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New England's Next Storm to Bring Rain, Wind to the Region: Impacts, Timing, Alerts

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Maps updated 10am Sunday


Another early week storm coming to New England will bring the region a bout of heavy rain, strong winds and possibly some coastal flooding. This storm is currently taking shape in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend and will travel north, soaking the entire east coast as it does so. The storm will deepen as it moves up the coast. The storm will very likely take an inland track across the northeast, which will play a large role in rainfall amounts and wind.



ALERTS



TIMING


The center of the storm itself likely won't pass through (or west of) New England until Monday afternoon, but the storm will interact with a disturbance lifting north of New England. This will allow showers to break out by late afternoon Sunday. Showers will begin to fill in across New England and likely gradually ramp up through Sunday night.


Expected weather Sunday evening (1st image) and Sunday overnight (2nd image):


The storm will ramp up by sunrise Monday. The heaviest rain and strongest winds will kick in Monday morning and spread from southwest to northeast through New England. The storm will likely peak across New England from mid-morning through mid-afternoon. At this time, a soaking rain will likely envelope New England along with strong winds, mainly along the coast.


Expected weather Monday around sunrise (1st image) and early Monday afternoon (2nd image):


The bulk of this storm will wind down Monday late-afternoon through the evening, however, New England will remain in a trough, so clouds and light rain/snow showers will likely hang around into Tuesday. Overall, Tuesday has trended drier, but scattered showers will likely hang around. Light snow showers will be possible across the higher terrain of northern New England Monday night into Tuesday, but accumulations will be minimal.


Expected weather Tuesday:



RAIN


Similar to this past week's storm, this storm will have a large amount of moisture with which to work as the storm will create a strong southerly flow ahead of it. The storm is also taking shape in the warm Gulf of Mexico. This will work to create an unusually moist atmosphere given the time of year.


With that said, heavy rainfall rates will once again be likely. New England will be looking at another 1-3 inches of rain, with the most likely across the White and Maine Mountains. Some street flooding is possible with this system, especially during the daylight hours Monday. The Weather Prediction Center maintains western New Hampshire and the coastal half of Maine in the "slight" category (level 2 of 4) for excessive rain.



While rivers have come down from this past week's event, water tables remain high. Another bout of heavy runoff, along with snowmelt across portions of northern New England, will result in river rises. A small handful of rivers across New England may crest at flood stage, similar to this past week's storm. There are some (albeit rather weak) signals that put parts of the Connecticut River into moderate flood stage. Overall, this shouldn't be a significant flooding event.



WIND


This storm will be similar to last week's storm in that there will be very strong winds aloft, with winds of 80-90mph about 2,500 feet above sea level across eastern New England. How much of these winds can make it to the surface is, as usual, the wild card. Winds will be strong along the coast, the big question is just how far inland are the winds are able to push. Winds this strong aloft will support gusts of 50-60+mph along the coast. Downslope gusts of 50+mph will also be possible in the Green and White Mountains.


Winds at 2,500 feet above sea level Monday morning:


The exact track of the system will play a large role in determining this. A more westward track would push the winds further inland while slightly reducing rainfall totals in western areas. A more eastern track would bump up rainfall, but limit winds. An inversion cap may also aid in keeping stronger winds aloft in northern New England.




COASTAL FLOODING


With a strong southeasterly flow Monday, coastal flooding will be a concern, mainly for the Monday afternoon high tide. A surge of up to 2-3 feet will be possible across the entire New England coast. This could result in minor to moderate coastal flooding if the max surge occurs during high tide, which it appears to come close to.


The main area of concern is the south coast of New England, namely Narragansett Bay, the south coast of Cape Cod and the islands. Maine's midcoast and downeast areas will also bear watching. There is a lesser threat along the north shore of Massachusetts and the New Hampshire seacoast, but the threat is still there.


Wind direction and speed around the Monday afternoon high tide:


RECORD HIGHS


With the surge of warm air northward, highs will likely reach well into the 50s and low 60s across all of New England on Monday. Record high temperatures will be possible across northern New England with cities like Portland, Augusta, Concord and Burlington. All these cities are either forecast to beat or come close to daily records for December 18th. All-time warm low temperatures are also possible Sunday night to Monday morning.



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