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Providence weather: After record cold, rain and mild for Saturday

The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 15, 2014. A spot shower is possible during this time.
The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 15, 2014. A spot shower is possible during this time.

Forecast discussion: Providence made a little bit of history on Friday morning, weather wise. The low temperature tied an all-time record at 12 degrees. The last time Providence was this cold on Friday was 1948. As we move through the weekend, temperatures will feel rather balmy, but the chill will return in time for Sunday.

High temperature forecast for March 15, 2014

A high pressure ridge that brought sunny skies today will begin to break down, as a low pressure system moves closer to New England. The warm front will move in first, helping to bring west-southwest winds and warmer air to the upper levels of the atmosphere. Daytime high temperatures will reach the lower 50’s. However, we will see some rain showers during the early morning, before ending around the mid-afternoon. Skies will begin to clear until sunset. As we move into Saturday night, the cold front will pass through, helping to lower our temperatures to the upper 30’s for daytime highs for Sunday.

The colder air will remain into Sunday night, and a developing area of low pressure over eastern Texas will create a massive storm for the Mid-Atlantic. A second low will form over North Carolina, as the main storm settles over Georgia. The second low will bring precipitation closer to Southern New England for Monday. Right now, the computer models are beginning to come together on this scenario. If the models hold true, we would begin to see light snow hit southern Rhode Island by the late morning on Monday, with Providence seeing snow by the early afternoon. The light snow will then end by the evening, and well before midnight. High pressure from Canada will then settle over the area for Tuesday.

We would get another round of precipitation by Wednesday, as a low pressure system moves through the Northeast U.S. We would see rain showers at first, by Thursday afternoon, before changing to snow showers by the evening. Any leftover snow showers would end by early Thursday morning. As we head into the end of the week, the cold air will move back north, as high pressure changes the wind direction back to the south. This will help raise temperatures into the lower to upper 40’s, with temperatures slightly below freezing Friday night.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Mostly cloudy with a low of 35.
Saturday: Overcast with rain showers by 6 a.m., but ending by 3 p.m. with mostly sunny skies until sunset. It will be milder with a high of 53. Winds will come from the west-southwest at 12-15 mph.
Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 28.
Sunday: Mostly sunny skies and cooler with a high of 37.
Sunday night: Increasing clouds with a low of 21.
Monday: Cloudy with the chance for light snow by the early afternoon. We will have a high of 30.
Monday night: Possible light snow ends by the evening. Mostly cloudy skies expected with a low of 21.

Extended Forecast:
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Highs 34-37, lows 23-26.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with showers by noon, changing to possible snow showers by 9 p.m. Highs 43-46, lows 30-33.
Thursday: Snow showers end by 3 a.m. with mostly sunny skies. Highs 47-50, lows 29-32.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 43-46, lows 28-31.

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