NOAA COURTESY PHOTO | A forecast of rain totals across the East Coast over the next three days.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea, the first named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, will begin to hit Long Island Thursday night, with heavy rain expected to soak the North Fork with up to four inches of rain Friday into Saturday, weather experts said.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood watch in effect from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon.
Andrea is currently about 110 miles west of Tampa, Fla. with sustained winds up to 60 mph, said Brian Ciemnecki, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in Upton. The storm is traveling northeast at about 15 miles per hour, but will likely pick up speed over the next few hours and reach the North Fork beginning late Thursday.
The storm is expected to be downgraded from a tropical storm, but still poses flooding concerns for the area, he said.
“As it gets up here it’s really not going to be a tropical storm,” Mr. Ciemnecki said. “But it will bring up some tropical moisture up here.”
The heavy rain caused by the remains of Andrea is the biggest risk for Long Island; the storm is predicted to dump between three to four inches over the next two days, with the heaviest rain coming Friday afternoon into the overnight hours, forecasts show.
By Saturday morning, Andrea will be moving out of the area, with drier conditions beginning in the afternoon, he said.
Andrea marks the beginning of what’s expected to be an “active to extremely active” hurricane season this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s season prediction released on May 23.
The season began on June 1, and weather experts believe there is a “70 percent likelihood” there will be between 13 to 20 named storms with winds above 39 mph.
The NOAA predicts seven to 11 of those storms will become hurricanes, including three to five major hurricanes with winds exceeding 111 mph, according to the forecast.
Those predictions fall well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.