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Line Of Heavy Showers/Thunderstorms W/ 50-60 mph Wind Gusts Expected Between 9 pm & Midnight Tonight

First Things First – An extremely destructive and deadly tornado took a potential 250 mile track across northeastern Arkansas, extreme southeastern Missouri, far northwestern Tennessee and western Kentucky late last night. At the time of this writing, at least 70 people are dead and that number is likely to increase in the coming days as search and recovery efforts continue. Some of the stories I’ve read and some of the pictures/videos are just horrific. I’m heartbroken and feel ill seeing the amount of death and destruction that’s occurred. Little towns impacted include Monette, Arkansas where a nursing home was destroyed killing at least 2 people; Mayfield, Kentucky where a commercial building totally collapsed and other homes and businesses were decimated with at least 50 people dead in just that one town; Bremen, Kentucky where at least 10 people were killed in last night’s tornado, including a 5 month old child and Edwardsville, Illinois where an Amazon processing facility was destroyed killing at least 2 people. Sadly, this will likely become the deadliest tornado since Joplin, Missouri in May of 2011. Also, if the 250 mile tornado track is confirmed, it would make it the longest track a tornado has taken since the March 1925 Tri-State tornado, which traveled 219 miles. And for the record, I hate severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. I don’t find them fascinating or fun to track – just the opposite. I’d rather go through a 2 to 3 foot blizzard any day than live through a tornado. My hatred of tornadoes is a big reason why you don't see me pull out the tornado word for Western and Central Mass unless it’s REALLY needed and we REALLY need to watch out. I know there are people across our area that suffer PTSD from the Springfield to Monson to Sturbridge 2011 tornado. In fact, there are still people with tornado PTSD from the 1953 Worcester tornado. I recognize this and I try to avoid to trigger that PTSD by not using the tornado verbiage unless it's absolutely necessary. For This Afternoon: A warm front will be north of our area this afternoon as we will be awaiting a strong cold front that’s now located over the eastern Great Lakes region. This means that this afternoon will be cloudy, windy and mild with maybe a passing shower or two. High temperatures this afternoon will be between 55 and 60 Degrees. South winds are expected to gust up to 40 mph at times. Tonight: A strong cold front is expected to move through Western and Central Mass this evening. It still looks like it will be a rather wild evening in terms of weather when that cold front moves through. A line of heavy showers and thunderstorms is expected to move across Western Mass between about 9 pm and 11 pm this evening and then across Central Mass between about 10 pm and midnight. The dynamics and forcing with this front looks pretty strong and because of this, brief wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph are likely with this line of showers and thunderstorms. I strongly recommend that if you have outdoor Christmas decorations setup, to make sure they are secured well. If they can be tied down, then it’s a really good idea to tie them down. If they can’t be tied down, then either bring them inside or make sure they’re protected from the wind. Once that front moves through, temperatures are expected to fall pretty quickly from the 50s this evening to the 30s around midnight. Also, west winds are likely to gust up to 30 to 40 mph at times after midnight tonight. Sunday: An area of high pressure will build into the area during Sunday. This means that skies will be increasingly more sunny as the day progresses on Sunday. High temperatures will be near 45 Degrees and West winds will gust up to 35 mph at times. Monday Through Wednesday: A large high pressure system will give the area dry and quiet weather during at least the first half of next week. Monday is expected to be sunny with high temperatures between 45 and 50 Degrees. Tuesday also looks sunny with high temperatures near 45 Degrees. Wednesday is expected to be partly sunny with high temperatures near 45 Degrees. Thursday Through Next Saturday: A southwesterly wind flow on the backside of that high pressure system will lead to Thursday being the mildest day of next week. Skies on Thursday are expected to be cloudy with high temperatures between 55 and 60 Degrees. A weak frontal system will push through the area on Thursday night and will be positioned south of the area on Friday. It appears that this front will bring with it a few rain showers late Thursday night into early Friday morning. The front will also lead to temperatures to fall into the 40s late Thursday night and remain in the 40 to 45 Degree range all day Friday. Turning to next Saturday, we’re going to be watching a low pressure system cross New England bringing with it the potential for a cold rain next Saturday with temperatures in the upper 30s. We’re going to have to watch for the potential for the rain to change to snow over the Berkshires and the northern Worcester Hills late Saturday before this storm moves away.

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