A strengthening southerly wind not only is gusting over 30 mph at times today, but is carrying warm and humid air into New England. The increase in humidity is palpable as dew points rise well into the 60s and sunshine battles effectively with clouds through the midday. Showers and thunderstorms were rumbling in Northern New England and New York Wednesday morning, and are representative of changes en route: an approaching cold front will overturn the atmosphere, delivering cool air with a fall feeling by Thursday, but spawning scattered severe thunderstorms in the transition. Thunderstorms will race from northwest to southeast Wednesday afternoon to evening, respectively, and while not all communities will see storms equally, the storms that develop will feed off of the humidity and high temperatures in the 80s to produce heavy rain, frequent lightning, localized damaging wind and even some rotating storms that will be monitored for an isolated tornado. Of course, all of this happens with kids back to school, so coaches, parents and kids alike should remember “when thunder roars, go indoors” – if you can hear thunder, you’re close enough to the storm for lightning to be a concern. Remember that dugouts, tents and trees are unsafe shelter, with cars very safe during lightning storms and a basement or lowest level of a building the safest place in the rare instance a tornado warning is issued. A shifting wind overnight Wednesday night delivers fresh air Thursday as our cold front ships south and catches Hurricane Dorian, sweeping the storm center out to sea. Dorian’s closest pass by New England comes Friday overnight to Saturday early AM, when a shot of rain and perhaps gusty wind at the coast is possible, and big waves of 12 to 18 feet in our southern waters are likely, meaning rip currents Friday and Saturday at south-facing beaches. The weather should improve quickly after early AM rain Saturday, leaving dry air, sunshine and a pleasant feeling for the rest of the weekend and the start of next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.