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Persistent rain to raise flood risk in part of northeastern US late this week

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Rain will spread over much of the northeastern U.S. into the weekend, but persistent downpours will raise the flood risk in part of the mid-Atlantic.

While the cool and rainy weather into this weekend will have people reaching for jackets and sweaters, some may need to keep an eye on streets and basements for flooding.

Highs will mainly range from the lower 60s F to the middle 70s into this weekend. However, the combination of wind, rain and other conditions will cause AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures to be in the 40s and 50s at times.

Storm to raise flood risk in mid-Atlantic

"The slow-moving storm will bring periodic heavy rains to much of the mid-Atlantic through Friday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Edward Vallee said.

"Since Atlantic moisture will be involved and downpours will linger in some areas, there will be a general 2 to 4 inches of rain over the mid-Atlantic states," AccuWeather Senior Storm Warning Meteorologist Rich Putnam said.

There is the potential for a narrow zone of 4 to 8 inches with locally higher amounts, he said.

Despite previously dry conditions, enough rain will fall to cause flooding problems.

The bulk of the flooding will be restricted to urban areas and along small streams, Valley stated.

These conditions may be widespread from part of central Pennsylvania to central Virginia and a portion of the Delmarva Peninsula. Gusty thunderstorms will accompany the heavy rain threat in some places. Localized flooding can occur from the southern tier of New York state to southeastern Virginia.

Motorists should anticipate delays during their commutes due to poor visibility and high water during the downpours.

Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, are likely to be affected by urban flooding. Motorists should never attempt to drive through flooded roadways.

Downpours, fog and a low cloud ceiling can also lead to occasional airline delays from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, New York City and eventually Boston.

In addition to urban and stream flooding, some of the rivers in the area will be on the rise. Since most of these large rivers were very low at the onset of the rain, major flooding is not likely. However, an exception may be along the Potomac River, since much of the rain may focus on its watershed.

Some rain to reach drought areas of New England

Farther north, rain-free weather will hold on over much of New England for a time.

Much of New England and New York state are in need of soaking rainfall due to long-term abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions.

"Some beneficial rain may enter the southern and western parts of these areas by Friday and the balance during the weekend," Vallee said.

Enough rain may fall on parts of New York state and southern New England to get small streams flowing and put a small amount of water back into ponds, lakes and reservoirs. However, the storm will not drop enough rain to completely alleviate extreme drought.

Following the heavy rain into Friday, rainfall over much of the mid-Atlantic is likely to become more sporadic in nature during this weekend.

There is a chance Tropical Storm Matthew may track northward enough to impact the weather in the Eastern states later next week.

Minor issues anticipated in coastal areas

In addition to areas of soaking rain and urban flooding, minor coastal flooding at times of high tide will be possible from Virginia to eastern Massachusetts.

Because of the proximity of the new moon, astronomical tides are higher than much of the rest of the month.

Winds blowing onshore will push some Atlantic Ocean water and waves toward the coast, which can cause overwash on some low-lying beach roads and a little water to invade in some coastal and back bay communities into Saturday.

Since above-normal tides and rough surf will persist for a few days, minor beach erosion is possible.