Up to 5 inches of rain possible: Storm moving in Wednesday
A prolonged period of tranquil fall weather, ideal for leaf-peeping and outdoor recreation, is crashing to a halt with the arrival of an intense storm system by nightfall on Wednesday.
The coastal nor’easter, tracking to be off Cape Cod on Thursday morning, is expected to spread a super-soaking rainfall over the Berkshires and the rest of the Northeast region, with as much as 3 to 5 inches of rain by the time it winds down late Thursday. The higher end of the forecast would equal a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours.
The explosive system, absorbing an already strong low-pressure area from the Great Lakes, is also likely to whip up gale-force winds, with gusts up to 45 mph. That could cause scattered power blackouts, tree damage and a major wipe-out of colorful leaves, bringing the peak fall foliage season to a sudden end.
The heaviest rain and strongest winds are due late Wednesday night, tapering off by Thursday afternoon, National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Wasula predicted.
“Some poor drainage flooding of low-lying areas due to clogged drains from leaves, twigs, trash and other debris will be possible,” Wasula stated in an online post. “An isolated flash flood may also occur.”
By Thursday morning, following overnight rainfall rates of half an inch per hour, total rainfall could top out at 3 inches or more over the Berkshires, Wasula indicated, adding to Wednesday evening’s expected drenching. Some rumbles of thunder also are possible before dawn breaks on Thursday.
As usual with coastal storms, eastern Massachusetts will be the hardest hit, including the Boston metro area, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
This weekend, with the storm weakening over the Canadian maritime provinces, fair and dry weather with typical mid-October temperatures will return to western New England and eastern New York, giving foliage fans one last shot at viewing and photographing colorful Berkshire landscapes.
Clarence Fanto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.
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