The remnants of Hurricane Willa are set to reintensify today, becoming a coastal low that will bring heavy rains to Texas, Louisiana, and the rest of the Gulf Coast. It’s looking more and more likely that this low pressure system will deepen further to become the first Nor’easter of the season. Meanwhile, Maine has been experiencing wintry conditions and snow for the last few days.

Welcome to this week’s Wednesday edition of you Morning Briefing. Let’s get started.

Willa Remnants to Deepen, Bringing Heavy Rains to Gulf Coast:

  1. The low pressure center that was once Hurricane Willa is moving into TX this morning, producing heavy rains and flooding.
  2. This low will deepen as it moves across TX and over the Gulf coast, receiving a warm water supply to keep up heavy precipitation.
  3. Making its way across the Gulf coast, the system will be swept up by a low latitude jet streak and get pushed over the FL panhandle. It will then track up along the East coast, likely becoming this season’s first Nor’easter.

After devastating the Mexican coast last night, the low pressure system once called Hurricane Willa has continued to make its way northeastward. Texas is its first stop in the US, bringing heavy rain and flooding today. After the almost record-breaking rainfall seen last week, TX is already soaked. This means that any bit of water, however small, will not permeate the ground, causing flooding instead. A shortwave trough, currently aloft over the Four Corners, will be the initial guide for this system’s track. This trough will propel the undead Willa toward and across the Gulf coast as it too propagates eastward. The system is expected to move along the Gulf, deepening as it goes along. With warm Gulf air as fuel, the low will continue to dump water on whatever is in its path. After moving from TX, this system is expected to produce heavy rains in LA, MI, and AL as well before making its way across the FL panhandle. From here, this system will be swept up the east coast by the unusual jet pattern.

First Nor’easter of the Season:

  1. Undead Hurricane Willa is expected to deepen across the Gulf coast, becoming a more organized system of low pressure and precipitation.
  2. Over the FL panhandle, this system will encounter a strong temperature gradient associated with a southern jet streak. This, along with the strong Azores high over the Atlantic, is what will pull this system northward up along the East Coast.
  3. We can expect to feel the effects of this storm this weekend, most likely Saturday into Sunday. We can expect heavy precipitation and strong winds. While precipitation will stay as rain for most of the East, higher elevations and higher latitudes in New England can expect mixed precipitation and slushy snow.

After drenching the Gulf Coast, the remnants of Hurricane Willa will still not be done causing mayhem. This system is expected to deepen, re-intensifying into a more extra-tropical like storm rather than a hurricane. As it crosses over the FL panhandle, the storm will experience a strong temperature gradient. Cold, arctic air has been making its way down into the US for almost a week now, while warmer air has held on over FL. This strong temperature gradient continues aloft, creating a southern jet streak flowing northeastward over the Deep South. This flow is what will determine the track of this storm and how close or far it is from the Eastern seaboard. The intensity and ultimate impacts of this storm will be dependent on the timing of incoming polar air and the ultimate position of this southern jet. We can expect this system to affect the Northeast Saturday into Sunday. Earlier this week, the question was if the Northeast would be getting a storm? We now know this to be true. Now the question is how bad will this storm be?

Winter Storms in Maine Finally End Later Today:

  1. A low pressure system over Canada has brought up to 4 inches of snow to parts of Central and Northern Maine yesterday and last night. This is the same system that produced rain and storms in NY and New England yesterday.
  2. Snow will continue to fall over Northern Maine today, with a winter weather advisory in place until 2am Thursday. Most of Northern ME can expect 1-2 inches, with very small accumulations generally only over higher elevations.
  3. This system will finally fully move out by tonight, with low pressure being replaced with high pressure that could affect this weekend’s big storm.

A low pressure system that brought lower parts of the Northeast and New England rain yesterday has brought the first significant snowfall to Maine. A winter storm warning will be in effect for most of the state until 2am Thursday. A few inches of snow have already fallen over most of ME, with up to 5 inches over higher elevations. Snow even reached slightly into New Hampshire, with a few more inches increasing snow depth over Mount Washington, rejuvenating the skiing and snowboarding season. As this system responsible for these wintry conditions finally moves out of the Gulf of Maine, the last few inches will fall. Only 1-2 inches are expected across Northern ME, as usual the highest amounts of near 5 inches are over higher elevations. As this system finishes dropping its last few flakes, the low pressure will be replaced with a high that could be play an important role in this weekend’s storm. Temperatures will also go back up into the 40s, meaning that any snow on the ground will melt.

Make sure to 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.