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Coastal low to bring heavy rain, gusty winds, severe weather, and snow to parts of the East Coast

Your Christmas week and the first week of winter are shaping up to be active across parts of the Southeast. An upper-level system moving across the Mid-South will allow for an area of low pressure to ramp up in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 24 hours. This low pressure will be non-tropical but will bring impacts to parts of the Southeast Tuesday and to parts of New England Wednesday as it races northeast.

This area of low pressure will first impact Florida, southern Alabama, southern and central Georgia tonight into Tuesday. Eventually spreading impacts into the Carolinas later in the day on Tuesday. The main impacts will be periods of heavy rainfall and some gusty winds for these areas with a low-end severe weather risk for Florida on Tuesday.

There is a marginal severe risk (level 1 of 5) for Florida on Tuesday as this low pressure approaches, eventually moving across the peninsula of Florida. As this happens, isolated tornadoes and damaging wind gusts are possible. Most storms will remain below severe levels but one or two could become severe. There’s also the possibility of waterspouts off the west coast of the Florida peninsula.

Tuesday severe threat

The most widespread impacts will be heavy rain for northern Florida, southern Georgia, and coastal parts of the Carolinas. This is where 1-3 inches of rain will fall on Tuesday. While heavy rain is expected, the flood threat is low due to the quick movement of the low pressure.

Rain forecast through Tuesday
Rain forecast through Tuesday

This low pressure will be fast-moving and depart the coast of the Carolinas late Tuesday, skirting well off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic early Wednesday. There are some questions on the exact track of the low. Models had suggested the low would be well offshore but some recent trends have pulled the track farther west (closer to the coast). This could spread more impacts into coastal parts of New England and Maine on Wednesday as the low eventually moves into the Gulf of Maine late Wednesday.

This region can expect rough seas, coastal gales, coastal rain or possibly a light wintry mixture, and areas of heavy snow in parts of Maine as the low gathers strength. It appears the track will allow for eastern Maine to see several inches of snow late Wednesday as the low tracks across the Gulf of Maine, interacting with cold air. Keep in mind a track farther east would diminish the impacts for New England and Maine, while a track farther west would increase the impacts. The track will continue to be ironed out over the next 12 hours.

Wind forecast Wednesday
Snow forecast through Wednesday