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Providence weather: Bitterly cold Friday night

The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on March 1, 2014. Increasing clouds are expected during Saturday afternoon.
The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on March 1, 2014. Increasing clouds are expected during Saturday afternoon.

Forecast discussion: A strong high pressure system right over Southern New England brought abundant sunshine to Providence on Friday. However, we also had bitterly cold temperatures, and this will continue this evening. With clear skies, low humidity, and calm winds, temperatures will plummet and just barely stay above zero. After a brief warm up on Sunday, we are expecting yet another snowstorm for New England.

High temperature forecast for March 1, 2014

Currently, the low is actually in the Pacific Ocean. This low brought torrential rain to California. Here’s a fast fact: Los Angeles has received more rain in the last three days than the last thirteen months combined. This has created mudslides and flooding across the city. This system will move across the U.S. and bring snow and ice to much of the Rockies and Ohio River Valley on Saturday.

For us, we will see the high begin to move into the Atlantic on Saturday. A frontal boundary will begin to set up to our south. Some mid to high level clouds will begin to filter in late Saturday. It will also help keep our temperatures much warmer Saturday night, as low temperatures only fall into the upper 20’s. By Sunday morning, the frontal boundary will begin to bring a few flurries over the area Sunday morning. We will see light snow showers in the morning, but temperatures will actually increase into the upper 30’s. This will allow the precipitation to mix or change over to rain showers.

As we move into Sunday night, the colder air from the north will once again take over. Temperatures will fall below freezing. Precipitation will change back to light snow. At this time, it is still difficult to know exactly how much snowfall we will receive. We will see a small low pressure center form along the boundary Monday morning. If the low stays to our south, we will not see as much precipitation. But, if the low tracks further north, the precipitation will last longer. At this time, a conservative snowfall amount for Providence would be about 3-6 inches by the end of Monday night.
After Monday night, we will once again see some colder temperatures, thanks in part to the fresh snowfall on the ground. But, as we move towards the end of the week, warmer air will move back to the north. By Friday, some parts of Rhode Island may see high temperatures near 40 degrees.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Clear skies and bitterly cold with a low of 3 degrees.
Saturday: Sunny through the early afternoon, with increasing clouds the rest of the day. We will see a high of 34. Winds will come from the south-southwest at 8-11 mph.
Saturday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 28. Winds will come from the west-southwest at 4-7 mph.
Sunday: Some flurries around 7 a.m., with light snow showers around 9 a.m. There will be a mix of rain and snow showers from noon until 6 p.m. We will see a high of 38.
Sunday night: Light snow once again by 10 p.m. with a low of 22.
Monday: Windy with light to moderate snow. Snow ends by 7 p.m. We will see a high of 28.
Monday night: Clearing skies after midnight and cold with a low of 9.

Extended Forecast:
Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 23-26, lows 8-11.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Highs 26-29, lows 11-14.
Thursday: Mostly sunny with increasing clouds in the afternoon. Highs 31-34, lows 18-21.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 37-40, lows 24-27.

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