Before getting to TODAY, a brief look back at this day in CT history, 3 years ago: Tropical Storm Irene…
Timing was NOT on our side! Irene approached Connecticut near the time of high tide; plus, it was an astronomically high tide on Sunday due to the new moon. Additionally, the eye of Irene passed over Southeastern New York State and Western Connecticut. Thus, onshore winds pushed a tremendous amount of water up and over the shoreline. Combining all of these factors, the result was devastating coastal flooding. Inland flooding is a big problem too with 5-10 inches of rain falling over a good portion of the state from Irene. In some cases, that is more than 2 months' worth of normal rainfall in just a matter of one weekend. While the wind in Connecticut never reached hurricane force, they battered the state for a long time due to the relatively slow forward speed of Irene. Furthermore, the ground was already wet due to abundant rainfall during the month of August. This led to record power outages across the state with perhaps more than 800-thousand customers without power at the peak. This surpasses the number of customers that lost power during Hurricane Gloria in September, 1985. Gloria came through with stronger winds (81 mph in Hartford). However, we only had 1-2" of rain since Gloria was moving so fast. Also, we didn't have a horrible tide situation like the one that occurred during Tropical Storm Irene.
Now to current day…
Our trend of above normal temperatures has come to an end, but not before reaching the 90 degree mark at Windsor Locks for the 12th time this year yesterday. By this time last year, we had 19 days with a high of at least 90 degrees, but there were none in August! Very interesting when you consider July 2013 was the all-time hottest month on record!
A cold front has cleared Connecticut and is offshore; in its wake, lower drier and cooler air continues to filter into the region on a northerly wind. As high pressure builds in from the west, we can expect a mostly sunny sky. Furthermore, we'll get to enjoy low humidity and comfortable/seasonable temperatures. Afternoon highs will range from the mid-70s in the Litchfield Hills to the low 80s elsewhere.
Tonight, with a clear sky and diminishing wind, the mercury will dip into the 40s and 50s. Great weather for giving the AC a break and sleeping with the windows open! Tomorrow will be another ideal day for outdoor activities with abundant sunshine and highs in the mid to upper 70s! That is actually a little cooler than normal for late August, the average high for August 29th is 81 degrees. If you're heading to Rentschler Field to watch UConn take on BYU for the season opener, you can look forward to very comfortable conditions. The temperature should be close to 72 degrees for the 7:00 pm kickoff.
While Hurricane Cristobal accelerates away from the US East Coast and will not have any DIRECT impact on Southern New England, boaters should be aware of the large swells over the open ocean waters and swimmers need to be aware of dangerous rip currents. A High Surf Advisory has been posted for ocean facing beaches from the Long Island to Rhode Island to Cape Cod, including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Warm, humid air will return in a big way over the Labor Day weekend. Saturday will be comfortable with highs in the upper 70s and low 80s. A nice southerly breeze will develop in the afternoon as high pressure moves offshore, but the humidity will remain fairly low. However, we'll be feeling the warmth and humidity of summer again both Sunday and Monday. Temperatures will rise well into the 80s to possibly near 90 degrees, and dew point readings could reach 70 degrees, if not higher. While the weekend will not be a washout, we will have to be on the lookout for showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon hours both Sunday and Monday as a cold front settles into New England. Some of these storms could be on the strong side and they will be capable of producing torrential downpours since there will be so much available moisture in the air.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Meteorologists Mark Dixon and Bruce DePrest
"Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved."