State of emergency: Severe weather heads for NY, NJ with fall nor’easter; NWS issues watches, warnings


Torrential downpours and gusty winds are on the way as the city braces for the first nor’easter of the season.

Flood watches have been posted for the entire region. Long Island and the Connecticut shoreline has been issued a coastal flood advisory. Plus, a wind advisory has been posted for Eastern Long Island.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy both declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

A number of schools around the region will be closed Tuesday. For a full list, click here.

While October 2021 has been a relatively quiet month with very little rainfall and warm temperatures, that is going to change very quickly during this last full week of the month.

A few widely scattered showers will develop Monday evening. We will have to wait until the overnight hours when the storm gets rolling. Once the heavy downpours develop, it will continue into Tuesday morning and effectively make AM rush a nightmare. Rainfall rates in excess of 2 inches per hour could easily cause flash flooding on area roadways. 

The latest forecast models indicate the possibility of a lull Tuesday afternoon for parts of the region, otherwise the rain will continue. While the rain is not expected to be as intense during this period, it could still cause additional headaches for the evening commute. We should start finally see the rain taper off Tuesday night and into early Wednesday morning. Rainfall amounts will be impressive. A good chuck of the tri-state region could see totals of 3 to 4 inches, with some spots even exceeding 5 inches. While flash flooding will be a good threat, the rivers are running low due to what has been a very dry October. As a result, long term river flooding like what we saw from Ida’s remnants does not look to be an issue with this storm. 

In addition to the torrential downpours, the area of low pressure off the shore will intensify and cause the winds to kick up. During the day on Tuesday, winds could gust 30 to 40 mph across the entire region. Late in the afternoon and into the evening when the storm make’s is closest pass offshore, winds along Eastern Long Island could approach 50 mph and cause scattered power outages.

Regardless of being in an advisory area or not, it is best to secure any lightweight items in the yard as it will easily be impressed by the gusty winds. 

That strong onshore wind will also cause the water to pile up along the shore. Coastal flood advisories have been posted for the south shore of Long Island as well as the entire coastline surrounding Long Island Sound. Tides are expected to run 1 to 2 feet above normal causing minor to locally moderate flooding at high tide. That high tide will occur roughly between Tuesday midday and afternoon.

In terms of temperature, it will be a cool period. Temperatures will slowly trail down to around 60 degrees by Tuesday morning and it will hover in the upper 50s to around 60 degrees during the whole day. 

The sun will return on Wednesday, however as the storm continues to intensify off the coast of New England, it will still be a windy day. Temperatures will be likely hold at around 60 degrees in the afternoon.

Thursday looks like a pleasant day with sunny skies and temperatures at around 60 degrees.

On Friday, the next storm system will approach bringing more rain starting late on Friday and possibly linger into Saturday morning. Temperatures will be in the upper 50s to lower 60s on Friday and Saturday. 

The good news is that the storm should clear out by Halloween. Expect partly cloudy skies with highs in the lower 60s.

Nor’easter Timeline

Monday evening: Scattered showers develop.
Overnight: Steadier rain develops, with heavier downpours expected toward daybreak.
Tuesday morning: Flooding downpours, gusty winds approaching 30 mph. Coastal flooding develops across the south shore of Long Island during the late morning hours. 
Tuesday afternoon: While there may be a break, expect rain to continue. It won’t be as heavy as during the morning. The winds will also kick up, gusting toward 50 mph along the east end. Coastal flooding will continue for the south shore of Long Island and develop along the Long Sound shoreline. 
Tuesday night: The rain will taper will finally taper off for good late in the evening or overnight, but the winds will continue to gust. 
Wednesday: The sun returns, but it remains windy with gusts at 30 to 40 mph. Eventually the winds should diminish by Wednesday night. 

The week ahead

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Monday night through Tuesday afternoon. There is a chance that could be upgraded as the nor’easter gets closer to the region.

The storm will come in two parts. The first beginning after sunset Monday, lasting into Tuesday morning. Rain will be heavy at times, with gusty winds.

Another round of storms will get underway after about 3 p.m. on Tuesday and will continue through early Wednesday morning. 

Wednesday will be mostly cloudy and windy as the storm system slowly drifts away from the area. Temperatures will be cooler with highs in the upper 50s for much of the area.

Thursday will be mostly sunny and milder as high pressure system will move through the region. The high temperature will be around 60 degrees.

Friday will be partly sunny early followed by increasing clouds in the afternoon. An area of low pressure will gradually move in from the west, bringing rain late in the day. The high temperature will be around 58 degrees in the city and in the upper 50s in the suburbs.


The transit system is built to run through most storms.

But recently, a lot of rain water falling quickly has brought parts to a standstill.

MTA crews are already at work to clear drains and check pumps. The leaders have deployed teams to more areas and 50 key locations including Uptown and around 149th Street in the Bronx.

MTA officials want the public to know they’re ready for anything.

Around the area

Anxious New Yorkers were worried about flooding.

It’s been less than two months since Hurricane Ida produced deadly and destructive flooding. And in Hollis, Queens, some residents are still recovering. 

“The city said it was going to drop sandbags for us. We are still waiting. We have to block up all the doors, all the windows,” Alex Mooklal said. His home at 90th Avenue and 183rd Street sustained major flooding during the hurricane — and two neighbors died in a basement apartment. 

While this nor’easter is expected to produce several inches of rain and gusty wind, flooding is nothing new for Howard Beach, Queens. The community is surrounded by water.

Richie Soriano tied up his boat and put away deck furniture. He expects the streets to fill with water during high tide. 

“If you live by the water, you’ve got to deal with it,” he said.

Ida’s deadly flooding put the city and state on alert. While this nor’easter isn’t expected to be as bad, officials said they want people to pay attention to the weather, listen for alerts and stay safe.

“If you see an area that looks flooded, you are out walking or driving in an area that looks like it has become flooded, please exercise caution,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “The best option is to turn back and find another route.”

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