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Boston weather: Arthur invites himself for the Fourth

A satellite picture of Hurricane Arthur before 4 p.m. EDT on July 3, 2014
A satellite picture of Hurricane Arthur before 4 p.m. EDT on July 3, 2014
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

Forecast discussion: A ridge of high pressure continued to give us partly to mostly sunny skies on Thursday. The cold front to our west stalled, so we did not see any widespread precipitation in the afternoon as forecast. But, some strong thunderstorms did develop over Worcester County by the late afternoon. Heading into the Fourth of July, some uninvited guests are going to be ruining the holiday plans all around Boston.

Due to the weather concerns, the Boston Pops Orchestra moved up their concert and fireworks show to this evening. Part of the concern has to do with Hurricane Arthur. As of 7 p.m. EDT, Hurricane Arthur was centered at 33.8N 77.4W, or about 35 miles east of Cape Fear, North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds are now at 90 mph, and Arthur is moving to the north-northeast at 15 mph. Arthur is forecast to maintain its current strength, before beginning to leave the Gulf Stream and move off the Mid-Atlantic coastline. Arthur will move just southeast of Nantucket Friday night, before the cold front pulls Arthur into the Canadian Maritimes for Saturday. You can see the latest hurricane models on Arthur on this spaghetti model chart here.

As we move into Friday, the cold front will be the weather feature for Southern New England. I am expecting the heaviest rainfall to start after lunchtime, and continue into the evening hours. Some areas may see rain bands train over their area, or seeing constant bands of rain staying over the same spot for several hours. This could cause some street flooding and make small rivers and streams rise quickly. The Red Sox game may be cancelled, as it was scheduled for an afternoon start.

As we head into Friday evening, the Cape and Islands will see the threat of wind gusts reaching tropical storm strength, or over 35 mph. The Islands itself may see with occasional 45-50 mph as Arthur is closest to New England. Also, the potential for heavy rain will continue for the eastern coastline.

High pressure will build over the state by Saturday morning, as Arthur moves further away from the Atlantic coast. However, please take precaution if you happen to be going to the beach over the holiday weekend. Seas and surf will still remain rough, and there is a good chance for some strong rip tides.

The rest of the weekend will be mostly sunny with less humidity. By Monday afternoon, a new cold front will approach New England, and we may see an isolated shower or thunderstorm by the evening commute. Otherwise, the front will bring scattered showers and thunderstorms on Tuesday, and continue into Wednesday morning. The humidity will return by early next week, as winds return to the southwest. A new high pressure system will bring drier, cooler air on Wednesday, with more clouds than sun for Thursday.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Mostly cloudy with an isolated shower and thunderstorm after 2 a.m. Patchy to dense fog expected along the coastline. We will see a low of 72.
Independence Day: Showers, periods of heavy rain, and scattered thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may be strong, and create small hail and gusty winds. We will have a high of 80 with winds shifting to the east-northeast at 8-11 mph by 5 p.m.
Fenway Park Forecast (1:35 p.m. vs. Baltimore): Rain, strong thunderstorms possible, 75.
Friday night: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. The Cape and Islands will see tropical storm force wind gusts as high as 50 mph. Boston will see a low of 62 with north-northwest winds of 17-22 with occasional gusts up to 40 mph.
Saturday: All precipitation ending by 8 a.m., with mostly sunny skies by the afternoon. It will be warm but less humid with a high of 82.
Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 63.
Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high of 84.
Sunday night: Clear skies with a low of 68.

Extended Forecast:
Monday: A mostly sunny morning, with increasing clouds and possible showers/thunderstorms by the evening commute. The humidity will be increasing once again. Highs 85-88, lows 69-72.
Tuesday: Peeks of sunshine, otherwise mostly cloudy with scattered showers/thunderstorms. Highs 84-87, lows 66-69.
Wednesday: Showers/thunderstorms end by dawn, with mostly sunny skies. Highs 82-85, lows 65-68.
Thursday: Partly sunny. Highs 81-84, lows 64-67.