High Winds Friday Afternoon and Night

A rapidly deepening storm will pass well south and east of Nantucket later tomorrow and tomorrow night, grazing our area with some rain and snow. The big ocean storm – which will undergo “bombogenesis” (deepening in excess of 24 mb in 24 hours) – will pull another surge of bitterly cold arctic air southward into New England as it passes to our east, yielding a frigid start to the weekend.

While the cold temperatures will make headlines across the remainder of New England, locally the big story will be the wind this system produces Friday and Friday night.

The combination of the very deep low pressure area (~970 mb) to our east, strong arctic high pressure over Canada, “warm” ocean waters and incoming arctic air will yield perfect conditions to create and maximize the available wind in the lower parts of the atmosphere.

It’s quite likely that the entire Cape will gust in excess of 50 mph and gusts over 60 mph should be recorded in numerous spots. The higher end of model guidance suggests parts of the Outer Cape could record gusts to 70-75 mph. The worst of the wind should come from sundown Friday until about midnight. Strong gusty winds will continue into Saturday.

The National Weather Service has posted a High Wind Warning for the area, anticipating some tree and limb damage and some scattered power outages. Any outages would be a concern given the frigid temperatures arriving behind the storm.

Also of note – the bitterly cold temperatures will create some bands of ocean effect snow Friday night and Saturday morning on the Mid, Lower and Outer Cape. That, combined with howling wind could create some pockets of tough travel and very poor visibility.