Expanding rainfall will bring good news for unusually dry portions of the northeastern United States into early next week. However, rain will spoil outdoor plans and keep temperatures down for those seeking spring warmth.
Rain is needed to erase the short-term deficit that has set the stage for abnormally dry conditions across portions of the eastern U.S. Moderate drought conditions are gripping portions of southwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia, according to an April 26 report issued by the United States Drought Monitor.
The dry conditions have many stream levels low for the middle of spring.
"Even after the wet weather into Friday, many areas from Virginia to part of New York state and southern New England have received only about 50 percent of their average rainfall since March 1," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
In recent days, enough rain has already fallen and prompted increased greening of some vegetation in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio and parts of New Jersey and Michigan to ease brush fire concerns due to the dry conditions.
About an inch of rain fell on much of the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, where the Rocky Mountain Fire has consumed 10,300 acres but is now 90 percent contained.
After a southwestward retreat of wet weather into Saturday, rain will expand farther north on Sunday and continue into Monday.
"In most areas, Saturday will be the best bet for outdoor plans in the Northeast," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.
The rain will fall Saturday night to Sunday night in parts of the central Appalachians, with totals of 1-2 inches.
The rounds of rain from Sunday to Monday will also average 1-2 inches in the mid-Atlantic and 0.50 to 1 inch in New England and upstate New York. Locally higher amounts are possible from West Virginia to southern New Jersey and Delaware.
The rainfall will not totally erase the deficit everywhere, but it will help boost soil moisture and stop the decline of stream levels.
The rain will wash also away dust and pollen in the short term.
People who don't mind shopping at garden or home improvement centers in rainy weather may find the lack of crowds to be a bonus.
The negative aspects of the wet weather will range from disrupting outings, sports and activities to causing minor travel delays. The rain and clouds will also hold temperatures back.
Enough rain could fall on parts of the mid-Atlantic from Sunday to Monday to cause minor street flooding. Low cloud ceilings could lead to minor airline delays, especially in the Interstate-95 cities from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.
Locally heavy thunderstorms can also occur, mainly south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
With the Canadian air on the retreat in the short term, it will not feel quite as harsh as that of the middle days of this past week, despite more rainfall.
AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit higher this weekend into early next week, when compared the middle of this past week. Rain and/or the chilly air resulted in RealFeel Temperatures in the 30s and 40s for a time this past week.
The weather will dry out a bit during the middle part of next week, ahead of another round of showers that will span multiple days. A new batch of chilly air may rotate southeastward from Canada along the the showers.