Merry Christmas Eve! A strong area of low pressure is expected to move from the Ohio Valley tonight northward through New York State and into Quebec, Canada on Christmas Day. This low pressure system will pull a strong cold front through Western and Central Mass during Christmas Day afternoon. The result of this storm system will be strong winds which will lead to downed trees and power outages, heavy rainfall that will cause flooding and a possible line of thunderstorms that will push through the region on Christmas morning. The worst part of this storm will be from late tonight through a good part of Christmas Day. Heavy Rain With Flooding: Rain showers will be on the increase throughout the rest of this afternoon into this evening. A steady rain will overspread all of Western and Central Mass between about 1 am and 3 am tonight. Heavy rain will then develop across the entire area between about 3 am and 5 am Christmas Morning. Heavy rain is then expected to continue throughout all of Christmas morning into the early afternoon hours of Christmas Day. Rain will begin to end first across Western Mass between 3 pm and 5 pm Christmas afternoon and then across Central Mass between about 7 and 9 pm Christmas evening. Total rainfall amounts upwards of 2 to 3 inches are expected across all of Western and Central Mass. I am expecting a lot of urban and poor drainage flooding. Minor river and stream flooding is also expected across the entire area. In addition, moderate river flooding is expected across some parts of the Connecticut River. Strong Winds: The potential for strong winds that could lead to downed trees and power outages is something that will really need to be watched beginning this evening and continuing through much of Christmas Day. South to southeast winds will continue to increase in velocity throughout this afternoon and into tonight. Wind gusts of up to 30 to 40 mph are expected throughout the rest of this afternoon with wind gusts of up to 40 to 50 mph expected this evening. By after midnight tonight, wind gusts of up to 50 to 60 mph are expected across the entire area. South to southeast winds are expected to continue to be strong throughout Christmas Day morning into the early afternoon hours with wind gusts of up to 50 to 60 mph expected. A shift of the wind into the southwest is expected later in the afternoon with wind gusts of up to 50 mph possible. The winds will finally diminish on Christmas night. Be prepared for the potential of downed trees and power lines with scattered to possibly widespread power outages from tonight through Christmas Day. Make sure you have batteries handy for flashlights. Also, be sure that your electronic devices are charged in the event that the power goes out. Thunderstorms: There’s the possibility that a line of thunderstorms will move through Western Mass between about 5 am and 8 am Christmas morning and through Central Mass between about 7 am and 10 am Christmas morning. Some strong wind gusts to 60-65 mph are possible along with a few rumbles of thunder when this line moves through. Temperatures: A very mild 24 hours of so is expected across the entire area. Temperatures the rest of this afternoon will be in the low to mid 50s. Temperatures tonight will remain in the middle 50s and may rise to near 60 Degrees by morning. During Christmas Day, temperatures in the 60 to 65 Degree range are expected during the morning with slowly falling temperatures into the 50s during the afternoon. Colder air will move back into the area on Friday night with low temperatures near 25 Degrees expected. This means that we may have to watch for icy spots late Christmas night as any leftover standing water freezes up. Bottom Line Is That, unfortunately, it still looks like a VERY stormy Christmas across the entire area.
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