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Providence weather forecast for Dec. 29, 2013

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Forecast discussion: High pressure off the Atlantic coastline brought mostly sunny skies to Providence on Saturday. Also, temperatures were slightly milder for this time of the year. On Sunday, we will see some significant precipitation between the afternoon and evening. We will have dry weather heading into 2014, but may see some significant snowfall by Thursday evening.

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For now, high pressure is controlling the weather over Southern New England. Over the next several hours, we will be influenced by a low pressure system moving over Michigan. This will bring increasing clouds through the overnight. By Sunday morning, a developing low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico will bring showers to Rhode Island by the early afternoon. By the late afternoon, the precipitation will become heavier. We may see as much as an inch of rain before the precipitation ends early Monday morning.

As we head into New Year’s Eve, a strong upper level low will center itself over eastern Canada. It will be digging down into the Southern U.S., bringing Arctic air along with it. Temperatures will only be in the upper teens during the evenings, with highs only in the middle 20’s through Thursday. So, if you happen to be outside after midnight, please dress warmly.

The next situation coming up in the extended forecast period is a possible low pressure system developing off the coast of North Carolina Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning. The computer models are in better agreement in the afternoon run. However, only the American and European models feel a second low will form off the coastline, gain in intensity and strength, and then become the primary low. This low will then bring some moderate snow, especially Thursday night into Friday morning. The Canadian and United Kingdom models do not show a strong low near North Carolina, but rather a low from the Great Lakes which will slowly move east, and bring lighter amount of snow.

At this time, my confidence in the forecast for Thursday and Friday are still quite low. I believe the American/European solution is the worst case scenario. But, all the models disagree on the actual track of the low’s center. This is significant, because the further east the low moves, the less precipitation we would receive. I will continue to monitor the models, and keep you updated on any changes in their thinking.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Partly cloudy until 1 a.m., with increasing clouds. We will see a low of 33.
Sunday: Overcast skies with showers arriving by 1 p.m. Precipitation becomes light to moderate rain by 4 p.m. We will see a high of 45 with winds from the southeast at 9-12 mph by the early evening.
Sunday night: Rain, heavy at times, will end by 3 a.m. We will see strong winds, especially along the coastline. We will see a low of 35 with winds shifting to the west-northwest at 11-14 mph.
Monday: Partly sunny skies by the late morning and colder with a high of 38. Winds will diminish through the morning.
Monday night: Partly cloudy and much colder with a low of 16.
New Year’s Eve: Mostly sunny until the early afternoon, with increasing clouds. It will be colder with a high only reaching 25.
Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy skies and chilly with a low of 16. There may be a passing flurry after midnight.

Extended Forecast:
New Year’s Day: Mostly sunny skies by the afternoon, with increasing clouds in the evening. Highs 23-26, lows 8-11.
Thursday: Cloudy with light snow developing by mid-morning. Highs 21-24, lows 13-16.
Friday: Light snow until 3 a.m., then moderate snow. Snow becomes lighter by mid-afternoon, before ending in the late afternoon. Highs 25-28, lows 11-14.
Saturday: Partly sunny with possible snow showers in the evening. Highs 29-32, lows 17-20.

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