Christmas Forecast: Heavy Rain, Strong Wind and Possible Power Outages

A storm headed this way will reach New England by Christmas Eve, threatening heavy rain, strong wind and possible power outages

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After two nights of heavy fog and areas of black ice, a drier airmass will be working in today. That should eradicate the fog and chew away at this persistent cloud deck. We’re thinking a much brighter afternoon is on tap, along with more sunshine and colder temps tomorrow.

That’s the quiet part of the forecast. The rowdy part comes during Christmas as a warm weather system takes aim at New England. Our concern isn’t simply for a wet Christmas, however. Our focus revolves around wind damage, localized flooding and a freeze on Christmas afternoon.

The storm is marching across the High Plains now. It’s gathering more rain as the mid-level winds continue to intensify. Our guidance is showing winds of 80 to 90 mph at about 5,000 feet by Christmas morning.

Last time we saw that, we had gusts 60 to 70+ in spots (we typically take a percentage of the winds aloft to estimate max wind speeds at the surface). Unfortunately, that may mean some power outages on Christmas morning, so make sure you charge your devices before you settle down for a long winter’s nap.

While the wind ramps up slowly all day Christmas Eve, heavy rain looks like it’ll be delayed until very late at night. Thunder may even accompany some of the rain after midnight and into Christmas morning. This will also be paired with the most intense winds. By mid-morning, the event will be winding down – with only the cold to contend with.

Signs are pointing to a steep drop in temperatures from near 60 to the 40s in the first part of Christmas Day, then a longer struggle to get below freezing by evening. This is still the tentative part of the forecast.

Some projections show that drop to be steep and fast – bringing us to the low 30s by afternoon. I think either way we may have time to dry the roads a bit before the freeze sets in. We’re sure to hash out this “fine print” in the coming days.

Obviously, it isn’t the most ideal setup, but nothing has been this year. Can’t wait to see how New Year’s Eve works out.

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