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NEW YORK (Reuters) - An obstinate storm hugging the mid-Atlantic region in recent weeks is now embracing the Northeast, where relentless rain predicted through the weekend touched off flash flood warnings on Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings throughout the Catskill Mountains in New York, and parts of northeastern Pennsylvania, where flash flood watches were also issued for huge swaths surrounding Scranton, as well as large areas of western New York, including the cities of Binghamton, Syracuse, Utica and Oneonta.

Persistent heavy rains led streams and rivers over their banks across northeastern Pennsylvania and the Catskills region of New York, said meteorologist Bill Deger on Accuweather.com.

"More than three inches of rain are again possible today over a short amount of time in spots across the Northeast," Deger said.

Wet weather was predicted throughout the Northeast through Sunday, when temperatures were also expected to turn colder. The season's first snow showers were predicted for high ground in the Appalachians, according to senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski of Accuweather.com.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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