I wish I could say this will be one of those storms that will fizzle as it comes at THE WORST time possible for the holiday, but that just won't be the case. Some of our guidance is suggesting gusts well OVER 60mph as our low level jet is roaring by late Thursday at 100mph. Now, keep in mind that only a FRACTION of those winds actually make it to the surface so no, we aren't looking at 100mph winds at the surface, but it's important to keep an eye on that low level jet.
The GRADIENT...which is created by high pressure moving east and the deepening low (storm) moving in from the west is enough on its own to create winds 40-50mph, easily. Add in some heavy rain and that is how you get those real damaging winds as the rain can tap into the energy from the low level jet.
Here's where we are on Thursday morning:
Note the strength of the high. 1033. The higher that number, the stronger the high. See those black squiggly lines? As discussed many times those are isobars which are lines of equal pressure. The closer they are together, the stronger the winds. I'm not expecting a windy start to the day but as the gradient tightens through the afternoon, the winds will pick up.
We should actually be dry for a good chunk of time. This isn't going to be a complete and total washout. In fact, the rain likely holds off until dinner... or even AFTER dinner. Here's what radar could look like around midnight:
Strong winds, heavy rain and evening some thunderstorms can't be ruled out. Probably will pick up a quick 1/2" to 1" of rain with this system. Cold air working in quickly behind and we see our temps take a tumble. Some snow showers are possible if moisture lingers behind the system for Friday.
The worst winds will likely be 6pm-2am. With a 3/4 hour period in the middle there where we could see 60+ along the coast, 55+ on the mainland. The winds will start relaxing overnight and calm down for Christmas morning. Friday is likely blustery but no extreme winds or heavy rain.
Here's a look at that low level jet...we saw something similar a few weeks back. Tidal flooding won't be an issue even though winds are off the ocean, we are good because we are in between moon phases thankfully.
I am concerned about power outages as I am with ANY wind event. These winds will be out of the SOUTH/SOUTHEAST and no, this is not a nor'easter. Stay tuned for more updates as more info becomes available.
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