Early-Season Nor'easter Will Bring Rough Surf, Damaging Wind and Heavy Rain to Parts of East Coast Late This Week

weather.com meteorologists
Published: October 9, 2019

A nor'easter will move slowly and close enough to the coast this week to bring several coastal impacts to the Eastern Seaboard, including rough surf, coastal flooding, heavy rain and strong winds.

An area of low pressure will develop well off the mid-Atlantic coast Wednesday and rain from this system will continue to overspread much of southeastern New England, Long Island and parts of the mid-Atlantic coast.


Current Radar, Watches and Warnings

This early-season coastal system will then crawl northward and linger off the Northeast coastline into Saturday before a cold front finally pushes this system eastward this weekend.

Late Week Forecast

Winds will persistently blow toward the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts between the counterclockwise flow around the area of low pressure and the clockwise flow around high pressure to its north.

That onshore wind will create several impacts along the Eastern Seaboard from Wednesday into Saturday.


Forecast Wave Heights

There are still some uncertainties in the details but here is what is expected over the next few days.

-Coastal Flooding, Surf: Rough surf conditions and rip currents will likely impact the East Coast beginning Wednesday and lasting for a prolonged period. Beach erosion and minor to moderate coastal flooding will also likely impact the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts.

Although low astronomical tides are expected for the next couple of days, they will rise toward this weekend. This event will also last several days and may possibly impact up to 6 high tide cycles.

Coastal flood watches and advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service along portions of the Northeast coast.

-Heavy Rain: Periods of rain will pivot into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts from Wednesday through Saturday, but the heaviest rainfall is expected Wednesday night through Thursday night.

Parts of southeast New England will likely see the heaviest rainfall totals and totals of 2 to 8 inches are expected. Localized rainfall amounts of over 10 inches are possible in southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island. A flood watch is in effect from Wednesday evening through Friday morning for parts of southeastern Massachusetts.

If the coastal storm wobbles a little closer to the coast, heavier rain could fall farther west.


Rainfall Forecast

-Wind: The onshore flow mentioned earlier will likely create prolonged windy conditions near and just inland from the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts.

The strongest winds will peak Wednesday and Thursday and tree damage and power outages are likely. The National Weather Service in Boston noted that there could be a number of days without power for those near the coast.

Wind gusts greater than 40 mph are expected along the immediate coastline and gusts over 50 mph cannot be ruled out on Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Block Island and eastern Long Island.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for parts of southeastern New England from early Thursday into Friday morning.


Wind Forecast

Subtropical Development?

There is some chance the area of low pressure could gradually develop into a subtropical depression or storm. This is a type of hybrid storm that has characteristics of both a tropical storm and a low-pressure system you would find in higher latitudes.

The National Hurricane Center says there is a low chance of that happening.

Regardless, current indications are that impacts from this system will likely be the same, no matter whether it's classified as a named storm or if it remains non-tropical.

Another area of disturbed weather well off the Southeast coast will merge with the slow-moving Atlantic low by Wednesday night.


Potential Development Area

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.