Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Heat And Downpours To Make For A Rough Few Days In New England

Much of the nation (areas in purple and red,) are going to
get a LOT of rain over the next week.  
Get ready for a little weather whiplash in New England, if you can stand the heat and humidity that will precede it.

After a string of nice summer days, it's going to get rough out there.

As I write this early Wednesday morning, showers and thunderstorms were marching across much of New York and into central and southern New England.

That's a good thing. The region has been in a drought, and we can use the rain.

I think most - but not all - of the rain will miss northern reaches of New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Which is too bad. Lawns are brown up here, and while walking around Burlington, Vermont last evening, a warm, dry breeze was knocking drought-browned leaves off some of the trees.

Don't worry, rain is coming to the North, too, but first the heat. Lots of it.

It will indeed be very warm and humid today between the showers and storms, especially south as noted.  But Thursday will be ridiculous.

Temperatures across almost all of New England will be in the 90s, with some mid to upper 90s possible in the south and broad valleys in much of the north. Couple that with very high humidity, and you get my nomination for the most oppressively hot day since at least 2013.

There's already a heat advisory for Thursday around Boston and they might issue one for Vermont's Champlain Valley.

Up here in Burlington, we won't set a record high temperature for the date. Thursday is the anniversary of the hottest temperature on record in the Queen City: 101 degrees in 1944.

The heat index might get close to that 101, but the actual temperature won't.

Then comes the rain. As I said, we need it, and most of New England is going to get one to four inches of it, maybe locally higher in spots.

The problem is how it's going to rain. You want a slow, long steady rain to ease a drought. Not snort, sharp downpours. But that's pretty much what we're going to get.

A slow moving weather front will slowly sink northwest to southeast across New England Friday through Sunday or Monday .

Little mini-disturbances will keep riding southwest to northeast along the front. And the air over us is going to be extremely humid.

That's a recipe for torrential downpours. So, ironically, amid a drought, there might well be some local flash floods in the Northeast, including much of New England over the next few days.

There's disagreement between weather models about where the front will be.  Some computer models have  it moving toward and into Vermont Friday, which would set up the heaviest downpours then and Friday night.

That camp of computers  then slowly takes the front into southern New England Saturday and Sunday, which would mean torrential downpours south with lighter and more scattered stuff up north.

The other faction of computer models  thinks the front will move more slowly, and it will still be up in northern New England Saturday. That would place the heaviest rains in northern New York and much of Vermont,New Hampshire and Maine.

My gut tells me the southern New England heavy rain scenario Saturday and Sunday is right this time,  but that's not very scientific, is it? We'll just have to wait and see.

By the way, some of the thunderstorms could be strong, with gusty winds being added to the mix.

If you hate high humidity, you better hope the front pushes into southern New England fairly quickly.   Because if that happens, we'll get some - but not complete - relief from the terrible humidity we'll get over the next few days.

By the way, New England isn't going to be the only wet spot in the nation over the next few days. A broad stripe from the Gulf Coast all the way northeast through the lower Mississippi Valley and Tennesse and Ohio Valleys are up for a lot of rain over the next week.

So is parts of the Desert Southwest. There, the monsoon season has already produced several flash floods, and more are likely there over the next few days.

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