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Providence weather: Diminished winds for Thursday

The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 27, 2014. Mostly sunny skies are expected.
The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 27, 2014. Mostly sunny skies are expected.

Forecast discussion: Providence, and the rest of Rhode Island, was spared from the strong Nor’Easter on Wednesday. As the storm moved a little further east than expected, the state only received a coating of snow on the ground by the late morning. However, some car accidents were reported. The biggest problem was the strong winds. They created scattered power outages. At noon, National Grid reported about 2,000 customers without power, mostly in Newport County. However, by 4 p.m. almost 2,500 people were without power. This time, it was Kent County which had all the power outages.

A satellite picture of the Nor'easter at 8:15 a.m. EDT on March 26, 2014's_Weather_Discussion

Here are just a few facts about the storm and the high winds it created. In meteorology, we use a unit of air pressure called the millibar. The central pressure of this low was one millibar higher than Hurricane Bob as it passed through Newport in 1991. Nantucket, an island of Massachusetts, reported a wind gust of 92 mph during the heart of the storm. Finally, a weather buoy off the waters of Portland, ME observed a wind gust of 112 mph. That’s the wind gusts of a category 3 hurricane.

As we head through the overnight, skies will clear and winds will continue to diminish. However, it will be bitterly cold for this time of the year, as overnight lows fall into the middle to upper teens. High pressure will give us calmer winds, with temperatures slightly warmer. It will not be until Friday that we will fell spring like temperatures. But, a cold front will pass through New England, and bring showers by late Friday morning. The front will move offshore, and precipitation will end by early Saturday morning. But, the rain will return for the rest of the weekend, as a low pressure system along that frontal boundary moves over Long Island Sound. We will see moderate rainfall Saturday night, and will not taper to showers until the mid-afternoon. So, this may cause some street flooding at times. The showers finally end by early Monday morning. For the rest of the forecast period, we will see partly to mostly sunny skies and seasonable temperatures. However, some computer models are predicting more showers for Tuesday. For now, I will keep them out of the forecast, but my overall confidence in Tuesday’s forecast is low.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Partly cloudy with diminishing winds and cold with a low of 17.
Thursday: Mostly sunny with a high of 40. Winds will turn to the west-southwest at 10-13 mph by the afternoon.
Thursday night: Becoming cloudy during the overnight with a low of 33. Winds will come from the south-southwest at 5-8 mph.
Friday: Cloudy with showers arriving by 11 a.m. and breezy with a high of 55.
Friday night: Showers end by midnight but remaining cloudy with a low of 40.
Saturday: Partly sunny with showers arriving by 4 p.m. We will see a high of 52.
Saturday night: Moderate rain with a low of 37.

Extended Forecast:
Sunday: Windy with moderate rain tapering to showers by the mid-afternoon. Highs 43-46, lows 33-36.
Monday: Showers end during the early morning, and becoming mostly sunny by mid-morning. Highs 47-50, lows 32-35.
Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 50-53, lows 33-36.
Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 48-51, lows 31-34.

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