Massachusetts will not be exempt from the impact of Tropical Storm Fay, which is currently winding its way through the mid-Atlantic, bringing in its wake strong downpours, flooding and winds.
As the tropical storm picks up speed and strength, forecasters are warning that much of Western Massachusetts may be hit with intense rainfall and flash flooding.
Fay will bring heavy downpours to New England starting around 6 p.m. There is a potential for flooding mainly across northern Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, where a hazardous weather outlook and a flash flood watch have been issued.
“Widespread rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are expected across the region this afternoon and especially tonight,” the National Weather Service said. “Localized higher amounts may occur which will result in the potential for flash flooding.”
Western Massachusetts may see rainfall totals as high as 2.25 to 2.50 inches. The rest of the state should be hit with 0.5 to 1.5 inches of rainfall, with bands of showers and a few thunderstorms forecast. Severe weather is not expected, though.
Most of the rainfall will come to an end by Saturday morning, but the weather will remain quite humid, and a few strong thunderstorms are forecast later in the afternoon, mainly across northern Connecticut and Western Massachusetts again.
“Tropical Storm Fay will lift northward tonight and likely track west of southern New England as it eventually weakens to a depression,” the National Weather Service said on Friday.
The storm system formed off the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday and has since strengthened slightly, according to an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft. It is now barreling northward at 10 miles per hour, producing 50-mile-per-hour winds, the National Hurricane Center said.
Fay is expected to produce 2 to 4 inches of rainfall with isolated amounts of 7 inches along and near its current track from the lower eastern shore of Maryland through Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and southern New England.
“These rains may result in flash flooding where the heaviest amounts occur,” the hurricane center said. “Widespread river flooding is not expected at this time.”
As Fay continues its journey across the mid-Atlantic states, a tropical storm warning has been issued for the coasts of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, including Long Island.
Although flash flooding from heavy rainfall is the main concern Friday night to Saturday morning, forecasters are warning of a moderate to high risk of rip currents off south coastal beaches.
Tropical storm force winds are also a concern, according to the National Weather Service.