What has been casual observing of the busy Tropical Atlantic for several days has become active forecasting for our First Alert Weather Team. First, the remnant moisture of once-Tropical Storm Fred has been expanding across the Northeast and while most of the rain Wednesday is focused from the Appalachian Mountains to Pennsylvania and Upstate New York, showers and periods of rain are expanding east across Northern New England, while an occasional shower will impact Southern New England Wednesday, particularly during the afternoon. With a steady south and southwest breeze, humidity is on the rise Wednesday and even with plenty of clouds and only breaks of sun, temperatures are rising into the 80s. While more downpours join the showers in Northern and Central New England overnight Wednesday night, the bulk of New England’s rain will fall Thursday, expanding from west to east during the morning, arriving to the Cape and Eastern Maine last, around midday and afternoon, respectively. Our weather team has issued a First Alert for potential impact of downpours and thunder Thursday, slowing travel and perhaps resulting in localized flooding, particularly in parts of Northern and Western New England. Showers and downpours will break into scattered form later Thursday, with Friday likely to bring a relative break in the action with only a few showers but breaks of sun and humid air bumping temperatures to 85-90 degrees during the afternoon! The next storm approaching New England brings an increasing chance of showers Saturday, especially during the afternoon, while humid air persists all the way into next week. The biggest issue in our forecast focuses on the Sunday/Monday timeframe, when Tropical Storm Henri, south of Bermuda on this Wednesday morning, is predicted to strengthen to a hurricane over the warm Gulf Stream waters and turn northward, paralleling the East Coast. The key to our Sunday and Monday forecast hinges on how our incoming storm from the west interacts with Henri. The most likely outcome is for Henri to get a bump toward the northeast as our storm approaches, causing the Hurricane to deflect out to sea to our southeast but likely throw building swell into our coastal waters and a rip current to our beaches. If our incoming storm is slow enough…and just the right strength…it will fail to boot Henri out to sea and instead the two systems may merge, pulling the hurricane close to or perhaps even over New England. Although this worst-case scenario is unlikely at this point, it’s not impossible, and that’s why both Chatham and Nantucket are in the forecast cone of probability from the National Hurricane Center for a possible center-passage Sunday into Monday. For now, our First Alert forecast acknowledges this potential but follows the most likely scenario of building seas to 4-6 feet, strengthening beach rip currents, rain due to the incoming storm from the west, but a passage of Henri and its wind core to our southeast. Regardless, humidity will linger until midweek next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.