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Providence weather: A few showers for Saturday

The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 22, 2014.
The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 22, 2014.

Forecast discussion: A ridge of high pressure stayed over Providence on Friday, helping to give us a mix of sunshine and fair weather clouds. The ridge will hold up for this evening, before a low pressure system over Indiana brings a few showers by Saturday morning. North and west of Rhode Island may see a mix of snow and rain showers before it changes to plain rain. The cold front will pass to our south by the late afternoon, but we will not begin to feel the colder air until late Sunday afternoon. Temperatures on Sunday night and Monday will make it feel it like January instead of late March.

High temperature forecast for March 22, 2014

As we get past Tuesday, the computer models continue to forecast a significant low pressure system forming off the east coast of Florida. The low will gain some upper level dynamics moving over the system from the upper levels of the atmosphere. This will help create an old fashioned Nor’Easter. The biggest problem this far out in the forecast is the exact track of the low. The European and Canadian models push the low further out to sea, which is the opposite of their forecast yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom and American models are now bringing the low closer to the west. This is also the opposite of their thinking yesterday afternoon.

For now, I am going to go in between of the forecast tracks. Right now, we would see light to moderate snow and gusty winds. The winds will not be strong enough to create blizzard conditions. However, if the low moves closer to New England, we would see moderate snowfall and near blizzard like wind conditions. Again, this forecast is very track dependent, so I will continue to monitor the models throughout the weekend. Please check back in again during the weekend to get my latest forecast.

The storm will move out of the area by Wednesday evening, as a weak high pressure system brings drier weather for Thursday. We will see some limited sunshine next Friday morning, but an approaching cold front will create some showers by the middle of the afternoon. Temperatures will rebound as they climb into the upper 40’s by the end of the workweek.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Partly cloudy with a low of 28.
Saturday: Limited sunshine at 8 a.m. and windy with a few showers by 10 a.m. Showers should end around 4 p.m. with partly sunny skies. We will have a high of 54 with west-southwest winds of 17-22 mph and gusts of 35 mph.
Saturday night: Skies will clear with a low of 29. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 7-10 mph.
Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny with a high of 43.
Sunday night: Partly cloudy and cold with a low of 17.
Monday: Mostly sunny but quite cold with the high only reaching 31.
Monday night: Clear skies with a low of 18.

Extended Forecast:
Tuesday: Increasing clouds through the early afternoon with light snow starting by the evening commute. Highs 35-38, lows 25-28.
Wednesday: Cloudy and windy with light to moderate snow. Snow ends by 6 p.m. Highs 36-39, lows 21-24.
Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 40-43, lows 30-33.
Friday: Cloudy by the afternoon with showers by 3 p.m. Highs 48-51, lows 36-39.

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