Sunday Storm Update #1

Good morning!

Not a whole lot has changed in the forecast from yesterday. The easy stuff: today will have a high of 63, tonight will feature a low around 57 and tomorrow will have a high around 60.

The onset of the first showers will likely be this afternoon, and rain becomes steadier and heavier in the evening. Winds will also increase throughout the day. The worst of the rain and the wind will be Sunday night, before the strongest winds weaken Monday morning and the last showers move out midday Monday. Gusty winds may continue for a decent amount of Monday afternoon, but will not be nearly as strong as Sunday night and Monday morning. Skies could actually become partly sunny late Monday afternoon as well.

Expect somewhere around 2″ of rain in our immediate area. Some minor flooding issues are possible but the higher risk is in western New England. Nonetheless, the accelerated timescale of the heaviest rain could exacerbate a minor flood risk locally, and convective activity could allow us to achieve higher rainfall amounts. The best chance for flooding issues around here would be in urban and poor-drainage areas.

Wind is likely to be the biggest issue with this storm. Expect southeast sustained winds at 10-20 mph today and tomorrow (turning west tomorrow afternoon), with 20-30 mph sustained winds tonight. The gusts will be the bigger problem: expect gusts in the 20s during the day today, then widespread gusts over 50 mph in much of eastern and southern New England, with frequent peak gusts of 50-60 mph in our immediate area tonight. A High Wind Warning is in effect from 6 PM this evening to 6 AM tonight, after which the worst of the winds will subside. Nonetheless, we will have gusts of 30-40 mph at times during the day tomorrow. Expect lots of downed tree limbs and some entirely downed trees with this event. Numerous power outages are likely as well, with the possibility of widespread power outages. The effect of tree-related wind damage may be exacerbated due to the fact that there are still many fully leaved trees. Needless to say, a lot of those trees won’t be fully leaved when all is done with this event.

Prepare for the likelihood of power outages. Make sure your electronic devices are all charged up today.

School Impacts
I wouldn’t rule out some school impacts tomorrow morning. The power outage risk is the bigger of the wild cards, since not all schools have full generators. Meanwhile, the wind damage aspect could pose a problem: not necessarily that school properties would see wind damage (even though that is possible) but since the worst of the storm will be overnight, downed tree branches/trees/wires could make for an extremely messy commute that may necessitate some delays or maybe even closures for cleanup throughout town. This possibility will depend on the exact extent of wind damage and how quickly public works and utilities will work to solve downed limbs and trees (in the case of the DPW) and downed wires and power outages (in the case of power utilities). Therefore this will probably stick out as a wildcard possibility until tomorrow morning when the full extent of any damage may be realized in full, and school impacts (if any at all) won’t be consistent from town to town.

The exact interaction with Tropical Storm Phillippe as both systems near the area could enhance our rain and wind impacts. Additionally, the exact track of the main system could turn our wind impacts from bad to worse with a slight westward shift in the track, which is possible; there has already been a recent westward trend in wind gusts. I have concerns about some very significant wind damage with this storm.

Have a great day and stay safe! I might get an update out later but no promises.

Published by Nathan Coram

Hello! I'm Nathan Coram, a 20 year old meteorology student and weather geek, and am in my junior year at UMass Lowell as a meteorology major. I am the current Vice President of the UML American Meteorological Society Local Student Chapter. Prior to at UML, I attended the Dracut school system for my K-12 years, having graduated from Dracut High in 2018. I first got into weather with the December 2008 ice storm, which knocked out my electricity for 4 days. I had no idea how it could be raining and becoming ice immediately, and how rain can knock out power. (Now I do - warm layer aloft, cold air at surface). But I didn't really get into it until the heat of July 2010 and specifically a few severe weather events during that month, followed by the year 2011, which featured several high profile weather events. Since then I have had a growing interest, and am hoping to make it into the meteorology field, preferably with NOAA/NWS. But for now, I'm blogging here on Dracut Weather (also on Twitter and Facebook), helping with the UML Weather Center social media, and tweeting about the weather on my own account as well. Thanks for visiting!

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