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Willa is not done yet — Nor’Easter forecast for East Coast

The National Hurricane Center has officially ended its updates on what was once Category 5 Hurricane Willa, describing the storm as “remnants” of Willa, now moving in a northeasterly direction at 28 mph (44 kph).

The remnants of the storm has maximum sustained winds of near 25 mph (35 kph) with higher gusts. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 mb (29.77 inches). However, the National Weather Service is now saying computer models are in agreement on the first nor’easter of the season this weekend in the Mid-Atlantic region.

As Willa moves out of Mexico, heading toward the Atlantic Coast, the storm is expected to dump an additional 4 inches of rainfall on Texas as it heads across the country, dumping about 2 inches or so of rain on the Gulf Coast as it passes.

Texas is already under threat from flooding. Parts of Texas will receive an additional 1-3 inches of rain through Wednesday night. However, central and eastern portions of the state, including San Antonio, Austin and College Station, could be hit with another 6 inches of rain, according to AccuWeather today.

“The downpours will expand eastward along the central Gulf Coast by Wednesday and Thursday, and eventually target areas of the Florida Panhandle and Georgia that were ravaged by powerful Hurricane Michael,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.

Nor’easter headed to Mid-Atlantic states
As Willa leaves Mexico and drops its hurricane status, it will be taking an abundance of energy and moisture with it as it charges into Texas. And this is where the transformation from a tropical cyclone to a nor’easter begins.

There are several “ingredients” already in place to add to the recipe for creating the new storm – “Atmospheric blocking” has pushed a bunch of cold air south from Canada, resulting in a colder than normal weather pattern across the Northeast. This weather pattern allows disturbances to amplify off the Southeast coast.

And as one disturbance grows in strength, so to will it strengthen what is left of Willa. But this won’t be a typical nor’easter, because of Willa. In a classical nor’easter, an area of low pressure hugs the coast and moves northeast, continuing to strengthen.

But with Willa involved, the warmer temperatures will just about assure us of a rain event, and not snow, as is usually typical in a classic nor’easter. The worst weather will be from Virginia to Maine. “At this time, it looks like this storm will bring a general 1-2 inches of rain and a period of 40- to 50-mph wind gusts to the coast,” according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dave Dombek.

Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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