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Flash Flooding Hits The Northeast Saturday

1 Jul 2017, 6:51 pm

Thunderstorms rolling across the Northeast brought flash flooding from upstate New York to New England.  As much as three to four inches of rain fell resulting in water rescues, washed out roads, and new rainfall records.

An image captured by New York’s Department of Transportation of the flooding in Utica, NY. Utica saw the flooding in the middle part of Saturday and that heavy rain then moved east.
A glimpse at 24 hour rain totals as of Saturday evening. Note many of the rain gauges show little to no rain, but those bands of rain in yellows show 1-2″ and higher amounts under the heaviest of the storms.
Individual rainfall reports within that larger map above show the localized downpours that fell Saturday. This rainfall report was as of Saturday evening.

Other parts of the country can handle this rainfall, however once you get into the hillier and mountainous terrain of upstate New York and interior New England, that water falls from the sky and runs down into the valleys, where it collects, and causes that rapid rise of water known as flash flooding.  Also before these storms hit Saturday, the Northeast was running higher than average on rainfall and the ground was already more saturated.  Thus it did not take all that much rain to produce flooding.

The past 30 days’ worth of rainfall data shows areas in green and blue have received more than normal rainfall while yellow areas show drier locations.

To put the rainfall we saw Saturday into perspective, all you have to look at is Glens Falls, NY:

Glens Falls, NY was under a tornado warning at one point Saturday. The airport climate site received more than three inches of rain on Saturday alone, breaking the daily rainfall record of 0.73″ set in 1946 and nearly reaching the average rainfall for the entire month!

A snapshot of the flood reports as of Saturday evening, noted in green dots.
Sunday’s thunderstorm outlook shows far quieter weather than Saturday, however a few more storms may pop up.
Monday’s thunderstorm outlook shows a return of thunderstorms especially in southern New England.

Flash flooding remains a concern through early Sunday morning for the Northeast.  Much of the heaviest of the rain has finished, however a few leftover storms may still cross the area through about sunrise Sunday.  Thus any storm producing heavy rainfall may result in some flooding or flash flooding.  Remember to turn around, don’t drown.  That’s the motto we here at WeatherNation preach, along with our colleagues at the National Weather Service.

For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier


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