In the New York City area, 3-5 inches of rainfall was expected, according to Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean.
In addition to heavy rainfall, the National Weather Service (NWS) said in a Tuesday update that flash floods were a concern for much of the Northeast and that a slight risk of excessive rainfall is in effect for northern New Jersey into southern New England.
With both heavy rainfall and high winds due to a tightening pressure gradient north of the system, it warned that weather for travelers would be “hazardous.”
“A pair of low pressure waves will consolidate into a single nor’easter off of the New Jersey coast today. This system will batter much of the Northeast with high winds, scattered thunderstorms and heavy rainfall until Wednesday evening when the nor’easter will move well enough offshore to end its impacts on the Northeast,” the NWS Weather Prediction Center wrote.
A person secures their plastic poncho while walking in Manhattan during a nor’easter in New York, U.S. October 26, 2021. (Reuters/Caitlin Ochs)
People hold umbrellas while crossing the street during a nor’easter in New York, U.S. October 26, 2021. (Reuters/Caitlin Ochs)
A person is seen wearing a raincoat during a nor’easter in New York, U.S. October 26, 2021. (Reuters/Caitlin Ochs)
A nor’easter is formed along the East Coast and named after the direction from which the strongest winds typically blow over the Northeast states, with storms typically bringing wind, snow, rain and flooding.
Past nor’easters have been responsible for billions of dollars of damage and attain maximum intensity near New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“The U.S. East Coast provides an ideal breeding ground for nor’easters. During winter, the polar jet stream transports cold Arctic air southward across the plains of Canada and the United States, then eastward toward the Atlantic Ocean where warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic tries to move northward,” the administration wrote in a post on its website. “The warm waters of the Gulf Stream help keep the coastal waters relatively mild during the winter, which in turn helps warm the cold winter air over the water. This difference in temperature between the warm air over the water and cold Arctic air over the land is the fuel that feeds nor’easters.”
So, what should you do when a nor’easter strikes?
If you’re outside and caught in the storm, find shelter and try to stay dry and cover all exposed body parts, exercise or build a lean-to, windbreak or snow cave and fire for heat.
If you must drive during a storm, do so cautiously, never drive into floodwaters and make sure to slow down, as the NWS reports that more than 5,000 fatalities occur on the roadways each year due to weather conditions.
If your property is in a flood-prone or high-risk area, unplug appliances to prevent electrical shock when power comes back on, tie down or bring outdoor items inside and turn off gas, power and water when power lines are down, water is in your home or before you evacuate.
In colder climates, make sure your vehicle is clear of snow or ice before starting out and let someone know where you are going and the route you will take.
Don’t leave the house without a fully charged mobile phone, car charger and emergency supplies kits.
Pull over if you are having trouble seeing due to weather conditions.
If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal and never pump the brakes on an ABS-equipped vehicle.
If your car gets stuck during a storm, stay in the vehicle and run the motor for about 10 minutes each hour for heat.
Make sure to open the window while running the motor to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and clear snow from the exhaust pipe to avoid gas poisoning.
Be visible for rescuers by turning on the dome light at night or tying a bright-colored cloth – preferably red – to your antenna or door.
If you’re inside and caught in the storm, stay inside, close off unneeded rooms to avoid wasting heat, stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors, close blinds or curtains to keep in some heat, wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight and warm clothing and eat and drink to provide the body with energy for producing its own heat.
Use safeguards and properly ventilate when using heat from a fireplace, space heater or wood stove and make sure gas furnaces are not blocked by a snowdrift.
Lastly, follow local radio or TV updates and other alerts.