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A strong coastal storm will whip up the East coast this week

Posted at 8:19 AM, Apr 02, 2019

A storm that's intensifying along the Southeast coast Monday will rapidly strengthen and move northward, delivering heavy bursts of rain, strong winds and dangerous rip currents up and down the East coast this week.

This system is forecast to track across central Florida and into the Atlantic overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning. Heavy rain is forecast across much of northern Florida, with totals up to 2 inches predicted.

Extreme rain in the Carolinas

This storm will quickly begin to strengthen as it tracks up and along the East coast, impacting the Carolinas Tuesday. Within a 12-hour period beginning Tuesday morning, the winds will essentially double in strength along the Carolina coast and the rain will increase as the storm deepens in its central pressure.

Sustained winds will swirl at 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph possible along the Carolina coastline through Wednesday morning. Heavy rain and strong northeasterly winds off the coast will lead to coastal flooding, especially in flood-prone areas. Rain totals of up to 4 inches are possible.

Rip currents will also be a danger along the Southeast coast Monday, where the National Weather Service has issued a Rip Current Statement from St. Simons, Georgia, south to Jupiter, Florida. The NWS says there is a high rip current risk through Monday evening and "it should be noted that almost 300 surf rescues were reported by beach authorities this past weekend."

Impacts to the Northeast could be minimal or major

By Wednesday morning this coastal low will begin to affect areas of the Northeast from Long Island to Maine. Rain and gusty winds are the main impacts along the coast, where 1-2 inches of precipitation is forecast and winds of 20-30 mph with higher gusts are possible.

The impacts to the Northeast could still change, depending on how close to the coast the storm tracks. The European model has the storm tracking closer to the coast and is showing more significant effects, including higher winds and more torrential rain. New York could see wind gusts up to 25 mph Tuesday evening and up to an inch of rain. Boston could see wind gusts up to 35 mph and 1-2 inches of rain through Wednesday.

The American model has the storm tracking farther off the coast, with less of an effect on coastal cities. However, the impacts over the open ocean are expected to be much more significant. Hurricane force winds are forecast 100 to 300 miles offshore due east of Hatteras, North Carolina, and Nantucket, Massachusetts. By Tuesday afternoon, offshore waves could build up to 14 to 27 feet before subsiding beginning Wednesday.

This storm is a quick mover and it's forecast to exit the Northeast by Wednesday evening, leaving behind gusty winds of up to 25 mph into Thursday for areas of New England.