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December 23, 2020 Weather Update | High Wind Watch Christmas Eve through Christmas Day

2:15 PM | A short duration, strong storm system will bring potentially damaging winds, heavy rain, and localized flooding to the Commonwealth on Christmas Eve night (Thursday) and lasting into Christmas Day (Friday). 15-35 mph sustained winds with the potential to increase slightly and damaging Southeastern gusts up to 65 mph are expected throughout Massachusetts, with increasingly powerful gusts over the Cape and Islands. 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rainfall is possible with localized amounts reaching 3 inches causing minor river, street/highway, and coastal flooding. Christmas Eve and Day travel impacts can be expected.


  • Possible power outages across Massachusetts with a greater risk in Eastern MA.
  • Minor river flooding with localized street and highway flooding.
  • Poor visibility due to dense fog will cause travel impacts.
  • Minor coastal flooding possible on the Southern coast.

Weather Forecast

The weather will be dry from this afternoon through Thursday morning. Rain will develop in western Massachusetts late Thursday afternoon and it will spread to the east through Thursday night. Rain is likely to be moderate to heavy at times. The heavy rain in combination with melting snow may lead to standing water and flooding. The rain will exit from west to east on Christmas day, possibly mixing with a little snow in western areas before ending. Any snow that occurs will be light. In addition to heavy rain, strong winds are looking likely with gusts of 40-60 mph with a few peak gusts of 75 mph on the Cape and Islands Thursday night into Friday morning. The strongest winds are anticipated on Friday from 6AM – 12PM (noon). Winds will decrease quickly on Friday afternoon. Temperatures will continue to fall through the day Friday, which may cause freezing of any wet pavements by Friday evening, though precipitation may exit soon enough to allow for some drying of pavements to occur.