Nor’easter expected to bring rain, strong winds to Kent, Sussex counties

DOVER – The impending nor’easter that is supposed to hit Delaware this afternoon into Thursday has brought with it a couple of hazardous weather outlooks – including a wind advisory and a coastal flood warning – for Kent and Sussex counties from the National Weather Service (TWS).

The NWS has issued a wind advisory from 4 p.m. this afternoon until 1 a.m. Thursday, along with a coastal flood warning that will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

Meteorologists from the NWS after calling for a 100-percent chance of rain after noon in Kent and Sussex counties with a high temperature near 45 degrees. Little or no snow accumulation is expected.

The rain, and possibly a thunderstorm before 1 a.m., is anticipated to continue into early Thursday morning and some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. The low temperature for tonight is expected to be 31 degrees and there will be blustery winds, with gusts as high as 40 mph. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

The NWS is called for partly sunny skies on Thursday with a high near 38 degrees. It will remain breezy, with a north wind at 10 to 20 mph.

The wind advisory includes the areas Delaware beaches and Kent and inland Sussex County, including the cities and towns of Dover, Georgetown and Rehoboth Beach.

NWS meteorologists are expecting winds from the northeast at 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph, from 4 this afternoon until 1 a.m. Thursday.

The gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects and tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

There is also a coastal flood warning in effect from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Thursday in Kent County. The NWS is forecasting one to one-and-a-half feet of inundation above ground level expected in low-lying areas near shorelines and tidal waterways.

At this level, widespread roadway flooding occurs in coastal and bayside communities and along inland tidal waterways. Many roads become impassable. Some damage to vulnerable structures may begin to occur.

The most significant impacts are expected to occur during the high tide Thursday morning, when high end minor to moderate flooding is forecast. However, minor flooding cannot be ruled out for the Wednesday evening high tide.

People are advised to not drive their vehicles through flood waters. The water may be deeper than it appears. Individuals will be putting themselves in danger and their vehicles may be damaged, leading to costly repairs.

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is preparing for the storm system that has the potential to bring a combination of snow, ice, rain, flooding, and high winds to the state.

DelDOT began brining roads across New Castle County on Tuesday as the storm is expected to begin as snow in that part of the state. As of mid-day, Kent and Sussex are expected to primarily see heavy rains.

The storm has the potential to bring the largest snowfall to the state since March 2018. DelDOT will be providing updates on conditions throughout the storm, and reminds motorists of the following tips for driving in wintry conditions:

  • Use low beam headlights to increase visibility to other vehicles on road
  • Slow down and adapt driving to the conditions
  • A road that appears wet could actually be ice
  • Don’t crowd the plow as DelDOT crews work to clear roads – keep several car lengths distance from plows
  • It takes longer and further to stop on snow- and ice-covered roads

During any wintry weather event, DelDOT works to clear primary roads before working on secondary and local roads. DelDOT’s snow-plow tracker will be active during the storm and is available on www.deldot.gov and the free DelDOT mobile app. In addition, the department has nearly 200 cameras statewide that are available to monitor travel conditions.