Tuesday morning was the coldest in Southern New England since March, but there was plenty of bright sunshine, and the voter turnout should not be impacted by the weather with blue skies and highs in the low to mid 40s Tuesday afternoon. Clouds will gradually increase Tuesday night, and it will not be quite as chilly, with lows in the low to mid 30s.
A storm will develop east of Cape Hatteras, NC Tuesday night, and by Wednesday morning it will be moving northeast through the Atlantic Ocean off the Mid-Atlantic coast. Rain and snow will develop during the afternoon in Southern New England. The best chance of seeing any flakes is away from the coast. In the past couple of days there have been some slight changes to how the storm develops, and that means slight changes to the forecast from Washington D.C. to Maine. All of the models have shifted to a track that is a bit farther offshore and not quite as intense.
Southern New England Storm Impacts
In Southern New England, some of the storm impacts may be diminished slightly from what we were forecasting over the weekend. First, it does not look like there will be as much phasing between the northern and southern branches of the jet stream, so the storm may not be quite as intense as initially feared. There will still be some strong winds on the Cape/Islands, but the threat of 60+ mph winds at the RI coast is diminished. Most of Southern New England is under the gun for peak wind gusts from 35 mph (inland) to near 60 mph (Cape/Islands) Wednesday night. Second, the amount of precipitation the storm is forecast to deliver has been cut in half by recent computer model projections. So, rather than getting 1-3″ of rain, it appears most of Southern New England will see 0.5-1.5″ of rain, with most of the precipitation coming Wednesday night.
The third tweak to the Southern New England forecast based on a slightly more offshore track is the introduction of some snow into the higher elevation of Rhode Island, Worcester County, and Connecticut. At this point, it does not look like a widespread plowable snow, but there could be enough to make the ground white in many spots, with a slushy couple of inches at the highest elevations in Worcester County. Any snow or mixed precipitation should change to chilly rain late Wednesday night or early Thursday.
The worst of the storm will likely be Wednesday night, but Thursday should be no treat. It will stay showery, very cool, and breezy to windy, with some 30+ mph gusts. The Nor’easter departs Thursday night, and gradual improvement is likely Friday through the weekend. A detailed storm timeline will be posted on rightweather.net by mid-afternoon Tuesday.
Mid-Atlantic Storm Impacts
It is potentially good news for the hard hit areas of New Jersey and New York as the threat of 60 mph winds and moderate to major coastal flooding is diminishing. There is, however, a better chance of some snow or mixed precipitation as the storm is less likely to draw milder air off the ocean into those areas. In a worst-case scenario, several inches of heavy wet snow is possible in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and around New York City. In a best-case scenario, the heaviest precipitation stays just offshore, and those storm ravaged areas are left with chilly rain or mixed precipitation that does not accumulate.