Not too much has changed as new data comes in this afternoon, although the wind gust potential has been upped a bit. We are still expecting a very powerful storm with damaging winds and heavy rain. Some isolated thunderstorms are possible which could add to the damaging wind threat.
One of the complicating factors is how Philippe will interact with a center of low pressure off of the North Carolina coast. While Philippe is not expected to arrive as a tropical storm in New England, some of its moisture and energy will likely get absorbed into the low pressure center.
Some models like the European even have what is left of Philippe developing into a second center of low pressure (the arrow on the right) to the east of the main low pressure (image courtesy AccuWeather.com).
This may actually help enhance wind speeds, especially for here in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. This same weather model shows a very fast current of air moving a couple of thousand feet over our heads tonight.
Noticed that area in red: that shows winds speeds around 65 knots (around 75 mph or hurricane force) a few thousand feet above our heads. If these stronger winds get dragged down to the surface (perhaps by a downpour), it’s POSSIBLE that there would be some hurricane force wind gusts. Some of the more aggressive models actually show gusts over 70 mph at the surface. The bottom line is that there is still some uncertainty: so our forecast for now is wind gusts between 50-70 mph with a CHANCE of winds gusts over 70 mph primarily along the south coast for places like Block Island and the rest of the south coast. Bottom line? Prepare for the worst by keeping a flashlight on standby with fresh batteries….also get down or secure those Halloween decorations. You don’t want them to end up in your neighbors yard.
A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect until 6AM Monday morning. Localized street flooding is possible with a potential of 1-3″ of rain.
Here is a summary of impacts:
We have already seen off/on showers this morning and this afternoon; this trend will continue so if you are reading from your phone at the Pats game, hopefully you brought the rain gear (even though it won’t be raining the whole time). The rain will pick up late afternoon or early evening, the winds will pick up as well:
Timing may actually be on our side as this storm will be a fast-mover. The worst of the storm should be from about 6PM to 6AM. This means that the wind and rain may wake you up while you are trying to sleep tonight, but it also means that the worst could be over for the later part of the morning commute. That being said, Monday will still be windy day with gusts of 30-40 mph. -Pete Mangione