- There are multiple weather features that will drive Henri’s future path and intensity.
- The outcome will determine what impacts to expect in New England.
How much of a blow New England takes from Tropical Storm Henri will be determined by a complicated weather pattern setting up near the East Coast that will dictate the storm’s final track and intensity.
The complicated nature of this setup and its underlying uncertainty means you should prepare for the possibility of the worst-case scenario of a landfalling storm and hope for the possibility of the best-case scenario — one that stays farther offshore and minimizes wind, surge and flooding damage.
The first ingredient that will determine Henri’s future through the weekend is fairly straightforward.
Henri will eventually make a slow clockwise turn toward the northwest, north and then north-northeast around the western periphery of a mid-level high-pressure system in the north-central Atlantic, as depicted in the graphic below. Exactly where that turn occurs could have implications for what happens with the next step in determining Henri’s longer-term fate.
The second chapter of this steering story is a bit more complicated, with multiple weather features in play over the weekend.
One of those is an upper-level disturbance that will be in place over the East. That disturbance in tandem with the Atlantic high mentioned earlier will help further accelerate Henri in a northerly direction off the East Coast. More favorable upper-level winds could allow Henri to be a hurricane during this time.
By late in the weekend, it’s possible that the upper disturbance in the East “captures” Henri for a time and forces it to bend back to the northwest toward the Long Island or Southern New England coast. Alternatively, Henri could also continue on with its northeastward motion near or off the New England coast if that disturbance doesn’t fully grab ahold of the system.
Finally, a small bubble of high pressure over Quebec could act to slow down Henri’s forward progress the farther north it tracks. Where this slowing down occurs could dictate whether Henri has a chance to weaken some over cooler waters as it makes its closest approach to New England.
Exactly how all those steering variables pan out will drive the ultimate final track and intensity for Henri. This will determine what potential impacts from wind, rain and storm surge any one location in New England can expect.
Be sure to check for updates frequently since the future path, timing and intensity of Henri are likely to change over the next couple of days as forecast models come into better agreement.
For additional forecast details, see our main forecast article for Henri at this link.
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