‘Significant’ Ida impacts forecast in NY, NJ; expect flash flooding, severe thunderstorms


NEW YORK — Tropical Depression Ida is now making its way toward the tri-state region and is expected to bring copious amounts of rain to the area. Flash flood watches have been issued starting Wednesday morning and will continue into Thursday. While showers are possible all day on Wednesday, it’s the nighttime when we will face the brunt of the storm. With the ground still recovering from the effects of Henri two weeks ago, it won’t take much rainfall for flooding to make a return for many rivers across northern New Jersey and other areas.

As of Tuesday evening, the center of Tropical Depression Ida was moving into Tennessee from Alabama, but was interacting with a frontal boundary well north in the Ohio Valley. That will bring showers well ahead of Ida into the tri-state region as soon as the early morning hours on Wednesday.

The latest forecast data suggests that after some early morning rain, the steadier showers will drift a little north into the Hudson Valley, leaving the city and points south with occasional showers throughout the day on Wednesday. The morning commute may end up being okay — it’s the evening commute that could be an issue. 

Wednesday night is when the entire region will be dealing with the brunt of Ida’s remnants. Tropical downpours will develop across the region with rainfall rates well in excess of 1 inch per hour throughout the night, and that will cause flash flooding on area roadways. Broadly speaking, the vast majority will get anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of rain.

In addition to the heavy downpours, the remnants of Ida could spin several tornados across the Mid-Atlantic states including South Jersey. That risk will decrease heading northward toward the city. 

While the wind itself won’t be too strong, it will still gust to over 30 mph at times. The winds, along with the saturated ground, could make it easier to bring down trees and possibly cause some scattered power outages. 

For now, coastal flooding does not seem to be a widespread issue. High tide will occur Wednesday night into Thursday morning, and there will be some high surf that could lead to beach erosion. For now, minor coastal flooding will be localized to the most vulnerable areas, but the National Weather Service acknowledges some concern for areas along Peconic Bay in eastern Long Island. A persistent easterly wind could pile water up along the shoreline for that part of the island. 

If there is any good news, it looks like the remnants of Ida will make a quick exit on Thursday morning. There will still be a few left-over showers especially for areas east of the city. Skies will clear out leaving us with a nice afternoon with highs in the 70s.

Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Sunday into Monday, creating mass power outages and major damage.

Most of Labor Day Weekend looks to be fine, with partly-to-mostly sunny skies. Only Sunday looks to be an issue, as a disturbance brings the chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Temperatures throughout the weekend will range from the mid-70s to lower 80s. 

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