A tropical storm spinning up the East Coast is expected to turn into a small hurricane later this week. It is likely to steer clear of New England, but it could well douse some Fourth of July barbecues with rain, forecasters said.
Damaging wind gusts, large hail, and localized flash flooding are possible from Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, but National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson said heavy rains are the greatest threat.
“We wanted to emphasize the [tropical system] because what is more than likely is some potentially heavy rains ahead of the track,” Simpson said. “Thursday into Friday there could be some enhanced rain showers due to the tropical weather from the system.”
The end of the week will be wet, with showers possible beginning Wednesday night. Scattered showers and storms are likely to continue through Friday.
As of 11 a.m. today, Tropical Storm Arthur was 95 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., moving northwest at 2 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.
The forecasters at the center said the storm is expected to become a weak hurricane by Thursday, with winds eventually peaking at around 80 miles per hour as it steams out into the ocean east of New England.
Today should stay sunny and dry, with temperatures reaching the upper 80s across Massachusetts.
Clouds may roll in overnight, while temperatures fall to the low 70s.
Wednesday will likely be partly sunny with high temperatures in the upper 80s, but by evening, showers and storms could begin in the western part of the state. Low temperatures will likely remain in the low 70s.
Rain will be “more widespread” by Thursday, as the tropical system pushes precipitation over the region. Chances for showers and storms will increase after noon, and temperatures should hover around the low 80s. More rain and storms can be expected overnight into Friday, with “the possibility for tropical downpours,” Simpson said, which could result in localized flash flooding. Overnight temperatures could fall to the low 60s in the interior, while the coast stays a little warmer, in the upper 60s.
Scattered showers and storms will persist through Friday, likely into Saturday morning. The region can expect cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 70s for the holiday.
Temperatures will likely fall to the mid-60s by Friday evening.
Saturday through Monday quiet and seasonably cool weather is expected, forecasters said.