A powerful and rapidly intensifying Nor’easter will bring a myriad of nasty weather to Southern New England Thursday night through Friday. The potential impacts include moderate/major coastal flooding, especially in Eastern Massachusetts, wind gusts over 60 mph causing power outages, 2-4″ of rain leading to flooded basements and river, stream, street flooding, and heavy/wet snow at high elevations.
The snow potential is the most uncertain part of the forecast. Most of the storm will be rain for most of CT, RI and SE MA, but it may change to snow Friday evening, first in the high elevations, before ending around midnight. If there’s enough heavy precipitation around Friday evening, wet snow could accumulate quickly. Of course, all the rain beforehand will lead to puddles that will melt the snow on pavement, at least for a while. Then we need to factor in the air temperature in the mid 30s, and the ground is not frozen. So, even if there’s a burst of heavy snow Friday evening, the impact on the roads may not be too bad, but visibility could be severely limited by wind-driven large flakes. If the snow sticks to trees, it would increase the chances of power outages with strong winds continuing Friday night. Here’s a timeline of the storm.
Rain develops around midnight and becomes heavy at times by dawn. Wind increases, with 30-45 mph gusts likely by dawn – especially near the coast. Temps in the 40s.
Rain, heavy at times. Very windy, with 45-60+ mph gusts. Temps in the 40s then falling late in the day into the upper 30s.
This is the best chance for any snow. Precipitation continues, heavy at times through 10 pm, then tapering to lighter snow/rain by around midnight. Temperature in the mid 30s. Best chance of snow is in Northern RI and Southern Worcester County early in the evening, and then there is a chance of snow in all of RI and SE MA after 7-8 pm. Anywhere from no accumulation to around 3″ possible, with the best chance of 3″ in the higher elevations. Still windy, with 50-60 mph gusts possible. Temps in the mid 30s.
Late Friday Night
Snow/rain ends, windy. Gusts to 50 mph possible. Temps in the mid-upper 30s.
Some clouds, but dry. Windy. Highs in the mid 40s.
This coastal flooding event will be widely covered by the major media outlets in the area. It looks like moderate to major coastal flooding for a few high tide cycles beginning early Friday. The best chance of significant coastal flooding is along eastern facing shores.
Stream, river, street flooding
A wet February has the ground primed for at least minor street, stream and river flooding. 2-4″ of rain is possible in RI, and there could be even more in some spots in Eastern Massachusetts.
Quiet weather is likely Sunday through Tuesday before another storm threatens in the midweek. It does not look as intense as the Friday storm, but could bring some wintry precipitation depending on the track.