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April 1 – Quick-hitter early Wednesday

A fast-developing storm will make a run at Southeastern New England late Tuesday night into early Wednesday. The storm will bring strong winds from Buzzards Bay to the islands, and that’s where the heaviest rain will fall, too. If the storm track “threads the needle”, then it’s possible there will be a burst of moderate/heavy snow around dawn in the hills of NW RI, NE CT and Worcester County. That’s definitely something to keep an eye on!

Hi-Res NAM model brings rain to most of Southern New England late Tuesday night into early Wednesday. It’s heaviest from the coast of RI through SE MA. It’s a glancing blow for most of CT

First-things-first, and we have to get through Tuesday before the storm makes a run at us. Expect a a cold start in the 20s under clear skies. The wind will diminish Monday night, and some frost is possible early Tuesday. Sun will give way to clouds with highs in the upper 40s to low 50s – not a bad day, just a bit cool for early April.

Clouds thicken Tuesday evening, and the best chance of rain is not until after midnight. If the storm tracks southeast of Nantucket but not quite out to sea and rapidly intensifies, then a burst of snow is possible primarily in the high elevations of NE CT, NW RI and Worcester County. The timing of any snow is important, because it’s unlikely to stick to pavement during the day in April. Right now, it looks like if there is snow it would start before dawn, and there could be some accumulation (mainly on grass) in high elevations.

The EPS ensemble predicts a 30-50% chance of 3″ of snow in the hills of NE CT and NW RI, but it does not account for any melting that will happen. I think there’s about that chance of an inch of snow in those areas, and it’s more like 10-30% chance of 3″

The I-95 corridor (primarily east of New Haven through RI and eastern MA) is likely to get a few hours of wind-driven rain from the storm as it whizzes by. The best chance of steady rain is from 1 a.m. – 10 a.m. Wednesday, although I do not expect 10 hours of moderate/heavy rain in any area except for the islands. I think it’s more likely that the “brunt” of the storm lasts for 4-6 hours. Don’t be shocked if you see some snow mixing in with the rain in most of RI and eastern MA if the precipitation gets heavy between 6-10 a.m. Wednesday. I do not expect it to lead to icy travel as the temperature will be above freezing. This storm is more of a RI and SE MA event than it is for the Hartford – New Haven area.

The strongest winds are likely over Eastern Massachusetts, particularly on the islands. The 3KM NAM model is projecting gusts in the 50 mph range Wednesday morning. Peak gusts between 25-35 mph are more likely for CT and most of RI.

3KM NAM model gust potential

The storm is a fast-mover, and if the track trends just a bit east, it’s basically a no-impact event for most of Connecticut. It may produce around an inch of rain from Newport to Nantucket, but less than 0.25″ of rain in western CT. There’s a very sharp cut-off between getting soaked and not getting much at all.

It will stay breezy to windy Wednesday afternoon, but look for a decent warm-up. Any snow that falls in the high terrain will disappear in a hurry as the temperature jumps into the 50s by midday, and may top out near 60° in the afternoon.

Quiet and cooler weather is ahead for Thursday and Friday. It looks gusty on Thursday with highs near 50°. Clouds thicken Friday and it will be quite cool for early April with temps in the mid 40s. The weather still looks a bit unsettled for the first half of the weekend. I do not expect heavy rain, but showers and damp conditions could plague Saturday with highs near 50°. Sunday looks brighter and warmer.

Fred Campagna

President and Chief Meteorologist - Right Weather LLC AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist #756 AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist #126

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