May 16, 2011: Storm Brings 4+ Inches Of Rain

Note: The 5-Day Forecast page was updated tonight. An update will be posted tomorrow morning as well.


As rain and thunderstorms fell to the north and south of the area today, staying nearly stationary, today brought mainly cloudy skies to the area. Temperatures ended up significantly busting, however, as the NAM, which was the coldest model compared to the others, ended up being correct with high temperatures in the 50s during the middle of the day across the area. Conditions were mainly dry today other than some scattered showers, though locally heavy thunderstorms affected western NJ and Orange County, NY, bringing the total rainfall from the storm so far to an average of 1.5 to 3 inches of rain in these areas.

The worst has yet to come, however, as tomorrow and Wednesday will bring more widespread heavy rainfall. Thursday will be drier, though occasional showers and storms will persist through the weekend, which will be followed by much warmer temperatures, likely bringing NYC’s temperatures into the upper 70s and 80s for the first time this month next week.

Tomorrow And Wednesday: 2-4+ Inches Of Rain Expected

As mentioned over the last several days, with the low pressure expected to stall near North Carolina and southern Virginia, it will pull in a lot of Atlantic moisture into the region, producing heavy rainfall from Washington DC to Connecticut, with the heaviest rain modeled to affect the NYC area.

The exact rain amounts, however, are tricky to determine with this storm. Unlike typical fall and winter rain storms, where the heaviest amounts usually cover a widespread area, the highest amounts with this storm will be in isolated locations as the storm produces widespread areas of rain and thunderstorms, capable of producing heavy downpours. A general 2 to 4 inches of rain are expected across the area over the next 2 days, though some areas will see less rain than expected while others see more than expected, especially west of NYC, where rain amounts may locally get as high as 5-6 inches.

With the given scenario, the exact timing of the rain cannot be nailed down, however rain is expected to spread into the area late tonight, with occasional moderate to heavy rain lasting through tomorrow and Wednesday. The heaviest rainfall is shown to be on Tuesday night at this time, with some models showing another round of heavy rain and thunderstorms on Wednesday night. The cloud cover, rain and onshone wind will help keep chilly temperatures in place, with tomorrow’s high temperatures expected to be in the mid 50s to lower 60s and slightly warmer temperatures on Wednesday.

Thursday And Beyond: Warmth Returns, Rain Continues Early On

As the cut off low begins to exit the region, Thursday and Friday are expected to bring scattered showers and thunderstorms to the region. Some of these storms will be capable of producing locally heavy rainfall, but rain won’t be anywhere near as heavy as it will be tomorrow and on Wednesday. Temperatures will warm up as well, reaching the upper 60s to lower 70s from NYC and further west. With drying conditions next weekend, temperatures will continue to warm up, and next week, ahead of the next potential rain maker, temperatures are likely to reach the upper 70s and potentially the 80s, making this the first time NYC has reached the 80 degree mark this month.

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