Gale warnings in effect as big nor'easter begins march up East Coast

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather,
Gale warnings in effect as big nor'easter begins march up East Coast
Gale warnings are in effect along the coastline from South Carolina to Maine and storm warnings are in place along the North Carolina coast. Photo courtesy of NOAA

Nov. 16 (UPI) -- High winds, heavy surf and drenching rain began pounding part of the southern Atlantic coast on Friday, and some impacts from the big nor'easter will expand to the coastal Northeast through this weekend and into early next week.

Gale warnings are in effect along the coastline from South Carolina to Maine and storm warnings are in place along the North Carolina coast, which was recently battered by Hurricane Dorian.


After spreading rain eastward across the Deep South Friday night, the storm will strengthen along the Carolina coast while pivoting northeastward on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The difference in pressure between the strengthening storm and high pressure over the interior Northeast will create strong winds from the northeast and north.

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Then, a second storm will ride quickly on the nor'easter's heels, and it is forecast to take aim farther north and focus on the Northeast next week.

The strongest winds are likely from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the capes of Virginia, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. In this area, winds are expected to average 25 mph to 50 mph with an AccuWeather Local StormMax gust of 70 mph.


Winds of this strength can break tree limbs and cause sporadic power outages.

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The persistent strong winds will push ocean, bay and sound water to levels that are likely to cause coastal flooding.

Large waves that build from the persistent winds will be a threat to small craft and lead to beach erosion and may damage roads on the barrier islands, including North Carolina Route 12 which was damaged during Hurricane Dorian.

"The heaviest rain from the storm will fall along the coasts of North and South Carolina, where rainfall is anticipated to average 2-3 inches with an AccuWeather Local StormMax of 8 inches," AccuWeather meteorologist Clay Chaney said.

"While the rain will be beneficial in most areas of the Deep South and along the coast, too much can fall in coastal areas too fast and lead to urban style flooding," Chaney said.

The combination of wind and rain along the Carolina and Virginia coastline will create AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures in the upper 30s to the upper 40s.

In contrast, much of the weekend will be dry and sunny across the interior South, including around Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; and Roanoke, Va. Although some rain will fall into the start of Saturday over parts of Alabama, Georgia and the interior Carolinas.


Impact in mid-Atlantic, southern New England to be less severe, but significant

Enough wind, waves and above-normal tides are in store to cause significant chill, minor coastal flooding and some beach erosion from Maryland and Delaware to New Jersey, southeastern New York state and eastern Massachusetts from the storm.

Strong winds are forecast to create RealFeel Temperatures in the 20s and 30s along the coast much of the time.

Conditions including the risk of some rain will peak from late Saturday night to Sunday night over the Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey.

The rain is forecast to advance across eastern New York state and New England from late Sunday to Monday. Some areas of eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, could be thoroughly soaked by the storm on Monday.

As the storm tracks up the New England coast to start the work week, enough cold air will remain in place to change the rain into an icy mix in interior portions of the Northeast. This could lead to some icy spots for the morning commute Monday in southern New England.

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