By James M. Arnold, Weather Specialist
Region – Well, we finally have some interesting weather on our horizon. The combination of very warm and humid tropical air in place, an approaching cold front and the remnants of Hurricane Barry will result in some very heavy showers and thunderstorms for most of southern New England over the next 48 hours. In addition, some of the thunderstorms have the potential to become strong to severe with their major threats being very heavy rain and strong to damaging straight line winds.
Convection is already firing across our three northern states and will move into southern New England later this afternoon, reaching the Shrewsbury area likely during the late afternoon or early evening, the coastal plain around dark and the Cape and islands before midnight. Showers and thunderstorms are likely throughout the day Thursday and into the night, with the possibility of showers lingering into Friday morning due to additional moisture flowing in from the ocean thanks to a developing onshore flow.
While there is the distinct threat of strong to damaging straight line winds in the strongest of the thunderstorms, the bigger threat in my mind is the excessive rainfall likely to occur over some areas. It appears that the heaviest rain will be along and to the south of the Mass Pike, but this could expand a bit to the north. When all is said and done, a general rainfall of 1 to 2 inches looks likely across much of southern New England, with some isolated pockets of up to and a bit more than 3 inches possible. Some scattered instances of local urban and street flooding is almost assured and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the National Weather Service issue Flash Flood or Areal Flood statements as this event draws closer. Check out the attached European Model (Courtesy of WeatherBell.com) rainfall estimates for our area…quite impressive!
Keep up-to-date with local forecasts on your NOAA weather radio, your local radio and TV outlets and any other sources you may use on line in order to be prepared for whatever may be coming your way.
This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week. Click HERE to be taken to the National Weather Service Hurricane Preparedness site where you can find all sorts of information regarding ways to protect your life and property in the event a hurricane threatens our area. It is well worth visiting this site and reviewing your plans for the approach of a tropical storm or hurricane. A lot of this information is also applicable for other weather related events as well.
James M. Arnold is a retired Weather Specialist who worked with the Shrewsbury Emergency Management Agency; town of Princeton; Worcester Emergency Communications and Emergency Management Agency; Southborough Emergency Management Agency; town of Grafton and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area