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.

Static Rain Start Time 9 am
Static Rain Start Time 9 am

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
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.

Static NorEaster 3 pm
Static NorEaster 3 pm

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.

Static Coastal Concerns 10 am
Static Coastal Concerns 10 am

"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
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.

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