The much anticipated nor’easter has developed over the waters south of New England and will continue strengthening over the next 24 hours. This storm center is fueled by all the classic ingredients for storm development: atmospheric energy provided by the jet stream winds aloft, cool air surging south from Canada and warmth over the Gulf Stream waters of the Western Atlantic. The clash of temperature, combined with the available energy, nis allowing the developing storm center to our south to gain footing and we’ve seen both the cloud structure and wind pattern becoming more organized through the day on Thursday. The cool air pushing south out of Canada means business, however, and is also dry by nature, pushing back effectively against the southern surge of moisture and making any northward progress of rain very slow Thursday. In fact, while our First Alert Weather Team expects showers to trudge north to the New Hampshire border by evening, anywhere farther north than Manchester, NH, will stay much drier – and for some, entirely dry – over the coming days. While a dry forecast for the North Country bodes wonderfully for the all-important foliage-oriented tourism weekend of Columbus Day, with only a gusty breeze to dislodge some of the peak color foliage but no leaf-stripping rain, it’s a different story for Southern New England. After a slow ramp-up in rain and wind Wednesday, late Wednesday evening through the overnight expect northeast gusts to exceed 40 mph on Cape Cod, and isolated power outages are possible by daybreak. The impactful wind – and heaviest rain – are expected throughout the day Thursday into Friday. Thursday’s wind gusts should exceed 60 mph on the Outer Cape and exceed 50 mph along the Eastern MA coast, with 40 mph gusts reaching very far inland across Southern New England, all contributing to scattered power outages. Additionally, heavy rain to the tune of two to four inches with localized amounts over half a foot possible not only will cause pockets of flooding, particularly when combined with falling leaves clogging storm drains, but also will soften the ground enough so uprooted trees are a possibility in strong wind gusts. While the most intense rain and wind is expected Thursday, Friday surely will deliver a wind-whipped rain again, and some new power outages will be possible. At the coast, the persistent onshore wind will build seas to 20 feet, meaning beach erosion will be a concern and coastal flooding is a possibility at the roughly midday high tide Thursday, Friday and perhaps Saturday. While the storm will be much weaker Saturday, the onshore wind will continue and likely will deliver areas of steady drizzle and light rain. The wind finally shifts Sunday, affording sunshine for the final two days of the holiday weekend and temperatures returning to the 60s in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
Daily Weather Discussion
There’s no question we’ve entered a weather pattern more typical of October in New England: dramatic swings in temperature, plenty of wind moving the air changes and an increased chance of clouds and showers. Monday’s gusty wind from the south and southwest will exceed 40 mph in a few spots, proving to be just strong enough for isolated power outages in Central and Southern New England but for most of us the biggest impact of the wind will be to keep warmth in place: highs in the 70s Monday. Sprinkles off and on Monday will mean a mostly dry day in Southern New England, though Northern and Central New England see rain ahead of an approaching cold front that eventually delivers rain, perhaps a rumble of thunder and patchy fog for all of New England overnight Monday night. An early morning shower departs Tuesday for a dry day, though clouds will slowly thin so sun should certainly be mixed with clouds, particularly in Southern New England. From Wednesday onward, our attention turns to a large storm center stalling south of New England, over the coastal waters off the Mid-Atlantic. The swirling storm south of us is important because the counter-clockwise flow of air around its center ensures an onshore, easterly wind direction for the middle and end of the week here at home, and this guarantees cool and breezy conditions. Of course, the storm will be producing rain and showers, as well, and here in New England we believe the Southern half of our six-state region has the highest chance of seeing showers cropping up Wednesday through week’s end…and quite possibly into the weekend, depending upon the exact position and strength of that storm to our south. By late weekend and certainly early next week, we’ll see some drier weather nudging in for some improvement in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
For winter sports enthusiasts, in particular, the first snow of the season is always exciting. Thursday brought snowflakes to the summit of Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort, and those flakes migrated east overnight into Friday morning, dropping the first wet, sloppy accumulation of the season at the summits of Sugarloaf and Sunday River Resort. This snow fell on the northern fringe of a storm center rippling along a slowly southward settling cold front that delivered rain showers to the rest of New England, along with a wind shift to open northerly winds from Canada, funneling colder air southward. The new, chilly air is also dry air, so after some big, bubbling, puffy clouds develop with the arrival of the new air this afternoon and create some sprinkles and light showers in Eastern New England during the early and middle afternoon, we’ll find clearing sky Friday evening for a clear overnight. With a clear sky and such cool air, even a light breeze from the north will likely not be sufficient to stop frost from developing in valleys, where the wind will quiet a bit after midnight and temperatures will land between 30 and 35 degrees. Saturday morning frost will melt away but a chill will remain in the air with highs not reaching 60 degrees in most New England communities, though full sunshine and a very light wind at least will mean we make the most out of every degree with the warmth of the sun and lack of wind chill. Milder air makes a return Sunday, though the colliding air will create lots of clouds after early morning sun and the strengthening wind will also add a chill, meaning while the thermometer will add about 5-10 degrees over Saturday, the air may actually feel pretty similar. Showers will likely crop up from northwest to southeast across New England late Sunday into Monday, respectively, with some showers lasting all the way into Tuesday morning before another shot of cool and dry fall air settles in for midweek. The end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast suggests some showers are possible next weekend with highs around 60.
Big weather changes are arriving to New England in the coming days as a well-advertised shift to a cool, autmun weather pattern takes hold. The first of the changes today is actually a final gasping push of warmth, clashing with the cool air that was in place already in New England, bringing many clouds and some showers and sprinkles from time to time Tuesday morning through early afternoon. By late Tuesday afternoon, breaks of sun will emerge and nudge late day temperatures to their highest values of the day, reaching the 70s for Southern New England, while Northern New England stays mostly cloudy and cooler. New showers will develop in Northern New England Tuesday evening and night with patchy fog developing region-wide as more humid air arrives to Central and Southern areas, making for a humid and warm start Wednesday. Though temperatures will likely rise into the 70s for most of us Wednesday, a strong cold front will already be marching south through Northern New England early Wednesday and likely drive temperatures down by the end of Wednesday as scattered showers crop up, marking the change in air. From Wednesday evening onward, it’s all fall: highs in the 50s Thursday, Friday and Saturday…and likely nothing much above 70 on even the warmest days in the exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast. Rain chances start to rise, as well, with one shot of rain Thursday evening into early Friday morning, then again late Sunday into early Monday.
It’s a quintessential fall day in New England to start our workweek, with fair sky, dry air and temperatures a touch cooler than normal at 60 to 65 degrees. In the coming days, we’ll get one more taste of mild air before a major pattern change. In the short term, the influx of warmth arrives aloft overnight Monday night, resulting in increasing clouds after midnight as the preceding cool air and new warmth clash overhead. Tuesday morning, the clash aloft will be enough for some sprinkles and overcast skies…likely to make for stubborn clouds until skies start breaking a bit during the afternoon, when limited sun will assist a busy southwest breeze in boosting temperatures to or just over 70 degrees. A sharp cold front charging south from Canada will make passage through New England on Wednesday and the exact timing is critical: ahead of the front Wednesday morning, communities will warm into the 70s, while behind it, 50s will be more commonplace. By Wednesday evening, the cold front will be crossing New England’s South Coast, and from that point forward, the true fall we’re accustomed to as New Englanders will be here. From Thursday through the end of the exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast, we see highs almost exclusively in the 50s and 60s with increasing chances for rain, particularly Thursday into Friday – which may bring accumulating snow to Northern Maine – then a frost possible for the Boston suburbs Friday night…and another chance of rain later Sunday into Monday.
How long can this string of incredible fall weather last in New England? Several more days appears to be the answer – our weekend is looking incredible and our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast has been advertising a pattern change by the end of next week to much cooler air: that change is still predicted. Until then, however, we enjoy a sunny weekend ahead punctuated only by a passing cold front late Saturday and Saturday night. Sunshine and a light wind for our Friday means a quiet and pleasant weather day with sea breezes kicking up for our coastal communities during the afternoon and highs comfortably 70 to 75 degrees, regionwide. A storm system cutting from the Great Lakes to Southern Canada on Saturday will prompt an increase in wind from the south and southwest, meaning warm air will be moving in with only some wispy, high-altitude clouds mixing in with our sunshine, allowing temperatures to reach 80 degrees in Southern New England Saturday afternoon, and well into the 70s even in the North Country where foliage now has reached moderate color, approaching a likely peak in the next two weeks, while areas farther south are just starting to see color showing up. The passage of a cold front Saturday will spark a few late day showers in the North Country, then some scattered showers in Central and Southern New England Saturday evening and night, respectively, leaving cooler air but continued sunshine for Sunday with highs near 70 and 60s north. Next week starts cool – 60s on Monday – but features one more big warmup before the weather pattern change to cooler times…and that one more warmup should see us in the 80s by next Wednesday, ahead of a cold front that marks the start of high temperatures closer to 60 degrees for next weekend.
Although temperatures have been swinging from day-to-day here in New England, normal highs for the date are around 70 degrees – so even our cooler days are near or slightly milder than we normally should be! Our exclusive, First Alert 10-day forecast shows this pattern continuing…at least for the next 9 of 10 days, with more substantial cooling possible by the end of next week. For now, ample sunshine and a light wind is making for a delightful fall day regionwide with light sea breezes along our beaches and widespread highs of 70 to 75. The next weather system capable of producing showers is a cold front, still well off to our west in the Central Great Lakes and unlikely to arrive until Thursday afternoon and evening, from northwest to southeast across New England, meaning a southwest wind will have the opportunity to carry in just a bit more warmth to New England on Thursday, bumping temperatures to around 80 degrees. The oscillating temperature pattern of warm to not-quite-as-warm continues for several days, as the passing cold front Thursday evening drags scattered showers across New England and opens the door to Friday air that will be very similar to our Wednesday: sunny and highs 70 to 75 with a light wind. Yet again, warmth will build Saturday with highs in the 80s ahead of another cold front with scattered showers Saturday late day and night, then yet another shot of pleasant, dry fall air for Sunday. The cycle repeats again early next week, with building warmth by midweek before a more significant change shows up at the end of the 10-day forecast: a more powerful cold front at the end of next week may leave high temperatures next Friday struggling to get out of the lower to middle 60s.
Incredible warmth continues for one more day in New England, regardless of the autumnal equinox at 3:50 this morning, heralding in fall. Instead, a gusty southwest wind will exceed 30 mph at times, continuing the transport of downright hot and humid air across New England, where morning temperatures in the middle 70s as far north as the Crown of Maine will translate to widespread 80s to near 90 Monday afternoon. With dew point temperatures – the measure of the amount of moisture in the air – reaching the 60s to near 70 in Central and Southern New England by day’s end, heat index values or “feels like temperatures” will exceed 90 degrees. Hydration and avoiding overexertion will be important for one and all, but particularly for kids on the practice and game fields Monday afternoon. Scattered showers in the North Country Monday, well ahead of an approaching cold front, will slowly expand south and east, mostly gaining traction between 6 and 9 PM, then intensifying over Central and Eastern New England Monday night with some embedded downpours and thunder. By Tuesday morning, the cold front will be through most of New England, leaving only early morning rain on Cape Cod and in Eastern Maine that will depart quickly, but the upper level atmospheric energy driving the cold front will still need to move through the sky above, prompting blossoming clouds by midday Tuesday after morning sun, then blossoming showers with embedded thunder in pockets Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday night and Wednesday, fall air will mean dry conditions with a clearing sky and the next disturbance delivering scattered showers won’t arrive until Thursday evening or night and should move through quickly, leaving a fine fall Friday. The weekend is likely to bring another swing from mild to cooler air from Saturday to Sunday with a cold front marking the transition between that air Saturday night, though the timing is yet to be nailed down and will determine exactly when potential showers, if any, would move through before more great fall weather early next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
An epic weather weekend with a summer redux has arrived to New England, with tons of sunshine and warming temperatures. First, the basics on the weather: dry weather will persist until Monday evening and night, with a steady, gradual moderation in temperatures from highs near 80 Friday, to either side of 80 Saturday, to the middle 80s Sunday, with overnight lows mostly in the 50s – no more frosty mornings, even in the North Country for now. There are a few important subtleties to be aware of in the coming days: the dry weather has put some of New England in abnormally dry conditions, one stage shy of drought. Though we aren’t immediately concerned about that – and fall tends to be a rainy season of recharging our water supply anyway – we’ll keep an eye on it as we’ll likely turn drier over the next ten days. Brush fire danger is now moderate for most of New England and should continue increasing through the weekend, so anyone managing a fire this weekend, from brush burning to bonfire to campfire should stay aware and alert with any embers. Rip currents have developed from powerful swell emanating from Hurricane Humberto, racing toward St. John well to our east but sending six to ten foot waves careening into our beaches, creating strong rip currents Friday and moderate rip currents Saturday – with no seasonal life guards, Friday swimming should be avoided and Saturday swimming should be done cautiously at any beaches exposed to waves. The next disturbance to bring scattered showers comes through Monday night and may last into Tuesday morning before moving along, giving way to dry weather again until another disturbance Thursday night. The early call on next weekend at the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast is for another dry, bright weekend…though unlikely to be as warm as this weekend.
Our quiet stretch of weather rolls on, but there’s a surprisingly long list of weather related items to share! First and foremost, we continue to forecast an incredible stretch of weather starting with room temperature high temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees after a frosty start for some this morning with temperatures dropping into the 20s for four of our six New England states. Sunshine is expected for several days, through the weekend, as high pressure only slowly drifts south and changes our wind direction enough for a west and southwest wind to carry warmth into New England for highs near 80 Friday and in the 80s Saturday and Sunday. This will put most New Englanders in a summer, rather than fall, mindset, with the big races at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway seeming more like the mid-summer races from July, the Patriots playing at Gillette in 82 degree weather, and kids sports this weekend calling for a big water bottle, sunscreen and, for Moms, Dads and fans, sunglasses! All the while, Hurricane Humberto is hundreds of miles to our southeast but is generating 40 foot waves at its center, and these waves travel away from the storm as swell, building seas six to ten feet by Friday morning in our coastal waters, meaning a strong rip current sets up at our beaches Thursday through Saturday, posing a risk to swimmers. Meanwhile, we’ve seen brush fires breaking out the last few days in Upstate New York, and the continued dry conditions will raise our own brush fire danger through the weekend, encouraging caution for brush burning, campfires and the like. Meanwhile, New England is not in drought, but many communities are now abnormally dry owing to the lack of recent rain. Our next chance of showers holds off until a passing disturbance Monday night of next week, with another possible disturbance with showers next Thursday night, but a week of high temperatures likely in the 70s again for another great week, overall, in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.