Fast-Moving Storm Arrives Tonight

Hello everyone!

Most of today will feature continued quiet weather as high pressure continues drifting off into the Atlantic. Clouds have already overspread the area ahead of our next storm system which is scheduled to arrive this evening. Some drizzle/fog is possible this afternoon, especially in the foothills and mountains, but otherwise any outdoor activities planned for today should be mostly dry.

Here’s a look at observed temperatures as of 6 AM. The coastline is already above freezing while the foothills are within a degree or two of the 32F mark and the mountains are safely in the 20’s. Southeasterly winds will push temps slowly but steadily upward today across the entire area. By this evening, the coastline will be well into the mid 40’s, the foothills will be a little shy of 40F, and the mountains will be right around freezing.

As a result, when precipitation arrives, most of the area will see plain old rain. The exception will be the mountains where a mix of wet snow, freezing rain, and sleet is likely. This is a fast-moving storm so even the spots that end up all or mostly snow (best shot of that is near Sugarloaf) will only pick up a few inches of accumulation. Otherwise, the biggest impact will be some slick backroads.

Closer to the coast, we’ll have different issues to contend with.

Southeasterly winds will ramp up after sunset as the storm’s cold front gets closer. Gusts in the 40-45 mph range are likely along the coastline while inland areas gust in the 25-30 mph range. While this isn’t expected to be a major southeasterly wind event, the threshold for power outage issues is lower with this wind direction, so don’t be surprised if the lights end up out for a few hours especially along the Midcoast.

The other possible issue along the coastal plain will be very heavy rain as the front slices through an anomalously moist airmass. Around 1-2″ of rain is expected to fall in just a couple hours (note the hourly precip rates on the map above) and some small stream/poor drainage flooding is expected as a result. Because the storm is swinging through just after midnight, most of you probably won’t even notice this, but if you head out early on Sunday morning, make sure to keep your eyes out for residual high water spots.

Nicer weather will return for tomorrow.

-Jack

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