While all eyes in the weather world remain on Major Hurricane Ian in the Gulf of Mexico and closing in on Florida, New England remains completely removed from the fray. A swirling, cold upper level storm continues to be the dominant player in our weather setup, pinwheeling various energetic disturbances aloft through our New England sky, bringing periods of clouds and occasional raindrops. Although Tuesday is no exception to that recent pattern, the disturbance for most of Central and Southern New England was overhead Tuesday morning with clouds and sprinkles, set to depart for strengthening sun and pleasant air with highs in the lower 70s by afternoon. In Northern New England, clouds will continue to build through the afternoon with some scattered showers developing out of the mountains and wandering through our valleys with highs in the 60s. Overnight Tuesday night, a west-northwest wind will bleed cooler and drier air from Canada as a dome of high pressure, or fair weather, builds into the Great Lakes. Daytime highs will drop only a few degrees Wednesday as compared to Tuesday with many towns still nearing 70 degrees, and the air will still have enough moisture that morning sun will blend with puffy afternoon cumulus clouds as one more energetic disturbance arrives aloft, dragging a weak cold front at ground level, touching off a few sprinkles and light showers across the region. By Thursday and Friday, cool and dry fall air eliminates showers from the forecast entirely with high temperatures in the 60s, and this dome of dry air is critically important to our forecast, serving as a protective dome from Hurricane Ian’s moisture to our south. While some of the Hurricane’s high-altitude clouds will ride over our fair weather dome by Saturday, rain will remain in the Mid-Atlantic, and even Sunday brings only a building chance of showers in far Southern New England late in the day. If New England is to see any showers at all from Hurricane Ian’s remnant, it’s likely to be early next week, and the chance of showers is reflected in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast. Meanwhile, Florida remains in the line-of-sight for this intense hurricane. Predicted to make landfall along Florida’s west coast somewhere north of Fort Myers and likely near Tampa on Thursday, widespread damaging wind with nearly state-wide power outages, life-threatening storm surge along the western coast, flooding rain particularly in Northern Florida and widely scattered tornadoes are all expected. Our First Alert Team will continue to keep you up-to-date with live information and reports in our broadcasts.
A large upper level storm swirling in the sky over the Great Lakes is ejecting bundles of atmospheric energy east into New England, but they are spaced out enough to allow for decent weather between each disturbance. The first example of this is Monday, coming off predawn showers and thunderstorms that woke Cape Cod residents up, but the instigating disturbance raced east, leaving a sizeable break before the next disturbance located over the Eastern Great Lakes. In the space between, sun emerges across New England and temperatures respond by rising into the 70s for many and 60s in the North Country. As the next disturbance approaches Monday afternoon, clouds will build from west to east with scattered and showers arriving to Western New England out of Upstate New York. Although the biggest concern is cloud-to-ground lighting in Western New England during the middle to late afternoon – remember, “when thunder roars, go indoors,” if you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to be a threat – one or two storms may reach severe limits with localized damaging wind gusts. As the storms press east, they’ll tend to weaken as the sun’s strength wanes, arriving to the eastern half of New England from 6-10 PM, west to east, and perhaps as a dying shower to Cape Cod as late as 10 PM to Midnight. This disturbance drags an attendant cold front through New England in a process that features slowly and incrementally dropping daytime highs through the week, though many communities will still reach 70 degrees Tuesday. The next disturbance Tuesday will raise the chance of showers in Southeast New England from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, and later in the day in Northern New England, though anything that develops should be scattered. Wednesday brings a little cooler, little bit drier air, so fair weather clouds will be hard-pressed to deliver more than a few sprinkles south and a few afternoon showers in the mountains, otherwise the day will be fair. Thursday, Friday and Saturday all look fair and cool with any moisture from Hurricane Ian, well to our south, not arriving until perhaps a chance of showers late next Sunday into Monday. Of course, to our south in Florida, Ian is a big deal. The hurricane is forecast to rake the western Florida coast from Tuesday through Friday, slowly chugging south to north, not making landfall until sometime Thursday night or early Friday in northern Florida with wind damage, flooding, storm surge and tornadoes all expected, with impacts as soon as Monday night in the Keys and lasting through Friday in parts of Northern Florida.
The first real fall chill of the season has arrived to New England on the heels of a cold front that brought one to two inches of soaking rain to much of New England and opened the door to a gusty northwest wind that will hit 40 mph in stronger gusts Friday, Friday night and the first half of Saturday. The dry air has made way for sunshine mixed with fair weather clouds, though the cool nature of the air sets up a clash with much warmer ocean water, so Outer Cape Cod will find ocean-effect rain showers cropping up Friday into Friday night. Elsewhere, a mostly clear night with a continued gusty wind will bring temperatures to either side of 40 degrees. Meanwhile, the Tropical Atlantic is a busy place – most impactful to us is Hurricane Fiona, racing toward Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and set to deliver considerable wind damage there, particularly east of Halifax. As the storm marches north into Atlantic Canada, its wind field will continue expanding, part of what’s driving the gusty conditions in New England and enough to prompt gale warnings over our coastal waters and storm warnings for Eastern Maine. Waves emanating from Fiona will build Friday and continue growing into Saturday with breakers reaching 4 to 6 feet and offshore waves as high as 10-20 feet outside of George’s Bank, not only posing a danger for New England fishing fleets offshore, but also driving powerful surf into New England’s beaches both Friday and Saturday with strong rip currents and pockets of beach erosion. Elsewhere, Saturday’s chilly start and gusty wind will drive wind chill values into the 30s during early morning, while afternoon high temperatures in the 60s regionwide will be accompanied by an accelerated fall of acorns and hickory nuts! As Fiona pulls north of Newfoundland Saturday evening and high pressure builds over New England, the wind will quiet Saturday late day and temperatures will moderate Sunday, rising back to either side of 70 degrees. Morning sun Sunday will be followed by midday clouds and likely afternoon showers advancing from west to east late in the day, lasting as scattered showers Sunday night through Monday as jet stream disturbance ripples through the sky aloft, dragging a surface cold front through later Monday or early Tuesday. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Nine over the Caribbean is forecast to strengthen to Hurricane Hermine over this upcoming weekend, taking aim at Florida by the middle of next week. While a persistent pattern of frequent disturbances and associated cold fronts should ensure Hermine stays south of New England at the end of next week, the only thing we’ll need to watch carefully is if a disturbance at midweek – currently predicted to deliver passing showers here on Wednesday – strengthens enough to change the steering flow over the East Coast to point more south to north. At this point, that’s not likely, but it’s also not entirely impossible so our First Alert Team will watch the forecast carefully in the coming days.
An upper level storm parked just north of the Canada border with New England is responsible for a sprawling swirl of cool air and atmospheric energy aloft, which favors the development of clouds and precipitation. As a result, splashes of Tuesday sun will remain limited as clouds continue to dominate – the most sun will be seen in far Southern New England, farthest from the upper level storm – with increasing scattered showers and embedded downpours as the day wears on. While most of the showers will develop and be found over interior New England, some of these will inevitably drift east to the coast and by evening just about all of New England is equally game for showers that will only very slowly diminish during the first half of the overnight. With partial clearing toward dawn Wednesday as drier air filters through the New England sky, Wednesday will bring a blend of sun and clouds with a pleasant air and a light wind affording a rebound of temperatures into the 70s south and 60s north, with a dry day until the late day or evening arrival of a quick-moving disturbance aloft that may touch off some evening showers from Upstate NY to Western New England. An approaching cold front Thursday will focus a few hours of rain and embedded thunder from Northern New England (morning) to Southern New England (late AM into mid-afternoon) before opening the door to a northerly wind that will keep Friday dry but chilly with daytime highs only struggling to reach 60°! Some of this wind will be hastened on the back side of strong Hurricane Fiona, a Category 3 storm just north of the Turks and Caicos Tuesday morning and forecast to reach Category 4 strength as it passes near or just west of Bermuda Thursday night with a big blow to the island. Waves will emanate from Fiona and build up and down the Eastern Seaboard with dangerous rip currents and challenging conditions for mariners from Thursday through Saturday as wave heights reach 15 to 25 feet near and just outside of George’s Bank. As Fiona weakens to Category 2 strength Friday night into Saturday, the storm is expected to pull north across the Canadian Maritimes, dealing a blow of gusts 80-100 mph to Eastern Nova Scotia and especially Newfoundland, resulting in multiple power outages. The New England offshore fishing community should avoid the Scotian Slopes and Grand Banks, where swell will start building Thursday but hurricane conditions are expected Friday night into Saturday. On land here at home in New England, dry air behind the hurricane should deliver a great fall weekend both Saturday and Sunday before the next round of showers arrives Monday, perhaps lingering as showers into part of Tuesday before departing in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.