Fox News Weather Center

Soaking rainstorm to delay travel, cause localized flooding in northeastern US

A rainstorm will soak and raise travel problems in the northeastern United States on Thursday and Friday.

The same storm already causing renewed flooding in the central Plains and middle Mississippi Valley will roll northeastward.

Static Thu NE P.Lang.

The region is not in dire need of rain, since the short-term drought has been erased by frequent storms during March and April. A long-term rainfall deficit with roots into 2016 continues in part of the region. This storm will erode that deficit and can cause some short-term flooding problems.

A general 1-2 inches of rain is likely with locally higher amounts possible from western Virginia to the south coast of New England and over the eastern Great Lakes. Somewhat lesser rainfall may occur from southeastern Ohio and western West Virginia to central New York state and northern New England.

Small streams will swell but will be mostly a problem for fishing and other recreation interests.

"Enough rain can fall to cause poor visibility and urban flooding for motorists around parts of the eastern Great Lakes, the mid-Atlantic and New England," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

Static NE Impact Thu Nt Friday

"It does not take much rain to cause travel problems in the major cities," Abrams said.

The combination of drenching rain, a low cloud ceiling and gusty winds along the coast can lead to significant airline delays. Passengers should anticipate delays at the major hubs on Friday, including Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit.

Along the Interstate 95 corridor on Friday, the worst weather conditions for rush hour will be in the morning from Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., to Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Rain will be moving in and becoming heavy in the New York City area from southwest to northeast during the morning and is likely to continue through evening rush hour. In Boston, the evening rush hour will be slow and soggy with windswept heavy rain.

Waterproof shoes and a raincoat are recommended for anyone heading out in the rain.

Meanwhile, winds can get strong enough along the Atlantic coast, over the ridges and around the Great Lakes to break some tree limbs, where leaves have emerged. As a result, a few sporadic power outages are possible.

In some areas, thunder and lightning will accompany the rain for a time. A few locations in eastern Virginia and over the Delmarva Peninsula can be hit by a severe thunderstorm Friday morning or midday.

Minor coastal and lake shore flooding can occur. The flooding on the Atlantic coast will be greatest during times of high tide.

Coastal flooding problems will be brief, since the storm will move swiftly along.

However, a gyre of chilly air will set up over the Northeast by this weekend and may linger into next week. Snow could fall on some locations.