After absolutely devastating the Carolinas, what was once Hurricane Florence has made its way north, bringing with it the last of its extreme moisture. As this system moves across the Northeast today, flash flooding from heavy rainfall will threaten Southern New England.
Post-tropical cyclone Florence has remained intact, even after it’s been forced north by a strong high pressure aloft over the Atlantic. An entrance in the jet has allowed this system to be taken northeastward, and it is now finally moving back out to the Atlantic as it continues to weaken. However, that’s not before it delivers one final punch.
Yesterday, we saw instability across Virginia lead to tornado-producing storms. A damaging EF-2 tornado was confirmed yesterday afternoon around 3pm near Richmond, VA, killing one person and injuring others caught in collapsing buildings in the tornado’s path. Thankfully, these severe weather threats ended last night around 6pm, however there are still other risks to be taken into account with what remains of this hurricane.
As this post-tropical cyclone finally makes its way off-shore this afternoon, it will bring heavy rains to most of the Northeast as we’ve already seen during the first half of today. The heaviest rain and greatest potential for flooding has been seen along the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border. 2-4 inches of rain has already been observed across Northern MA, with rainfall rates of 1-2 inches an hour still possible as a heavy rain band associated with a low-level front moves south over Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Minor flooding has already been observed in Northern MA along the Hoosic and Nashua Rivers. At 1pm, the Hoosic river was observed to be just over 9 ft, after it rose to almost 10 ft earlier this morning. Along the Nashua river, observations of over 7 ft were observed at 1:30pm, where it usually flows at about 2-3 ft.
As these rains pass, there is a possibility for thunderstorms across the Northeast, which could bring locally higher rainfall, and increase the risk for flash flooding this afternoon. Urban areas and areas of poor drainage will see the most of these effects this afternoon until drier weather follows tomorrow afternoon and Thursday.
Until then, areas at risk for flooding must remain aware of this threat and take necessary precautions. While this flooding may not be as prolific as what areas of North and South Carolina are continuing to deal with, it is important to watch this system until it finally ends its reign over the eastern US.