Sep 30, 2015 12:17 AM
NH1 Weather Insider with Joe Joyce: September 30, 2015
NH1 Chief Meteorologist
After a marvelous September, how quickly things can change! This weather pattern is locked and loaded and unfortunately, I feel someone is going to end up on the losing end of this with a landfalling hurricane and devastating flooding. Fortunately, for those of us who reside in New Hampshire...I think we are is a decent spot to avoid the worst of this pattern...but it will certainly get ugly!
We are tracking round #1 Wednesday with a cold front slowly pushing through the region. Heavy rain for the morning commute and bus stops will have us all looking for the rain coats and umbrellas. The heaviest rain will happen from 5 AM until 2 PM. By the mid-later part of Wednesday afternoon, the cold front will be pushing off the coast and rain will be tapering off from west to east. The evening commute should be much improved from the morning. Breezy NW-NE winds will follow in behind the front bringing breezy cooler condition for Wednesday night, with skies breaking and becoming partly cloudy overnight. With the font offshore Thursday and high pressure to our north, there just may be a little sunshine Thursday morning which will fade behind the clouds by afternoon.
Breezy NE onshore winds will continue at the coast through the end of the week. Air flowing from Canadian High pressure into developing low pressure South of New England will create stiffening gradient with each passing day. Seas will build up to 6-8 feet by Thursday. NE winds will be gusty 30-40 mph at times at the coast. A coastal food watch in effect due to high astronomical tides, persistent onshore winds and building surf. We will have to watch the high tides Wednesday and Thursday for the potential for some minor coastal flooding. Overall, Thursday and Friday are not terrible. We should be close enough to the high to squeeze out some dry weather, but temperatures in the 50's will be no walk in the park. It will be chilly and raw. Clouds will fill back in Friday with the risk of showers in southern New Hampshire.
Tropical storm Joaquin is a strong tropical storm and soon to be a Hurricane. The National Hurricane Center has caught onto this becoming a stronger storm over the open warm water of the Atlantic and have upgraded the storm to become a Cat Hurricane by Friday or Saturday. Joaquin will be getting stronger all day on Wednesday. Along with it getting stronger, the trends are for this storm to track farther west and closer to the US coast. It is still very early to have any real certainty, but confidence is growing that a landfalling hurricane may strike the US sometime later this weekend. The problem is a deep upper level trough in the Southeast, along with a blocking ridge in the North Atlantic. The trough is likely going to help steer Joaquin farther north and possibly back into the mid-Atlantic states..in a pattern very reminiscent of Hurricane Sandy. If this were to happen, this could be a devastating storm for wind, surge and inland flooding as early estimates are project areas from NC to NJ seeing rainfall totals of up to 10-15" of rain. It is important to note, it is still very early and more changes to the forecast will be happening so stay tuned!
Like what happens if the ridge weakens a bit, and instead of the Hurricane being directed into the mid-Atlantic is tracks farther north inot Southern new England? It is all possible. It is all on the table. But going on the forecast right now of a mid-Atlantic storm, we will likely see round # 2 of rain and wind arriving sometime later Saturday and Sunday. Waves will build up to 30-40 feet off the mid-Atlantic with this storm. Even off the coast of NH, seas could build to 10-15 feet by Sunday, depending on the strength and track of this storm. Winds could gust to 45-50 mph Sunday from the east Sunday. Moral of the story, conditions will be worsening as the weekend progresses and it could get downright nasty in a worst case scenario. The forecast for now is calling for New Hampshire to see another round of rain and wind, but should avoid any big flooding problems or big wind damage issues. While rain and wind will be heavy enough to create some localized street and basement flooding, along with gusty winds at the coast...it appears the worst of the storm will stay south...hopefully that is the way it stays. We will continue to to update you on any future changes right here at NH1 News.