David Epstein: A powerful storm will bring heavy rain and winds overnight

Record low pressure is possible from this fast-moving system.

storm forecast
A pedestrian in the Boston Common during last week's nor'easter. –Photo by Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe

It’s been a gorgeous but chilly morning across New England. Frost covered the green lawns in most of the suburbs. 

It’s hard to believe just how quickly things are going to go downhill overnight.

A storm system will move from the Mid-Atlantic region up the coastline Wednesday into Thursday. This low pressure area will become strong very rapidly. We might be able to apply the term “bombogenesis” to this particular system. For a storm to undergo official bombogenesis, meteorologists say it must decrease in pressure by 1 millibar per hour for 24 hours. This storm will be close — within a millibar or two of reaching “bomb status.” If the storm’s pressure gets low enough, it could break Boston’s all-time October low-pressure reading of 982.4 millibars. 

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A strong storm develops in a favorable upper pattern tonight. (Tropical Tidbits)

Unlike last week’s nor’easter, which lingered for days and days, tonight’s storm is moving very quickly on a fast jet stream. The winds at 30,000 feet over Maine will be roaring at over 100 miles per hour, quickly moving this storm late tonight and early Thursday. 

As for the storm’s impacts, the rain will hold off until just after the Wednesday evening commute, but then it’ll come flying in from the southwest. 

If the rain moves northward, it will be accompanied by a band of very strong winds, which will gust in excess of 40 miles per hour. There’s a wind advisory posted for much of eastern Massachusetts. Our trees are mostly still covered in leaves, which act as a sail by capturing the wind, making it easier to topple down trees. Some areas will lose power tonight and early tomorrow as a result. 

Expect 1 to 2 inches of rainfall and as much as 3 inches in isolated areas west of I-495. It’s been very dry this fall, so I’m not concerned about any flooding beyond some issues on the streets.

Heavy rain is forecast overnight Wednesday into early Thursday. (COD Weather)

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As the storm moves up into Maine early Thursday, the winds will actually be slacking for a few hours first thing in the morning. When the storm is basically over us, there is no gradient and therefore little wind. As the system continues northward, however, we’ll be on the backside, and the winds will return from a westerly direction. Winds won’t be quite as strong Thursday afternoon, but it’ll nevertheless be very gusty. There still could be some scattered tree damage.

wind forecast
Winds will be strong late tonight then weaken before picking up again later Thursday. —COD Weather

The skies will clear out on Friday. It will be blustery, but not nearly as strong as tonight. It’s not too early to be thinking about the weekend when the weather will be quite stunning. I expect ample sunshine both days, with temperatures near 60 degrees on Saturday and getting well into the 60s on Sunday.

 

Related: Watch AccuWeather’s storm forecast:

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