Plans to leaf peep or attend sporting events in the northeastern United States this weekend are likely to be foiled by a soaking storm.
"The storm system soaking the Gulf Coast states will move into the Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and Northeast this weekend," AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.
As the storm moves northward, drenching rain, thunderstorms and the risk of travel delays and disruptions to outdoor plans will expand into larger metro areas, including Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York City and Boston. Airline delays are expected as the rain sweeps through the major hubs.
The heaviest rain moved into the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston on Sunday.
Showers broke out as the storm pushed northward from near the Mason-Dixon Line (Maryland-Pennsylvania border) through the central Appalachians during Saturday afternoon.
The Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots are expected to experience sloppy field conditions as the rain pours down during their game in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Sunday afternoon.
Areas of flooding rainfall will not be the only impacts expected across the Northeast. Damaging wind gusts are possible across the region.
Widespread wind gusts between 30 and 40 mph were common across the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast on Sunday, but gusts of 40 to 50 mph will be likely near the eastern Great Lakes and upstate New York as well as in the Appalachian Mountains into Sunday afternoon.
Across the Northeast, a widespread 1-2 inches of rain is likely with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 4 inches.
"Localized flooding from the heavy rain and clogged drains from fallen leaves is likely," Roys said.
Motorists should use caution on the roadways as the rain will create a heightened risk of hydroplaning while traveling at highway speeds. Roadways will be extra slippery where leaves have fallen and become wet.
"Although the storm will pick up some forward speed over the weekend, the rain may take several hours to move out of the Martinsville, Virginia, area, where the NASCAR First Data 500 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
As a result, delays to the start of the race are likely as crews work to dry the track, and it is not out of the question for the race to be postponed to Monday when it'll be much drier.
Despite the disruptions, the rain will help to continue to eat away at the abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions across the region. The pockets of severe drought in West Virginia and Maryland were wiped out by rain last weekend into early this past week, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed in their latest outlook released on Thursday, Oct. 24.
Early next week, no immediate surge of cool air will follow the rain, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Carl Babinski.
AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring a plunge of cold air in the North Central states next week, but its arrival in the Northeast may be delayed.
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