Repetitive Pattern of Showers, Thunder Sets Up in New England
May 02, 2023
New England’s repetitive pattern of weather has begun and, save for subtle changes, will continue through Friday. Tuesday dawned with thunderstorms in Southern New England – not a surprise, and not the last of thunderstorms we’ll see in New England today or in coming days, as the air aloft is quite cold, creating lots of ice crystals in the cloud that lead both to lightning and to small hailstones (balls of ice). After meaningful rounds of showers, downpours and thunder, breaks of sun emerge, but clouds certainly fill the majority of the sky through most of the upcoming days, with the most likely time for clearing being overnight and in the early mornings, when there’s less contrast between a warming ground and the cold sky. All of the cold air aloft is the hallmark of an upper level storm – a jet stream level disturbance that is slowly tracking from west to east out of the Great Lakes and over New England this week, much like we saw last week, and the result is largely the same: numerous, recurring showers. In fact, at times the showers will be so numerous as they organize ahead of spokes of atmospheric energy that they will coalesce into bands of steady rain with embedded downpours and thunder, lasting up to a few hours at a time – one such period of rain is expected from near midday to the middle afternoon Tuesday, after which it’ll break up into scattered showers in Southern New England with a trend toward drying in far southern New England and Southeast MA, but will continue as more solid pockets of rain in Northern and Central New England. With the loss of daytime heating, showers dwindle overnight Tuesday night and clouds part in spots as lows drop to the 40s, then a nearly repeat day is expected Wednesday, minus early morning thunder, as the showers will take a bit longer to develop. From mid-morning Wednesday until early evening, showers will develop and yet again may converge to pockets of steadier rain. By Thursday, the surface wind turns northeast and this should deliver the coolest day of the week, regionwide, with many high temperatures only in the 40s or around 50 degrees and pockets of drizzle at times – particularly early – between scattered showers. Friday still features energy and cold air aloft, though both will begin weakening, which means while scattered showers will still develop, more breaks of sun are likely and temperatures will respond to those breaks of sun by rising into the 50s again. Timed perfectly for outdoor plans, this weekend the jet stream disturbance moves east of New England allowing for a shower-free forecast both days, though billowing clouds will blot out the sun Saturday and could deliver a sprinkle, with Sunday looking both bright, dry and mild. In fact, once milder air arrives Sunday, our exclusive First Alert 10-day Forecast keeps slightly warmer-than-normal weather around much of next week!