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. However, the combination of the cold front along with Hurricane Arthur will make for a wet and windy Fourth of July.
Due to the weather concerns, several towns and cities moved their firework displays to this evening, or cancelled them until Saturday. 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. As Arthur moves closer to Rhode Island, seas and surf will become rough along the south coast. Wind gusts will reach tropical storm strength, or over 35 mph, for most of the state, with occasional 45 mph gusts along the south coast and Block Island.
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 1 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 north-northeast at 7-10 mph by 5 p.m.
Friday night: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. The south coast will see heavy periods of rain and winds gusting to as high as 45 mph. Providence will see a low of 62 with north-northwest winds of 14-17 mph gusting up to 35 mph.
Saturday: All precipitation ending by 9 a.m., with mostly sunny skies by the afternoon. It will be warm but less humid with a high of 83.
Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 61.
Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high of 84.
Sunday night: Clear skies with a low of 66.
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 64-67.
Thursday: Partly sunny. Highs 81-84, lows 64-67.