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Dave Epstein

An unusual Mother’s Day nor’easter is set to hit this weekend

Rainfall through Sunday could reach over 2 inches if the nor’easter comes close to the coast.
Rainfall through Sunday could reach over 2 inches if the nor’easter comes close to the coast. WeatherBell Analytics

A strong, rather unusual May nor’easter is going to develop over the weekend, as the current cool pattern continues for a few more days. If this were winter, you’d be hearing forecasts predicting either 6 to 10 inches of snow or up to 2 feet or more. This precipitation will fall as several inches of rain, though. The wide range of predicted rainfall is a result of the unsure track of this coastal storm. More on that topic below.

The storm won’t arrive until Saturday evening. If you need to get some outdoor activities done, the weather will be dry Friday and Saturday during the day. It’s not going to be very warm. It will certainly be below the average high temperature, which is in the mid-60s. The Red Sox will have no issues playing Friday night, but the rain might not hold off for the whole game Saturday. If there were a way to move that game up a few hours, they could fit it in.

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Let’s get back to the movement of the upcoming nor’easter. What we do know is from Saturday evening through much of Sunday it’s going to be wet. Just how wet and how windy remains somewhat in question. The European model, a set of physical equations used to forecast the weather developed by the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, keeps the storm a bit farther east. Thus it calls for less rain, generally ¾ to 1 inch. In contrast, the GFS, the model developed by NOAA, calls for 2 to 3 inches. Either way, Sunday isn’t going to be bright and sunny, and all those lilacs and other flowers will be drooping heavily under the weight of the added moisture.

The upper-level energy for our storm is swirling over Oklahoma this morning with clouds and and rain ahead of this feature. As the storm moves east, it will redevelop off the coast and then proceed northeast into eastern Canada. Of interest are two other storms on the satellite, one off the Pacific Northwest coast and the other east of Nova Scotia.

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If we do see the heavier amounts of rainfall, over 2 inches, there will be some minor street and small stream flooding. However, although the drought has ended, river levels are not unusually high and a few inches of rain will easily be absorbed.

During the peak of the storm Sunday morning, it will be breezy, perhaps even strong enough to be called windy, but not enough to cause damage, and I don’t expect power outages or anything of the sort.

Besides some rain, this storm will help the jet stream undergo a pattern change. As the storm moves into Canada, the jet stream will lift north and take the cool pattern with it. Temperatures on Monday will return closer to average and then become above-average Tuesday through Thursday. It won’t be clear until Tuesday. There are some indications temperatures will then rise toward the 80s. For many of you this will be a wonderful treat after the recent May chill.