5:00 PM – We’re shutting down the live coverage for the day. Our Weekly Outlook will be published as usual early Monday morning, where we’ll have more info on the remains of Henri and the rainfall threat across eastern New England. Thank you for following along today!
4:55 PM – All coastal warnings have been discontinued. Tropical Storm henri now has 40 mph sustained winds and is centered about 20 miles southeast of Hartford, Connecticut, moving toward the west-northwest at 7 mph. Winds are still gusting to 30-40 mph in spots, mainly along the coast, but they should continue to diminish over the next few hours.
At this point, the forecast remains unchanged. What’s left of Henri will eventually stall out over western New England, then what’s left will head eastward across central New England on Monday. Heavy rain continues tonight from northern New Jersey and eastern New York into western New England, gradually shifting eastward on Monday. Rainfall totals of 5-10 inches are likely in parts of Connecticut, western Massachusetts and eastern New York, with some totals of up to 12 inches in northern New Jersey. Flooding will be spread spread across this area. On Monday, rainfall totals of up to 2 inches are possible from eastern Massachusetts into southern New Hampshire and southern Maine.
3:15 PM – As Henri continues to push into Connecticut, if you’re in eastern Massachusetts you wouldn’t even know that there’s a tropical storm centered 100 miles to the west. Some breaks of sunshine are developing, and temperatures are in the 70s. It’s still quite breezy, in fact Blue Hill Observatory recently had a wind gust to 47 mph, but otherwise, it’s just a warm, humid, and breezy afternoon. The rain will move back into this region on Monday as what’s left of Henri heads eastward.
2:00 PM – Henri continues to push inland and weaken. It is now centered over southeastern Connecticut and is moving toward the northwest at 9 mph. Maximum sustained winds are down to 50 mph, and additional weakening is expected for the rest of the day. Wind gusts of 30-40 mph are still being observed along the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, but they should subside over the next few hours. Heavy rain continues to push across much of Connecticut and western Massachusetts. Flash Flood Warnings are in effect for a good portion of the region.
12:15 PM – Henri has officially made landfall close to Westerly, RI with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph. There have been several reports of wind gusts of 60-70 mph along the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts already. Winds are still gusting as high as 45-55 mph or more in places. We’ve passed the morning high tide, and with the center moving inland, the water levels should start to subside through the afternoon as the tide rolls out. There is still a concern for some coastal flooding during the high tide cycle this evening. Wind damage will still be a concern though the afternoon from southeastern Massachusetts across Rhode Island and into eastern Connecticut.
At this point, the concern shifts to heavy rain. Additional rainfall totals of 3-6 inches and locally heavier are likely over the next 24 hours across Connecticut, eastern New York, and western Massachusetts. As what’s left of the storm drifts eastward on Monday, some heavy rain is possible in parts of southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
11:30 AM – Looks like Henri is just about to make landfall along the southern Rhode Island coast. A wind gust to 70 mph was reported in Point Judith, RI, with an unofficial report of a gust to 76 mph on a hand-held anemometer in Point Judith.
11:00 AM – Tropical Storm Henri now has maximum sustained winds near 60 mph. After crossing Block Island, Henri is centered about 15 miles east of Montauk, NY, moving toward the north-northwest at 12 mph. Landfall is expected along the Rhode Island coast in the next few hours. Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect from central Long Island to Cape Cod. A sustained wind of 51 mph with a gust to 69 mph was reported in Point Judith, RI within the past few minutes.
Once inland, Henri will continue northwestward while rapidly weakening, stalling out overnight, before heading eastward on Monday. Heavy rain will continue across parts Connecticut, eastern New York, and western Massachusetts tonight, shifting into parts of southern Vermont, southern New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts and southern Maine on Monday. Flood Watches are in effect for parts of this region.
10:35 AM – The pressure has started dropping on Block Island again, and has now bottomed out at 989mb but is starting to rise a bit. Sustained winds of 44 mph have been recorded on the island recently. There are also an increasing number of wind damage reports showing up from the south coast of both Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Once Henri finally pulls away on Monday – hot and humid weather will return for a few days as the cleanup begins. High temperatures will be well into the 80s with some lower 90s possible.
10:10AM – The pressure appears to have bottomed out at 992mb on Block Island. Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, a wind gust to 62 mph was reported in Westport. A coastal flood advisory has also been issued for the east-facing shoreline of the Bay State. A storm surge of 1-3 feet on top of the astronomical high tides will result in some flooding today, especially the high tide around midnight tonight, and in the usual places such as Scituate and Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester.
9:50 AM – The center of Henri is moving across Block Island. Sustained winds as high as 50 mph and a peak gust to 68 mph have been reported from the island.
9:30 AM – A wind gust to 63 mph has been reported on Block Island. The initial outer band moved across Southern New England over the past few hours, producing up to 0.75″ of rain in a short period with some wind gusts to 20-30 mph. This pales in comparison to the band that moved across New York City last night that produced flooding across the Tri-State area.
9:00 AM – Tropical Storm Henri is now centered about 70 miles south of Providence. Maximum sustained winds have decrease to near 65 mph as Henri continues to weaken over colder waters. Water temperatures south of New England are 21-24C, well below the 27C threshold that tropical systems need to sustain themselves. Sustained winds of 47 mph and a wind gust to 59 mph have been reported on Block Island. The airport in Block Island is reporting North-Northeast winds at 33 mph with a gust to 55 mph. The automated station at the entrance to Buzzards Bay is reporting sustained winds of 47 mph with a gust to 58 mph. Note – the anemometer for this station is at 25 meters above the sea, while the standard anemometer height is 10 meters, so winds will read a bit stronger than at sea level.
8:00 AM – Tropical Storm Henri is centered about 75 miles south of Providence, Rhode Island, moving toward the north-northwest at 16 mph. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 70 mph. Tropical Storm conditions are already spreading across southern New England and Long Island.
Wind gusts of 15-30 mph are already common across the region, with some gusts to 50 mph reported in southern Rhode Island. All Hurricane Warnings have been discontinued, but Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect across the region.
Henri should continue northward, likely making landfall in southern Rhode Island by early afternoon. Once inland, it will rapidly weaken, with heavy rain continuing west of the track, and gusty winds with occasional showers east of the track. There is also the threat for a few tornadoes east of the track. Along the coast, a storm surge of 3-6 feet is expected on top of astronomical high tides. Luckily, the high tides are this morning, with low tide in the middle of the afternoon, which will help offset the surge a little.
This will be only the 5th time since 1851 that New England/Long Island has had 2 landfalling storms in the same year, and only the 2nd time that both storms were tropical storm strength only:
9/8 Category 3 Hurricane
10/4 Category 2 Hurricane
8/31 Carol (Category 3)
9/11 Edna (Category 2)
9/15 Unnamed Tropical Storm
9/26 Tropical Storm Esther
9/24 Tropical Storm Henri
9/27 Hurricane Gloria (Category 2)
7/9 Tropical Storm Elsa
8/22 Tropical Storm Henri
Counting Elsa, 37 storms have made landfall in Long Island or New England as a tropical storm or stronger – an average of one every 4.6 years. The longest we’ve ever gone without a direct hit from a storm of tropical storm strength or stronger is 11 years, between 1897 and 1908, and again between 1923 and 1934. Elsa’s landfall earlier this year ended a 10-year drought without a landfalling storm.
Great live blog. Thanks SAK!