The good news on Hurricane Lee front is that the storm is currently following forecasting trends, meaning that it continues to look like it is not going to have a big impact on most of southern New England. With all the recent rain and wet ground, a direct hit from this storm would have likely produced major to catastrophic flooding and on that front, we dodged a bullet.
Nevertheless you can expect ferry disruptions, some airline delays and cancellations, and other inconveniences until Sunday.
The highest winds and the most rain will occur over Cape Cod, similar to a moderate-to-strong nor’easter in the winter. The worst of the storm will be from the early morning hours of Saturday before sunrise through about noon.
I do expect there will be power outages over Southeastern Massachusetts, the extent of which will be determined by just how strong the gusts of wind are on Saturday morning.
The peak storm surge is going to occur at the time of low tide so I’m not worried about coastal flooding. As a matter of fact the flood predictions from the National Hurricane Center have actually come down a little bit in the past 24 hours — there’s no longer a predicted area of two to four feet.
I think most of the flooding will be minor and in places like marshes and low-lying roadways. This doesn’t mean that some areas couldn’t see some minor damage from the wave action and coastal beach erosion. The winds will be generally out of the north during the storm and those north-facing beaches will bear the brunt of this type of impact.
In terms of freshwater rainfall there will be minimal rain in areas north and west of Boston, with heavier amounts over Cape Cod and the Islands, but even there rainfall should not be so heavy that it creates anything more than some temporary street flooding at worst.
Although actual wind speeds may not reach tropical-storm force away from the coastline, some of the wind gusts could be over 39 miles per hour, which is tropical-storm strength. With the leaves on the trees acting as little sails and the fact that the ground is saturated and somewhat looser then average we could see a few trees uprooted and subsequent power outages even without widespread severe wind.
Improvement will occur quickly Saturday evening, setting us up for a beautiful Sunday. It will be a good day to head to the beach with temperatures 75 to 80 and comfortable levels of humidity.
Speaking of humidity, now that the long stretch of it is over, it’s worth looking back. This has been a very warm overnight stretch with this morning being the first time in over 11 days temperatures have fallen below 65 degrees at Logan Airport.
All of this continues to be in keeping with our changing climate, where we have more moisture in the air and that moisture translates into those higher dew points and less comfortable conditions we have experienced this month. From this point forward, things look a bit more typical for the time of year.