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Nor’easter Season Underway

coastal storm
(credit: CBS) Justin Drabick
Meteorologist Justin Drabick joined the CBS 3 and The CW Phil...
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By Justin Drabick

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With Fall in full swing, the threat for nor’easters are on the rise.  November is a common time for these storms to occur and we are currently in a classic weather pattern for them to develop.

The chance of a nor’easter impacting the mid-Atlantic next week is becoming more likely.  A trough of dip in the jet stream over the eastern U.S. continues as several disturbances ride along the jet.  One stronger disturbance is forecast round the base of the trough and intensify as it reaches the southeast coast and head north.

Most of the forecast model guidance agree on a storm affecting the mid-Atlantic but differ a bit on the speed, location and intensity.  The GFS (American) model is faster and has the storm moving out by Thursday.  The European model is slower and has the storm lingering on Thursday.

The main impact from this storm would be the potential for moderate coastal flooding.  Normally the beaches would be able to handle a storm like this pretty well, but the coast is very vulnerable right now due to Sandy tearing up the protective dunes.

A period of onshore winds are expected sometime Tuesday night and Wednesday allowing for increase surf and tide heights.  Winds may gust over 40 mph on Wednesday and nearshore waves could reach as high as 10ft. for a brief time.  As the storm reaches our latitude, the winds will quickly switch offshore ending the threat for the tidal flooding.  The faster this switch occurs, the better.  At this point, the times of high tide concern are late Tuesday night around midnight and Wednesday around noon.  This all depends on the speed and location of the storm.

Rainfall amounts of over one inch are possible, especially along the coast, but widespread river flooding is not a concern at this point.  There is still a chance that the storm could draw in enough cold air to support some snow in the mountains, or even farther south.  This will also depend on the strength and location of the storm.

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