How Hurricane Michael will affect New England

Residents of southern New England should expect a rainy Thursday.

An unidentified person takes pictures of the surf and fishing pier on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, as Hurricane Michael approaches the Florida Gulf Coast. [Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)
A person takes pictures of the surf and fishing pier on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, on Wednesday. –Devon Ravine / Northwest Florida Daily News via AP

Within the southern New England region, Cape Cod and the Islands are currently the most likely areas to feel the brunt of the remnants of Hurricane Michael —  which made landfall as a Category 4 storm on the Florida panhandle Wednesday afternoon — with the National Weather Service predicting about one to two inches of rainfall stretching from Wednesday night into Friday morning.

Kim Buttrick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boston, said enhanced rainfall across the region may occur as a result of a cold front approaching from the west interacting with the storm as it heads northeast. 

The heaviest impacts will be experienced throughout Thursday — a combination of the cold front and remnants of Michael, according to Buttrick.


“By Friday afternoon, Hurricane Michael will have tracked well southeast of Nantucket and be offshore, and then we’ll get into that drier air moving in as well as cooler air for the weekend,” she said.

Poor drainage urban flooding — in cities like Boston and New Bedford — may arise due to the rain, according to Buttrick. But heavier flooding across the region is not presently predicted.

“If things change with the track of Michael or how we see this, rainfall may be enhanced; we may opt to issue a flood watch or a flash flood watch,” she said. “Our main impact that we’re seeing is going to be from the rain.”

Other effects of Michael, primarily confined to southeast Massachusetts, include the possibility of the seas rising as high as 7 to 11 feet along the south coast and stronger winds on Thursday. Neither will have much of an impact on the coastal community, according to Buttrick.

“[The building seas] would be farther offshore, like where you have your shipping lanes,” she said. “We’re looking at maybe small craft advisory winds — 25 to 30 knots of wind — like say for Nantucket and Vineyard sounds. But that’s nothing.”