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Damaging Winds Likely Over Portions Of Montana, Locally Heavy Rain And Flooding Over The Appalachians

Very strong to damaging winds with gusts up to 80 mph are expected over portions of Montana Saturday into Sunday. Winds of this magnitude could down trees and power lines leading to power outages. Over the eastern U.S., a low pressure system will spread locally heavy rainfall from the Appalachians to the Mid Atlantic region on Saturday. Further north, a wintry mix is expected over New England. Read More >

Overview

Tropical Storm Nestor made landfall in the Florida Panhandle during the late morning hours on Saturday, October 19th. Nestor became extratropical shortly after making landfall as it tracked to the northeast. Nestor continued to track to the northeast rather quickly, as its center moved into southeast North Carolina just before sunrise on 10/20. A large area of rain (mainly north/northeast of the center) overspread the Wakefield CWA from SW to NE during the morning hours on 10/20. 8 AM temperatures were in the mid-upper 50s across central VA, with upper 60s over far SE VA/NE NC. As the center of Nestor moved into NE NC by the late morning hours, temperatures jumped into the low-mid 70s across NE NC (as our NE NC counties were now in the warm sector after the steady rain moved to their north). Meanwhile, rain continued across much of Virginia and Maryland through the morning. Rainfall rates were generally in the 0.2 to 0.5 inch/hour range. However, there was one band of rain that moved across south-central/southeast VA during the morning hours that (briefly) produced rates of 1-1.5 inches/hour.  This was associated with a band of frontogenesis that was most prominent in the 925-700 mb layer. The low center eventually tracked through SE VA (and onto southern portions of the VA Eastern Shore) during the afternoon hours on Sunday (10-21). As this happened, rain tapered off across the area from W to E. However, as the low moved over the Eastern Shore, some low-topped convection developed and moved across Accomack County, producing a quick 1.5" of rain from 2:30-4 PM (after 3" of rain was already reported). In total, rainfall amounts were 1-3" in most areas, with 3-5" from parts of SE VA to the Lower Eastern Shore. Luckily, only minor flooding was reported with this event (despite rainfall totals of 4-4.5" in some areas). This was due to the fact that antecedent conditions were quite dry (a large part of the area was in a moderate to locally severe drought), due to a short-term (1-2 month) deficit in rainfall. 

As the low pulled offshore during the late evening-overnight hours, north winds increased on the back side of the system...especially over the Chesapeake Bay/Atlantic Ocean. The combination of cold air advection (925 mb temperatures dropped into the 10-12°C range), strong 950-900 mb winds, and relatively warm water allowed for a 4-6 hour period of frequent wind gusts of 40-50 mph over the bay/ocean. Winds slowly subsided overnight as the low continued to move offshore (although wind restrictions were in place at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel through 8-9 AM the next morning).

Storm Total Rainfall:

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