Prolonged Northeast dry stretch to come to an end later this week

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
December 09, 2018, 11:17:26 PM EST

The northeastern United States is in the midst of a rare dry spell, though it is expected to come to a soaking end later this week.

"The last time the New York City area had a similar dry stretch was from September to October 2017, when they had 15 consecutive rain-free days," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson.

Since then, even shorter dry spells have been rare - the only six-day stretches occurred in November 2017 and August 2018. Interestingly, that same August, New York City ended up with nearly 200 percent of its normal rainfall for the month.

The Pittsburgh Airport is less than 4 inches away from breaking an annual rainfall record, but farther south in Charleston, West Virginia, the record has already been broken by almost an inch.

Philadelphia just experienced its wettest meteorological autumn on record with 21.87 inches falling from Sep. 1 through Nov. 30, breaking the old record of 18.93 from 1999.

static dry spell 12/9

Even as a powerful winter storm moves out of the Southeast this week, high pressure will remain in control of the Midwest and Northeast, maintaining clear and calm weather conditions.

High temperatures will struggle to reach normal levels, instead topping out 5-10 F below average each afternoon.

By the end of the week, another storm gathering strength in the South will set its sights on the northeastern U.S.

static pattern change 12/9

According to Thompson, this system is not expected to bring widespread wintry weather.

"With the cold air moving out toward the end of the week, the next storm moving into the East will bring primarily rain," he said.

"In fact, there is the potential for a few inches of rain along portions of the Eastern Seaboard from Friday into Friday night, which can lead to flooding."

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Overnight temperatures this week will continue to fall below freezing and help harden the ground, increasing the threat of water runoff when the first rounds of rain move into the region.

Street flooding and the associated threats, such as hydroplaning, washouts and road closures, will therefore be more likely. Anyone planning travel through the region can expect delays.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see when the dry spell will end in your area.

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