Ghost of Ian creates nor'easter, brings record rainfall to Philly and Jersey shore

The lingering impacts of Hurricane Ian have been felt across a large swath of the East Coast, from the Carolinas all the way up to New England, causing a rainy mess as a nor'easter also developed and impacted the mid-Atlantic over the weekend -- even turning football fields and matchups into rain-soaked slop fests.

Streets flooded along the coast of New Jersey, including in Stone Harbor, where video footage showed water rising halfway up to the wheels of vehicles. The flooding wasn't limited to just Stone Harbor as additional flooding reports were relayed all the way to the southern coast of the state in Avalon, Wildwood and Cape May.

"Avalon experienced significant beach erosion in the north end," the Borough of Avalon said in a Facebook post on Monday. Multiple streets were also underwater around high tide, including Dune and Ocean drives.

Rainfall totals spanned several inches across the mid-Atlantic as a result of the storm. In Atlantic City, New Jersey, a record daily rainfall of 3.01 inches was observed on Sunday, Oct. 2., beating the old daily rainfall record of 1.36 inches set in 1961. Another 1.57 inches fell on Tuesday, breaking the daily record for Oct. 3, which was 1.17 inches set in 2009. Through the first three days of the month, Atlantic City recorded 5.32 inches of rain, well above the 4.14 inches that typically falls throughout all of October.

Nearby Millville, New Jersey, just west of Atlantic City and close to the Delaware Bay, also reported total rainfall on Sunday of over 2 inches.

Sea Isle City, New Jersey, has been one of the wettest spots across the region since the start of October due to the persistent rainfall. As of Monday night, the coastal city had measured 8.14 inches of rain, nearly twice its average rainfall for all of October, and more than three times more rain than the 2.37 inches that has fallen in Downtown Los Angeles since the start of 2022.

Besides New Jersey, estimated rainfall totals of 3 or more inches were recorded across large portions of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and southeast Pennsylvania.

Coastal flooding shut down roads near Highland Acres, Delaware, located just south of Dover. In Lewes, Delaware, located along the coast near where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, the storm surge rose to 3.48 feet on Sunday, the seventh-highest water level ever recorded for that site and just about half a foot less than the 4.05-foot storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

As disruptive as the rain was in New Jersey, there will be some long-term benefits. As of Thursday, Sept. 29, 97% of the Garden State was facing abnormally dry conditions with over 68% of the state experiencing moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The persistent, widespread rain will help to wash away any concerns about drought developing into a more serious issue across New Jersey.


The persistent rain made for some rough conditions out on the playing field. Pennsylvania was home to two big football games over the weekend, and with tropical rainstorm Ian moving into the state, those games became wet, cold and sloppy. On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Penn State Nittany Lions hosted the Northwestern Wildcats in State College, Pennsylvania.

Showers were first reported in the area just before kick-off and lasted throughout the game. Temperatures for the day stayed in the 50s and were 7 degrees below average for the date. The rainy conditions proved to be difficult for the players as both teams combined for eight turnovers. Penn State's winning score of 17 was the lowest amount of points the team has scored in a win since its 16-10 win against Wisconsin on Sept. 4, 2021.

Northwestern quarterback Ryan Hilinski (3) fumbles the ball after being tackled by Penn State defensive end Nick Tarburton (46) as Adisa Isaac (20) looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in State College, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

The showers and cold weather stuck around in the state for yet another day, creating almost the same wet-soaked conditions on the professional turf come Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars played the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday afternoon.

Temperatures once again failed to break out of the 50s and constant rain dampened the game, with about half an inch of rain reported in Philadelphia during all four quarters. The wet and chilly matchup had a total of six combined turnovers and a season-low amount of passing yards from both starting quarterbacks.

By the end of the day on Sunday, Philadelphia reported nearly 2 inches of total rainfall for the date. This broke the old daily rainfall record of 1.80 inches set in 2015. Several other weather stations across the region also reported rainfall totals near or above 2 inches, including nearby Lumberton, New Jersey, just east of Philadelphia.

The rainfall wasn't the only severe weather the region had to deal with as a result of Ian. Across New Jersey and Delaware, strong wind gusts above 60 miles per hour were reported over the weekend. Tuckerton, New Jersey, recorded a wind gust of 67 mph and Lewes, Delaware, peaked at 66 mph.

The powerful impacts felt in the northeast were due to both Tropical Rainstorm Ian and how it interacted with a coastal storm that developed in the area.

"A coastal storm developed off the Northeast coast Sunday afternoon, absorbing energy left over from Tropical Rainstorm Ian," said Jesse Ferrell, a meteorologist and senior weather editor at AccuWeather.

While it was considered a separate storm, had leftover energy from Ian not been in the mid-Atlantic already, the coastal storm would not have formed, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app.AccuWeather Alertsare prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.