I wanted to give you an idea of what this summer may be like in terms of the severe weather threat and the potential hurricane threat based on everything that I'm looking at. Severe Weather Threat - It appears that the La Nina type weather pattern that has been controlling the weather across North America will continue for at least the next 6 to 9 months or so. A La Nina weather pattern helps to promote an active severe weather pattern during the Summer across the Northeastern United States. The reason for this is that it forces the subtropical jet stream and its associated dynamics and forcing further north than usual. This in turn leads to higher than average low-level wind shear and higher than average unstable air across the northeast United States during the Summer.
In addition to this, the weather pattern over the last few months have been similar to past years including 1956, 1976, 1985, 1989, 1996, 2012 and 2018. A majority of these past years that are very similar to our current weather pattern have had very active severe weather seasons, including severe weather outbreaks in the Northeast United States.
Based on all of this, I think that there is the potential for higher than average significant severe weather activity across Western and Central Mass beginning in late May and continuing through June, July and August.
Additionally, it appears that this Summer may feature above average temperatures across Western & Central Mass, above average rainfall and potentially well above average humidity levels.
My Hurricane Season Forecast & How It May Affect Western & Central Mass - It appears that another busy hurricane season is in store for the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. My forecast is for 16 named storms, 9 of those storms becoming hurricanes and 3 of those hurricanes becoming intense hurricanes. I'm also forecasting a season that's about 40 percent more active than average.
Comparing the current weather pattern with weather patterns of the past reveals that the years of 1956, 1976, 1985, 1989, 1996, 2012 and 2018 are all close matches to what the 2022 Hurricane Season may be like. This is a big blinking red light because all of these past years were very active hurricane years along the East Coast of the United States with tropical hits in Southern New England occurring in 1976 (Belle), 1985 (Gloria), a very close call with Edouard in 1996 and an extremely close call with Sandy in 2012
Based on everything that I'm looking at, I think that tropical storm/hurricane activity could be steered along or very near the East Coast of the United States and this puts Southern New England at risk of seeing either a very close call or a direct impact in either August or September.
We are very long overdue for a significant hurricane impact in Southern New England and I've studied a lot of what may happen with a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane direct impact similar to the 1938 Hurricane or Hurricane Carol of 1954 and the outcome keeps me awake at night.
Since the big New England hurricane years from the late 1930s to the late 1950s, the tree growth and tree cover across Southern New England is much, much denser than what it was like 60 to 80 years ago. Also, our electrical and telecommunications infrastructure is also much denser as well.
A hurricane with sustained winds of 100 to 120 mph with higher gusts will lead to the downing of tens of millions of trees across Southern New England (there are 1.5 billion trees in Mass, 857 million trees in Connecticut and 180 million trees in Rhode Island based on US Forest Service data).
This will, in turn, lead to thousands, if not millions of power, telephone and cable lines to be brought down leading to upwards of at least 80 percent of the households and businesses across Southern New England to be without power or communications for weeks. Some of the smaller towns in the Worcester Hills may end up without power for months.
Additionally, there are going to be an overwhelming number of homes that will suffer significant damage from either roofs being partially blown off or trees being blown over into the homes leading to emergency services being overwhelmed with home rescues, gas lines being ruptured and delayed access due to downed trees and power lines.
Research has been done that shows a hurricane of Category 2 or 3 strength that directly impacts Southern New England would end up being one of the costliest hurricanes on record with losses of 75 billion to 100 billion dollars.
I know this saying gets old, but it's not a matter of if, but when in regards to a significant hurricane impact in Southern New England.