Tropical Storm Henri could hit state this weekend
Tropical Storm Henri is moving through Atlantic Ocean Thursday, and predictions show it could hit Connecticut, but it’s still too early to know exactly where the storm will hit, forecasters said.
The storm was moving west Thursday night and is expected to turn toward the northwest Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Gary Lessor, chief meteorologist at Western Connecticut State University, expects Henri to hit southeastern New England and the Cape Cod area around Sunday based on Thursday’s forecast models.
And Connecticut is still in the “cone of change,” Lessor said.
“Here in Connecticut, the effects would be minimal,” he said. If the current forecast stays the same, the state would “escape any real impact from the storm,” aside from winds.
It would “just be probably a cloudy day,” along with some wind, Lessor said.
If the storm shifts, Lessor said: “It wouldn’t be good.”
Tropical storm-force winds are expected to reach southern New England by around 8 p.m. Saturday at the earliest, moving north through the region into Sunday morning, according to a model from the National Hurricane Center.
Connecticut is forecast to experience at most 50 mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center Thursday evening.
“We’ve just got to be patient and hope tomorrow it hasn’t shifted to Connecticut,” Lessor said.
The National Hurricane Center said the tropical storm is expected to escalate to a hurricane Friday night. The storm’s wind speed did weaken, going from 70 mph Wednesday to 65 mph Thursday.
NOAA said swells from the tropical storm will reach much of the East Coast by the end of the week and into the weekend, causing potentially life-threatening surf and rip currents.
On Thursday, Eversource, the state’s largest electric utility, said it was following the progress of the storm and starting preparations should it impact Connecticut.
“We have been closely watching multiple storm forecasts for several days, and we’re actively engaged in our emergency response preparedness efforts so that, if necessary, we’re ready to respond and quickly restore power for our customers,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom in a statement. “There’s still some uncertainty across multiple models that we follow, and we’re preparing based on the current forecast.”
Hallstrom added: “One of the biggest challenges for storms like Henri is that changes in the storm track can significantly alter potential impacts. We will continue to adjust our response plans to shift crews and other resources accordingly as the storm approaches New England, and our dedicated employees are ready to work around the clock to serve our customers.”
Connecticut residents need a break from the rain. Remnants of Post-Tropical Cyclone Fred brought local flash flooding to Connecticut Thursday morning. The storm also caused over 2,000 residents to lose power.
The fast-moving storm, which passed through the state in several hours, dropped as much as five inches of rain in some areas, closing streets in parts of Connecticut.
The last tropical storm to hit Connecticut was Tropical Storm Elsa in July. Heavy rains from that storm lead to days of flooding in some areas, especially southern Connecticut and cut power to thousands of residents.
Tropical Storm Henri comes about a year after Tropical Storm Isaias swept through Connecticut with high winds that downed thousands of trees and cut power to hundreds of thousands of residents.