Although our anticipated Christmas storm is bearing down, Christmas Eve Day is actually a great day for anything planned outside with increasing clouds but high temperatures around and over 50 degrees in Central and Southern New England by afternoon, 40s north, after a few early morning icy patches on Northern New England roads.
Showers will expand east into Western New England during the middle to late afternoon, then showers are expected regionwide after sundown.
That said, heavier rain will be slow enough that it won’t arrive for most of us until after midnight and into the predawn Christmas morning.
Our First Alert Team expects the heaviest rain, in general, from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day with embedded thunder possible during the morning in far Southern New England and a moderate to light rain lingering into the evening.
Although wind gusts exceeding 60 mph are possible Christmas morning in Central and Southern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts and at the immediate eastern coasts between 5 a.m and 10 a.m., areas farther inland will see gusts between 40 and 55 mph — not as strong, but still sufficient for scattered power outages Christmas morning.
For that reason, our team has been encouraging folks who have lots of cooking to do to get as much done today as possible, and charge devices that will be gifts so you can get a couple hours of enjoyment if your house is one of those that lose power.
Rainfall totals of 1.5 inches east and 2-3 inches with locally higher amounts west will mean minor flooding by Christmas night on many Northern and Western New England rivers and we’ll watch the Pemigewasset, Suncook, Walloomsac, Hoosic and Connecticut Rivers especially carefully for higher flood levels.
Coastal flooding isn’t a big concern, but may hit minor levels at the South Coast.
Colder air arrives Friday night through the weekend with a fair Saturday and Sunday amid mountain snow showers, then we’ll watch two disturbances in our 10-day forecast: Monday night, and again New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day.