By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer


BOSTON (CBS) – Nor’easter season has arrived in New England. All I can say is thank goodness it isn’t February right now! Put this storm in the middle of New England winter and we would have a whole boatload of snow and nervous meteorologists. While snow isn’t in the forecast, this storm is still nothing to sneeze at. It will essentially lash our coastline for three solid days with wind, rain and some very rough surf. And believe it or not, it could have been worse! The center of this storm will wobble around about 200 miles south of Nantucket…had it been 50-100 miles closer we would be talking about a potentially historic fall nor’easter here in Southern New England.

So, what do we have in store over the next 48 hours? Will our holiday weekend be rudely interrupted? Let’s dig in…

TIMELINE:

The brunt of the nor’easter will be somewhat long lasting. Essentially we are in the thick of it from late Wednesday night though early Friday morning. During that time, waves of heavy rain and bursts of damaging winds will rotate onshore, with the most dramatic impact being over southeastern New England (particularly over Cape Cod and the Islands).

During the day on Friday the storm will begin to weaken and finally start to slowly move eastward (out to sea) as it is “kicked” away by an approaching cold front from the west. That being said, conditions will still be miserable on Friday…damp, cold, windy. But the winds will slowly decrease from their peak levels on Thursday and the rain will become more showery and drizzly in nature.

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The last gasp of this storm in our area comes Saturday morning. Our holiday weekend will start damp and dreary Saturday morning but conditions will be vastly improved by afternoon, with sunshine emerging from west to east.

RAINFALL:

The highest rainfall amounts will come in areas closest to the storm, namely in southeastern MA. We are currently forecasting 3″-6″ from Plymouth-southward, including Cape Cod, the Islands and the South Coast. 2″-3″ are likely in parts of northern Bristol and northern Plymouth counties. Amounts drop off sharply the farther north and west you travel…about 1″-2″ in Boston and less than an inch anywhere north and west of 495.

(WBZ-TV)

There is a flash flood watch up for Plymouth, Bristol, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties through Friday morning. This is for the potential for some localized fresh water (inland) flooding.

(WBZ-TV)

WINDS:

Same deal here, biggest impact in southeastern New England.

Peak gusts:
50-60mph most of Cape Cod and the Islands…perhaps a bit higher then 60mph on Nantucket
40-50mph on the immediate coastline including the North Shore, South Shore and South Coasts and Metro Boston
30-40mph all of inland eastern Massachusetts (inside of 495)
15-30mph north and west of 495 (big drop off here)

(WBZ-TV)

There will likely be some wind damage to trees and power lines along the immediate coastline and particularly over Cape Cod and the Islands, hence the National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch for these areas through early Friday.

(WBZ-TV)

WAVES & SURF:

With the storm just sitting and spinning for days, our coastline will be lashed with a long fetch of persistent east/northeast winds. Several successive tide cycles will be affected. Thankfully, the tides are NOT astronomically very high (otherwise this could have been a very serious situation at the Coastline). However, even with the relative low tide cycle we are still expecting several rounds of minor to moderate coastal flooding, splash over and significant beach erosion. Wave heights will reach 10-20ft in some of the most exposed, NE facing beaches and 20-30ft just offshore.

(WBZ-TV)

There is currently a Coastal Flood Watch in effect for Thursday and Friday from Scituate down through Cape Cod and The Islands.

PATRIOTS GAME:

A pretty nasty night is expected in Foxboro on Thursday (and not just for the Giants). Waves of rain and wind will push through Gillette Stadium Thursday night. Wind gusts could exceed 30mph at times (cue the run game guys…) amidst sheets of rain. Good luck keeping the pop-up tents secure in the parking lot, and I would certainly suggest packing a rain poncho!

LEAF PEEPING/HOLIDAY WEEKEND:

The silver lining to all of this? With the storm impact centered over southeastern New England, the leaves will remain on the trees in Central and Northern New England for some GREAT viewing this weekend! All reports are that this is one of the best foliage years in recent memory up that way, so if you plans are taking you north this weekend, no worries!

As always, we urge that you stay tuned to forecast updates on WBZ-TV, CBSBoston.com and now CBSN Boston!

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