From Rain to Warmth - NBC Connecticut
On Ryan's Radar

On Ryan's Radar

First Alert Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan Gives You His Take on Connecticut's Weather

From Rain to Warmth

On Ryan's Radar

NBC Connecticut First Alert meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan gives you the science behind the forecast and shares with you an in-depth look at the weather impacting Connecticut.

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Morning Forecast Dec. 10, 2017

Another drought-denting rain is on the way Tuesday and Wednesday. Another inch of rain will put another small dent in the drought that was about 2 years in the making. 

Afternoon Forecast for April 24Afternoon Forecast for April 24

(Published Monday, April 24, 2017)

Rain will begin Tuesday morning and continue off and on through Wednesday. The setup is fairly common this kind of year with a big cut-off low off the southeastern U.S. drifting up the coast. This is the kind of setup that can deliver flooding rains to Connecticut in April BUT this system is weakening dramatically. Still, a period of locally heavy rain is a possibility in some towns later Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Precipitable Water anomalies off the GFS model for Tuesday night.

Even though the low weakens as it moves up the coast there's quite a bit of moisture that will move in. The graphic above is what's called "precipitable water" (PWAT) and it's a good way of looking at how much moisture exists throughout the atmosphere. What we've done here is compare the PWAT values for Tuesday night to what's typical for late April - values are ~200% of normal so that indicates there's a lot more moisture in the air than there typically is this time of year. This shouldn't come as much surprise, though, when you see where the air is coming from. A long fetch of southerly winds is transporting moisture from the Caribbean and southern Atlantic Ocean right into New England. 

GFS forecast for winds about 5,00 feet up Tuesday night. The brighter colors near southern New England indicate stronger winds indicative of a low level jet stream which can enhance lift and rainfall rates.

It appears as though the peak of the rain will be Tuesday night. The low level jet stream (about 5,000 feet above our heads) will peak Tuesday evening and night and that is when there's a maximum in low level convergence and moisture transport. That's when we'll get the wettest.

Short Range Ensemble Forecast (SREF) of accumulation precipitation at BDL. Notice most of the 21-members show a clustering around 1.0" of rainfall. There are a few outliers closer to 2 or 2.5" of rain which is skewing the mean (black line) a bit.

How much rain are we looking at? Most of our computer models have between 0.5" and 1.5" across that state and that looks reasonable. This will not be enough for flooding. With a low that's weakening (and, as a result, modest amounts of lift in the atmophere) it will be tough to see truly excessive precipitation even with an unusually high amount of moisture. I should note, however, that some of our short range ensemble members (see graph above) do show over 2" of rain. While unlikely, this would be a possibility especially if thunderstorms develop.

We're still on track for an extended period of warm weather later this week through early next week. At least one or two days near 80F seems likely.