Forecast discussion: A high pressure ridge out of eastern Canada gave Providence a beautiful late winter day with sunshine. However, we still had some strong winds from the northwest. Winds will be decreasing during the overnight, with calmer winds on Friday. However, all eyes will be watching a low pressure system that brought snow and heavy rain to the central and mid-south of the country.
So, how will this low track, and what can we expect from this storm? Well, several models predict the low’s center will stay further west than the previous weekend storms. This means warmer air will stay over parts of Rhode Island. But, the precipitation on Saturday will not start off as snow. At this time, the rain-snow line seems to be over Providence itself. So, north and west of the line will see a mix of snow and sleet, while along the line will be sleet and rain. The area south of this line will remain rain. As we move into Saturday night, colder air will move in a northwest to southeast direction. So, north and west of Providence will slowly turn to all snow during the overnight hours. The area south of Providence will see some snow, but lighter accumulations. If I had to put some numbers on it, I feel the south shore up to Kent County will see about 1-3 inches. From the Kent County line to Providence, I would say 3-6 inches. Finally, for all areas north and west of Providence, I see about 5-9 inches. However, do not quote me. If the forecast track changes as much as 20-30 miles, these snow totals will be drastically different.
All precipitation will end by late Sunday evening, with partial clearing into Monday morning. We will see mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the lower 40’s. However, the dry weather will be brief, as we another storm system from the southeast U.S. to contend with on Tuesday.
At this time, it appears the low’s center will actually be west of New England when it moves into the Mid-Atlantic. So, it appears the precipitation will start off as some rain, before slowly changing over to sleet and then some snow, as colder air moves over the state. The snowfall would end around midnight on Wednesday, with partly sunny conditions into next Thursday. Temperatures will hit the upper 30’s to lower 40’s towards the end of the forecast period, helping to melt any new snowfall.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Partly cloudy and breezy with a low of 23.
Friday: Mostly sunny with lighter winds and a high of 39. Winds will come from the northeast at 7-10 mph.
Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 28. Winds will come from the east at 3-6 mph.
Saturday: Cloudy with wet snow and sleet by the late afternoon changing to rain and a high of 39.
Saturday night: Rain south and east of Providence, with wet snow and sleet north and west of the capital city with a low of 34. Winds will also be increasing to 20-25 mph.
Sunday: Sleet and rain changing to snow north and west of Providence. There may be enough snow to plow and shovel. South of Providence will see minor accumulations. All precipitation ends around sunset. We will see a high of 37.
Sunday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 24.
Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs 41-44, lows 26-29.
Tuesday: Wet snow, sleet, and rain starting in the early afternoon. Precipitation may change to all snow by the evening. Highs 40-43, lows 30-33.
Wednesday: Partly sunny. Highs 41-44, lows 28-31.
Thursday: Partly sunny. Highs 39-42, lows 25-28.