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Coastal Storm Takes Aim At Massachusetts Early Next Week

By Terry Eliasen, WBZ-TV Executive Weather Producer
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File image (Credit: iStockphoto)

File image (Credit: iStockphoto)

So you may have heard the words “Coastal Storm” or “Ocean Storm” being thrown around this week. You may have even thought it was something the meteorologists were dreaming up due to their boredom with the current sunny day-after-day weather pattern.

As it turns out, it wasn’t just a figure of our weather imagination, it appears that there will be a fairly potent ocean storm making a close pass by Southern New England early next week.

The storm now is actually in its developmental stages just east of the Bahamas. For the next 24 hours or so, it will appear to be headed well out to sea. However, in a move reminiscent of Sandy, the storm will be drawn back towards the East Coast.

Let me stress that this storm will be nothing like Sandy, but the apparent out-to-sea then backwards jog does bring back some bad memories.

By Sunday morning, the ocean storm will be growing in size and strength, and tracking back towards the Northeastern United States.

In fact, some outer bands of high clouds will likely move into Southern New England during the day on Sunday. We may see some outer rain bands very late on Sunday night and certainly by Monday morning. Best chance of getting wet would be in Southeastern Mass. and along our coastline.

The weather models still diverge a bit on the ultimate track. Some keep it moving on a steady path right into the Cape Cod area; others give it a bump back out to sea before getting here.

Either way, I think some rainfall is likely on Monday along with a stiff east-northeast wind along the coast.

You can also be sure that the seas will be rough, somewhere in the 4-8 ft. range as this large storm churns offshore. The good news is that the tides are astronomically quite low, there is no risk of any frozen precipitation and this will not be tropical in nature.

This means it will not have a warm-core and thereby have no real damaging winds along with it. There is a slight chance it could be given a name by the National Hurricane Center but it would likely begin with “Sub-Tropical Storm”…a storm born in higher latitudes and not of tropical origins. By the way, the next name on the list is Jerry.

Worst case scenario: the storm makes a direct hit in Southeastern Massachusetts and we get some heavy rain bands all day Monday into Tuesday, winds gust 20-40 mph at the coastline, and there is some minor damage or flooding. Again, this would be worst case and isn’t all that likely at this point.

I would suggest that you check in on the updated forecast throughout the weekend, in between apple picking and fall baseball games, just to be sure nothing has changed in a significant way.

For now, enjoy what will be a glorious weekend and whatever happens early next week, it appears as though we may be in for a nice warm-up later next week, perhaps nudging 80 degrees!

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