This post might have to be updated if the NHC decides to upgrade Tropical Depression Sixteen to Tropical Storm Nicole later today.
Massive rains are in store for the East Coast tomorrow through Friday as T.D. 16 organizes just south of Cuba and heads towards the U.S. This storm is likely to be sub-tropical when it impacts areas from the Carolinas northward as it interacts with a stationary front just off the East Coast, but it could still pack tropical storm force winds as it progresses up the East Coast. One thing to expect with this system is heavy rain, on the order or 2-5+ inches, to cut a path up the interior East Coast along the eastern slopes of the Appalachians. Impressive wind shear associated with the right-front quadrant of this system will bring the risk of strong to severe winds and isolated tornadoes to the East Coast, but limited thermal instability caused by cold air damming will limit the severe potential with this system.
The significant rain totals will be mostly the result of large-scale forcing along a preexisting boundary when the tropical/sub-tropical system interacts with the stationary front within an atmosphere primed with moisture as P-WAT values are forecast to be in the 2-2.5″ range. Widespread flooding will be a big concern with this event, as the short-term drought conditions will cause the soil to struggle to absorb the rainfall. The past few day’s rain will help alleviate this effect, but not to a great extent.
I will be missing most of this event, as I have travel plans which has me driving north Thursday morning. *UPDATE: It looks like it will progress a bit faster than I anticipated… I’ll be driving through it almost the entire way.* Hopefully Jason will be able to cover the event and keep you all informed. Stay safe, and be sure to go over your flood preparedness and stay tuned!
(click to enlarge)