Good Thursday evening!
***A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect for all of Connecticut into this evening. A FREEZE WARNING has been issued for all of Southern Connecticut from 3:00am until 9:00am Friday morning***
Northwesterly winds gusted to between 30 and 40 mph today and in some locations the wind was even stronger. Plus, the air is extremely dry. The relative humidity dropped to between 10% and 20% in many parts of the state this afternoon. The fire danger is high today due to all of the factors mentioned above in addition to the strong April sunshine. Plus, there is still very little spring foliage to shield the ground from the sun and dry winds.
A large storm near the Canadian Maritimes this evening will continue to move eastward tonight while a ridge of high pressure builds into New England from the west. That means the wind will finally die down. In fact, winds will be very light by dawn. The combination of mainly clear skies and diminishing winds will allow for a big temperature drop. By morning, readings will range from the mid 20s in the cold spots to the low and mid 30s elsewhere. There is the potential for a freeze late tonight, but that all depends on how quickly the wind subsides.
Tomorrow will be a much calmer day! Winds will be light, although a light sea breeze will develop during the afternoon. Sunshine will mix with some high clouds as the day progresses and a veil of clouds may effectively dim the sun toward evening. Temperatures will still manage to rise well into the 60s, which means it will be a very pleasant day outdoors. The fire danger will be much lower thanks to the quieter conditions.
The dry landscape will get some much needed moisture as we head into the last weekend of April. Rain will develop Friday night and it will last into Saturday morning. The wet weather will come with a weak low pressure system that will brush the coast of Southern New England early in the weekend. Most of Saturday afternoon should be dry and we might even see some partial clearing. Temperatures will peak in the upper 50s and lower 60s. However, more showers are likely in the late afternoon and early evening as a cool, unstable air mass moves into New England. A few rumbles of thunder are possible as well.
Sunday will be much better. There should be a blend of clouds and sunshine, and a northwesterly breeze will usher in more dry air. It'll remain a bit on the cool side with highs near 60 degrees.
Next week will start out very nice, but more rain is likely by midweek. Once the wet weather arrives it will likely stick around for a couple of days, which means the transition from April to May will be gray and damp. Yes, May begins next Thursday! A large swirl (upper level Low) in the upper regions of the atmosphere will develop over the Central United States next week and it will meander for several days. This system will spread moisture up the Atlantic Seaboard toward New England. The leading edge of the showers could reach Connecticut Tuesday afternoon or evening. However, the steadiest rain will mostly likely hold off until later Tuesday night and Wednesday. More rain is likely on Thursday, although it may become spottier by then. Thanks to the clouds and rain, both Wednesday and Thursday will be cool with highs in the 50s to possibly near 60 degrees.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest