Forecast discussion: A high pressure system over eastern North Carolina brought sunshine to Providence on Wednesday, although increasing clouds moved over Connecticut and Rhode Island in the early afternoon. We will see a mix of clouds and stars this evening, with some drier air moving in after midnight. This will be due to an Arctic cold front which will pass through the region.
We will notice the colder air over the next few days, as daytime highs will be below freezing. Overnight lows will be in the upper teens to near 20 degrees. This is well below normal for this time in the middle of December. As we head into the weekend, a possible coastal storm will bring the chance for some significant snowfall totals.
The computer models are beginning to agree on the start of the scenario. A low pressure system over eastern Texas will help pick up moisture. We will see increasing clouds during Friday afternoon. The skies will become overcast by early Saturday morning. We will begin to see the precipitation start off as light to moderate snow before noontime. As we go into Saturday night, some warmer air will begin to move into the lower layers of the atmosphere. So, we would see a mix of snow and sleet. As we go through Sunday morning, we would see a sleet and freezing rain mix before changing over to all rain by the afternoon. It is possible the precipitation could change back to snow showers and flurries as the storm winds down in the evening.
At this time, trying to give an idea for snowfall totals is difficult. I am still trying to see what kind of forecast track the low pressure center takes. If it moves further out to sea, we will have colder air, keeping the precipitation in the snow and sleet category. If it moves further north and west, we will remain in the warmer sector, meaning more freezing rain and rain. I should be able to put some snowfall totals up by Friday night’s forecast.
We will see drier air into the start of next week, although a quick moving Alberta Clipper may provide us with a passing snow shower on Tuesday. At this time, all the models feel there is not enough moisture for precipitation. Milder air moves in by Tuesday, as temperatures rebound into the lower to upper 30’s during the daytime.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy with a low of 19.
Thursday: Mostly sunny with a high of 27. Winds will come from the northwest at 9-12 mph.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 18. Winds will come from the west-southwest at 6-9 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny to start, with partly sunny skies by the afternoon. We will see a high of 31.
Friday night: Partly to mostly cloudy with a low of 20.
Saturday: Overcast by mid-morning, with light snow starting in the late morning. We will have a high of 30.
Saturday night: Snow mixing with sleet with a low of 28.
Sunday: Windy with a wintry mix changing to rain by the early morning. Precipitation may change back to light snow in the afternoon, before ending in the evening. Highs 35-38, lows 18-21.
Monday: Partly sunny. Highs 26-29, lows 10-13.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny during the day, with mostly cloudy skies during the late afternoon. Highs 31-34, lows 22-25.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny and milder. Highs 35-38, lows 21-24.