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Boston Weather: 48.0°F | Partly Cloudy

Weather: Isabel Slams East Coast

By Cegeon J. Chan

Hurricane Isabel has made landfall and has provided a wet and windy start to our weekend. Isabel, the size of Colorado, pounded North Carolina’s Outer Banks by smashing down trees and bringing down power lines. Anywhere from the Carolinas to the New Jersey coast, winds have been gusting to as high as 95 mph. The storm is currently moving north toward Ontario.

At the same time, there is a strong high pressure system in eastern Nova Scotia. So even though Isabel is weakening, the strong pressure gradient between Isabel and the high pressure will produce sustained winds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph in southern New England. Because of these windy conditions, a high surf advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for the southern coast of Rhode Island, Cape Cod and the islands throughout today. Along with the strong winds, there is unstable air. A chance of thunderstorms cannot be ruled out today. Expect the rain, which will be heavy at times, to produce a total of about an inch along the coast and close to two inches in western Massachusetts. However, after Saturday morning, high pressure will move into the region, providing sunny and mild temperatures into the student holiday.

Weekend Outlook

Today: Rain. Heavy at times. Thunderstorms possible. Winds gusting to 35 mph. Highs near 67°F (20°C).

Tonight: Rain tapering off. Breezy. Lows around 61°F (16°C).

Saturday: Mostly sunny and mild. Highs in the upper 70s F (27°C). Lows in the mid 50s F (12°C).

Sunday: Mostly clear. Highs in the lower 70s F (22°C).

Monday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 60s F (20°C).