between 0.25 and 0.50 of an inch, while some localized spots could receive 1–2 inches from the storm (into early this) week," LoBiondo said. Some of the biggest benefactors of the rain may be in portions of New York and Pennsylvania, where both Atlantic and Gulf moisture join forces.
During the first hour or so that rain falls, motorists may encounter extra slick conditions on the roads as the water mixes with oil and other residues that have built up during the dry spell. The slippery mix may require extra stopping distance, especially at intersections, experts say.
Cooler air will accompany the rain as it often does. Temperatures are projected to trend back to below historical average levels thanks to the rain and air from Canada.
High temperatures during the first part of this week will dip into the upper 60s to the lower 70s over much of the Midwest and central Appalachians. Highs are likely to be within a few degrees of 80 along the mid-Atlantic corridor of Interstate 95 much of this week.
On the leading edge of the rain and especially south of the track of the storm center, thunderstorms are likely to erupt during the midday and afternoon hours and last into the evenings. Some locations could be hit by locally severe thunderstorms containing strong winds, hail and torrential downpours. In a few spots where the storms hit the hardest, flash flooding in urban areas could occur along with downed trees and power outages.
On Sunday, the threat of severe weather will extend from Arkansas into the western Carolinas, also reaching Ohio and parts of southern Indiana.
On Monday, severe weather may visit parts of the central Appalachians, mid-Atlantic and perhaps into southwestern New England. In these areas, the prospect of much-needed rain may come with the price of gusty winds and perhaps hail.
The storm will fall short of totally alleviating the drought in the region, as much more rain is needed to replenish the 0.25 of an inch of moisture that the sun is able to draw from the topsoil on a daily basis this time of the year.
Because the storm is likely to stall over southeastern Canada, bits and pieces of energy and moisture rotating around the storm can cause brief flare-ups of showers and thunderstorms at the local level in the Midwest and Northeast for much of this week.
It is also possible that some of the smoke from the fires in Canada could rotate back to the south later this week. However, some rain from the same storm may fall on the wildfire areas in Quebec and Ontario and assist firefighting efforts to some extent.
Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather Alerts™ are prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.Report a Typo
Top StoriesMore Stories