We look to round out October on a very active note. Our first nor'easter of the season looks to impact Central Maryland and the Eastern Shore this weekend ahead. The storm is actually the remnants of what was Hurricane Willa which made landfall early Wednesday afternoon a Category 3 hurricane along Mexico's west coast. The leftovers of Hurricane Willa regenerated an area of low pressure along the Gulf Coast which in turn ride an active southern jet-stream up the coast to our neighborhood come Friday afternoon into the day Saturday.
Usually, when it comes to a nor'easter most of us think about the "Big Snow". This go around though it will not be like that based on timing, temperature, and where we are at in the season right now. As it stands now this will be a cold steady rain accompanied by gusty winds Friday afternoon into Saturday. Temperatures will be well above freezing even in the mountains with a strong easterly to southeasterly flow coming in off the Atlantic hence no snow. October is also an unusual month to see snow even in the mountains. The last time we had a decent snow of 1-2" in October with a storm system of this magnitude was back on Halloween day in 2011. Our weekend surely will not be a repeat of 2011 ahead.
Rain should start up by mid to late afternoon Friday and carry us through early Saturday afternoon.
Rainfall amounts will be upwards of 1-2"+ in many locations with the heaviest along the I-95 corridor and out over the Eastern Shore. Besides the rain will come the wind as the pressure gradient tightens with a high-pressure system north blocked over Canada and our coastal low crossing over the lower Delmarva.
Winds will be at there strongest early Saturday morning with gusts 30-50 mph+. The highest gusts, of course, will be along the coast toward Ocean City and toward Delaware/New Jersey as the low wraps westerly to northwesterly flow back into the area. With the rain and the wind will come to the concern for minor to moderate coastal flooding as extra water is driven up the bay. The worst of this would be late Friday into Saturday morning.
A lull in the action looks to occur late Saturday afternoon as the coastal low departs to our north. Winds will remain gusty 20-30 mph out of the west-northwest continuing to pump in cooler air while allowing for a few breaks of sunshine to appear. The same can be said for Sunday as most of the day will be dry before the next round of showers move on in. These showers will carry us into Monday as a secondary cold front/weak clipper system passes on through.
Life behind the front actually looks pretty good. Dry and seasonable conditions Tuesday before high temps near 60 degrees come Halloween.