Wednesday brings an challenging setup to convey as a forecaster. A cold front crossing New England already was sweeping cool and dry air into the far North Country as of Wednesday morning, but as the wind shift associated with that front hits the humidity in Southern New England, scattered downpours and thunderstorms are likely. In fact, total moisture content in the atmosphere is high enough that torrential rain is possible where the storms develop Wednesday afternoon, and short-term, high-resolution computer guidance has been keying in on Rhode Island and nearby Eastern Connecticut and Bristol County, MA. The time of greatest concern is 4 PM to 8 PM.
A few notes:
- Uncertainty exists with flash flooding, as thunderstorm rains can be localized and flooding or no flooding depends upon specific areas of a town where the heaviest rain falls (ie: poor drainage part of town vs. ample drainage)
- In the world of weather, we know some variation exists, so towns from New Bedford north to Foxboro, MA, west to I-395 in Eastern CT should be on-guard.
Of course, the typical advice applies: "turn around, don't drown" - avoid driving through flood waters, and if you're in a low-lying area where water starts to pool, seek higher ground.
For much of the remainder of New England, very little impact is expected from today's cold front, but drier and more comfortable air will be felt by evening.