Weekly Outlook: July 26 – August 1, 2021

July has featured record or near-record rainfall across the region, but as it comes to a close, so does the very wet pattern we’ve been stuck in.

A large swath of the region has received over 10 inches of rain this month. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

We start the week off with high pressure building in today, bringing us sunshine and warm temperatures, with a few places possibly getting to 90 this afternoon. Humidity levels will be fairly comfortable as drier air settles into the region. Our dry weather won’t last long as a cold front approaches on Tuesday, with some showers and thunderstorms accompanying it during the afternoon and evening. It’ll be quite warm ahead of the front again, with temperatures well into the 80s. Drier air settles back in on Wednesday along with cooler temperatures, but again, the dry air will be short-lived. Another frontal system approaches on Thursday with more showers and thunderstorms likely.

Dewpoints will only be in the 50s Wednesday afternoon. Image provided by WeatherBell.

By Friday, we’ll have an upper-level trough settling into the Northeast, which means that we could see a few showers popping up during the afternoon. High pressure builds in on Saturday with cool and dry conditions. Yet another frontal system approaches on Sunday, with another round of showers and thunderstorms possible.

At the start of August, average high temperatures should be in the lower to middle 80s around here. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Monday: Sunshine and some afternoon clouds. High 82-89.

Monday night: Clear skies. Low 61-68.

Tuesday: Increasing clouds, showers and thunderstorms likely late in the day. High 82-89.

Tuesday night: Showers and storms end in the evening, then becoming partly cloudy. Low 58-65.

Wednesday: A mix of sun and clouds, cooler. High 72-79.

Thursday: More clouds than sun with showers and thunderstorms possible late in the day and at night, breezy. High 71-78.

Friday: Partly sunny and breezy, slight chance for a shower. High 74-81.

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 71-78.

Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds, breezy, showers and thunderstorms possible late in the day. High 76-83.

Finally, we’ll leave you with this uplifting thought from the good folks at the National Weather Service office in Caribou, ME:

Weekend Outlook: July 23-26, 2021

Now that the sun has finally returned, we might actually see it more than a few times over the next few days. Don’t worry, there’s still some rain in the forecast too.

Just some fair-weather cumulus out there today – a welcome change from the last several days. Loop provided by the College of DuPage.

High pressure will continue to build in tonight, which means that you might be able to give the air conditioner a break and open the windows tonight. We will see some clouds come back on Friday as a weak disturbance crosses the region, with a shower or thunderstorm possible in a few spots as well, but don’t go cancelling any outdoor plans you may have for the afternoon or evening. High pressure returns on Saturday with sunshine and seasonably mild temperatures. The next system will be on its way though, with clouds moving in at night, and some showers and thunderstorms likely on Sunday as a warm front crosses the region. The day won’t be a washout, but there will be plenty of cloudcover and it will be noticeably more humid than Saturday. Showers may linger into early Monday before a cold front crosses the region, with some clearing behind it late in the day.

Monday could end up as a warm day ahead of the cold front. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Thursday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 56-63.

Friday: A mix of sun and clouds, chance for a few late-day showers or thunderstorms. High 74-81. Offshore: Northwest winds 5-10 knots becoming onshore in the afternoon, seas 1-3 feet.

Friday night: Becoming mostly clear. Low 55-62.

Saturday: Plenty of sunshine, though some clouds may start to move back in late in the day. High 74-81. Offshore: North to northwest winds around 5 knots becoming onshore in the afternoon, seas 2-3 feet.

Saturday night: Increasing clouds, showers are possible towards daybreak. Low 60-67.

Sunday: More clouds than sun with some showers or thunderstorms expected. High 73-80. Offshore: Southwest to south winds 15-20 knots, gusts to 25 knots, seas 3-6 feet.

Sunday night: Partly to mostly cloudy with a chance for more showers or storms. Low 63-70.

Monday: Chance for a shower early, some clearing possible late in the day. High 80-87. Offshore: Southwest to west winds 10-15 knots gusts to 20 knots, seas 3-6 feet.

Weekly Outlook: July 19-25, 2021

We’ve got good news and bad news this week. The good news is that we will have a few dry days this week. The bad news is that there’s more rain on the way.

An upper-level disturbance will cross the region today, which means more clouds and more showers, though the day shouldn’t be a washout. Rainfall totals should be on the light side, which will be a welcome change from the weekend. The cloud cover will keep temperatures on the cool side during the daytime. High pressure then builds in for Tuesday with warmer and more humid conditions. It’s tempting to say that we’ll have a dry day, but it wouldn’t surprise us if a few showers and thunderstorms developed in the afternoon or evening, especially well north and west of Boston. By Wednesday, we’ll have a better chance for showers and storms as a cold front approaches the region. In fact, some of the storms that do develop could become strong, with gusty winds and heavy downpours possible (just what we need – more heavy rain!)

Temperatures could get close to 90 across the region on Tuesday. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

High pressure builds in behind the front on Thursday with cooler and drier conditions, but again, we can’t completely rule out an isolated shower or two during the afternoon. By Friday, another upper-level low pressure area moves in with more clouds and some showers possible, though the extent of the shower activity is still a question mark. Saturday looks to be drier with high pressure trying to build in, but it won’t last long. Sunday could be a bit more unsettled as another system could bring in more widespread showers and thunderstorms, but the timing of this system is in question, as the activity could hold off until Sunday night or Monday.

The models don’t agree on the timing for a storm system that may impact the region on Sunday. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Monday: Drizzle and fog early, otherwise plenty of clouds with a few showers possible. High 71-78.

Monday night: Clearing. Low 61-68.

Tuesday: Sunshine and some afternoon clouds, maybe a late-day shower or thunderstorm. High 81-88.

Tuesday night: Partly cloudy, chance for a shower or two. Low 63-70.

Wednesday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine with showers and thunderstorms likely during the afternoon and evening, some of which could be quite strong. High 76-83.

Thursday: Partly sunny, an isolated shower is possible. High 74-81.

Friday: A mix of sun and clouds with showers possible. High 72-79.

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 73-80.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms possible. High 72-79.

Weekend Outlook: July 16-19, 2021

We’re in a typical summertime pattern for a few days, but more rain is on the way.

High pressure is sitting offshore, which means another hot and humid day is expected on Friday, with temperatures well into the 80s and lower 90s in most locations. A few late-day showers and thunderstorms are possible, but activity shouldn’t be that widespread. An approaching frontal system will spread more clouds in for Saturday, keeping temperatures down a bit, with a better chance for more widespread showers and thunderstorms, especially late Saturday and Saturday night. Some of these storms may produce heavy rain, because that’s what seems to happen with every storm this month. That front will stall out near or just south of the region for Sunday and Monday. That means it’ll be cooler with more cloud cover and a chance for more showers and thunderstorms, though areas near the South Coast could remain warmer, depending on where the front actually stalls out.

Some heavy rain is possible across parts of the region this weekend. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low 65-72.

Friday: A mix of sun and clouds, chance for some late-day showers and thunderstorms. High 85-92.

Friday night: Partly to mostly cloudy, any showers end in the evening. Low 64-71.

Saturday: Plenty of clouds, showers and thunderstorms are likely in the afternoon. High 79-86.

Saturday night: Cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms, some of which may produce heavy rain. Low 63-70.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy and cooler with a few showers and thunderstorms possible. High 72-79.

Sunday night: Mostly cloudy. Low 61-68.

Monday: More clouds than sun with a shower or thunderstorm possible. High 74-81.

Weekly Outlook: July 12-18, 2021

We’ve got showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for nearly every day this week, but aside from today, it may not actually be that wet in most spots.

Flash Flood Watches are in effect for much of the region. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

A warm front is going to take its time crossing the region today and Tuesday. A wave of low pressure riding along the front will bring in rain today, some of which may be heavy. Given the amount of rain we’ve had over the past 2 weeks, the ground is already saturated in many areas, so additional rain will lead to flooding problems. As a result, flash flood watches have been issued for much of the region. Tuesday looks to be drier, but still on the cool side, as the front will take its time lifting northward. A few showers can’t be ruled out.

Some locally heavy rainfall is possibly today, especially north of the Mass Pike. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

The front finally lifts through on Wednesday, allowing warm to hot and humid weather to return, and it will remain in place into Saturday. With the hot and humid weather will come a daily chance for showers and thunderstorms. Those showers and storms will become more numerous on Sunday as a cold front moves in.

Saturday looks to be the hottest day across the region. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Monday: Plenty of clouds with periods of rain and showers, mainly during the morning. High 67-74.

Monday night: Mostly cloudy with a few showers possible. Low 58-65.

Tuesday: Clouds and a few sunny breaks, chance for a shower or two. High 68-75.

Tuesday night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 59-66.

Wednesday: More clouds than sun with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible. High 76-83.

Thursday: A mix of sun and clouds, chance for a late-day shower or thunderstorm. High 79-86.

Friday: Partly sunny, a shower or thunderstorm may pop up. High 82-89.

Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds, breezy, showers and thunderstorms possible late in the day and at night. High 82-89.

Sunday: Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 78-85.

Weekend Outlook: July 9-12, 2021

We’re not sure if you’ve heard, but Tropical Storm Elsa is heading this way. It have have some impacts around here tonight and Friday.

Flash Flood Watches are in effect for much of the Northeast, with Tropical Storm Warnings along the coast. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

As of 2pm EDT, Elsa was centered about 25 miles southwest of Raleigh, NC and moving toward the northeast at 20 mph. Maximum sustained winds are down to 45 mph. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast of Connecticut from New Haven eastward, coastal Rhode Island, and nearly all of the coast of Massachusetts from the Mouth of the Merrimack River southward (sorry Salisbury, you don’t get to play), including Cape Cod and the Islands. Elsa will continue northeastward tonight, turning more toward the east-northeast on Friday, likely passing right across southeastern Massachusetts.

Winds may gust to 40 mph or more across parts of RI and southeastern MA on Friday. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Tropical systems have different characteristics when they get up this way, compared to how they look in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. They take on a “rain to the left, wind to the right” appearance. This means that the heavy rain shifts to the left side of the storms track, while most of the strong winds are to the right of the track. In this case, that means most of the wind will be confined to parts of southern RI, southeastern MA, and the offshore waters, but much of the rest of the region can expect heavy rain. How much rain? Rainfall totals of 2-4 inches and possibly heavier, most of it falling between about 8am and 2pm on Friday. Oh, an just to add to the fun for the folks in southern RI and southeastern MA, these systems can and usually do produce some short-lived weak tornadoes, mainly in the right-front quadrant of the storm.

Elsa will produce heavy rain, especially north and west of I-95. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Before Elsa gets here, we’ll have some showers and thunderstorms to deal with this evening and tonight, thanks to a stalled out frontal system draped across the South Coast. Once Elsa’s rain moves out late Friday, high pressure will try to build back in on Saturday, but we’ll still have plenty of moisture around, which means we could pop a few showers and thunderstorms Saturday afternoon. Warm and humid air moves back in for Sunday and Monday (and into the middle of next week), with some showers and thunderstorms possible each afternoon, especially Monday.

Thursday night: Cloudy with showers and thunderstorms during the evening. Rain and showers redevelop late at night. Low 60-67, a little warmer along the South Coast.

Friday: Windy with rain, heavy at times, tapering off in the afternoon. High 72-79. Offshore: East Coast Southeast 15-25 knots, gusts to 40 knots, becoming northwest late in the day, seas 3-6 feet. South Coast: Southeast to south winds 20-40 knots, gusts to 50 knots, seas 6-10 feet.

Friday night: Showers end in the evening, then becoming partly cloudy. Low 62-69.

Saturday: Partly sunny, chance for an afternoon shower or thunderstorm. High 73-80. Offshore: West to northwest 5-10 knots, seas 3-6 feet.

Saturday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 59-66.

Sunday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine, a shower or thunderstorm is possible during the afternoon. High 75-82. Offshore: East to southeast winds 5-10 knots, seas 2-4 feet.

Sunday night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 61-68.

Monday: Partly sunny, chance for a few afternoon showers or thunderstorms. High 77-84. Offshore: South winds 5-10 knots, seas 2-4 feet.

Elsa Makes Landfall, What’s Next?

After bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to portions of the Caribbean and Florida over the past several days, Tropical Storm Elsa made landfall in northwestern Florida this morning. It’s not done yet though, not by a longshot.

Radar loop of Elsa making landfall Wednesday morning. Loop provided by Weathermodels.com

As of 2pm EDT, Tropical Storm Elsa was centered about 105 miles west of Jacksonville, Florida, moving toward the north at 14 mph. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 50 mph. Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect for part of northwestern Florida, and for the Atlantic coast of Georgia and South Carolina. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect north of there all the way up to northeastern New Jersey.

Model forecasts for the track of Elsa. Image provided by Tropical Tidbits.

The forecast for the next 36 hours is fairly straightforward. Elsa will turn northeastward, moving across parts of Georgia, the Carolinas, and into Virginia while gradually weakening. Gusty winds, and heavy rain are likely, with rainfall totals of 3-5 inches and locally heavier likely producing flooding in many areas. In addition, to the east of the storm’s center, some tornadoes are also possible.

Once it gets into the Mid-Atlantic states later Thursday, we have a bit of uncertainty in the forecast. Elsa will continue northeastward, and may start to become extratropical. When this happens, the stronger winds cover a larger area, compared to tropical systems, where the strongest winds are found very close to the center. Many models show Elsa starting to strengthen a bit again. This is likely when it is starting to become extratropical. Elsa may move back over water south of Long Island, but that will depend on when it begins to turn more toward the east-northeast. This has implications for Southern New England.

Elsa will produce heavy rain up and down the East Coast over the next few days. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Elsa will continue to produce heavy rain and gusty winds across the Mid-Atlantic states and into Southern New England later Thursday into Friday. However, the strongest winds are found to the right of the center. If the storm passes near or just south of New England, that means that the strongest winds will stay offshore, possibly impacting Cape Cod and the Islands. However, if the storm stays inland, and moves across Southern New England, then a period of strong to damaging winds could impact parts of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Southeastern Massachusetts on Friday. Sustained winds of 20-30 mph, with gusts of 50-60 mph would be possible. A track even farther to the west (which is possible), could result in those strong winds impacting the New York City, Providence, and Boston metropolitan areas on Friday.

Where will Elsa track in relation to southern New England? Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Conditions will improve across New England on Saturday as Elsa (or what’s left of it) moves into Atlantic Canada, and beyond that, the Atlantic looks quiet for a while, which is fairly typical for early July. Plumes of Saharan Dust are making their way across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean, which suppresses tropical activity.

Weekly Outlook: July 5-11, 2021

After a chilly and wet weekend, heat and humidity are set to return to the region.

Our pesky upper-level low pressure area finally pulls away and high pressure builds in today, bringing some sunshine and warmer temperatures back into the region. A warm front will move through tonight, and it may produce a few showers and thunderstorms, but the more noticeable impact will be an increase in humidity once again. This sets up a hot and humid day on Tuesday. Many locations may top 90, and heat indices will be well into the 90s across the region. A weak boundary will move in during the afternoon though, and this may trigger showers and thunderstorms, some of which could become strong to severe. Any storms that do form could produce gusty winds, frequent lightning, and heavy downpours. If you’ve got outdoor plans for Tuesday afternoon and evening, keep an eye to the sky and on the radar, and be prepared to head indoors.

Strong to severe thunderstorms may cross the region Tuesday afternoon. Loop provided by WeatherBell.

Wednesday looks to be very warm and humid once again, but temperatures will depend on how much cloud cover there is. A cold front will be approaching from the north and west, and this will produce another round of showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening. This is where forecast confidence drops significantly. That front will eventually stall out near or just south of the region. Where it stalls out will have a big impact on Thursday temperatures, with warm and humid air still in place to the south, but cooler air to the north. Complicating things is the fact that a wave of low pressure may ride along the front, bringing in some rain once again.

The models have a wide variety of ideas about Thursday’s temperatures. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

If Thursday wasn’t complicated enough, on Friday we may have to deal with Elsa or its remains. We’re not expecting Elsa to make a direct hit on New England. It should be heading out to sea well to the south. However, it may be close enough to interact with that frontal boundary, and send more rain into the region. It also may produce some gusty winds across the Cape and Islands, and some rough seas, especially along the South Coast.

Elsa or its remains should stay pass south of New England. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

We should dry out on Saturday with a warm day expected, but humidity will return on Sunday, along with the chance for more showers and thunderstorms as another frontal boundary approaches the region.

Monday: Becoming partly to mostly sunny. High 71-78.

Monday night: Partly cloudy, chance for a few showers or thunderstorms. Low 60-67.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, breezy at times, more humid, showers and thunderstorms are possible during the afternoon, some may be strong to severe. High 84-91, cooler along the South Coast.

Tuesday night: Any showers or storms end in the evening, otherwise partly cloudy. Low 65-72.

Wednesday: A mix of sun and clouds, humid, showers and thunderstorms possible during the afternoon and evening. High 84-91, cooler along the South Coast.

Thursday: Partly to mostly cloudy with a chance for rain or showers. High 76-83, possibly cooler across southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts.

Friday: Plenty of clouds, more rain or showers possible. High 77-84.

Saturday: Becoming partly sunny. High 77-84.

Sunday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine, showers and thunderstorms possible during the afternoon and evening. High 80-87.

Elsa Heads Toward Cuba, Florida

Tropical Storm Elsa has its sights set on Cuba and Florida over the next couple of days.

Radar from Cuba shows Elsa bringing heavy rain to Jamaica and parts of Cuba. Image provided by Brian McNoldy, Univ. of Miami, Rosenstiel School.

After weakening to a Tropical Storm, Elsa has been battering parts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica with strong winds and heavy rainfall over the past couple of days. Cuba is starting to feel the effects, and they’ll become more widespread today and Monday. Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings are in effect for Jamaica, most of Cuba, parts of the Cayman Islands, as well as the Florida Keys and parts of South Florida.

Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings are in effect for parts of the Western Caribbean and South Florida. Image provided by the National Hurricane Center.

As of midday Sunday, Elsa was centered about 50 miles north of Kingston, Jamaica, moving toward the west-northwest at 13 mph. Maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph. While the storm may strengthen a little today, weakening is expected tonight as the center crosses Cuba. Once it reemerges in the Florida Straits on Monday, it will head northward toward the Florida Keys. While the water is plenty warm enough to support some intensification, shear will begin to increase as well, which acts to weaken the storm. The current forecast calls for the system to maintain its intensity Monday and Tuesday. Since intensity is usually the hardest thing to forecast in tropical systems, we wouldn’t be surprised if it re-intensified back into a hurricane, nor would we be surprised if it continued to weaken as it is moving northward off the west coast of Florida.

Some models show Elsa intensifying again after crossing Cuba, others don’t. Image provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Once Elsa crosses the Florida Keys it will continue northward, eventually turning northeastward as it moves around the edge of a large ridge of high pressure centered over the western Atlantic. When it starts making that northeast turn will determine where landfall is expected in Florida. At this point, anywhere from Fort Myers to Pensacola could be the spot. Either way, heavy rain is likely across Florida over the next couple of days, especially western Florida. Rainfall totals of 4-8 inches and locally heavier will result in flooding in some areas.

Model forecasts for the track of Tropical Storm Elsa. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Once it makes the turn, we have another question that we can’t answer yet – when will the center re-emerge over the Atlantic? Obviously, the longer it remains over land, the weaker it will be, but if it were to move offshore closer to northern Florida or Georgia instead of over North Carolina, there would be a window for a little strengthening as it moves over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. Either way, it will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to parts of Georgia and the Carolinas toward the middle of the week. Once it moves back offshore, it should continue northeastward and out to sea while becoming extratropical later this week. Depending on how far north it actually gets, it could interact with a frontal system and bring some rainfall to parts of eastern New England by the end of the week, but there’s a lot that has to happen first before we can have any clarity on that possibility.

Hurricane Elsa Cruises Through the Caribbean

After starting hurricane season with 4 “tropical storms” that were probably not tropical, the first hurricane of the season has developed.

Hurricane Elsa formed as Tropical Depression Five late Wednesday night well east of the Lesser Antilles, and became Tropical Storm Elsa on Thursday. It rapidly intensified into a hurricane Friday morning as it approached Barbados. As Elsa crossed the Windward Islands Friday morning/early afternoon it produced wind gusts as high as 86 mph on Barbados and 79 mph on Saint Lucia. This is the earliest in the season that a storm has hit Barbados, and it is the 2nd earliest Hurricane ever in the eastern Caribbean, trailing only an unnamed storm from 1933.

Satellite loop of Hurricane Elsa. Loop provided by NOAA.

As of 2am Saturday, Hurricane Elsa was centered approximately 620 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, moving toward the west-northwest at 29 mph. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for southern portions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as for the island of Jamaica, with Tropical Storm Warnings for the remainder of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for parts of eastern Cuba, and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for parts of the Cayman Islands.

Watches and Warnings associated with Hurricane Elsa. Image provided by the National Hurricane Center.

Elsa could strengthen a bit on Saturday, but for the most part, weakening is forecast. Some dry air got entrained in the circulation late Friday, okus the current rapid forward speed with both serve to inhibit any further strengthening, Although Elsa is expected to slow down over the next 24 hours, a turn more toward the northwest is expected. This will bring the storm closer to Hispaniola, where the mountainous terrain could disrupt the circulation as well.

Model forecasts for the intensity of Hurricane Elsa. Image provided by Weathermodels.com.

Current forecasts bring the center of the storm close to southern Haiti Saturday night, then toward southeastern and southern Cuba on Sunday. The intensity of the storm will be determined partially by the track the storm takes. The longer the circulation center stays over water, the better chance that the storm is stronger.

Model forecasts for the track of Hurricane Elsa. Image provided by Weathermodels.com.

As the storm slows down, it increases the chances for heavy rainfall across southern portions of Hispaniola, eastern and southern Cuba, and parts of Jamaica. Rainfall totals of 6-12 inches and locally heavier will lead to flooding and mudslides.

Elsa will bring heavy rainfall to portions of the Caribbean. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Elsa is expected to cross Cuba on Monday while turning northward. Given that this is already three days out, the uncertainty in the forecast becomes much large. A track towards Florida seems likely, but is far from definite at this point. Several models bring the storm up the west coast of Florida, while many others bring it up the east coast or even over the Bahamas. How strong the storm is at this point is also highly uncertain. Residents from the central Gulf Coast all the way to the Carolinas should keep tabs on the system this weekend, as it has the potential to impact anywhere within that range by the early to middle portion of next week.

Forecasts for Elsa’s track from the 51 members of the ECMWF Ensemble. Image provided by Weatehrnerds.org

Elsewhere, the tropics remain fairly quiet, with no other organized systems at this time.