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Gordon's remnants could bring heavy rainfall, flooding to WNY early next week

The remnants of Hurricane Gordon, which made landfall along the Gulf Coast earlier this week as a tropical storm, could impact Western New York later this weekend and into early next week, according to National Weather Service forecasters.

Precipitation estimates by the federal Weather Prediction Center show that rainfall totals could exceed 2.5 inches between 8 a.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday across much of the southern half of Western New York with even heavier amounts expected to the southwest in places like Chautauqua County. Decreasing totals are forecast to the north, however, 2 inches is expected in Buffalo and as much as 1.25 inches of rain is possible along the southern shores of Lake Ontario, federal forecast maps show.

Forecasters at the weather service office in Buffalo said Gordon's remnants are forecast to merge with a frontal zone over the mid-Mississippi Valley and slowly track into the Ohio Valley by Sunday.

Then, atmospheric conditions will further ripen as the system approaches, placing Western New York in a favored spot for heavy precipitation.

"Abundant moisture will be available given the tropical origins of the remnants of Gordon," the weather service said. "Flooding may become a concern by late Sunday night, and especially Monday, with 2 to 3-plus inches of rain a possibility."

It added: "We can likely handle a few inches of rain, but if rainfall amounts approach or exceed 3 inches, flooding would become more likely."

Federal forecasters at the Weather Prediction Center expect the heaviest precipitation to be across eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and "far southwest New York."

"Rain rates of 2 inches per hour could occur as training north of the system may unfold," the Weather Prediction Center said.

The center of what's now Tropical Depression Gordon remained in central Arkansas as of this morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At least one death was blamed on the storm when a tree was blown down onto a trailer in Pensacola, Fla., according to a report by the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang.

Tropical Depression Gordon is expected to track up through the Mississippi and Ohio valleys into the Great Lakes by early next week. (National Hurricane Center)


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