Tropical Storm Henri is currently located to the southeast of Bermuda late this afternoon. All indications are that a big high pressure ridge will guide it westward over the next couple of days before it turns more to the northwest and north. How far west Henri tracks is going to be extremely important in determining any possible impacts the storm has on the weekend weather here in Western and Central Mass. Additionally, it is expected that Henri will likely strengthen into a hurricane over the next couple of days.
The weather pattern late this week into this weekend is expected to feature an upper level trough of low pressure from the Ohio Valley into the Mid-Atlantic states and an upper level high pressure system near Bermuda. The big unknown in the forecast is whether the trough of low pressure to the west of Henri may pull it far enough west to make a VERY close brush or a direct impact in Southern New England. Needless to say, Henri is definitely a storm that needs to be watched extremely closely.
My thinking right now is that Henri may pass just barely east of Nantucket and the Cape as a hurricane on Sunday. The moisture from Henri may still be drawn into the area by that trough of low pressure for rain, heavy at times, to occur on Saturday night and Sunday across Western and especially Central Mass.
At this point, I would give Henri about a 10 to 20 percent chance for it to make a direct landfall in Southern New England. While it’s a low risk right now, it is still a high enough threat that it’s a storm that needs to be watched extremely closely.
I will be watching Henri extremely closely and will have frequent updates for you over the next few days.
Before that though, I am also keeping an eye on the moisture and energy from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred, which is located over northern Georgia right now. It is expected that this moisture will push through our area on Wednesday night and Thursday morning bringing a round of heavy showers and possible thunderstorms. At this point, I think that the heaviest rainfall amounts may end up occurring over the Berkshires and across areas north of Route 2. Even so, a round of showers and possible thunderstorms are expected across Western and Central Mass from about midnight on Wednesday night until about midday on Thursday. Rainfall amounts look to range from one half of an inch or less across much of Western and Central Mass. The exception looks to be across the Berkshires and north of Route 2 where 1 to 3 inches of rainfall is expected.