Ida will bring massive amounts of rain to our area through midnight tonight. A steady morning rainfall will turn into a driving rainstorm during the afternoon and evening. Several inches of rain are expected through this evening and that will lead to flash flooding along with streams and creeks rising quickly through the day and tonight.
The main concern is obviously flooding and flash flooding throughout the day. 4-8″ of rain in that short of a time frame is always problematic. Waterways will rise very fast, some roadways may be covered, and basements will take on water. At this point, the Susquehanna River is not expected to flood, but go just above action stage on Friday and then recede. The storm is also trending faster and will likely start to wrap up late this evening and be gone just after midnight in our eastern counties.
The one other threat today will be severe thunderstorms and tornados, mainly southeast of Harrisburg. This is an area with spin in the atmosphere due to Ida’s dynamics. This storm has a history of producing supercell thunderstorms that contain brief tornadoes. It is certainly possible the due to the environment today over our southeastern counties, some tornados are possible. We will be watching things develop and keep you posted.
The good news is that by tomorrow morning, it will be cool, comfortable, dry, and sunny. As ugly as today will be, tomorrow looks perfectly pleasant. Bring it on!
-Meteorologist Brett Thackara