Slowly but surely, drier air is arriving to New England today. The transition can be felt in the form of dropping humidity from the early morning onward and seen by thinning clouds that eventually erase almost entirely for blue sky from northwest to southeast. The change in the air will be complete by middle to late afternoon.
A busy northwest breeze is evidence of air on the move, though the emerging sunshine and comfortable air belies a busy weather pattern all around us with some implications here at home.
First – the tropics are astoundingly busy in the Atlantic with four named storms today. Hurricane Paulette hit Bermuda directly this morning, Tropical Storm Sally is ready to strengthen to a hurricane while headed toward New Orleans, Tropical Depression Rene is in the central Atlantic and newly formed Tropical Storm Teddy is in the eastern Atlantic.
With these, we’ve tied the record for most named storms at once in the Atlantic basin, a feat replicated only a half dozen times previously. Add to the mix the brand new Tropical Depression #21 off the coast of Africa, and these five total systems in the Atlantic also tie a record for most tropical systems at any one time in the Atlantic.
New England is not free from impact. Waves emanating from Hurricane Paulette will hit the New England coast broadside at three to five feet Monday and four to eight feet Tuesday. The surf will pack lots of power in swells and create strong rip currents both days.
Meanwhile, the seemingly quiet, dry air will allow for temperatures to tumble overnight Monday. Temperatures in the 20s and 30s are likely across the Great North Woods of New Hampshire and far northeast Vermont, where a freeze warning is in effect. A frost advisory spans the remainder of the North Country from Monday night to Tuesday morning.
Low temperatures in the 30s are likely to be reported as far south as central and western Massachusetts into far northern Connecticut Tuesday morning ahead of a day of sunshine and cool temperatures unlikely to break 70 degrees.
Warming is expected with an increasing southwest wind Wednesday into Thursday, in advance of an approaching cold front likely to deliver some showers Thursday night.
If the cold front moves slowly enough, at least a small piece of the 18”+ of rain from Sally in the southeast could ride into New England. Right now, our First Alert Team finds that unlikely. It’s more probable the cold front will sweep through too quickly and carry this moisture out to sea to our south.
Regardless, a new round of dry and cool Canadian air will invade for the weekend, sending daytime highs to around 60 for many and overnight lows back to borderline frost and freeze values. Perhaps most important of all, no significant rain is in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
This not only means that the severe drought will worsen, but now brush fire danger will rise in the next two weeks. This will bring a somewhat uncommon fall spike in fire danger region-wide, making caution during burning a high priority in the weeks ahead.