Damaging Wind Gusts, Isolated Tornado Threats for Some Thursday

First Alert warnings have also been declared for possible damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes in Connecticut and nearby areas

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An incredible difference in air has set up over southern New England. Humid and warm summer air is muscling from eastern New York into Connecticut, causing southwest Connecticut to push toward 90 degrees Thursday afternoon.

The rest of us will see remarkably cool air under clouds with showers and highs in the middle 60s! Far to the northwest, over northern New Hampshire and northeast of Casco Bay in Maine, enough dry air is in place to keep showers at bay and even allow for some periods of sun that bump temperatures to either side of 70. 

The biggest problem in a setup like this is the dramatic change in wind direction that sets up on the battle zone between warm and cool. When we add a storm center diving southeast across New England from Canada, we introduce the potential for rotating thunderstorms.

For that reason, we’ve issued a First Alert from 1:30 to 9 p.m., focused on Connecticut for the potential of damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes. Adjacent western Massachusetts and Rhode Island should be on guard as well. 

Although it’s not impossible a stray strong storm could wander into central or the South Coast of Massachusetts, it’s also not all that likely with the amount of cool air in place. Farther northeast, damaging storms are even less likely.

By Thursday evening, the only storms left will be found over Connecticut. Soon thereafter, we’ll clear the skies gradually, save for areas of fog that will burn off for a fair sky Friday. Although a shower can’t be ruled out during the afternoon in southern New England, much of the day will be pleasant with highs near 80. 

Our next storm center moves in Saturday – it was supposed to rain anyway, but Saturday night the remnants of Hurricane Laura will make its closest pass south of New England. Though only a shadow of its once-catastrophic, Category Four self, Laura will still carry winds of 45 mph when it passes south of New England, according to the National Hurricane Center forecast. 

Our First Alert Team continues to expect little direct impact here at home from Laura, except maybe to add a bit of extra moisture so that scattered showers Saturday morning and afternoon become a swath of rain and some downpours overnight Saturday night. With the rain gone Sunday, fair skies should return with pleasant air ahead of temperatures in the 70s, then 80s next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

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