Hurricane Nicole made landfall as a category one hurricane on Florida’s Atlantic coast Thursday. Tropical moisture from that system heads toward the Valley Friday as a cold front approaches the region. The interaction between the two systems will lead to a wet end to the workweek with the potential for periods of heavier rain.

Will Hurricane Nicole produce heavy rain for Ohio and Pennsylvania?

This storm is expected to lift north through the Southeast United States and then move up the Appalachian Mountains on Friday.

Tropical moisture builds north with remnants of Hurricane Nicole.

Rain will develop in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania Friday morning. Rain remains likely through the day. Pockets of heavy rain are possible at times.

Tropical moisture from remnants of Hurricane Nicole will sweep through our region Friday.

The risk for heavier downpours will continue Friday afternoon and into the evening. It will take until the late evening, closer to midnight, for the showers to begin wrapping up.

How much rain is in the forecast for our region Friday?

This is going to be one of our heavier rain events in a while, likely the heaviest since Labor Day weekend for most of the area. The rain will start early Friday morning and end by Friday night.

Rainfall totals are likely to be more than an inch. The amount off rain will hinge on the speed of the storm as it moves through and whether you are in a location where pockets of moderate showers train, or repeatedly impact the same area, for an extended period of time. There will be plenty of tropical moisture in place to enhance the rainfall.

A look at the ECMWF (Euro) Model output for rainfall in our area through early Saturday morning.
A look at the GFS Model output for rainfall in our area through early Saturday morning.
A look at the NAM Model output for rainfall in our area through early Saturday morning.

The bottom line, we are very likely to see at least 1″ of rainfall. The expected range is more likely to be between 1.5″ – 2.5″ by early Saturday morning. Locally, pockets of around 3″+ will be possible.

Will the remnants of Hurricane Nicole cause flooding in the Youngstown area?

The flooding risk is pretty low but localized flooding isn’t entirely out of the question. That said, there are several factors that will help limit the risk for flooding in our area.

The lack of rainfall lately means creeks are running at lower levels and the ground is dry. The ground will be able to soak up a lot of water. Further, the rain will have deeper basins to drain into since water levels are running on the lower side.

Percent of normal rainfall over the last 30 days in our area. Locations below 100% are running lower than normal on rainfall. Locations near to above 100% are running near to above normal on rainfall. Notice most of our area is below normal.

On Thursday, November 10th the latest U.S. Drought monitor was released and continues to show parts of the Valley in the “abnormally dry” classification. Every update since late June has included at least a small portion of our viewing area in the pre-drought, “abnormally dry” classification.

US Drought Monitor released Thursday, Nov. 10th, showing a large part of of our viewing area still classified as “abnormally dry.”

The bottom line with this system is we are likely to see rainfall in the range of 1.5″ – 2.5″. Pockets of moderate to heavier rainfall can occur and lead to locally higher totals of around 3″+. Thankfully, recent dry weather will allow for a lot of water to be soaked into the ground or to run off into creeks, streams, and rivers. However, if we receive the higher end totals, ponding or localized flooding can occur. Another concern would be localized flooding due to clogged storm drains from fallen leaves and debris.

The storm could change speed and path

This system has the potential to produce heavy rain locally as it moves through. There is still the chance it could shift it’s track and draw the heavier rain a little further east of our area. However, the majority of the data coming in Thursday evening shows a swath of moderate to heavy rainfall impacting the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Friday.

After the storm moves through you can expect cooler temperatures and even snowflakes by the end of the weekend.