The second winter-like storm of this week will bring more than a few punches across the country today. Tonight into tomorrow, this storm will begin to develop and deepen, dropping rain and certainty causing flash flood warnings all over the Southeast. As it moves further north, cold air will take hold and the Northeast will see its first widespread snow of the season. With this storm’s passage, more freezing temperatures will usher in behind it. This will likely keep sub freezing temperatures in the region, with only a slight relief this weekend with more seasonable temps.

This is the Wednesday edition of your Morning Briefing. Let’s dive right in.

Heavy Rain and Flash Flood Threats For Deep South Today:

  1. Light to moderate rain will begin in GA today around 7pm, as showers and storms begin organize to form the week’s second notable storm. This system will then move northeastward into SC and NC, where it will ultimately form its low pressure center.
  2. Rainfall totals across the area are only expected to be 1-2″. Rain out ahead of the developing center will likely be lighter in the beginning, picking up as it moves northward and becoming heavy at times.
  3. NWS has issued a flash flood watch for GA, SC, and NC starting at 7pm tonight. Only a few inches are expected, but rivers are already in minor to moderate flood stages, and more than the yearly average rain has already fallen on most places, making the region more susceptible to flooding.

Later today, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be swept up north by flow into the Southeast. These showers will continue to organize and, eventually, two low pressure centers will form next to each other off the coast of South Carolina. As this storm  develops, 1-2″ of rain are expected to fall across the Deep South. Most rivers are already at minor to moderate flood stage today, so any more rain on top of that will only exacerbate that. NWS has issued a flash flood watch to begin at 7pm tonight, when the peak rainfall will pass over the region. Heavy rainfall is expected to begin in GA around 7pm, then move into SC and NC later. The low pressure centers will finally have formed by then, with the one right on the NC coast taking the lead. Eventually, this coastal low will absorb the other low center as it continues to deepen and cause trouble for the rest of the East.

Widespread Snow and Mixed Precip Over Entire Northeast Tomorrow and Friday:

  1. This system will make its way into the Mid-Atlantic early tomorrow morning. Subfreezing temperatures ahead of it will be the cause of wintry precip, with already 4-8″ of snow expected for the Ohio River Valley today.
  2. Precip will be mostly rain along the coast, and mostly snow for the interior Northeast. Between, likely along the I-95, will be a mess of wintry precip. This will include rain, snow, sleet, and even freezing rain.
  3. 4-8″ of snow is expected to accumulate throughout the interior Northeast, with higher totals at higher elevations. 1-4″ of snow can also be expected for parts of the Mid-Atlantic.
  4. Freezing rain is likely for the Southern and Central Appalachians (a quarter of an inch accumulation), and the Ohio River Valley (less than a quarter inch expected). Freezing rain makes driving conditions extremely dangerous and caution should be exercised.

This same system will make its way into the mid-Atlantic by early tomorrow morning after having become a developed, organized, cold-core low pressure system. The biggest difference between this storm and the storm earlier this week will be sub freezing temperatures at the surface. Temperatures dipping down into the 20s for many states, from VA to ME, will mean mixed precip and snow for almost the entire Northeast. Precip is expected to remain mostly rain off the coast, although mixed precip is very likely for many places at the storm’s onset. The heaviest snow on Wednesday is expected to fall over the Ohio River Valley, dropping 4-8″ by the end of the day. Tomorrow, the interior Northeast and northern Mid-Atlantic can also expect accumulations of 4-8″, with even higher totals possible over higher elevations. Freezing rain will also be a major concern with this storm; a quarter inch of ice is expected to accumulate for the Southern and Central Appalachians, with smaller amounts expected to fall over the Ohio River Valley, northern Mid-Atlantic, and lower Northeast.

Temperatures Remain Significantly Below Average for Eastern Half of the US for the End of the Week:

  1. Currently, subfreezing temperatures can be seen from TX to ME, with freeze watches in place as well.
  2. The passage of this next storm will open up the Southeast to more cold air, with parts of the Deep South up to 10 degrees below their average by Friday. Up to 5 degrees below average for this time of year will be expected across almost the entirety of the eastern half of the US.
  3. More seasonable temperatures are hopefully on their way for this weekend when high pressure aloft builds into the area.

As each storm makes its way through our area, it brings with it more shots of cold, polar air. Sub-freezing temperatures have made their way all the way into TX for the better part of the week, and it isn’t expected to let up towards the week’s end. The main concern with this upcoming storm is the freezing temperatures across the East, unseasonable for this time of year. Freeze warnings stretch across the Eastern half of the country, from TX to ME. Right behind this upcoming storm will be even more cold air. By Friday, many parts of the Southeast, like LA, AL, and MS, will be more than 10 degrees below their average. This cold will spread to the rest of the East, with lows up to 10 degrees below average in some pockets, but about 5 degrees below average throughout most of the region. Thankfully by the weekend, high pressure aloft will work its way in, giving way to much more seasonable daily temperatures.

Be sure to keep checking into WeatherOptics throughout the day for updates on our upcoming storm. We’ll have a big update this afternoon so be on the lookout.

You can subscribe to The Morning Briefing on the right-hand side of this article so we can send the Wednesday and Friday editions straight to your inbox.Also remember to lookout for The Sunday Storm this upcoming Sunday evening as well as Five Things to Watch This Week on 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.

Comments are closed.