Forecast discussion: Arctic air has begun to move over New England earlier on Monday, as temperatures in Providence dropped from the upper 30’s through the afternoon. We will see temperatures drop into the middle teens tonight, with wind chills making it feel like the upper single digits.
Right now, a weak area of low pressure beginning to take form over the Great Lakes will swing through Tuesday afternoon. It will bring cloudy skies and some passing flurries as you head out for New Year’s Eve. If you happen to be outside when the clock strikes twelve, you may see a leftover flurry. Temperatures will be cold, with a low in the lower 20’s to begin 2014.
We will see some sunshine during the day on the first day of the year. However, the computer models continue to suggest we will be seeing the beginnings of some light snow from a frontal boundary from the central U.S. Light snow will begin early Thursday morning, and continue to see light to moderate snow through the day. We will be awaiting a developing low pressure system coming off the coast of North Carolina. The American and Canadian models keep the center close to the coastline as it runs towards Long Island Thursday evening. The European and United Kingdom models take the low further south and east. This would mean less snowfall, based on the forecast tracks. However, it is still too difficult to determine which model has the best overall answer. As I said last night, the worst case scenario right now would be about 5-8 inches north and west of Providence, with 3-6 inches for central and southern Rhode Island. Also, strong winds will make visibilities low, due to blowing snow, especially early Friday morning.
However, I am not going to set those numbers in stone. We should get a much better handle from the models by tomorrow night. The light to moderate snow will continue throughout Friday, before all snowfall ends by the early evening. By Friday night, a reinforcing blast of cold air will bring overnight lows into the lower single digits.
By the weekend, winds will turn more to the south and southwest, allowing for warmer air to return to Southern New England. A slow moving cold front will bring a mix of rain and snow showers by early Monday morning, before ending by the beginning of the afternoon. Temperatures will rebound into the lower 40’s by next week.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Partly cloudy and cold with the low falling to 15.
New Year’s Eve: Mostly sunny until the early afternoon, with increasing clouds. It will be colder with a high only reaching 29. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 7-10 mph. A flurry is possible by 4 p.m.
Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy skies and chilly with passing flurries after 6 p.m. They will only last until midnight. We will see a low of 19 with west-northwest winds of 8-11 mph.
New Year’s Day: Mostly sunny skies by the late morning. We will see a high of 29.
Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy and cold with light snow developing after midnight and a low of 18.
Thursday: Cloudy with light snow and increased winds with a high of 26.
Thursday night: Moderate snow and strong winds possible with a low of 14.
Friday: Moderate snow through the morning and early afternoon, before tapering to light snow. All snow ends by the early evening. Highs 19-22, lows 2-5.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs 20-23, lows 11-14.
Sunday: Limited sunshine in the morning, before turning overcast for the evening. Highs 35-38, lows 26-29.
Monday: Possible snow/rain showers at midnight, ending by the late morning. Mostly cloudy skies expected for the rest of the day. Highs 40-43, lows 28-31.