Weekend Outlook: October 30 – November 2, 2020

We’ve got a little bit of everything coming up in the next few days, but that’s actually fairly typical for autumn.

The weekend starts off on a stormy note as the remains of Zeta pull away tonight while a second system quickly follows. The heaviest rain is expected this evening and the first part of tonight from Zeta’s remains, but as it pulls away, it will draw some colder air into the region just as the second storm moves in. As that colder air moves in, we’ll see the rain mix with and change over to sleet and wet snow, first in the hills of southwestern New Hampshire and central Massachusetts early Friday morning, then across the rest of southern New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts by daybreak or shortly thereafter. Everything should wind down by early afternoon, followed by rapid clearing and diminishing winds (more on this in a moment).

The rainfall tonight and early Friday will be beneficial and help put a dent in the ongoing drought. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Since the National Weather Service has posted Winter Weather Advisories for the interior of the region, you must be expecting some decent snow, right? We don’t think so. Across the hills of Worcester County and the Monadnocks, a few inches may accumulate, possibly a little more on top of the hills. For Southern New Hampshire (Concord-Manchester-Nashua), you could see an inch or so, maybe two inches in a few spots, mainly on grassy surfaces. From the New Hampshire Seacoast into the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts we’re looking at an inch or less, again mainly on grassy surfaces. For the rest of us, just a mix of rain or snow, maybe enough to coat the grass in some spots, mainly from Metro West to the North Shore.

Winter Weather Advisories have been posted for interior portions of New England. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

Why is our forecast for less than most of the TV and NWS forecasts out there? Most of the forecast models are showing the potential for 1-3, possibly as much as 6 inches of snow. However, a lot of people seem to forget a few things. First, those maps assume a 10:1 ratio of snow to liquid (1 inch of rain equals 10 inches of snow). With temperatures near or just above freezing, the ratio won’t be 10:1, more like 7 or 8 to 1, so that trims to 20-30% off of the map totals. Second. the ground is still relatively mild. While this impact is minor, it just means that the snow won’t stick initially, as it will melt on contact until the ground cools a bit more. So that may take away another 10% of the model totals. Factor those into the model forecasts, and you arrive at the numbers we have.

Once the system pulls away, it will clear out as we mentioned before. Temperatures will drop quickly, likely bottoming out in the 20s across much of the region, maybe even upper teens in some spots. Any roads that are still wet during the evening may start to ice up, especially bridges, overpasses, and elevated roadways. Keep this in mind if you’ll be out Friday night or early Saturday morning. As for Saturday, it’ll be a rather chilly Halloween despite sunshine. High temperatures will only get up into the middle to upper 40s at best.

Temperatures will only be in the 30s Saturday evening, so make sure the kids are dressed properly for trick-or-treating. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Saturday night probably won’t be quite as cold, as winds will shift into the southwest and clouds will start to move in. Sunday will be milder, but with a cold front approaching, a few showers are possible during the afternoon and evening. Much colder air settles in behind that front on Monday, when temperatures will struggle to reach 40 in some spots. We may even see a few flurries. The good news is, it looks like it will start to warm up again later next week, but we’ll have more details on this on our Weekly Outlook Monday morning.

Most of next week should feature temperatures that are near or a little above normal for early November. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Thursday night: Breezy with rain, possibly heavy at times, gradually mixing with and changing over to sleet and wet snow. Low 30-37, except 37-44 across Cape Cod and the Islands.

Friday: Snow or a wintry mix ending around midday, then skies start to clear out with diminishing winds. High 34-41, a little warmer across Cape Cod and the Islands.

Friday night: Clear and chilly. Low 18-25, 26-33 across Cape Cod and the Islands.

Saturday: Sunny and cool. High 40-47.

Saturday night: Clear during the evening, clouds start to move in after midnight. Low 25-32, but temperatures may start to rise a bit after midnight.

Sunday: Cloudy with a few late-day showers possible. High 54-61.

Sunday night: Mostly cloudy, any showers end during the evening. Low 30-37.

Monday: A mix of sun and clouds, slight chance for a snow flurry or a sprinkle. High 39-46.

Hurricanes, Record Cold, and Snow

Here at Storm HQ, we like to separate fact from fiction, or more appropriately, hype from reality. So, we’re going to do that once again in regards to a few topics involving this week’s weather.

Claim: 2020 is now the most active Hurricane Season on record.

Reality: Nope, it isn’t. Not yet at least. With the formation of now-Tropical Storm Zeta a few days ago, many people, including many that should know better, were quick to proclaim that 2020 had now tied 2005 as the busiest Atlantic Hurricane Season ever, since the last named storm in 2005 was also Zeta. However, many people didn’t bother to review that 2005 season. Every year, when the season ends (officially: November 30), the folks down at the National Hurricane Center do a review of everything, to see if there were any storms that they missed. It turns out, that in 2005, there was an unnamed subtropical storm that was added after the fact. So, 2005 ended up with 28 storms of tropical storm strength, and 2020 only has 27 such storms so far.

As for Zeta itself, after making landfall in the Yucatan just south of Cancun last night with maximum sustained winds near 80 mph, it has weakened to a tropical storm. However, as of midday, the center was moving into the Gulf of Mexico, and it is expected to re-intensify into a hurricane later today. While Zeta is currently heading northwestward, a turn more toward the north and eventually northeast is expected over the next 24-36 hours, as a trough of low pressure in the nation’s midsection pulls the storm in. Unfortunately, that means that Zeta will likely make landfall as a hurricane late Wednesday afternoon or evening along the central Gulf Coast. The current forecast has landfall in southeastern Louisiana, but anywhere from western Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle should keep an eye on Zeta’s progress. Strong winds, storm surge, and flooding from heavy rain are all threats with this storm.

Tropical Storm Zeta is moving into the Gulf of Mexico at midday. Loop provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Claim: An historic arctic outbreak is impacting much of the Rockies and Plains.

Reality: This one is definitely true. It’s been brutally cold out there for the past few days, with many records not only being broken, but being annihilated, and in some cases, these records have stood for over 100 years. In Bozeman, Montana, the low temperature Monday morning was 20 below zero. The record low for the day was 11 above zero, set back in 2002. When a record low is broken by 31 degrees, that’s historic. The low of -20 also shattered that city’s record low for the month of October, which was -14. Again, beating a monthly record by 6 degrees doesn’t happen that often. A little farther to the south is the town of Lyman, Wyoming. Lyman was the nation’s cold spot on Monday, when the low temperature bottomed out at 31 degrees below zero. That’s the actual temperature, not the wind chill. This is the earliest in the season that anywhere in the Lower 48 states has ever dropped to 30 below or colder, breaking a record set on October 29, 1917. With all of this cold air in place, and a storm system in the Desert Southwest, snow and ice have been common from the Southern Rockies into the Southern Plains and parts of Texas. This storm system and the cold air will move eastward over the next few days, but the air should moderate significantly.

It’s a wintry morning from the Southern Plains into parts of Texas and New Mexico. Loop provided by Weathertap.

Claim: Snow in Southern New England in October means that Winter won’t feature much snow.

Reality: As with most things involving winter in New England, this one varies. Most people believe this to be true because after the big pre-Halloween snowstorm (“Snowtober”) in 2011, we didn’t get much snow through the rest of the winter. Something similar happened in 1979, when we received measurable snow on October 9-10, then little to no snow through most of the winter. The problem is, those aren’t the only times it’s ever snowed in October around here. Using data for Lowell, snow has been recorded in October during 18 of the past 91 years. During those 18 years, Lowell has averaged 53″ of snow, compared to a “normal” winter, when Lowell averages 55.8″ of snow. Of these 18 winters, all of them except for 1979-80, 2001-02, and 2011-12 featured at least one month between November and April with above normal snow. (1979 and 2011 both had above normal snow in October). Of the remaining 15, 12 of them had at least two months with above normal snow. Of the 18 overall, 13 of them featured above normal snowfall in either December, January, or both months.┬áSo, if we see some flakes on Friday, it does not automatically mean that we won’t see much this winter. (Sorry!)

After “Snowtober” we didn’t get much snow during the following winter, but that’s not always the case when it snows in October. Image provided by the National Weather Service office in Norton, MA.

Claim: The first snowstorm of the winter is expected on Friday.

Reality: Unless you live in the hills of Worcester County or in southwestern New Hampshire, this is probably not true. We talked about this in our Weekly Outlook yesterday – the pattern for the end of the week is complex, but things are looking a little clearer today. What’s left of Zeta will pass south of the region on Thursday, bringing some much-needed rain into the area. However, it looks like the bulk of the heavy rain may stay south of New England. Right behind it will be the system that is producing wintry weather across the Southern Plains. That system will pass to our south Thursday night and early Friday. As colder air gets drawn southward behind Zeta’s remnants, and the moisture from the second storm moves in, we’ll likely see the rain mix with or change over to sleet and snow across the hills of Worcester County and into the Monadnocks of southern New Hampshire. In these spots, we could see some minor accumulations, possibly a few inches. For the rest of us from southern New Hampshire into eastern Massachusetts, some sleet or snow will likely mix with the rain before it ends Friday afternoon. While there could be some slushy accumulations on grassy surfaces in southern New Hampshire and the Merrimack Valley, this is far from definite and certainly isn’t a “snowstorm”, despite any hype from the local media. Plus, as we mentioned at the start of this paragraph, it isn’t even that uncommon. It happens on average once every five years in Lowell, and the last time that it happened was – five years ago, in 2015.

Saturday morning will be quite chilly across the region, with a killing freeze for everyone except possibly the Cape and Islands. Image provided by Weathermodels.com.

Once that storm moves away, some of the modified arctic air will move in, resulting in the coldest night of the season thus far. Temperatures will drop into the 20s across much of the area Saturday morning, resulting in a killing freeze in many places that have not yet had one. So, if you still have any plants outside that need to be brought in, now is the time. Despite sunshine, temperatures will only reach the 40s Saturday afternoon. For any kids that are trick-or-treating during the late afternoon or evening, temperatures will only be in the upper 30s to middle 40s, so make sure they are dressed properly for the weather.

Weekly Outlook: October 26-November 1, 2020

It’s coming. Most of you don’t want to hear it, but you’re going to anyways. No, we’re not talking about changing the clocks this coming weekend. We’re talking about something scarier that happens before that, and it’s not Halloween either. It’s the first mention of “snow” in the forecast.

Turn your clocks back an hour Saturday night before bed. We don’t want to know what you’re doing with your hoe for that extra hour. Image provided by Wikipedia.

We’ll start the week with a rather “blah” day. A warm front will try to lift northward into the region, but probably won’t make it (a sign of things to come this winter?). As a result, we’re stuck with plenty of clouds, some drizzle and/or showers, and cool temperatures. A cold front will move through at night, with a few more showers possible. Behind the front we’ll have a couple of drier days for Tuesday and Wednesday, but as little upper-level disturbances move through, we’ll still have some clouds and maybe a shower or two. With high pressure to the north, we’ll still have easterly winds, so it will remain on the cool side, with temperatures generally running a few degrees below where they should be in late October.

Average high temperatures in late October are in the upper 50s. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

The end of the week is where things get interesting, complicated, and uncertain. A frontal boundary will remain stalled out south of the region keeping us cool. Meanwhile, what’s left of Tropical Storm Zeta will move across the Tennessee Valley and will likely ride along that boundary to our south. How far south that boundary lies will help determine how far north the rains from Zeta get. Thursday will be a cool, wet day obviously, but how wet remains to be seen. Some models are showing the potential for some heavy rainfall, especially along the South Coast, which would help somewhat with the drought, but also make the day even more miserable.

Some models show the potential for heavy rainfall this week while others show significantly less rain. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

But wait, that’s not all. At the same time, an upper-level low will be moving out of the Plains and toward the Mid-Atlantic states, while another upper-level disturbance will be moving across the Great Lakes and towards New England. These two will help determine our weather for Thursday night and Friday. Some models show the potential for these two systems to join up or “phase”. This happens often during the winter to create some of our stronger storms. We’re not convinced that will happen here. Even if it does, it may not happen until the disturbances are past us, in which case, it won’t matter. Even if they don’t phase, we’re going to see colder air get drawn southward in the wake of Zeta’s remnants and as another low passes south of us. At the same time, we’ll have more precipitation moving in. So, while Friday will be another chilly and wet day, it’s becoming more likely that the rain will change over to wet snow in some of the hills from Worcester County into the Monadnocks, where there may even be enough to turn the ground white. For the rest of us, there are still too many variables to really be too definitive. We wouldn’t be shocked if some wet snow mixed in with the rain across parts of southern New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts. There are some models that are forecasting accumulating snow around here. We can’t even rule that out, if everything lines up perfectly. We’re not expecting a repeat of “Snowtober”, but other than that, anything is possible.

The models still have a variety of solutions for Friday, leading to an uncertain forecast. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Once that system pulls away, high pressure builds in with sunshine and chilly temperatures for Halloween. Make sure the kids are bundled up if they are heading out to trick or treat, as it will be chilly Saturday evening. The high slides offshore on Sunday, allowing temperatures to moderate, but the next system will be quickly approaching, with some showers possible by evening.

Temperatures may only be in the lower 40s for Trick-or-Treat time Saturday evening. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Monday: Clouds, drizzle, fog, maybe a few showers. Blah. High 52-59.

Monday night: Cloudy with a shower possible. Low 44-51.

Tuesday: Clouds and some afternoon sunny breaks. High 52-59.

Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy. Low 33-40.

Wednesday: More clouds than sunshine, a few showers are possible. High 50-57.

Thursday: Cloudy with showers developing, possibly become a steady rain late in the day. High 50-57.

Friday: Cloudy and breezy with rain and showers possibly mixing with or changing over to some wet snow before ending in the afternoon. High 38-45.

Saturday: Plenty of sunshine. High 42-49.

Sunday: Some early sun, then clouds return with showers possible late in the day. High 51-58.

Weekend Outlook: October 23-27, 2020

Temperatures will be riding a rollercoaster around here through the weekend, but as has been the case more often than not recently, little rainfall is expected.

Last week’s rain helped, but much of the region is still experiencing severe to extreme drought. Image provided by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

We’re starting off with a sunny and warm afternoon, but high pressure building in tonight will result in some cooler weather for Friday, as winds shift into the east. There may be a little patchy fog again tonight, but otherwise, we’ll have generally clear to partly cloudy skies into Friday.

That high will slide off to our east on Saturday, allowing us to warm back up, but clouds will also be streaming in ahead of a cold front. That cold front will move through during the afternoon, but it will be starved for moisture, so other than a spot shower or two, it should remain dry. However, you will notice the front in the temperature department. Temperatures could approach 70 during the afternoon, but will start to drop pretty quickly behind the front. By Sunday morning, many of us will see temperatures in the 30s to lower 40s. With high pressure building back in on Sunday we’ll have some sunshine, but north to northeast winds will keep temperatures in the upper 40s and 50s all afternoon.

After several mild nights, Sunday morning will be much cooler. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

We start heading back up the rollercoaster on Monday as low pressure passes north and west of the region, bringing a warm front through. This will allow us to warm up again, but it may also bring in some showers. They shouldn’t be too heavy or widespread, but at this point, any rain helps with our current drought. As the low moves by, it will drag a cold front through towards evening, with a few more showers possible, and sending temperatures downward again as we head into next week.

Little rainfall is expected between now and Monday evening. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Thursday night: Clear to partly cloudy with some patchy fog developing. Low 48-55.

Friday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 62-69.

Friday night: Partly to mostly cloudy, more fog is possible. Low 46-53.

Saturday: More clouds than sun, breezy late in the day, slight chance for a shower. High 65-72.

Saturday night: Clearing. Low 34-41.

Sunday: Sunshine and a few clouds, much cooler. High 47-54.

Sunday night: Becoming mostly cloudy. Low 36-43.

Monday: Cloudy with a chance for some showers. High 56-63.

Weekly Outlook: October 19-25, 2020

Last week’s rainfall will help, but this week will bring little to no relief from the drought.

Most of New England received beneficial rainfall over the past week. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Much of the upcoming will will be dry across the region thanks to a large offshore high pressure area. That doesn’t mean it will be sunny every day, however. We’ll have a frontal system stalled out to our north and west for most of the week, with the high offshore preventing it from moving through. As waves of low pressure ride along the front, we’ll have some cloud cover, and a few stray showers may move in at times, especially Tuesday or Wednesday, but for the most part, it will remain dry.

Little to no rainfall is expected over the next week across the region. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Although it won’t be completely sunny, it will be relatively warm for mid-October. We’ll have southwest winds bringing mild air in, with temperatures mainly in the 60s and 70s this week, which is 10 to 20 degrees above normal.

Well above normal temperatures are expected for most of the week. Image provided by WeatherBell.

By later Saturday, that cold front will finally have enough of a push to move through, but again, it won’t produce much in the way of rainfall, just a few showers. What will be noticeable is the cooler air settling in for next Sunday, bringing temperatures back where they should be for late October, maybe even a little below normal.

Monday: Sunshine filtered through some high clouds. High 58-65.

Monday night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 44-51.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, slight chance for a shower. High 64-71.

Tuesday night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 50-57.

Wednesday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine, chance for a shower or two. High 65-72.

Thursday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 67-74.

Friday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 61-68.

Saturday: Partly sunny, chance for a few showers late in the day and at night. High 63-70.

Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds, cooler. High 52-59.

Weekend Outlook: October 16-19, 2020

After a good soaking a few days ago, we have more rain in our future.

Enjoy today’s weather, because things will be quite different tomorrow afternoon. Loop provided by the College of DuPage.

We’ve got a breezy and mild day in progress today, but changes are coming. Clouds will start to stream into the region tonight as a cold front approaches from the west. Showers will develop ahead of this front on Friday, making for a rather damp day. By late in the day, as the front moves into eastern New England, a wave of low pressure will ride along it from the south, bringing in some steadier and heavier rainfall at night. The models still disagree on how much rain we’ll actually get, but they all have come down significantly from the projected totals earlier this week of 2-3 inches, as expected. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise if parts of eastern Massachusetts receive less than 1 inch of rain from this system.

A decent slug of rainfall is on the way for the region. Image provided by WeatherBell.

The front pushes offshore Saturday morning, bringing an end to the rain. We’ll start to clear out behind the front during the afternoon, but it will be breezy and cool. High pressure then builds in for Sunday into Monday with dry and seasonably cool conditions.

It might be on the chilly side if you’re up early Sunday morning. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Thursday night: Increasing clouds. Low 53-60.

Friday: Cloudy and breezy with showers developing by midday. High 64-71, but temperatures may drop quickly in the afternoon.

Friday night: Cloudy with periods of rain and showers, some of the rain may be heavy. Low 40-47.

Saturday: Rain ending in the morning, then becoming partly to mostly sunny and breezy. High 51-58.

Saturday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 33-40, a little warmer in urban areas and right along the coast.

Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 55-62.

Sunday night: Partly cloudy. Low 41-48.

Monday: Partly sunny. High 60-67.

Weekly Outlook: October 12-18, 2020

Some much-needed rainfall is finally on the way, but we need a lot more.

Drought conditions continue to worsen across New England. Image provided by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

The remains of Hurricane Delta will move into the Mid-Atlantic states today, bringing that region some more heavy rainfall. Some of that rain will get into southern New England today, but it doesn’t look like it will make too much progress northward, thanks to high pressure that will be slow to move out. Right out, it looks like most of the rain today will be south of a line that stretches from Hartford to Providence to Plymouth, or roughly south of Route 44. A few showers may get farther north, but the bulk of the rainfall should stay south during the daytime. With the high to the northeast and low pressure to the southeast, we’ll have brisk northeast winds resulting in a rather cool day across the region, with temperatures likely staying in the 50s for most of us.

Up to an inch of much-needed rain is expected with some spots possibly exceeding an inch. Image provided by WeatherBell.

As low pressure gets a little closer tonight and a cold front starts to approach from the west, rainfall should become more widespread across the region. Some of the rain may be heavy, and it may actually bring down some warmer air from aloft, allowing temperatures to rise a few degrees. The rain continues into Tuesday, which should be a bit milder, ending from west to east during the afternoon as the cold front moves across the region.

High pressure builds in for Wednesday and Thursday, bringing some sunshine and milder weather back in. However, our dry and mild weather will be short-lived. Another cold front approaches on Friday, with another round of showers expected. Some of the models try to develop an area of low pressure along this front which would bring some heavier rain into the region, but we’re skeptical of that scenario at this point. Since the drought began in the Spring, we’ve seen numerous model forecasts for a decent amount of rain several days out that fizzle as it gets closer. Until we see something to change our mind, we’ll continue to lean towards lighter amounts of rain. (Even the rain for today/tomorrow was forecast to be much heavier by the models just a day or two ago) While we’re leaning dry, we are mindful of the fact that more than one model is going for the rain to last through Saturday and into early Sunday. In fact, one of the models actually has the rain change to snow across the mountains of northern New England this weekend as colder air moves in. Obviously, we should have much more clarity on the weekend forecast when we issue our Weekend Outlook Thursday afternoon, but we just wanted to warn you up front that although our forecast right now shows a decent weekend, that is subject to change.

With some sunshine, Friday could be quite warm ahead of a cold front. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Monday: Cloudy, breezy, and cool with some showers likely, mainly close to the South Coast. High 51-58.

Monday night: Cloudy and breezy with more widespread showers and a period of steady rain, possibly heavy in spots. Low 46-53, but temperatures may drift up a few degrees after midnight, especially south of Boston.

Tuesday: Periods of rain and showers during the morning, ending from west to east during the afternoon. High 57-64, possibly a little warmer near the South Coast and Cape Cod.

Tuesday night: Gradual clearing. Low 44-51.

Wednesday: A mix of sun and clouds, milder. High 62-69.

Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny, breezy. High 65-72.

Friday: Plenty of clouds with some showers likely. High 65-72.

Saturday: Early clouds, then becoming partly sunny. High 56-63.

Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 54-61.

Weekend Outlook: October 9-12, 2020

We’ve reached Columbus Day Weekend, or for our friends north of the border, it’s Thanksgiving Weekend. For one day at least, it’s not going to feel like it.

Friday morning will be rather chilly across the region. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Once again, we’ve got a fairly simple forecast for the most part. High pressure remains in control through Saturday. This provides us with cool weather into Saturday. Frost advisories are in effect away from the coastline tonight, as temperatures will drop into the 30s in many areas. If you still have anything in your garden, it’s time to bring it inside. The high slides offshore Friday night, allowing milder air to move back in. In fact, Saturday will be quite warm, with temperatures reaching the 70s for most of us.

Saturday is definitely the better of the weekend days. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Sunday is when things start to change. A cold front moves through during the early morning, but there will be little precipitation accompanying it. There may be a few sprinkles or a spot shower, but the vast majority of the region should remain dry. However, much cooler weather will settle back in, with temperatures similar to today and Friday as high pressure builds back in behind the front.

This brings us to Monday, which is a bit of a question mark at this point. What’s left of Hurricane Delta will start moving this way in the form of some shower activity. The high pressure area will still be in control, keeping most of the shower activity from moving in. However, the high will be pushing off to the east, so right now, it looks like we may see some showers start to move in during the afternoon and evening. The day shouldn’t be a washout, and in fact, it may remain dry during the daylight hours. It will stay cool though with plenty of cloud cover.

Will some rain move in on Monday or not? The models don’t all agree on the outcome. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Thursday night: Clear and chilly. Low 33-40.

Friday: Sunny and cool. High 57-64.

Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low 44-51 during the evening, temperatures will start to rise a bit after midnight.

Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds, breezy, and warmer. High 71-78.

Saturday night: Partly to mostly cloudy, slight chance for a shower late at night. Low 50-57.

Sunday: More clouds than sun. High 59-66.

Sunday night: Plenty of clouds. Low 42-49.

Monday: A few sunny breaks early, otherwise mostly cloudy, showers may develop towards evening. High 56-63.

Big Trouble for Cancun and the Gulf

In math and science, Delta is used to reference change. Using that definition, Hurricane Delta has been aptly named, as it has been changing by the minute.

Hurricane Delta has rapidly intensified into a Category 4 Hurricane. Loop provided by NOAA.

Tropical Depression 26 developed late Sunday night south of Jamaica. Just 36 hours later, the system has become Hurricane Delta, a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds near 140 mph. While rapid intensification was always a possibility since the storm was sitting in the northwestern Caribbean over some of the warmest waters of the entire Atlantic Basin, nobody expected it to become this powerful this quickly, and it may not be done yet.

As of 2pm EDT Tuesday, Delta was centered about 260 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph. Hurricane Warnings are in effect for parts of the Yucatan, including the resort locations of Cancun and Cozumel. Tropical Storm Warnings are also in effect for parts of the Yucatan and western Cuba.

Forecast track for Hurricane Delta.

Delta is expected to move across the northeastern Yucatan on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, passing close to or over Cozumel and Cancun. Likely impacts include a storm surge of 6-12 feet, wind gusts in excess of 100mph, and rainfall totals of 3-6 inches and locally heavier will produce flooding and mudslides. The only saving grace is that Delta should be moving along fairly quickly, so that will limit the amount of time that hurricane conditions are expected.

Delta will produce heavy rain across the Yucatan and western Cuba. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Once Delta emerges in the southern Gulf of Mexico, it should eventually start to turn more toward the northwest and then north. When that turn occurs will be important for determining where landfall will happen. Most of the models are currently clustered in central or western Louisiana, with a timeframe of late Friday night or early Saturday. This is the same area that was battered by Hurricane Laura several weeks ago. However, this can, and probably will change a little over the next few days.

While the models are clustered together, there is still uncertainty as to where land will occur. Image provided by Tomer Burg.

As far as intensity, Delta should weaken a little as it moves over the Yucatan on Wednesday, but then strengthen again as it moves back over the Gulf of Mexico. The recent trend has been for storms to continue to intensify up until landfall in the Gulf, but that does not look like it will be the case with Delta. For one, some wind shear will start to impact the system as it moves across the central and northern Gulf, but water temperatures closer to the Gulf Coast has dropped recently thanks to a series of cold front moving into the region. Delta should still be a formidable storm, but it likely won’t be a Category 4 at landfall along the Gulf Coast.

Water temperatures in the northern Gulf of Mexico have dropped a few degrees recently. Image provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Marie continues to wind down and should dissipate over open water in the next 12-24 hours. However, Tropical Storm Norbert has formed off the southwestern coast of Mexico. Norbert is centered about 365 miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and has maximum sustained winds near 45 mph. Norbert is expected to meander around over open water, with some strengthening possible in the next few days.

Tropical Storm Norbert is not a threat to land. Image provided by the National Hurricane Center.

Much farther to the west, Tropical Storm Chan-Hom could become a threat to parts of southwestern and southern Japan late this week. Chan-Hom currently has maximum sustained winds near 65 mph, but strengthening is likely, and it could become a typhoon in the next day or two. A northwestward track towards the Ryukyu Islands will continue for the next day or two, before the system starts to recurve towards the north and eventually northeast. When that recurve takes place will determine what, if any, impacts, the system has on southern Japan. Right now, it looks like heavy rain will be the biggest threat, but obviously, wind could become a factor, depending on the actual track.

Forecast track for Tropical Storm Chan-Hom. Image provided by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Weekly Outlook: October 5-11, 2020

We’re not expecting much drought relief again this week, but it won’t be completely bone-dry either.

Most of the region has received 50-75% of the normal amount of rainfall over the past 6 months. Image provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

The week actually starts off with low pressure passing south and east of the region this morning. It will produce some showers across the Cape and Islands, and possibly into parts of southeastern Massachusetts, but once you get north and west of Interstate-95, there won’t be any rain to be found. The system pulls away during the afternoon and high pressure builds in, with skies quickly clearing out. The high will slide offshore tonight, but another weak system will move through on Tuesday, with some more clouds and possibly a few brief showers.

Clouds become more numerous on Wednesday as low pressure heads into the St. Lawrence Valley. While it’ll be warmer, we’ll also have some showers to deal with, and possibly a rumble of thunder as well. The system will drag a cold front across the region Wednesday night, bringing an end to the shower activity.

As has been the case for quite some time, we’re not expecting much rainfall over the next ew days. Image provided by the College of DuPage.

Behind the front, gusty northwest winds will usher cooler air into the region on Thursday despite a decent amount of sunshine. As the winds start to die down Thursday night, we’ll have clear skies, setting up a very chilly night, with some places possibly getting down close to freezing. Friday will be another cool day despite ample sunshine, but then high pressure will slide offshore, resulting in a warming trend for next weekend.

Friday morning could be quite chilly across the region. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Monday: Cloudy during the morning with some showers south of Boston, becoming partly sunny in the afternoon. High 61-68.

Monday night: Clear skies, a little patchy fog is possible in a few spots. Low 45-52.

Tuesday: A mix of sun and clouds, chance for a few showers during the afternoon. High 62-69.

Tuesday night: Becoming mostly cloudy. Low 50-57.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy and breezy with scattered showers developing, possibly a rumble of thunder. High 66-73.

Thursday: Sunshine and some afternoon clouds, breezy, and cooler. High 58-65.

Friday: Sunny and cool. High 52-59.

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny, breezy, and milder. High 64-71.

Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 69-76.

The tropics are getting active again. Image provided by the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

Finally, we’ll briefly mention the tropics. Tropical Storm Gamma will continue to produce heavy rain across the Yucatan Peninsula for a few more days as it drifts into the Bay of Campeche. Tropical Depression 26 will likely become Tropical Storm Delta today (it may already have done so by the time you read this). It will bring gusty winds and heavy rain to parts of Jamaica today, then the Cayman Islands and western Cuba over the next few days. It will then head into the Gulf of Mexico, and could threaten the central Gulf Coast later in the week as a hurricane. We’ll have a much more detailed post about the tropics later today or more likely on Tuesday.