forecast

Tracking more showers and storms, expected to hit New England late Thursday

A few strong storms are possible before great weather returns Friday

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Thursday dawned with sunshine and comfortable air in New England, but the increasing and thickening clouds are a sign change is on the way. That change comes in advance of a potent jet stream disturbance moving east out of the Great Lakes with an attendant surface cold front that will arrive Thursday evening.

Ahead of the disturbance, however, an increasing southwest wind will carry more humid air – located from Nantucket to central New Jersey in the morning – into southern New England by late day for a noticeable uptick in humidity across much of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island by day’s end. 

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That increasing humidity – at the surface and through the sky above – will spread showers into all of New England from west to east Thursday afternoon, arriving to western New England during the midday to early afternoon and eastern New England by middle to late afternoon. Showers start isolated, but quickly fill in and by evening, showers and pockets of rain with embedded thunder will be ongoing for many. Rainfall amounts will be varied, with half an inch to an inch across northern New England, lesser amounts in central New England into northern Massachusetts, then over an inch of rain possible near the South Coast and especially the Cape and Islands. 

The severe weather concern isn’t nearly what it was Tuesday, when we saw half a foot of rain northwest of Boston and two tornadoes on the Cape. Because humidity is arriving so much later in the game, just before the disturbance arrives, the available energy for thunderstorms is less for most of New England. The greatest concern for strong enough storms to create isolated damaging wind gusts or perhaps enough rotation for a tornado concern will be near the immediate South Coast of New England and particularly on the Islands of Massachusetts, between 5 and 10 p.m. in Connecticut and Rhode Island, and 7 p.m. to midnight in southeastern Mass. 

That said, even areas northwest of Boston are susceptible to at least a chance of flooding if any localized downpours develop, simply given how wet the ground is from Tuesday’s rain. Both the Red Sox and Patriots are scheduled to play – the Pats will play through rain and the Sox actually may, too, as long as downpours aren’t too heavy at Fenway.  After midnight, rain will begin its exit, so Friday’s dawn will be bright with comfortable air, leading to a delightful end to the workweek. 

This weekend will bring another large jet stream level disturbance and associated storm center that will tend to slow as it moves through southern Canada, dragging a slowing cold front toward New England Saturday and across the region slowly on Sunday. The result should be a great Saturday until scattered storms approach western New England during the late day and evening, with some showers and storms likely crossing New England Saturday night and at least scattered showers still possible Sunday, especially in Southern New England until the cold front completely clears the region. 

Behind that front, some great air returns to start next week, with returning disturbances for increased shower and storm chances on Tuesday and again Friday. Tuesday may actually feature several showers and storms for an unsettled day that may hold temperatures in the 70s for some, but the rest of the week looks to be in the 80s for daytime highs, even extending into next weekend at the end of our exclusive, First Alert 10-day.

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