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Slow Moving Cold Front Brings Days of Rain Chances Back to New England

New England's weather pattern can be summed up in one sentence: slow moving cutoff lows bringing showers and storms for days on end with brief ridging in between allowing drier weather. This pattern rolls on. After a couple days of mostly dry weather across the region, widespread storms re-entered New England yesterday. These storms will now continue and spread further into New England. Here are the latest trends for this whole system. Stay tuned for updates as more guidance continues to come in.


With the frontal system being stalled to New England's west, the most widespread shower and storm activity on Saturday will be in western areas. Showers and storms will be much more tame compared to yesterday for Vermont and Maine, however, with the ground already very saturated, some embedded downpours within the storms could cause additional flash flooding today.

The Weather Prediction Center does have Vermont, western and northern New Hampshire, western Massachusetts and northern Maine in the "marginal" category for excessive rainfall today. This means there is a low chance for flash flooding in these areas. Even in the "storms most numerous" area on the map above, the day will not be a wash out, there will be more dry times than wet times. Storms look to begin firing around mid-afternoon.


Sunday will be similar to Saturday, with scattered showers and storms breaking out after noontime. These storms will again be more numerous across western areas, however, a washout is not anticipated anywhere in New England as there will likely be more dry hours than wet hours, especially in the morning. The threat of showers and storms will be pushed a bit more eastward, but the overall threat remains low. There is once again a chance for the storms to produce torrential downpours.

During the day Sunday, the stalled cold front will begin to push eastward as the area of low pressure off New England's coast departs. At this time, an area of low pressure will form along the frontal boundary to our west. This will help inject even more moisture into an already moisture rich atmosphere.

By Sunday afternoon into the evening, rainfall will likely become more widespread and heavier in nature for western New England. This is a change from the scattered downpours and storms that have dominated the forecast recently. This heavy rain will remain focused over western New England overnight through the early morning hours Monday. Flooding will be a big concern for these areas as they are the same areas that have been hit by downpours over the past couple days.

Euro model showing a stark contrast between eastern and western New England rainfall rates Sunday evening:

The rain will push eastward into eastern New England by Sunday night (minus eastern Maine), however, the rainfall rates are currently looking to remain much lighter than western areas.


By Monday morning, the steady rain will likely have pushed further east. Widespread heavy rain is not as likely across eastern areas, however, embedded downpours are possible during the day. The steadiest of the rain may not arrive in eastern areas until Monday afternoon or evening. Rain will likely continue across western areas throughout Monday before finally tapering off as the system pushes eastward. Overall, the day has the potential to be washed out for many.

Tuesday should see this whole system begin to pull away, however, there will likely be continued scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, particularly for eastern New England and mainly in the morning.

The exact timing for this whole system still needs to be ironed out, these are current trends, but stay tuned to New England Storm Center for timing updates as the forecast becomes more refined. See below for more details on flooding concerns.

Euro model showing steadier rain pushing further east Monday evening with rain still coming down across western areas:


Flash flooding will be the primary flooding concern for much of this event as torrential downpours with rainfall rates in excess of 1-2 inches an hour will be possible from Saturday through Monday. In western areas, soil is already very saturated and will have trouble handling any more intense rainfall rates. At this time, it is looking like there will be scattered reports of road washouts, culvert washouts and other flash flood damage, especially Sunday night into Monday in Vermont and western Massachusetts.

By Monday afternoon, the flood concern will begin shifting from flash flooding to river flooding, particularly in Vermont. This is due to the fact that by Sunday evening, the rainfall will likely transition from scattered downpours to a widespread soaking rain. Total rainfall from Saturday through Tuesday could approach 4 inches in places across Vermont and western Massachusetts, with locally higher amounts in places where torrential downpours develop on Saturday and Sunday.

At this time, some rivers are forecast to see sharp rises by Monday, potentially reaching flood stage. Stay tuned to future forecasts for updates on this potential flooding event, especially if you are in a flood prone area.



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