First Alert

Early Friday Downpours and Wind Expected to Cause Scattered Power Outages

The outages will occur from Thursday night into Friday morning

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New England is on the cusp of mild air. The counter-clockwise flow of air around a storm center developing over the Central Plains has already ushered warmth through the Mississippi River Valley and into the Midwest and is set to catapult that warmth into the Northeast in the days ahead. But we’re not quite there yet. 

Wednesday’s wind is a mild wind, technically – blowing from the south, the wind is carrying progressively warmer air into the region and that will continue until a cold front arrives Friday morning. That said, while 40 degrees Wednesday afternoon is a big step up from the 20s Monday and Tuesday, any breeze – regardless of direction – adds a wind chill that makes Wednesday afternoon feel like about 30 degrees for many, and that’s a wintry feeling day. 

Nonetheless, the arrival of warmer air aloft will mean clouds spilling into New England from west to east Wednesday late morning and afternoon, blotting out the sun but also teaming with the increasing southwest wind to keep temperatures from falling Wednesday overnight. In fact, for some, temperatures will rise overnight. 

A sprinkle or light shower is possible from time to time Wednesday night through Thursday, though the highest chance of more focused showers will be found for those in the North Country. Otherwise, a mostly cloudy stretch won’t stop temperatures from rising to near 60 degrees Thursday afternoon as the southwest wind continues to gust upwards of 45 mph – not yet enough to cause damage, but certainly enough to tip over trash cans and stir up lingering salt and sand leftover from recent winter storm treatments on New England roads. 

The approach of a cold front Thursday night will bring a more focused corridor of both rain and wind – slated to charge west to east across New England from late Thursday evening to Friday morning, respectively, delivering downpours that will drop a quick half inch of rain and wind gusts over 50 mph to many communities. 

The downpours, combined with snowmelt, will result in some big puddles and street flooding, while the gusty southwest wind ahead of the cold front will cause widely scattered wind damage for some power outages as weak limbs fall on power lines in some communities. 

By mid-morning Friday, the approaching cold front will clear New England, kicking the rain out to sea, bringing increasing sunshine and a brisk northwest wind that is unlikely to cause further damage but will bring cooler air that will send early temperatures in the 50s dropping through the 40s and into the 30s by day’s end, with mountain snow showers continuing into the day. 

The cooler air will stick around this weekend, with a passing jet stream disturbance Saturday poised to deliver snow showers that will be most focused in northern New England, where up to a couple of inches may fall in the far North Country but little accumulation is expected in central and southern New England.

Sunday brings cool sunshine for many before another warming trend arrives for at least the first half of next week in the exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast. The end of the week bears watching as the pattern aloft favors warmth but cold air will build near the Canadian border, which may lead to some messiness by week’s end. But it’s still early, and we’ll keep you posted.

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