A very active weekend is ahead of us, with continued rain and flooding for the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. For the Northeast, the rain will dwindle down, but a few snow showers will linger with two passing cold fronts. Meanwhile, blizzard conditions will wind down today for the northern Plains, but New Mexico is getting ready to see near-record snowfall tonight into Saturday.

This is the Friday edition of your Morning Briefing. Let’s begin.

Heavy Rain and Flash Flooding for Southeast and Mid-Atlantic:

  1. Today, the heaviest rainfall will be over the Gulf Coast, near Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Here, an additional 2-4″ could fall today. This could cause flooding for many areas, and even flash flooding for flood-prone and low-lying areas.
  2. Thunderstorms over the Gulf Coast are likely today, and isolated severe storms are possible. Either of these could add up to another inch to rainfall totals locally.
  3. Moderate to heavy rain will also move east over the Mid-Atlantic and central Appalachian Mountains today. 2-6″ has already fallen over parts of the central Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic, and another 1-1.5″ could fall today.

The monster system we’ve been looking at all week has been drenching the eastern half of the country the last two days. Yesterday, parts of the lower Mississippi Valley saw heavy rain and flooding, but today, the heaviest rainfall has moved east over parts of the Gulf Coast. As the southern-most tip of this storm moves over Alabama and Florida, it will likely drop an additional 2-4″ of rain by the end of the day. Depending on the area, this could bring flash flooding, so be sure to heed any local warnings, especially for low-lying and flood-prone areas. Locally higher rain amounts are possible. Thunderstorms are likely (at least 70% chance), but isolated severe thunderstorms are also possible.

Rain will also be heavy from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic today, before moving east offshore. An additional 1-1.5″ may seem meager, but this is in addition to the drenching 2-6″ that was already dropped over North and South Carolina. Further north in Virginia, only about three-quarters of an inch has fallen, but an additional 1-2″ could push some places over into flood stage. Rains will continue to lessen as this system moves offshore over the coast tomorrow.

Dwindling Rain and Snow Showers for Northeast:

  1. For most of the region, rain will be intermittent today and temperatures will remain mild, or even warm. Freezing rain and sleet are possible for this morning, but should quickly switch to rain by the afternoon.
  2. This evening, the first and weaker of two cold fronts will pass over the Northeast, only slightly lowering temperatures. Temperature profiles likely will not be cold enough yet to support snow, but some showers are expected with its passage.
  3. The secondary cold front will be much stronger, and arrive late tonight. This will drop overnight temperatures back down to seasonable levels, and will likely cause a switch to mostly snow for lingering/lake-effect showers.
  4. Little to no snow accumulation is expected with these passing showers. Only a coating on the ground will be seen at places that have remained mostly sub-freezing.

Despite mild temps and daylight bringing intermittent rain showers today, a switch to more seasonable temperatures and snow is near in the forecast. Freezing rain and sleet may still exist for areas where sub/near-freezing temperatures are holding on, but this will quickly change to rain as temperatures warm today. As the storm’s central low continues east in Canada today, its associated cold fronts will pass over the Northeast. The first will be weak, only lowering temperatures a few degrees over a few hours, with very little snowfall. When it passes this evening, it will hardly make a difference, aside from some light showers (rain, snow, and mixed) along its frontal boundary. It’s not until late tonight when the second, stronger cold front will push through, giving way to much colder temperature profiles. At this point, lingering and lake-effect showers will have turned to snow, and temperatures will be back to regularly chilly conditions. Little to no accumulation is expected with these showers, especially due to the previous wet and warm weather in the region.

Blizzard Conditions and Near-Record Snowfall for New Mexico:

  1. Snow will amp up over New Mexico today, calling for Winter Storm Warnings and Blizzard Warnings to be issued throughout the state. Currently, a Blizzard Warning is in effect over Albuquerque until 6am MST Saturday.
  2. At lower elevations, an additional 3-6″ will likely fall. Over higher elevations, as much as 18″ of additional snow could fall.
  3. Winds will be strong today as well, gusting up to 50 mph and causing wind chills in the single digits.
  4. The last heavy snowfall in New Mexico was exactly 3 years ago, on December 28, 2015. Until now, the state has not seen any significant snowfall since then.
Credit: NWS

As blizzard conditions and snow wind down for the upper Great Lakes, with over a foot fallen in some places, New Mexico prepares for more of what will be the heaviest snowfall since their record-breaking storm from December 28, 2015 exactly 3 years ago. A Blizzard Warning has been issued over Albuquerque because of high winds and heavy snowfall. At lower elevations, up to 6″ can be expected. However, higher elevations can expect up to 18″ of snow to fall in addition to what has already fallen. At this time, road and driving conditions could be very dangerous, due to slippery roads and limited visibility. Although snow will likely end by tomorrow evening, cold temperatures will allow accumulations to stick around for a few days after.

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Also remember to lookout for The Sunday Storm this upcoming Sunday evening as well as Five Things to Watch This Week next Monday.

Author

Kathleen is a Meteorologist at WeatherOptics, where she works writing content for the website, providing accurate and detailed forecasts to clients, and consulting on various meteorological projects. Kathleen earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in 2018 from Stony Brook University. Kathleen has also done research into our changing climate by investigating theRole of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification in 2017.

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