Hurricane Willa will move into Mexico Tuesday evening, and once it’s over land it will quickly lose its tropical characteristics. However, this is not the end of the storm. Weather knows no country boundaries, and this particular storm will move into the United States on Wednesday and then along the Gulf Coast before making the turn toward the Northeast late this week.
An active jetstream will capture what’s left of Willa and reform it into a fall nor’easter. Meteorologically, it’s quite interesting that the storm will take this track and will end up affecting Canada as well.
Since we haven’t had a nor’easter in several months, it’s worth reminding folks that the term doesn’t necessarily mean snow. It just means that a storm will move up the coastline and provide northeasterly winds. The strength of a nor’easter varies, and the precipitation type also can be quite different depending on the time of year and the location. Tides are, astronomically, somewhat high this weekend, so minor coastal flooding is possible.
If you’re making weekend plans, it appears that precipitation will move into Southern New England sometime during the day Saturday, and it may remain unsettled into Sunday and Monday. With several days until the storm really gets its act together, there will be changes to the forecast in terms of timing as well as the potential amount of rainfall. We could get by Saturday morning without rainfall, but it’s also possible the rain moves in earlier and all of Saturday is wet.
Because there will be cold high pressure north of New England as the precipitation begins, there may actually be some wet snow in the higher elevations. Whether places like the Worcester Hills or the Berkshires see some wet snow is yet to be determined, but it’s not out of the question that this could end up as our first snow event for some.
If the storm strengthens enough, we could also see quite a bit of leaf drop, marking the end of a very mediocre leaf-peeping season around here.
Follow Dave Epstein on Twitter @growingwisdom.