We’ve got an exciting weekend weather-wise as a coastal storm brings heavy rains and possible storms to the Southeast today. By Saturday, this same system will become the first Nor’easter of the season. And still, there is only more rain to come as a low pressure system moves into the Upper Midwest Saturday night and brings another round of rain to the Northeast.

This is the Friday edition of your Morning Briefing, where we’ll update you on all you need to know for your upcoming weekend. Let’s dive right in.

Heavy Rains and Possibly Severe Storms for the Southeast:

  1. A pair of low pressure centers over the Southeast will be the cause of moderate to heavy rains and possible storm development throughout the region today.
  2. Non-severe storms are likely across the region, bringing locally heavier rains and stronger winds. Severe storms may also develop, with the highest risk being over coastal NC.
  3. Lift associated with these systems will be enhanced over coastal NC, where there is plumes of greater low level shear and convergence, causing  slight risk for severe weather. Tornado-related activity is also possible if any discrete cells form in this area.

All eyes in the eastern third of the US are on a pair of low pressure centers that are creeping their way northward this weekend. Before reaching the Northeast as a nor’easter, this duo will first bring heavy rain and the possibility for severe weather to the southeast. These low pressure centers are both ahead of a strong upper level trough, and upward motion ahead of this trough is to blame for the heavy precipitation and severe risk. Currently, the surface lows are sitting over southern AL and eastern AR. Ascent from these systems will be the cause of marginal risk for severe storms throughout the Southeast today. Rain will mostly be moderate throughout the region, but can be heavy in developing storm cells. Winds will most likely be strong over the whole region. Storms will continue to move northeastward, with the eastern-most low pressure center ending up just off the coast of NC by late this afternoon. Risk for severe development over coastal NC is upgraded to a slight chance due to higher low level shear and convergence. Tornado development is possible if any discrete cells form. As this system makes its way into the Northeast, it will develop and deepen further to become the first nor’easter of the season.

First Nor’easter of the Season to Bring Heavy Rain and High Winds:

  1. Rain and high winds from a developing coastal nor’easter are expected to reach the Northeast region late tonight. As it’s so early in the season, we won’t see much snow with this system. Wintry precipitation is not expected to accumulate and will only fall at higher latitudes and elevations, where temperatures are far colder.
  2. Rainfall totals are expected to be 2-3 inches along the coast, and 1-2 inches further inland. Gusts near the coast could reach near 50 mph, again lessening as we move inland to near 20 and 30 mph. Both rain and wind can be even higher locally if smaller storm cells develop.
  3. This system will most likely be done moving through our area by Saturday night, leaving temporarily clear skies and more seasonal temperatures after its passage.

Pieces to our weekend storm are finally being put together as we get closer and closer to the arrival of the first nor’easter of the season. The pair of low pressure systems that will bring rain and severe weather to the Southeast today will soon be causing havoc over the Northeast. The coastal low, currently over southern AL, will sap the energy from its adjacent low pressure center. As it moves back to the coast tonight, this system will deepen and intensify, gaining a much more classic nor’easter look and structure. However, this particular storm comes too early in the season for much snow to fall. Most of the Northeast can expect heavy rainfall and high winds Friday night into Saturday. Coastal flooding is expected, along with flash flooding in low lying and flood prone areas. Rainfall totals are expected to be 2-3 inches along the coast, and 1-2 inches further inland. Gusts near the coast could reach near 50 mph, again lessening as we move inland to near 20 and 30 mph. Rains are expected to move into the region by late tonight, and continue well into tomorrow. Snow and other wintry precipitation is only expected in high elevations and higher latitudes, mainly in ME and NH. Any snow will most likely be light and mixed, leading to little to no accumulation.

For a much more in-depth analysis of the incoming storm, click here.

More Rain to Midwest Saturday and Northeast Monday:

  1. Precipitation around a surface low currently in Canada will make its way south into the Upper Midwest tomorrow afternoon. Warmer temperatures in this area will keep precipitation in a liquid state, despite the intense cold that has  dominated the area the last few weeks.
  2. This system will follow the jet eastward into the Great Lakes region and Ohio River Valley by Sunday afternoon. Flooding in the Ohio Valley is possible, despite only light to moderate rainfall.
  3. Sunday night into Monday morning, this low pressure center will have weakened, but will still bring rainfall of up to a half an inch to portions of the Northeast. Flooding may be possible in areas of moderate rainfall due to the heavy rain associated with this weekend’s nor’easter.

A surface low and stationary front are currently sitting over Saskatchewan today, and both are expected to move south into the Upper Midwest by tomorrow afternoon. This system, pulled by the jet, will bring rain and breezy conditions to the Midwest and Great Lakes region this weekend. Parts of the Ohio River Valley could see flooding with this fast-moving system as it passes over on Sunday. The system will continue its way eastward and finally make its way out to the Atlantic by mid-day Monday, after bringing even more rain to parts of the Northeast. Only up to a half an inch is expected, but flooding will be more possible from small amounts of rain after heavy downpours this weekend. After that, we will finally have a break from rainy days until the next system is expected to make its way through late next week.

Conditions this weekend may become hazardous at times, so be sure to heed local warnings and watches. Roads may flood; remember, “Turn around, don’t drown.” As always, stay safe and be sure to watch for any updates on this weekend’s nor’easter from the WeatherOptics team.

Make sure to subscribe to The Morning Briefing on the right-hand side of this article so we can send you them straight to your inbox for free.Also remember to lookout for The Sunday Storm this upcoming Sunday evening as well as Five Things to Watch This Week next Monday.


Kathleen is a writer and meteorological consultant at WeatherOptics. A recent graduate from Stony Brook University, Kathleen has earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Previously, she has done research on the role of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification and forecasted for local pages like SBU Weather.

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