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Providence weather: A little snow and a lot of wind for Wednesday

The wind speed (in knots) and direction for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 25, 2014.
The wind speed (in knots) and direction for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 25, 2014.

Forecast discussion: High pressure well into the Atlantic brought a ridge of high pressure over Providence on Tuesday. We were left with bright sunshine, but high temperatures struggled to remain in the middle 30’s. Now, I am seeing increasing clouds, in lieu of a strong low pressure system that is rapidly intensifying off the coast of North Carolina.

Predicted snowfall totals from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. EDT on March 26, 2014

Over the last few days, the biggest concern I had was the low’s track as it came towards Southern New England. The models have been consistent for the last 48 hours. It appears the low’s center will stay about 250 miles west of Chatham, MA. For Rhode Island, it means just a little bit of snow, but we will still see some very strong winds. A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for Newport County, from midnight until noon. Also, a Wind Advisory is now in effect for all of Rhode Island from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Winds will remain between 20-30 mph with gusts as high as 55 mph. This will cause some limbs on tress to come down, and could create some isolated power outages. In terms of snow, we actually will see a small amount. North and west of Providence will only receive about an inch of snow. The rest of the state will see 1-3 inches. The extreme south coast and Newport County will see 3-6 inches. The snowfall will begin around 2 a.m. along the south, and move northward. It appears we will see the last snowflake around 10 a.m. Skies will begin to clear through the afternoon as the low moves towards Nova Scotia. Due to the fresh snowfall, temperatures Wednesday night will fall into the middle teens. To see a snowfall map, along with some other useful weather information, just click here.

As we head into the end of the week, a warming trend will begin. An upper level ridge will move over the east coast, allowing for southwest winds in the atmosphere. This will bring more tropical air up into New England. We will see a huge difference on Friday, as temperatures soar into the middle 50’s. However, we have to take the good with the bad. A low pressure system will bring a cold front through, and we will see showers by Friday afternoon. The frontal boundary will push to our south by midnight. But, a second low pressure system will form along the boundary, and slowly move north and east. Once again, we will see showers arrive by noon on Saturday. The American model is showing some very heavy precipitation to fall throughout the afternoon and evening. The low will be slow moving, but eventually high pressure will help move the low east, and showers will end by early Sunday afternoon.

We will see dry weather to begin next week. This is pretty good for Boston Red Sox fans. The first game of the year is in Baltimore, and looks like the teams will see mostly sunny skies. A weak disturbance will pass through New England on Tuesday, and there is the slight chance for a shower. Temperatures will remain in the lower 50’s, while overnight lows will be in the middle to upper 30’s.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Cloudy skies with light snow developing after 2 a.m. Winds will be increasing to 17-22 mph during the overnight. We will see a low of 26.
Wednesday: Windy with light to moderate snow. Snow ends by 10 a.m. We will see 1-3 inches through most of Rhode Island, with 3-6 inches in Newport County. We will see a high of 37 with winds increasing to 25-30 mph with gusts of 45 mph. Mostly sunny skies is expected before sunset.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 16.
Thursday: Mostly sunny with a high of 40.
Thursday night: Becoming cloudy during the overnight with a low of 33.
Friday: Cloudy with showers arriving by noon and a high of 55.
Friday night: Showers end by midnight but remaining cloudy and a low of 45.

Extended Forecast:
Saturday: Cloudy skies with showers arriving by noon. Moderate to heavy rain is possible by the mid-afternoon. Highs 54-57, lows 35-38.
Sunday: Moderate rain tapers to showers by late morning, and ending by the early afternoon. A little sunshine is possible before sunset. Highs 48-51, lows 33-36.
Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs 54-57, lows 34-37.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy by the morning, with the chance of a shower by the afternoon. Highs 50-53, lows 35-38.

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