Risk of downpours, flash flooding to increase in northeastern US by late week

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 31, 2018, 11:26:39 AM EDT

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A surge of tropical air will cause downpours to spread and the risk of flash flooding to increase over the northeastern United States late this week and into this weekend.

A repeat of the tragic and devastating flash flooding that occurred in Ellicott City, Maryland, from this past Sunday are not anticipated. However, there is the likelihood of isolated flash flooding incidents in the upcoming weather pattern.

From late this week through this weekend, a general 1-2 inches of rain is likely with highly localized amounts up to 5 inches possible.

As the pattern evolves, motorists should be prepared for localized, torrential downpours that may quickly flood streets and low-lying portions of highways.

Static Thurs Friday NE


Thunderstorms may cause airline delays as they converge on the airport hubs.

"The main impact from the downpours will be to deter outdoor activities," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

Rainfall to be indirectly associated with Alberto

While Alberto continues to trek northward over the central U.S. and then across interior Canada, more humid air will flow into the Northeast from Wednesday to Saturday.

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Alberto formed near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula late last week and rolled ashore along the upper Gulf Coast on Monday afternoon as a storm containing both tropical and non-tropical characteristics.

Static Alberto Track 9 am


The counterclockwise circulation around Alberto will draw moisture northward from both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

Timetable of rainfall

The best bet for outdoor plans and travel will be into the middle of this week, even though the weather pattern supports spotty showers and thunderstorms, mainly during the afternoon and evening hours.

Much of central and northern New England is likely to be free of rain through Wednesday night. Except for a 24-hour period, much of New England may escape the bulk of the rain from the pattern.

"On Thursday, a more liberal spread of showers and thunderstorms are likely across the mid-Atlantic, central Appalachians, the eastern Great Lakes and western New England," Anderson said. "By Friday evening, showers and thunderstorms may occur at any time in all but the immediate New England coast."

As the weekend progresses, a push of cooler and less humid air is forecast to advance southeastward from Ontario and Quebec.

Static Rain NE Sat Sun 3pm


While this push may eventually mark an end to showers and thunderstorms over parts of the interior Northeast, it may also enhance the rainfall in some areas for a time this weekend.

For portions of the mid-Atlantic, where humid air may linger, Saturday and Sunday could be the wettest days with an area of drenching rain instead of showers and thunderstorms.

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