Tropical Storm Henri officially slogged ashore just after noon Sunday near Westerly, Conn., but its impacts, especially torrential rain, were felt well before then over a wide stretch of the Atlantic Coast. The slow-moving storm dumped a record 1.94 inches on Central Park between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday, crippled parts of the region’s transit system, and left numerous motorists stranded in their cars to be rescued by boat. Whole sections of numerous New Jersey towns, inundated by as much as 9 inches of rainfall, were forced to evacuate amidst rising floodwaters. More than 140,000 utility customers lost power due to the storm, fueled by ocean waters 7°F to 9°F warmer than usual in part because of climate change.
“Climate change loads the dice. It just makes everything a little more extreme,” Phil Klotzbach, an atmospheric scientist who grew up in eastern Massachusetts, told National Geographic. Henri, now downgraded to a tropical depression and “nearly stationary” about 60 miles north-northwest of New York City on Monday morning, is expected to continue dumping rain on the region and start moving east later today. (AP, AP, New York Times $, Washington Post $, ABC; Climate Connection: (National Geographic, Yale Climate Connections, WBUR; Landfall: CNN; New York City: New York Times $; New Jersey: NJ.com, CBS New York, ABC-Philadelphia, ABC-7NY, NJ.com, CBS3 Philly; Current status: CBS, CBS New York, Boston Globe $, CBS; Climate Signals background: Hurricanes, 2021 Atlantic hurricane season)