Tropical Storm Fay is moving north along the New Jersey shore and forecast to travel a path near the Hudson River Valley and extreme western New England overnight Friday.
Tropical systems often morph as they move this far north, and this time around will be no exception, with the heaviest rain near and west of the storm track and the strongest wind gusts east. This puts western New England and eastern New York under the gun for heaviest rainfall of two to four inches of rain – particularly western Connecticut into western Massachusetts – with central and eastern New England in line for periodic downpours with a period of gusty wind.
Here’s our First Alert Team’s expectations:
- Rain: Scattered showers begin Friday afternoon, with heavier downpours embedded by evening, but remaining somewhat scattered for most. The exception will be Connecticut and western Massachusetts, where steadier rain arrives. Total rainfall amounts will generally be under an inch in central and eastern New England but a few inches west, with locally higher amounts in heavier downpours raising the potential for isolated flash flooding. Some smaller rivers may flood in western New England, as well. Rain should end in southern New England by mid-morning Saturday, midday to afternoon in northern New England.
- Wind: Gusty wind will accompany any downpours, and from midnight to 6 a.m., several wind gusts will reach 35 to 45 mph in eastern New England, perhaps touching 50 mph at immediate coastlines. Our trees are hardened from winds equally strong from the northeast, northwest, west and southwest – but this wind will be from the southeast, a rarer direction and more capable of resulting in pockets of tree damage and power outages.
- Severe Thunderstorms or Tornadoes: Although rarely “likely,” tropical rain bands in New England historically can produce rotating thunderstorms capable of brief tornado touchdowns. Our First Alert Weather Team will be staffed all night to be on guard for this potential. Similarly, stronger downpours and thunderstorms will be capable of producing brief bursts of straight-line wind damage. Remember to shelter indoors, away from windows if severe thunderstorm warnings are issued.
- Ocean: Waves will remain tranquil through Friday, but build five to eight feet offshore Friday night after midnight, reaching four to six feet at area beaches and continuing through Saturday. This will create rip currents on Saturday and beachgoers should be exceptionally careful. Remember to swim parallel to shore if caught in a rip current and keep children close. No coasting flooding is anticipated.
By Saturday mid-morning, most of southern New England will find breaks of sun emerging, and the afternoon looks spectacular with highs in the 80s. Northern New England sees slower improvement during the afternoon, and the chance of new scattered afternoon or evening thunder is elevated in northern and particularly western New England.
Sunday looks like a hot but stellar summer day with highs around 90 and a decrease in humidity. Humidity will attempt a comeback later Monday, which may result in late day storms as a mid-summer pattern rolls on through the end of the exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.