Weekend wetter forecast: N.E. again prepares for storm
PROVIDENCE - For the second weekend in a row, New England braced for tropical weather, as Tropical Storm Danny headed north and threatened to turn into a hurricane.
The National Weather Service said yesterday that the storm could develop into a Category 1 hurricane today, then pass about 75 miles east of Nantucket tomorrow, more than 100 miles closer than Hurricane Bill last weekend. Danny was expected to deliver wind gusts of more than 50 miles per hour on Nantucket and outer Cape Cod, according to meteorologist Bill Simpson of the National Weather Service in Taunton.
“This is not as big as Hurricane Bill, but it’s going to be closer,’’ he said.
Around New England, residents were warned to prepare for the possibility of heavy rains and flooding.
The greatest area of concern is the South Shore, South Coast, and Cape Cod, the weather service said. Forecasters expect up to 5 inches of rain in isolated areas, prompting some fears of flooding. Heavy rains, but no heavy flooding, were forecast for New Jersey, while in New York, waves could reach 12 feet.
Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said residents should continue to watch weather forecasts.
“Because of all the wall-to-wall Kennedy memorial stuff going on, this could get lost on people,’’ Judge said.
A private funeral Mass for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, attended by President Obama and other national and world leaders, is scheduled for tomorrow morning at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Roxbury. Simpson said there could be wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour and 2 to 3 inches of rain in Boston that day.
Obama and his family were expected to continue vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard through the weekend and return to Washington on Sunday.
Steve Kass, of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, said the main concerns were flooding and heavy surf. He said the ground is dry and hard, so runoff could cause flooding in areas that are prone to it. The Rhode Island agency advised homeowners to clean their gutters and make sure their sump pumps are working. It also suggested people make sure their outdoor furniture is secure in case of high winds.
Boaters and swimmers should be cautious of strong rip currents that are expected to accompany the storm, Judge said.
Marina owners along Cape Cod said they are watching forecasts. At Outermost Harbor Marine in Chatham, co-owner Frank Facchetti said he does not expect the usual late-summer surge of vacationers for the final August weekend.
“We assume it’s going to be windy and rainy,’’ Facchetti said. “It’s just a question of how windy.’’
Dot Joyce, the spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said Boston officials were monitoring the storm.
“We make adjustments as we go,’’ said Pete Gaynor, emergency management agency director in Providence. “Like Bill, we hope we just avoid this one.’’