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Cold Front, System to Produce Soaking Rain for New England Wednesday Night

After a weak, quick-hitting round of rain moves through New England on Tuesday, a stronger system will bring another soaking rain event to the region Wednesday through Thursday. This system will be similar in nature to the one this past Saturday, however, there is one big difference that will likely enhance rainfall with this one.

As the main system (from the southern stream) works up the coast in the afternoon, a frontal boundary (from the northern stream) will be working into New England. By Wednesday evening, the systems will begin to converge, which will enhance rainfall rates in areas that are still ahead of the front. There will also be a stronger low-level jet, which will help transport moist air from the south into New England. This will lead to a soaking rain.

Beginning Wednesday morning, the cold front will slowly work into northern New England, bringing with it showers to northern New England, mainly Vermont and northern New Hampshire during the late morning and afternoon. The main storm system will still be to the south of New England at this time. Wednesday is shaping up to be a mainly dry day for much of New England. Showers will begin to fill in through the afternoon.

RGEM showing expected Weather early Wednesday afternoon:

By Wednesday evening, convergence between the slow-moving front and the southern storm system will begin. This will create moderate to at times heavy rainfall rates throughout Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Drier air will be working into the system behind the front, so the heaviest rain will occur in areas that are still ahead of the front.

RGEM showing expected weather Wednesday evening:

There will likely be periods of drenching rains across southern and central New England, as well as coastal Maine, throughout the overnight hours Wednesday into Thursday morning. These drenching rains will likely be most common in eastern Massachusetts (mainly Boston and point south) and Rhode Island. These areas could see upwards of three inches of rain.

RGEM showing expected weather early Thursday morning:

Amounts will taper as you head north and west, but a decent soaking will be possible across all of southern New England, southern New Hampshire and coastal Maine.

Combine this with the rains that have fallen already this past weekend and the quick shot of rain from today (Tuesday) and there is the potential for some minor to possibly pockets of moderate river flooding across southeast New England. Poor drainage and flash flooding is also possible, but also expected to be on the minor side. A flood watch has been issued for the Massachusetts South Shore and Rhode Island.

The heaviest of rain will come to an end in the morning hours, but showers will likely linger through much of the day on Thursday. The cold front will pass through the region, leading to a much cooler day. In this case, however, much cooler just means closer to seasonal averages for early March.

There will be a gusty wind with this system, but a vast majority of the region should see winds below impactful levels. Gusts could approach 50mph near the coast. In other areas, the breeze will just add to the raw, damp feel of the day Thursday.

With the cold front filtering in colder air into northern areas, rain will likely switch to snow across northern Maine. Any accumulations will be light, with perhaps 1-3 inches across the Maine Highlands and Aroostook County. Some mixing will be possible across the entire northern tier at the tail end Thursday morning.

Probability of at least 2 inches of snow by Thursday evening:

After this system, New England gets another brief break on Friday into Saturday before another storm arrives for the second half of the weekend. While there remains a large spread in potential outcomes, the trends have been toward a mainly rain event in southern New England with some snow possible further north. This storm could end as some snow for most in New England. There's too much uncertainty at this point for any real details.

Weather map for Sunday morning showing the potential setup:



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