Friday, March 7, 2014
Heavy rain continue to spread north overnight. Already flood warnings are in effect for almost all of southern New England. Here in Maine we have flood watches for mostly street and small stream flooding. This map shows areas in green that currently have a flood watch. I don’t expect widespread river flooding from this system. By tomorrow afternoon the rain will be over and skies will partially clear. We should see anywhere from 2-3 inches of rain with some isolated 4 inch amounts possible away from the coast. The image below is radar loop that shows the edge of the steadiest rain just entering southern Maine. The rain is steadies and heaviest from Portland south along the coast, but will be increasing in intensity statewide this evening.
Normal rainfall for June is just over 3 inches so we are looking at about a month’s worth of rain in twenty-four hours. While this is certainly a healthy amount of water, it’s not going to cause widespread flooding.
The storm is moving quite quickly so we won’t see a repeat of October 1996 when a week of heavy rain cause widespread flooding and shut down the Maine Turnpike or June 1998 when nearly a foot of rain fell parts of southern Maine. Nonetheless, there will be street and urban flooding and if you have a basement prone to flooding during heavy rain you should check your sump pumps and other forms of drainage. If you are on the highways this evening and overnight, the rain may come down hard enough at times to make driving very difficult.
Another spot water can collect is around and in window wells. Last fall I had water pouring in the basement because the drainage in the window had become clogged with dirt and leaves and had not place to go besides inside.
Wind isn’t going to be an issue with this event. This is good because it means the rain won’t be driven against the house. Wind driven rain has a way of finding its way into places it doesn’t belong.
It might be too late to do this by the time you read this, but you could throw some seed down in any bare spots on the lawn. The caveat is you must scratch the surface of the soil and not be on a slope where the rain will just wash it away. Because the weather looks quite unsettled the next week you will have additional chances to do this.
Our current heavy rain is being caused by a frontal system that is picking up the rains from Andrea's remnants. As I wrote yesterday, the rain is over early Saturday morning and I expect skies to brighten and pockets of sunshine to develop. Today it will remain cool with temperatures only in the middle to upper 50s. Tomorrow as the sun breaks out our high temperatures should rebound well into the 60s. Sunday is the best of the two days with highs in the 70s. There is still the risk of an isolated shower for Sunday afternoon, but most of you remain dry.
If you are headed to the beach this weekend it will turn brighter and drier throughout Saturday. Water temperatures are still running in the upper 50s and lower 60s so swimming is still a bit challenging for most.
Gardening this week You might not know it, but a disease that is affecting impatiens is going to be a problem again later this summer. This bacteria, which came over from Europe two years ago is now in over 30 states. I recommend not planting impatiens as the spores are airborne and likely will kill your plants later in July and early August just as they are looking great. I did a video on some alternatives to them here. Check it out.
I'll be updating the forecast throughout the week on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.Tweet
David Epstein has been a meteorologist for more than 25 years. He spent 16 years in Boston and currently freelances at WGME13 in Portland.
In 2006, David founded GrowingWisdom.com, a business producing educational and marketing videos for the green industry. He currently is a professor at Framingham State College, teaches Jan Plan at Colby College and owns Bloomscapes Inc., a landscape design business.
David authored "Gardens Of New England" and his work has been published in Grolier's Science Annual for 10 years. He lives in South Natick, Mass., and has a summer home in Harpswell.