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Providence weather: Bringing sunshine back on Thursday

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Forecast discussion: Well, after a day of heavy snow to start the early morning, Providence did begin to see a changeover, mixing with some sleet and drizzle by 11 a.m. Providence received about 6 inches of snow. The big winner in the local area was Uxbridge, MA, just north of Woonsocket, RI. They received 12 inches of snow. For the rest of Wednesday night, we will see flurries and an occasional snow shower pass through until midnight. By midnight, the Winter Storm Warning in effect for northern Rhode Island will be cancelled. The low is now moving away from Cape Cod, and we should begin to see clearing skies a few hours before dawn.

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A very strong high pressure system coming down the eastern Rockies will control our weather pattern for the next several days. This will help us stop thinking about snow, as we will see mostly sunny skies on Thursday and Friday. However, much of the slush and puddles will freeze Wednesday evening, and remain frozen, as temperatures do not get above freezing in the daytime. Overnight low temperatures will fall into the lower teens the next couple of nights. So, please continue to drive slowly and safely, as some roads may still be untreated for black ice.

So, the first half of the weekend will be quiet, with dry weather and increasing clouds by Saturday night. But, what happens on Sunday still remains to be seen. Last night, the American model was predicting a strong low to meander off of Cape Cod, and bring gusty winds and some large snowfall totals. Well, the model decided to do a flip-flop, as Wednesday morning’s model run is totally different.

The model now had a much weaker low pressure system off the coast, with light snow falling early Sunday morning, but ending by Sunday night. The afternoon model run now tells a different story as well. The low will remain offshore, but we will have more precipitation. We will see steady winds, with light to moderate snow starting Sunday afternoon, but continuing into Monday afternoon. The European model sees a weaker low giving us snowfall for the same amount of time. Finally, the United Kingdom model has the low so far out to sea that we would see absolutely nothing from this system, with a high pressure ridge controlling our weather.

For now, I believe the American and European model are handling the end of the weekend better than the other model. But, it seems the models have been overdoing the lows late in the forecast period then weakening them down in the three to five days out timeline. As we move closer to the actual time, the models begin to re-strengthen the low, making meteorologists have to up the snow totals late. For now, I will meet the models somewhere in the middle. Light snow begins Sunday afternoon, with moderate snow possible during the evening hours into early Monday morning. Lighter snow develops by the late morning, before ending in the early afternoon. The computer models all agree we will see colder air returning as a high pressure system from Canada controls our weather. Overnight lows fall back into the upper single digits Monday and Tuesday night.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Cloudy with scattered light snow showers continuing into midnight. A coating to another inch is possible. Skies will begin to clear after 3 a.m. We will see a low of 19.
Thursday: Mostly sunny with a high of 28. Winds will come from the north at 5-8 mph.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy and colder with a low of 11. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 3-6 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 29.
Friday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 14.
Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high of 29.
Saturday night: Increasing clouds with a low of 18.

Extended Forecast:
Sunday: Overcast skies with light snow falling by 1 p.m. Highs 31-34, lows 18-21.
Monday: Light snow possible through the late morning, before ending in the early afternoon. Mostly cloudy skies expected for the rest of the evening. Highs 28-31, lows 9-12.
Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 22-25, lows 8-11.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Highs 26-29, lows 12-15.

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