November 5, 2021

A Pesky Coastal Storm Will Drench Parts Of The Southeast This Weekend

A developing nor'easter will bring dreary conditions to the coastal southeast this weekend, with cool temperatures, pouring rain, and driving winds making things miserable from northern Florida to eastern North Carolina.

The storm is already in its formative stages over northeastern Florida this evening. It's not all that impressive on satellite imagery—unless a bland deck of stratus clouds is your thing, then more power to you—but it's going to slowly grow more organized over the next day or so as it meanders up the coast.

The system and its worst conditions will peak during the day on Saturday, slowly winding down on Sunday as the system pulls away from shore.

This will be a nor'easter that doesn't affect the northeast. Nor'easters get their name from the northeasterly winds that buffet the coast. There's going to be plenty of that over the next few days. Winds could gust as high as 40-50 mph in parts of South Carolina and North Carolina.

Strong and persistent onshore winds will lead to widespread coastal flooding from storm surge, especially around high tide. Coastal flood warnings are in effect from Jacksonville, Florida, to southeastern Virginia through the next couple of days.

Heavy rain is going to be a problem near the track of the storm. The bulk of the heavy rain will stay juuust offshore, but a few inches of rain are likely throughout coastal counties from northeastern Florida to eastern N.C.

These totals could inch higher if the storm tracks a little farther west than currently predicted. Any amount of heavy rain is a headache if it falls too quickly, but leaf-clogged gutters and storm sewers will increase the risk for street and parking lot flooding in some areas.

Saturday is going to be a raw and gloomy day for much of the southeast. Northeasterly winds will lead to cold air damming, a phenomenon where cold air pools up at the foot of the Appalachians because it's too dense to flow up and over the other side. Widespread high temperatures in the 50s are likely as far south as northern Florida. Conditions will warm up a bit on Sunday as the storm moves away.

[Satellite Image: NOAA]

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I graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2014 with a degree in political science and a minor in meteorology. I contribute to The Weather Network as a digital writer, and I've written for Forbes, the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, Popular Science, Mental Floss, and Gawker's The Vane. My latest book, The Skies Above, is now available. My first book, The Extreme Weather Survival Manual, arrived in October 2015.