The powerful storm battering the U.S. Northeast will inundate New York City with lashing rain and possible flash floods through Tuesday night, then unleash the worst of its fury on New England.

As much as 4 inches of rain could fall across New York as twin low pressure systems sweep up the coast, said Bob Oravec, a senior branch forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. The larger of the two is about 270 miles offshore and expected to become quite powerful, ripping Cape Cod and eastern Massachusetts with wind gusts as high as 75 miles per hour.

This system even caught the eye of forecasters at the National Hurricane Center, which gives it a 20% chance of briefly becoming a subtropical storm and getting named in the next day.

“New York City will be pretty wet this morning with some flash flooding possible,” Oravec said. “It is always a concern when you get heavy rain across an area where this is no place for it to go.”

New York residents and officials are still on edge due to the extreme flooding that happened in early September when remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the region, killing about a dozen people living in underground apartments and briefly buckling the city’s transit system.

Flash flood warnings and watches are in place from New Jersey to Massachusetts, and New York City issued a travel advisory from late Monday to Tuesday. Along with the rain, New York’s five boroughs will be swept by gusty winds of up to 30 miles per hour, but the heaviest gales will cross Long Island into southern New England, where high-wind warnings are in place.

There have been reports of “minor nuisance flooding” along roadways early Tuesday, said Brian Ciemnecki, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, New York. “The rain will continue into tonight and start clearing out in the morning,” he said.

Rivers across New Jersey have already started to swell from the rain. The Rahway River in Springfield rose more than five feet since 8 p.m. Monday and the Saddle River in Lodi gained more than three feet in 12 hours and is forecast to crest two feet higher than that.As the storm approached, New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state disaster emergency for much of the state, including New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley.

If the storm’s structure changes as it strengthens, it could meet the criteria to become the Atlantic’s 21st storm of the year and would be named Wanda. Regardless, the impacts along the Massachusetts coast will still be severe at times.

The worst effects will probably be later Tuesday in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where the storm is expected to loop in the ocean off Cape Cod and rake coastal areas with tree-toppling winds that could lead to power outages.

“It is going to be a pretty high impact wind event there,” Oravec said.

As the rain tapers off in New York on Wednesday, the respite may be short lived. There is another storm building across the central U.S. that could pump more heavy rain into the Northeast this weekend, Oravec said, though the weekend storm probably won’t be as intense as the current systems off the East Coast.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: