Hazy, hot and humid weather Thursday indicates New England is firmly entrenched in a rich southerly flow of air.
While that’s sure to make Thursday a sweltering mid-summer day, it also means New England needs to watch carefully the storm that sits directly to our south and will be ushered northward over the next two days: a storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, they may name Tropical Storm Fay in the coming day.
For now, New Englanders focus on hydrating, wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing and not overexerting in Thursday high temperatures near 90 degrees with dew point temperatures around 70, indicating oppressive humidity driving heat index values to between 90 and 95 degrees.
Although no strong disturbance is around to trigger widespread thunderstorms, an isolated storm is expected Thursday afternoon and would feed off of available heat and humidity, so even if only a handful of communities are impacted, damage may be done by any storm that develops.
A muggy and quiet night is expected Thursday night before Friday delivers thickening clouds on the north side of possible Tropical Storm Fay. One point our First Alert Weather Team has been driving home on NBC10 Boston and NECN is this storm will have a similar impact for New England whether it has a name or not: windswept downpours from late Friday into early Saturday.
A couple of inches of rain will make for big puddles overnight Friday night into Saturday morning, but any heavier prolonged downpours or thunderstorms could produce localized flash flooding. Severe thunderstorms usually aren’t widespread in these events, but an embedded tornado is a possibility in the tropically infused rain bands, particularly overnight Friday night to early Saturday morning.
The strength of wind gusts Friday night into Saturday morning will depend entirely on the storm track and intensity, but right now somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 to 50 mph gusts with the strongest of those at the immediate coast seems to be a reasonable forecast.
Our trees are hardened to northeast, northwest and west wind, but a southeast wind – which this storm will start with Friday night into predawn Saturday – often causes some outages and we expect that may be the case in this event, too. Tides are low and coastal flooding isn’t anticipated, but seas will build five to 10 feet in the waters south of New England and all beaches are subject to rip currents Saturday afternoon, possibly lingering into Sunday in some spots, so beachgoers should use caution and remember to swim parallel to shore if caught in a rip current.
As for making the most of time outside, if this storm sticks to our current expectation for timing, southern New England will find improving weather by Saturday afternoon, with temperatures jumping back into the 80s and Sunday looks like a great summer day with slightly lower humidity and just the chance of an isolated late day storm.
The mid-summer pattern rolls on through next week in our exclusive, First Alert 10-day forecast, with slightly lower humidity early next week yielding to muggy air again by week’s end.