Potent weekend storm to pound mid-Atlantic, New England coast and unleash torrents of rain

A storm from the South will evolve into a potent and disruptive nor'easter with gusty coastal winds, drenching rain and high-elevation snow this weekend.

"Fast forward motion of the storm may limit the worst weather conditions from Friday night to Saturday night," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek.

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However, that can have quite a miserable and soggy effect on area high school and college football games.

Some of the moisture fueling the heavy rain can be traced back to Hurricane Willa, which made landfall in northwestern Mexico earlier this week. At one point, Willa was a Category 5 hurricane over the eastern Pacific Ocean. The storm heading northward along the Atlantic coast is not Willa, but rather a new storm that formed along the upper Gulf coast. Willa met its demise over the high mountains of Mexico.

Download the free AccuWeather app to track the heavy rainfall and stay alert to any flooding advisories.

South Rain Friday 10.26 AM


Rain, wind to wallop mid-Atlantic, New England

Expect travel delays with major airports from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to Philadelphia, Newark, New Jersey, New York City and Boston likely to be adversely affected for several hours. The main cause of airline delays will be windswept rain, strong gusts and a low cloud ceiling.

These same conditions, as well as excess water on the roads will force motorists to slow down along the Interstate 95 corridor and others in the region. Where leaves have fallen, the rain can make roads and sidewalks especially slippery.

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Enough rain can come down for a time to cause urban and poor drainage area flooding.

Strong northeast winds will push ocean water toward the coast for a time. While the full moon phase has passed, there may still be coastal flooding during at least one high tide cycle from Virginia to Maine.

"Right now it looks like the worst conditions in terms of coastal flooding will occur during the high tide cycle during Saturday morning and midday from the upper mid-Atlantic coast to southern New England," Dombek said.

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"The winds may be strong enough, with gusts from 40-60 mph for a few hours, to break tree limbs and cause sporadic power outages," Dombek said.

The saturated state of the ground, combined with trees that are still fully leafed may cause some trees to topple over.

How much snow will fall and where will it target?

In terms of snow, since the coldest air will be on the way out as the storm moves up, wintry precipitation and most of the accumulation is likely to be mainly limited to the northern tier.

Static Saturday NE


"Accumulating snow is not likely over most of the central Appalachians," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brian Wimer.

"However, there may be a few wet snowflakes mixing in over the crest of the ridges after the heavy part of the storm has passed on Saturday night and Sunday," Wimer said.

Where gusty winds accompany the wet and clinging snow for a time, trees may come down, which can block secondary roads and cause power outages well away from the coast.

The most likely areas for a few inches of slush seem to be the high ground of northwestern Maine, northern New Hampshire, the middle of Vermont and northeastern New York state.

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Much of the area at risk for snow and perhaps sleet will be in areas that received snow from the storm during Tuesday night to Wednesday of this week.

That storm brought 1-12 inches of snow over parts of northern New England with locally higher amounts over the Presidential Range.

In the wake of the weekend storm, brisk and chilly conditions are in store for Sunday. Rain and snow showers are likely to be scattered about the central Appalachians and eastern Great Lakes. However, Sunday may be totally dry east of the mountains.

A small, but quick-moving storm may bring a period of rain and perhaps wet snow to part of the region during Sunday night and Monday. There is a chance that the first few snowflakes of the season fall on the I-95 corridor from that little storm.

Will the nor'easter take after the 1991 Halloween storm, also known as 'The Perfect Storm'?

The storm this weekend will occur around the same part of October as the Halloween storm from 1991, another nor'easter from 2011 and Sandy in 2012. However, overall impacts from the storm this October will be much less severe and of much shorter duration.

This October's nor'easter will be much smaller and much faster than 1991, much warmer than the storm from 2011, and much less powerful than 2012.

RELATED: Destruction of Hurricane Michael

20 PHOTOS
Volunteers rush to aid survivors after Hurricane Michael
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Volunteers rush to aid survivors after Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael survivor Yvette Beasley stands in her front yard during a wellbeing check by a 50 Star Search and Rescue team in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

A 50 Star Search and Rescue team passes a sign reading "Slow Watch for Children," knocked over by Hurricane Michael, along the swollen Chipola River in Florida, U.S., October 18, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Jessica Melvin hugs her step-daughter Angelena Sawyer (R) while waiting for an ambulance arranged by a 50 Star Search and Rescue team for Sawyer's acute untreated appendicitis following Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

50 Star Search and Rescue team leader Zach Smith treats Cody Hatcher's foot wound at a Hurricane Michael relief center at Fountain's Victory Tabernacle church in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

A search and rescue team from 50 Star Search and Rescue follows ambulances after Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 18, 2018.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

50 Star Search and Rescue team member John Basehore brings Angelena Sawyer (C) and Jacob Sibilia (R) home after Sawyer was taken to the hospital for untreated acute appendicitis, found during a wellbeing check by a 50 Star Search and Rescue team earlier in the day, following Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

50 Star Search and Rescue team members Robert Pepper (L) and John Basehore study a map of the search area following Hurricane Michael in Youngstown, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

50 Star Search and Rescue team leader Zach Smith (R) checks the damage from Hurricane Michael to the home of Glenda Kronfol in Youngstown, Florida, U.S., October 18, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Angelena Sawyer (C) and Jacob Sibilia (L) look at their three-month-old daughter Seraphina as 50 Star Search and Rescue team leader Zach Smith (R) checks on the medical condition of Sawyer, who required an ambulance to treat acute appendicitis, following Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

A search and rescue team from 50 Star Search and Rescue works amid debris from Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 18, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Denny Chevillot greets a search and rescue team from 50 Star Search and Rescue following Hurricane Michael along the Chipola River in Florida, U.S., October 18, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

50 Star Search and Rescue team member John Basehore (C kneeling) checks the medical condition of Angelena Sawyer (L) as Jacob Sibilia and her step-mother Jessica Melvin (R) look on, following Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Angelena Sawyer, who has untreated acute appendicitis, waits for medics to arrive during a wellbeing check by a 50 Star Search and Rescue team following Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

The Lama family hold hot meals prepared by Operation BBQ Relief and delivered by a 50 Star Search and Rescue team following Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

A 50 Star Search and Rescue team passes a no trespassing sign while working on the swollen Chipola River following Hurricane Michael in Florida, U.S., October 18, 2018.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

50 Star Search and Rescue team member Robert Pepper clears debris from the yard of Yvette Beasley after Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Medics take Angelena Sawyer to the ambulance for her untreated acute appendicitis during a wellbeing check by a 50 Star Search and Rescue team following Hurricane Michael in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

50 Star Search and Rescue team member Zach Smith cleans and bandages a foot wound on Jessica Melvin following Hurricane Michael at her home in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

50 Star Search and Rescue team members John Basehore (L) and Zach Smith study a map of their search area following Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach, Florida, U.S., October 17, 2018.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

50 Star Search and Rescue team members and volunteers unload a pallet of MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) at a relief center at Fountain's Victory Tabernacle church in Fountain, Florida, U.S., October 18, 2018.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

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