Unprecedented Rain Forecast

This is one of the most alarming rainfall forecasts I have ever seen.
Regardless of what Hurricane Joaquin may do (see below), this forecast requires preparation, especially in the amber (>7") areas. If this forecast is correct, the resulting flooding will last more than a week and will likely overwhelm FEMA and other assistance agencies. So, you will need to plan for yourself and your family. 

Here are preparation suggestions:
  • Plenty of extra cash.
  • A full tank of fuel for your vehicle.
  • Freshly refilled prescriptions.
  • Valuables gathered together so they can be quickly put into the trunk so you can leave quickly.
  • A place to go: A relative's home on high ground, a motel, a public shelter, etc. If you go to a hotel, have a reservation. You may wish to consider an "extended stay" type of hotel.
  • Be prepared to put valuable items you cannot take with you on top of tables, on the second floor, or in the attic to hopefully protect them from floodwaters. 
  • If you evacuate, turn off the gas, water and electricity.
With regard to Hurricane Joaquin, here is the latest graphic from AccuWeather.
There is little doubt the hurricane will intensify to at least 110 mph winds at some point along its path but it is impossible to say what the intensity will be at landfall (if it makes landfall) because there is still considerable disagreement in the computer models and other indicators. However, if you live in the dark gray area from Massachusetts to North Carolina, please monitor for future updates. 

Because of special weather balloons and other data gathering activities, I expect that, by this evening, we'll have a pretty good idea if it is going to make landfall in the U.S. Please check back. 


  1. Thank you. My daughter lives in Dewey Beach, DE . I haven't been following this weather event.

  2. Thank you. My daughter lives in Dewey Beach, DE . I haven't been following this weather event.

  3. Thanks, Mike!

    I have a problem: I'm unclear as to exactly when this forecast is for. Is your graphic a "totals through Sunday" forecast?

    Where I live isn't low-lying, but where I work is, and all routes there even more so.

    Should I be planning for a possible evacuation from work, and/or getting stuck there/in the area? On Friday? On Monday? "River flooding can be delayed after rain," I get that, but by how much? (Can't make a hotel reservation if I don't know for when.)

    I'm only in the Northeast, not the Middle Atlantic, so I'm not as concerned. I did bring a few days worth of my medications to the office just in case. But it seems more likely any flooding will keep me away from work rather than stuck there...or am I misunderstanding the forecast?

    BTW: I've commented here before about my weather radio that I could never get to work. I discovered the problem was that that model of weather radio (an Eton, I believe) *only accepts digital SAME*, and the local NWS stations--in both my former county *and* my current county in another state--use analog. So I replaced it with a new one that accepts analog SAME (a Midland WR-300).

    Anyway, thanks again for all your hard work!

    1. This is what we call a "storm total" forecast and it goes through Monday night.

      Unfortunately, it is impossible on a map, or on a blog, give the timing for every single city. So, I suggest going to AccuWeather.com and look up your specific area for the timing.

      Thank you for your comment.

    2. Totals through *Monday*, not Sunday, OK, thanks!

      That helps me decide that both Friday and the beginning of next week are times I should be prepared to potentially be stuck at work.

      ...and I've *been* checking AccuWeather. ;) But AccuWeather focuses so strongly on day-by-day predictions that it's hard to get a bigger picture. I wish they'd provide more regional writeups. They do some, but I wish they'd do more. As it is, they are so specific and you are so general that it can be hard for a layman to connect the two and make sense of the result.

      This writeup that went up today was helpful: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/how-will-joaquin-compare-to-superstorm-sandy-hurricane-isabelle-east-coast-impact-new-jersey-north-carolina/52693970

      I hope they'll keep doing writeups like that.

      I'll just make sure to keep at least a week's worth of medications with me. And I haven't forgotten that video you've posted before, from the dashcam of someone who drove into a flooded ditch! Thanks for posting it--I thought it was very useful in a "Here is how you can be tempted to try to drive through water that's actually dangerously deep; this is how it can look" kind of way. If I'm on my way home and come to a flooded road...I'll *turn around*. ;)

      Thanks again!

  4. It's all blown completely out of proportion by the media. Try the National Weather Service for a forecast a little more realistic! Reports of "a foot" of rain are hilarious. So far the NWS has nailed it.

    1. I guarantee some areas will get more than a foot of rain.

  5. I wonder if anyone remembers the October outlook, issued with a 0.5 month lead time. Well here it is:

    One word on the precip predictions for Mid-Atlantic and NE: OOPS.

  6. Great, I'm meant to drive from MA to MN this weekend. People should start paying me not to take trips! X


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