Memorial Day weekend storm could threaten Southeast and Mid-Atlantic

Memorial Day weekend storm could threaten Southeast and Mid-Atlantic

A storm area developing off the southeast coast could bring gusty winds, rain and rough seas to coastal areas from Florida to Delaware between Thursday and Memorial Day. It could also mean wet weather at times for Raleigh, NC; Richmond; Washington and Baltimore.

The storm system is poorly timed for those with holiday weekend plans, but confidence remains low in the exact location and timing of potential storm effects.

Forecast uncertainty, particularly for rain, is highest north and west of the Carolina Coast, as models struggle to determine how far the storm’s low-pressure area will advance toward the north on the east coast and inland the rain will extend.

At this time, the storm is not expected to turn tropical, but the National Hurricane Center is monitoring it and said in a forecast discussion that the storm could sustain locally strong winds, large swells and high winds off the coast. northeast coast of Florida through Friday night. Some computer models indicate such conditions could move north toward the coastal Carolinas over the weekend.

Depending on where the storm is heading, up to several inches of rain could fall in some places, especially near the coast. Regardless of the amount of rain that falls, persistent and potentially gusty onshore winds are likely to create rough seas and could increase the risk of rip currents.

Below is a forecast by region subject to change given the high uncertainty in the forecast.

South Carolina and Georgia

Friday and Saturday could feature strong northeast winds, generally parallel to the coast, with gusts near or above 50 mph. The wind is expected to ease along the Georgia coast after Saturday, but a gusty breeze could persist along the South Carolina coast on Sunday before easing by Memorial Day. Showers and thunderstorms are possible every day, with the highest chance of heavy precipitation near the coast. However, it is also possible that much of the rain will stay in the east and northeast. Daytime highs are expected in the upper 60s to upper 70s on Friday and Saturday, and in the 80s on Sunday and Memorial Day.

“The main forecast uncertainty revolves around the effects of the Coastal Low Friday night and Saturday. We could see precipitation along the SC coast or it could stay just northeast of the region,” National Weather said. Service in Charleston during a forecast discussion.

Strong onshore winds could develop along the North Carolina coast on Friday and continue through Saturday, with potential northeasterly gusts near or above 50 mph. Lighter winds are expected Sunday and Monday. Periods of moderate to heavy rain are possible on Friday and Saturday along the coast and inland. However, there are important questions about the inland distance. The weather service office serving the Raleigh area described forecast confidence as “very low” for the Thursday through Sunday period.

Chances of rain are expected to decrease by Sunday and Memorial Day. Daytime highs are expected in the mid-60s to mid-70s on Friday and Saturday, and in the 70s to near 80s on Sunday and Memorial Day. The weather service predicts a building of “dangerous seas” at 6 to 10 feet.

“This is a sensitive forecast where small deviations in the path of this coastal low will have major implications for the amount and extent of precipitation,” said the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina. when discussing forecasts.

Delaware, Maryland and Virginia

Confidence in the forecast is also very low for the coasts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, as there is great uncertainty about how far north the storm will travel. Gusty winds could develop around Virginia Beach on Friday, then spread as far north as Delaware beaches by Saturday, with lighter winds expected Sunday and Memorial Day. Friday is expected to be mostly dry, with possible spells of rain on Saturday and Sunday, then a lower chance of rain on Memorial Day. Daytime highs are predicted between the mid-60s and mid-70s.

The low confidence in the forecast extends inland to the DC area, where there is potential for rain, especially Sunday and Memorial Day, but also potential for drier weather if the coastal storm remains more to the south.

The North Coast, as far south as around Cape Canaveral, could see gusty outflow winds on Friday and Saturday. North and northeast winds could blow near or above 40 mph. Showers and occasional thunderstorms are likely Friday through Saturday, but nothing too unusual for this time of year in Florida, with drier weather forecast for Sunday and Memorial Day. Every day should see at least partial sunshine with daytime highs predicted between the mid-70s and 80s.

Jason Samenow contributed to this report.

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