While stormy weather continues for the Northwest through the rest of this week, all eyes turn to yet another powerful storm system developing across the Deep South. With a lack of available cold air, we’ll be watching this southern storm impact the entire Eastern Seaboard by the end of the week with heavy rain, strong winds, and the potential for some severe weather. 

This is the Wednesday edition of your WeatherOptics Morning Briefing. Let’s take a look at what the rest of this week has in store.

Northwestern US Remains Stormy:

  1. Multiple strong storm systems have been impacting the northwestern United States due to a very active Pacific Jet. This will continue to be the case through the end of the week, with the third significant storm of the week hitting Thursday into Friday.
  2. The graphic below shows the current storm impacting the northwestern US. While quick hitting, the impacts will still be powerful. The late-week final storm system is likely to bring many of the same impacts to the same locations shown below.
  3. The highest elevations of the Pacific Northwest can expect to see multiple feet of snowfall, while even lower elevations will be cold enough to see several inches. Flooding will remain a concern from Portland down the Northern California coastline. Up to half a foot of rain will be possible along with wind gusts up to 60 mph along the immediate coastline.

A series of powerful storms continue to rock the Pacific Northwest this week, as we expect yet another one to move through on Thursday and Friday. While these storms aren’t unusual for this time of the year, this chain of systems is particularly powerful. Several videos were released yesterday showing not only extreme rain and snow, but severe weather as well. A strong tornado pushed through over parts of Washington State, damaging a large swath of land. Tornadoes are highly unusual for this region, especially in the month of December. That should give you a solid idea of just how strong these storm systems are.

While the graphic above is showing the current system, we expect a very similar setup for tomorrow into Friday. Much of the region will experience strong gusty winds, with the coastline receiving the worst of it, and areas further inland seeing heavy flooding rains and mountain snow. Several feet of snow is expected, with some areas likely having to measure the accumulation with with multiple yard sticks after all the stormy weather is done. 

Powerful Storm Forms Over the Southeastern US, Bringing Flooding and Severe Weather:

  1. Another strong storm system will gather across the southern-tier of the US over the next few days, expanding in size and strength as it moves into the Southeast overnight tonight and into tomorrow morning. 
  2. The southeast, which has seen record breaking rainfall this year, can expect to receive more heavy rain and flooding, with many locations receiving 2-4 inches of rainfall by Friday. This will lead to issues from Friday into the weekend.
  3. Severe weather is also likely to be an issue. The strong low pressure system will spawn a line of strong to severe thunderstorms tomorrow, with hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes all possible. 

Several areas of low pressure will gather and fight for control over the Southeast beginning tonight and continuing into tomorrow due to an abundance of moisture and instability. This will lead to very heavy rainfall totals for a large portion of the Southeast along with the threat for severe thunderstorms.

Alabama, Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas, and right up into the Mid-Atlantic states can expect to see a widespread 1-3 inches of rainfall, with some areas receiving as much as 5 inches. This comes shortly after the big rainstorm from last week dropped similar totals and allowed some locations to break the 100″ rainfall mark for the year. These types of high rainfall numbers are very unusual for this part of the country, and more rain will only lead to more flooding for many of the same locations.

Severe weather will also be a concern tomorrow. The highest threat for thunderstorms will stretch from Florida right up the east coast, including the immediate shores of the Carolinas and perhaps Virginia. The main threat we expect to see is additional flash flooding, strong winds, and hail, but a few isolated tornadoes will certainly be possible as we’ve seen before. That threat may extend even further north as we head into Friday.

More Rain and Flooding for the Northeast:

  1. After our storm system releases its grip from the Southeast, the next stop will be a straight shot up the Eastern Seaboard into the Northeast. Plenty of moisture will allow similar, possibly even higher, rainfall totals to extend right up into New England. There will be widespread 1-3 inches of rainfall, with localized amounts as high as 5 inches.
  2. This type of heavy rain will lead to flash flooding across the region. We’re especially concerned about eastern New England and a swath of western PA and NY. Models show especially heavy rainfall for these areas, along with some strong gusty winds.
  3. Some unusual late-December thunderstorms will be possible across the region on Friday. Thunder and lightning will be the main threats, but we can’t rule out some higher wind gusts and small hail. This will make it feel more like October than December for the region as temperatures climb up into the 50’s.

Make sure to subscribe to The Morning Briefing on the right-hand side of this article so we can send you them straight to your inbox for free.

Also remember to lookout for The Sunday Storm this upcoming Sunday evening as well as Five Things to Watch This Week next Monday.


Scott is the founder and CEO of WeatherOptics Inc, which he started as a weather forecasting content platform in 2010. In 2016, after gaining a substantial following, WeatherOptics began servicing the private sector using impact analytics driven by historical weather data. Since this pivot, Pecoriello has led the effort to combine consumer, business, utility, and weather data in order to redefine how WeatherOptics could change business perspective on the weather. As founder as well as the director of all day to day operations, Pecoriello has proven WeatherOptics to be an effective, fast-growing data analytics company that is actively changing the way businesses think and react to the weather.

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