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Northeast drivers may get wet roads for early Christmas present

December 20, 2018 2:22 PM
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New York, Washington and the rest of the East Coast will get soaked with heavy rain through Saturday, just as travellers hit the road for Christmas.

“It’s an impressive storm that’s developing today,” said Patrick Burke, a lead forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. “It’s going to deliver a widespread 1 to 8 centimetres of rain across the entire Eastern Seaboard from Florida to Maine Thursday into Friday.”

Mild temperatures mean the storm will be all rain, not snow, for big cities along the Interstate 95 corridor, along with gusty winds that may delay flights during a peak travel period. As much as 8 centimetres will fall on ground already soaked from repeated storms, adding to potential flooding problems. Temperatures may get as high as 16 Celsius in New York, 17 in Washington and 15 in Boston.

This has already been the rainiest year on record in Washington and Baltimore. Dulles International Airport in Virginia has already had more than 162 centimetres and may reach a new all-time high, Burke said.

The Passaic River at Pine Brook, New Jersey, is forecast to rise more than a foot through Saturday, almost reaching moderate flood stage, the National Weather Service said. The Potomac in Washington and the Hudson at Poughkeepsie may get minor flooding.


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