A strengthening area of low pressure now located well off of the coast of Delaware and Maryland will rapidly strengthen today reaching the area near Nantucket by this evening. This intense low pressure system is then expected to pivot westward to near Block Island by later tonight and then begin heading eastward away from Southern New England on Wednesday. This storm system will bring heavy rainfall, flooding and very windy conditions to all of Western and Central Mass over the next 24 hours or so. The worst of the weather conditions is expected from very late this afternoon through a majority of tonight. Here are the details: Heavy Rainfall & Flood Potential: On and off rain is expected throughout the rest of the day today, however, the “main show” will not begin until very late this afternoon and this evening. Bands of moderate to heavy wind-swept rain will overspread Western and Central Mass by very late this afternoon and early this evening. These bands of rain will moving in a southeast to northwest direction and will continue through much of tonight. It looks as though the bulk of rain will come to an end very late tonight and early Wednesday morning, however, occasional rain is likely to continue across mainly Central Mass throughout Wednesday. Across Western Mass, a few showers are expected to continue through the day on Wednesday. Additional rainfall amounts from today through tonight and Wednesday will average between 1 and 2 more inches. Flooding of roads is likely over the next 24 hours or so, especially from late today through tonight. I think that many storm drains will be clogged with leaves and thus the rain water will have no where to really drain. Also, roads are likely to be very slippery as wet leaves litter many roads and wet leaves can be just as slippery as ice. So, use caution when traveling today, tonight and on Wednesday. Strong Winds: The combination of the rapidly strengthening storm system near Nantucket and Block Island and a high pressure system that stretches from Atlantic Canada to Hudson Bay will cause a very tight pressure gradient to be positioned across the area through Wednesday. This means that some strong winds are likely across Western and Central Mass, especially tonight into Wednesday. East to Northeast winds will gust up to 35 mph at times the rest of today across Western and Central Mass. For tonight, wind gusts of up to 40 to 45 mph are expected across Western Mass and up to 50 to 55 mph at times are expected across Central Mass. On Wednesday, very windy conditions are expected to continue across the entire area. Wind gusts of up to 40 to 50 mph at times are expected throughout the day on Wednesday across the entire area. Given the long duration of the strong winds combined with the fact that many trees are still fully leaved, I think that some downed trees and some power outages are possible, especially tonight and Wednesday. A brief break in the rainfall is expected on Thursday into Friday before more rain, which will be heavy at times, moves in for Friday Night and Saturday. 1 to 2 more inches of rainfall looks likely from the Friday night and Saturday rainfall. Scattered showers are then expected to continue right through Sunday (Halloween) and Sunday night (Halloween Night). I wanted to close this update by thanking each and every one of you for reading and commenting on all of the forecasts I write for Western and Central Mass. I am always overwhelmed and extremely appreciative by your kind words and comments. Even though I do not charge for the weather updates and forecasts I write, I’m wondering if you would consider giving Route 20 Weather a donation. 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 going to https://www.route20weather.com/donate . If you would rather donateby check or money order, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org & I can send you my mailing address. Thank you again for your support of Route 20 Weather!