Seemingly out of nowhere, once Tropical Storm Noel that looked to measly just head out to sea and weaken is starting to move westward on the models, strengthen, as it already has at the 8PM update, now Hurricane Noel with winds of 75mph, is going to link with a stationary front that is moving through our area tonight, over the ocean and form the Perfect Storm. Noel will start losing its tropical characteristics tomorrow, but it will still gain strength, as it becomes extratropical, but will still be classified as a Category 1 Hurricane as it moves just to the SE of Nantucket on early Saturday morning. Some models are bringing this storm's strength to near Category 2 status, with winds approaching 100mph as it passes by the Cape. It is going to be a monster and since it will be losing its tropical characteristics and become a bonified Nor'easter, winds will extend very far from the center of the storm, so eastern New England will get into the show.
Here is the rainfall impact forecast for
SNE. As you can see, the Cape will bear the brunt of the storm with the heaviest rainfall. Some of the models are bringing nearly 3-4" of rainfall to the Cape and extreme southeastern Massachusetts. Then the rest of the eastern part of the state and region will likely see moderate rain with an inch or two possible. There will be a sharp cutoff in the rain so past Worcester County won't see anything. At least this is how it looks right now at this point. Winds will be another major issue with the trees still having most of their leaves, especially southeast, the wind will likely cause scattered power outages. Obviously, the Cape and the coastline will see the strongest of the winds. We are talking sustained winds of 35-45mph during the peak of the storm sometime Saturday with peak wind gusts over 60mph, perhaps approaching hurricane status down on the elbow of the Cape. Further inland, the winds will be strong (25-35mph) but not as strong as SE. For this reason all of eastern SNE is under a HIGH WIND WATCH at this current time and I would not be surprised if the Cape goes under a TROPICAL STORM WATCH later tomorrow. Just when you thought we were heading to winter, this happens. But wait, we are. The entire time this event is happening, cold air will be diffusing into the back side of this storm system and we will be seeing a windswept frigid rain, with highs in the mid-upper 40's.
This is a BIG DEAL and nothing to turn your back to. It will be DANGEROUS on Saturday with the winds blowing down trees and possible flooding with the heavy torrential rains, falling perhaps 1-2"/hr. This has come on the forecasting community kind of fast and tomorrow, I hope the news will allude to the fact that this could be a LIFE-THREATENING STORM for SNE, especially on the Cape. I don't want to sound like a dark forecaster, but this storm is going to catch a lot of people off guard.
Waves during this storm could approach 30-40 FEET just offshore, so do not go out fishing on Friday night and Saturday. It could be a LIFE AND DEATH situation if you decide to go out of port during this storm. I cannot emphasize that enough. Be safe and more on this rapidly developing situation later.