The winter weather storm that's set to wallop the Northeast is a combination of two fronts: a rainy weather system coming up from the mid-Atlantic and a cold snow system coming off the Great Lakes. It's already dumping heavy snow on the states near the Great Lakes as it makes it way toward the heavily populated northeast United States, the National Weather Service said.
The worst snowfall is predicted in southern New England, from eastern Massachusetts to Maine, creating white-out conditions. Airports are closing, and thousands of flights are canceled. Blizzard warnings are in effect for most of the Northeast coastal communities from New Jersey north to the Canadian border in Maine.
A major storm system that spawned several tornadoes across the South on Tuesday and Wednesday is moving up the East Coast, bringing torrential rain widespread flooding the Northeast.
Ground stops were in effect for New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports due to low clouds and heavy rain. Flight delays of more than four hours were also reported at New Jersey's Newark airport Wednesday afternoon. Flight delays over one hour were also being reported at New York's Teterboro and Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.
A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning remained in effect Friday night for Honduras from the Nicaragua/Honduras border westward to Limon, Honduras and the Bay Islands.
A hurricane watch means that hurricane-force winds are possible, and is usually issued 48 hours in advance of tropical-storm-force winds.
Tropical Storm Richard was slowly beginning to shift toward the west on Friday morning after being nearly stationary in the southwestern Caribbean since it formed on Thursday.
Satellite imagery indicated that the storm was beginning to become more organized and strengthen. However, a hurricane hunter aircraft investigating the storm on Friday morning was unable to find stronger winds, so Richard remains a minimal tropical storm with sustained winds of 45 mph with higher gusts.
Richard is now moving slowly toward the west at 5 mph. A west-to-northwest motion at an increasing forward speed is expected over the next couple of days, the National Hurricane Center said. The current forecast track from the Hurricane Center shows Richard approaching the coast of northeastern Honduras late Saturday.
Richard is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of three to five inches over northern Honduras with isolated higher amounts of up to seven inches. Accumulations of this amount could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, forecasters said.
Tropical Storm Richard has formed off the coast of Central America, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday.
The upgrade came after data from a U.S. Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft investigating Tropical Depression Nineteen on Thursday morning found tropical-storm-force winds.
Tropical Storm Richard is the 17th named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.
The storm is moving toward the southeast at 6 mph. However, an area of high pressure that is steering the system over the Caribbean will begin to build and shift westward. This will cause the storm to turn toward the west and then northwest later today. The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center shows Richard making landfall on Sunday evening south of Cozumel on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Life-threatening flash flooding is occurring in the Cape Fear region of southeastern North Carolina.
Wilmington, North Carolina, set an all-time 3-day rainfall total today, according to the National Weather Service. With additional rain in the forecast, September 2010 could become the wettest September on record in Wilmington. Records in Wilmington, North Carolina date back to 1871.
The 3-day, all-time record (recorded since Monday) is 19.66 inches. That shatters the old record of 19.06 inches set from September 14 through September 16, 1999, during Hurricane Floyd.