We are continuing to track 2 main players in our weather forecast for the next few days into the weekend–an approaching cold front from the west and Tropical Storm Arthur off the coast of Florida. The result will be a high chance of rain for your 4th of July, followed by better weather Saturday and Sunday.
First the latest on TS Arthur–Arthur strengthened overnight as it moved north at about 5mph. As of 8am, sustained winds were 60mph with gusts to nearly 70mph. Additional strengthening is forecast to occur over the next few days and Arthur could become a hurricane by Thursday. The track from the National Hurricane Center brings Arthur very close to the Outer Banks of NC by Friday morning as a Cat. 1 hurricane and then takes it several hundred miles southeast of Nantucket by late Friday night/early Saturday morning. On that off-shore track, southern New England would get building seas and dangerous rip currents mostly Friday and Saturday.
As for the cold front–it is slowly marching into New England today. With ultra high humidity and hazy sun, strong to severe thunderstorms will pop up along and ahead of the front in western and northern New England. These storms will be capable of bringing damaging winds and hail, but the biggest issue will likely be the torrential downpours that will be possible. The front will likely be far enough away through this evening that RI and SE MA stay STORM-FREE…. even Thursday likely won’t be a “washout”. There will be a risk for a few showers and thunderstorms–mainly by late afternoon and evening. Some of those storms could be strong with heavy rain and gusty winds. Our highest chance of seeing widespread showers and thunderstorms will come, unfortunately, on July 4th as the front finally crawls into RI and MA. The rain could be heavy at times with some localized flooding possible. The Weather Prediction Center is forecasting as much as 1-2″+ of rain by Friday night in our area… with 3″+ totals just off to our east. If the storm ends up tracking closer those higher amounts will be possible. Bottom line is that it is almost certain that you’ll see some rain on July 4th. Stay tuned for updates!