By: Chief Meteorologist Eric FisherBy Eric Fisher

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Come to New England in fall, they said. It’s sunny and comfortable and beautiful, they said.

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You’ll typically find plenty of sunshine during September and October around the Boston area. Many wait all year for the glorious sunny but cooler days of autumn that are just perfect for that hike through the woods or picnic in the park. This year? Bring your rain boots and gortex for that hike. It’s been so persistently rainy and cloudy that we’re starting to approach some record levels for the season.

Graphic: WBZ-TV

How about a peek at days with rain? Feels like a lot of them, right? Ding ding…your gut is correct. It has rained over 30 days since September 1st, which is close to or at a record pace for all our local climate sites. That’s just measurable rain…there have also been a few days with ‘trace’ rainfall amounts mixed in. That sweet, glorious drizzle we all hold so dear. In contrast, there have been 8 days with clear skies during this time.

Weekend rain has been relentless this autumn. Graphic: WBZ-TV

Timing? Not great, Bob. We’ve had a lot of stormy weekend days. In fact, we haven’t had a completely dry weekend in Boston since September. Many of those weekends it rained BOTH days. A lot of unhappy soccer players unable to get out on muddy fields and quite a few cancelled fall events over the past month and a half. The last time we’ve had 3 straight dry days in Boston was October 4th-6th, and the only other time we had such a stretch this fall was the first few days of September. Painters, roofers, and landscapers are having a heck of a time with a backlog of work due to the frequency of wet weather.

Wettest fall season standings at Blue Hill Observatory

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In terms of actual rainfall amount, there’s been plenty. It’s impressive that we’re on pace to compete for wettest fall without a landfalling tropical system. It’s already been the 15th wettest fall (Sept-Oct-Nov) on record at Blue Hill Observatory with several weeks to go. We’ve had 18.23″ there so far, and there’s quite a bit more in the immediate forecast. In fact, it should certainly be enough through Tuesday to bring us up into the Top 5 and possibly Top 3.

Graphic: WBZ-TV

In Boston, we’ve surpassed average rainfall for a full year with a couple months on the clock. Over 44″ of rain and counting so over 50″ looks like a dunk. I doubt we compete for wettest year, however.

Forecast rain amounts Friday night (Weather Prediction Center)

Now that we’ve enjoyed this soggy retrospective, let’s look at what’s next. Guess what – a drenching rainfall! A system moving in Friday night will drag in some heavy downpours and likely 1″+ of rain for some. At least we may manage a mostly dry weekend once it departs between 6 and 9am Saturday morning. Colder air trails the rain, so it will be a blustery chilly day Saturday and then just downright cold and sunny on Sunday with highs stuck in the 40s, and possibly even 30s across higher elevations.

After that little breather, an even more potent storm system beckons for Tuesday. This one is a little interesting because (for a change of pace) it may feature a bit of wintry weather in the area. We’ll be rebounding off a cold antecedent air mass and so when the storm first arrives some of that cold will be in place. That being said, it looks like there will be quite a bit of onshore flow and also a parent area of low pressure moving into the eastern Great Lakes. That would bring in milder air at the surface with the parent low dragging milder air in aloft. Between the two, I don’t see a lot of room for significant snowfall in our local area. Farther northwest into the higher elevations of northern and western New England there is a much better shot at accumulating snowfall with this storm.

We’ll continue to watch the trends for any potential wintry aspect, but regardless plenty more precipitation will fall. Looks like an easy bet for over 1″ and maybe over 2″ of rain with strong jet dynamics and plenty of moisture to work with. There are some signs that things may try to slow down a little later in the month, but it has been a wet stretch to remember (or forget)

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Eric Fisher