Fox News Weather Center

Atlantic Storm to Buffet, Drench Southeast US Late This Week

A storm over the Atlantic Ocean will drift slowly westward and bring drenching rain and gusty winds into part of the Eastern United States later this week.

There is a slight possibility the storm could take on tropical characteristics before crawling onshore.

Regardless of tropical development or not, the storm system and its rain are taking aim at the Southeastern states. The rain could extend as far inland as the southern Appalachians.

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "The rain from the Atlantic storm is likely to affect areas from Florida to Virginia later this week."

One area of high pressure will be replaced by another in the Northeast as the week progresses.

"At this time, there is about an 80 percent chance that the new high pressure area will be strong enough to keep rain away from the upper mid-Atlantic to New England," Abrams said.

Atlantic Storm May Soak Southeast

During this week and this weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will be attending masses and processions from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City as Pope Francis visits the U.S.

Areas from southeastern New York state to southern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and northern Virginia would get rain only if the high pressure area weakens and allows the storm to track farther north.

While rain is needed in parts of the Southeast, too much rain could fall too fast and lead to flash flooding.

The weather pattern will cause northeasterly winds to increase along the middle part of the U.S. coast.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, "As winds pick up, seas will build and rip currents will increase between high pressure to the north and the storm to the south."

In addition to the rough seas and stiff winds, some beach erosion could occur due to the long-duration storm.

Bathers, boaters and cruise ships will need to exercise caution and heed advisories as they are issued. Many of the beaches do not have lifeguards on duty this late in the season.

Just as residents, vacationers and cruise interests along the U.S. southern Atlantic coast should monitor the weather this week, people from the U.S. Gulf Coast to southeastern Mexico should keep an eye on the tropics next week.

There is some indication than a tropical system may form near the Yucatan Peninsula and drift northward toward the upper Gulf of Mexico coast next week.

Meanwhile, Ida will continue to churn waters in the central Atlantic and could strengthen to a hurricane this week.

However, Ida is not a threat to any land areas at this time.