This morning we find ourselves waiting for a strong nor’easter to develop. This storm will bring a variety of weather to the region, most of it occurring from Tuesday morning through early Wednesday. This storm has not developed yet, but has been forecast by the models for a week or more. The storm is forecast to be tucked in around New York City later tomorrow. This is a typical nor’easter of the type we have seen many times before and isn’t going to be a memorable type of storm.
All of the models agree the storm will move too close to the coast to keep the cold air in place. For much of southern and coastal New England this means a wind driven rain will be the result. There are high wind watches posted for the coast, excluding the Boston area, and flood watches for much of the eastern half of Massachusetts. There is a winter storm watch posted for the Berkshires, which runs eastward to the area west of Worcester. The winter storm watch is posted because there may be enough cold air involved at the start of the precipitation to allow warning criteria snow to fall. Currently, this is just a watch.
If you live in the watch area you could see heavy amounts of snow and tomorrow morning’s commute will likely be impacted by heavy snow in parts of the warning area. Eventually, even in this zone, the snow will mix with and change to rain. There will also be heavy snow in ski country, but rain along coastal New Hampshire and Maine.
Rainfall from Worcester, Boston, Gloucester, Falmouth and points between will be heavy enough for potential flooding. This has prompted a flood watch to be issued. The rain will amount to between 1 and 2 inches, although some pockets of 3-inch rain amounts is possible if the storm moves slowly enough and there are prolonged tropical bands in these areas.
If your gutters are clogged by heavy rain they will likely be spilling over tomorrow night and Wednesday morning as the rain falls. The upcoming rainfall is also enough to have a need for sump pumps. It’s not a bad idea to just give it a quick check today before the rain. During the dry late summer and early fall, they likely didn’t work very hard. The second parts of the fall and early winter have brought more regular rain and some snow and now the ground is quite moist. 2 more inches of rain will raise the water table even further.
The core of the storm is over before sunrise Wednesday morning, but clouds and spotty showers will linger into Thursday. Friday is a dry day with seasonably chilly temperatures. The four panel map is from the GFS model. You can see how the storm is forecast to move into early Wednesday.
Coastal Flooding and Wind
Coastal flooding will be minor from this storm, with a small risk of moderate pockets. The storm is moving quickly enough that we won’t have successive high tides while the storm is in progress, and the strongest winds look like they are going to occur during the lower part of the tide cycle. This is more of a typical wet nor’easter than a blockbuster major event. Those folks who live on the coast understand what this means and what to expect.
The wind over Cape Ann, and southeastern Massachusetts might be strong enough later Tuesday to cause some scattered power outages. I recommend having your power loss plan in place just in case, including charging all your devices tonight and early Tuesday.
The European model, a better model than the GFS, has another rain or rain and snow event here Saturday. Last night was the first time the model was showing another storm for the weekend and often a “one model run,” as we call them, isn’t enough to bring a good deal of confidence to the forecast. I’ll wait and see what happens later today and over the next few days with this potential. It wouldn’t surprise me if it disappeared.altogether.