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Northeastern US: Double-edged sword downpours to lessen after Monday

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The stormy weather pattern that has been beneficial in some communities, but devastating in others across the northeastern United States will gradually ease after the first day of August.

A slow-moving storm system will continue to produce showers and thunderstorms from the mid-Atlantic to central New England into Monday.

After a dry weekend, rain will also spread northward to Montreal, Canada, and near Bangor, Maine, to start August.

The greatest risk for downpours capable of causing flash flooding will exist across the eastern mid-Atlantic, from New York City to Norfolk, Virginia.

The risk will be higher to end the weekend than on Monday in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

"The biggest problem with the downpours and thunderstorms in this pattern is that they move very slowly, allowing heavy rain to persist over a given spot for an extended period of time," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson said. "That leads to flash flooding."

Ocean County Airport, New Jersey, was inundated with more than 5 inches of rain in as many hours on Sunday morning. More than 6 inches of rain triggered devastating and deadly flooding in Ellicott City, Maryland, on Saturday evening.

"These slow-moving downpours could potentially impact some of the same areas that have been hit by flash flooding over the weekend," Thompson said.

The one benefit of the downpours is to help green up lawns and water thirsty crops.

Parts of western New York, north-central Pennsylvania, eastern Long Island and central New England are in the midst of a severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

"The heavy rain will be localized with some places picking up several inches of rain and nearby areas seeing almost nothing," Thompson said.

Even where flash flooding does not occur, the downpours will create hazards for motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.

Airline passengers should prepare for possible flight delays.

Those with outdoor plans may have to move indoor for a time. As soon as thunder is heard, the risk of being struck by lightning is present.

The risk of downpours will wane Tuesday into Wednesday as the stubborn storm departs and high pressure builds overhead.

Spotty showers will continue to dampen New England and communities southward to Trenton, New Jersey, on Tuesday, but the incidences of heavy rainfall will be less than previous days. Even fewer communities across New England and the mid-Atlantic will receive rain on Wednesday.

The middle of the week may be the best time for outdoor activities.

Oppressive humidity will also be absent, confined to the midwestern states. Highs on Wednesday from Washington, D.C., northward will generally be in the lower and middle 80s.

The middle of the week will feel more like early August around Boston after clouds and the damp weather early this week hold temperatures to the lower 70s.

Humidity and temperatures will climb once again later in the week across the northeastern U.S. ahead of a cold front set to likely start the new weekend off on a stormy note.