Showers and even a few thunderstorms are crossing the areas this afternoon ahead of a coastal storm taking shape to our south. This storm will ride north over the next 24 hours and require some good winter forecasting skills to track its movement. I need to be watching the track of this storm carefully and will be dealing with the same questions I have to figure out during the winter. Currently, there is some very heavy rain in eastern Connecticut that could impact the commute home in areas around and west of Worcester.
I'll be updating the details of the weather on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
The exact track of low pressure area off the Carolina coast will determine how much rain we see late this afternoon and overnight. The storm will have enough energy and moisture to bring a sizable amount of rain to those communities closest to the center. Some areas across southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island could easily see two inches of new rainfall.
I expect the rain to continue to grow in coverage and move north and a bit west during the rest of the afternoon and evening. The axis of the heaviest rain will be from Nantucket up across Cape Cod and to the east of Boston over the ocean. To the west of this line less rain will fall on the order of a quarter to three quarters of an inch.
If this was winter I would likely be forecasting 3 to 6 inches of snow for Boston, 8 to 12 for the south shore and 1 to 2 feet for parts of Cape Cod. Just like in winter, if our summer storm tracks a bit further west, the heavier rain will move towards Boston. If the storm moves further out to sea, then we will see less in the way of rain in the city. With the cloud cover and wind off the water, highs today will barely reach 70F.
The rain ends tomorrow from west to southeast and some clearing can take place late in the day especially inland. Highs will again be only in the 70s. A great day is on the way for Saturday when there will be abundant sunshine and warm temperatures in the 80s. Sunday a renewed chance of showers shows up.
If you have been to the ocean this summer you know how warm the water is. The map below shows sea surface temperatures for the area. Notice the extent of the 70 degree or higher water. Warmer water contains more potential energy and thus more moisture can fall. This current situation will become important in the upcoming weeks as hurricane season becomes more and more active. With water temperatures so warm, the potential for a tropical system to impact New England is higher than it has been in a long time.
On meteorologist I follow is Joe Bastardi and he is definitely honed in on this potential. He has stated that storms should be “stronger further north” which should cause us to take notice for the late summer and fall. While this doesn’t mean we are going to see a hurricane this year, I remain quite aware of what will eventually happen here.
When Irene struck two years ago power was out for many days. Since then there has been a lot of tree work done by the power companies, but we are not out of the woods. Were a true category one or two storm to move up over Long Island and just to the west of Boston, the tree damage done by Irene would seem minimal. In turn, power would be out for days, to well over a week, and what additional problems manifest from there remains to be seen.
If you read my blog regularly, you know I am not someone to hype weather. However, in the back of my mind the threat from a tropical system is our greatest potential disaster caused by weather and certainly would be worse than any snowstorm we may face.
Gardening this week
Pests in the garden are a problem for any grower. There are now better and better organic controls for gardeners that allow good control without the harsh chemicals. Check out the video below and see how I am controlling some of the pests in my own garden this year.
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