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Severe weather looks to be a possible significant concern across Western and Central Mass for Thursday afternoon and I wanted to give you a heads-up of what may be coming. The weather setup for Thursday is expected to consist of a northward moving warm front that will combine with strong mid-level winds and quite a bit of warm and unstable air south of the front. The exact position of this warm front will be critical in determining how bad the severe weather will be on Thursday afternoon. Some showers and maybe a thunderstorm is expected to cross Western and Central Mass between about 8 am and 11 am Thursday morning. The big question after the showers moves through is how far will the warm front push into southern New England. On one hand, if the warm front stays to our south, then the severe weather threat for Thursday afternoon will be extremely low & we will see temperatures in the low to mid 70s. On the other hand, if the warm front pushes through Western and Central Mass, then warm and humid air will push into the region & there will likely be significant severe weather during Thursday afternoon. At this point, I think much of Western Mass, except perhaps the far upper Pioneer Valley will get into the warm and humid sector during Thursday afternoon. As for Central Mass, the warm and humid air may be stopped by the Worcester Hills and only southwestern parts of Worcester County may get into the really sultry air while the rest of Worcester County stay in the 70s. So, the combination of the warm, humid and unstable air and strong wind shear will help to produce the development of strong to severe thunderstorms that develop first across northwestern Mass around mid-afternoon Thursday and then push quickly southeastward during the late afternoon hours of Thursday potentially reaching the Mass Pike from the Mass-New York border to Sturbridge around 5 pm or so. Any severe thunderstorms that move through during the mid and late afternoon hours of Thursday will be capable of producing wind gusts of up to 60-80 mph and large hail. In addition, a warm frontal setup like this is always very dangerous in Southern New England as storms will rapidly rotate along them & can produce tornadoes. So, the tornado threat is certainly there for the mid and late afternoon hours of Thursday, especially along and west of I-91. It needs to be emphasized that there is quite a bit of uncertainty as to how bad the severe weather will be. If the warm front does end up staying to our south, then the severe weather will also end up remaining across Connecticut, Rhode Island and southeastern Mass. On the other hand, if the warm front pushes through all of Western and Central Mass, then a widespread, significant severe weather event may unfold between 3 pm and 7 pm Thursday. Thank you for reading my latest forecast for Western and Central Mass. I do not charge for this information, but I am asking for donations to offset operating costs. All donations go to directly offsetting my costs of running Route 20 Weather which include (but not limited to) website hosting & bandwidth, subscriptions to weather data services, as well as electricity and broadband internet. Any amount that you can donate is truly appreciated! Donations can be made by PayPal using E-Mail address contact@route20weather.com or by going to https://www.route20weather.com/donate . If you would rather donate by check or money order, please e-mail me at contact@route20weather.com & I can send you my mailing address. Thank you again for your support of Route 20 Weather!

Weather conditions are now becoming increasingly more supportive of tornadoes & these very favorable conditions are expected to persist throughout this afternoon into this evening.


The winds across the region are expected to increase dramatically as the afternoon progresses as Tropical Storm Isaias will track northward into western New England.


The atmosphere is expected to be very humid and unstable throughout this afternoon.

I am closely watching a band of thunderstorms now located to the south of Long Island. These storms are racing northward and will reach the region over the next couple of hours or so. Additional thunderstorm development is also expected outside of this band of thunderstorms.

It needs to be strongly stressed that any thunderstorms this afternoon into early this evening will be in a very favorable environment to produce tornadoes. Any tornadoes will be fast moving (forward motion of 50-plus mph) and will have little warning time. This means that you should take any tornado warnings very seriously.

In addition to the tornado threat, I continue to be extremely concerned about the very strong wind threat between about 3 pm this afternoon and 8 pm this evening.

Across Western Mass - Wind gusts of between 60 to 80 mph are expected, especially in any thunderstorms between 3 pm and 8 pm.

Across Central Mass - Wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph are expected between 3 pm and 8 pm.

These very strong winds are a huge concern because obviously the trees are fully leafed and winds from a south-southeast direction, which is uncommon for our area, we could see more downed trees than normal. This means that scattered to widespread power outages are likely. Take the next few hours to bring in anything that may be blown around. Also, charge up your electronic devices & make sure your flash lights and lanterns work.

Tropical Storm Isaias is currently located over eastern Virginia as of late this morning. The center of the storm is expected to reach the New York-Massachusetts border late this afternoon and this evening. The worst of this storm, in the way of very strong winds, the threat for tornadoes and heavy rainfall, is expected between about 3-4 pm this afternoon & 8 pm this evening. Heavy Rainfall With Flooding: At least scattered showers and thunderstorms with locally heavy downpours are expected from about I-91 in Western Mass eastward through Central Mass. West of I-91 westward through the Berkshires, a slug of heavy rain with the threat for flooding is expected from mid-afternoon today through early this evening. Fortunately, Isaias is moving quite quickly, so significant to major flooding is not expected at this time. Very Strong Winds: I think that very strong winds will be the big story across Western and Central Mass with Isaias. The winds at 1 to 2 thousand feet above our heads will be screaming at 60 to 80 mph for a few hours from late this afternoon into early this evening. I have significant concerns that at least some of these winds will mix their way to the ground leading to some very strong wind gusts between about 3 pm this afternoon until 7-8 pm this evening. Right now, I think that wind gusts of up to 50 mph are likely across Central Mass. Across Western Mass, where the region will be much closer to the storm’s track, wind gusts of 50 to possibly 70 mph are expected between 3 pm and 8 pm today. These very strong winds are a huge concern because obviously the trees are fully leafed and winds from a south-southeast direction, which is uncommon for our area, we could see more downed trees than normal. This means that scattered to widespread power outages are likely. Take the next few hours to bring in anything that may be blown around. Also, charge up your electronic devices & make sure your flash lights and lanterns work. Tornadoes: The tornado threat with Isaias is unusually high for a tropical system. The low-level wind shear combined with some unstable air & very strong dynamics from an approaching trough of low pressure will lead to a rather significant tornado threat, especially between 2 pm this afternoon and 9 pm this evening. Isaias already has a history of producing tornadoes from eastern North Carolina and eastern Virginia northward through Maryland into southern New Jersey. Be aware that these are expected to be very fast moving tornadoes & thus they will give you little time to react. This means that you should take all tornado warnings today into this evening very seriously. Isaias is expected to move out of the area very quickly by late tonight leaving us with at least a partly sunny and much calmer day on Wednesday. I am keeping extremely close watch on the progress and forecast of Isaias and will have additional updates for you as needed. Thank you for reading my latest forecast for Western and Central Mass. I do not charge for this information, but I am asking for donations to offset operating costs. All donations go to directly offsetting my costs of running Route 20 Weather which include (but not limited to) website hosting & bandwidth, subscriptions to weather data services, as well as electricity and broadband internet. Any amount that you can donate is truly appreciated! Donations can be made by PayPal using E-Mail address contact@route20weather.com or by going to https://www.route20weather.com/donate . If you would rather donate by check or money order, please e-mail me at contact@route20weather.com & I can send you my mailing address. Thank you again for your support of Route 20 Weather!

 

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