Forecast discussion: After several days of forecasting and talking about it, this possible historic nor’easter is finally coming to Rhode Island. Looking at the latest satellite imagery, the strong coastal low is now a few hundred miles offshore of the Delmarva Peninsula. Heavy bands of rain are now reaching Block Island, which will begin to move onshore in the next few hours. The National Weather Service has a Blizzard Warning in effect for Rhode Island until 1 p.m. Saturday. The Governor has declared a State of Emergency for Rhode Island around 12:15 p.m. Also, the last flight to leave T.F. Green Airport just left for its destination a few minutes ago.
I will not be changing the forecast at all from my last article. We are expecting heavy snow and stronger winds by the start of the evening commute. This weather will continue throughout the evening, and into Saturday morning. The snow will begin to taper off through the afternoon, and should end completely by the late afternoon. Based on the computer models and the latest radar imagery, the south coast will see a mix of rain and sleet before changing to all snow later this evening. For total accumulations, I’m looking for 10-18 inches about 20-30 miles away from the coastline, and along a line into Newport to New Bedford, MA. From that area up to about Warwick, I’m expecting about 16 to 24 inches. Finally, from Warwick all the way north to the state border, this area could see about 24 to 30 inches.
We will have a quiet Sunday to shovel out of our driveways, before we see a slight warming trend starting early next week. By Monday, a low pressure system will bring rain showers to the area, before ending Monday night. The next system may be a coastal low which works its way up the east coast for Thursday. It will start as rain, but could change over to some snow showers Thursday afternoon. We will return to mostly sunny skies to begin the weekend.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Heavy snow with gusty winds. Snow may be coming down at 1-3 inches per hour. Visibilities will be near zero in gusts. Winds will reach 30-35 mph from the north-northwest at 30-35 mph with gusts of 55-60 mph. Wind chills will make it feel like 5 to 10 below zero. We will see a low of 18.
Saturday: Moderate to heavy snow tapering off by the late morning. All snowfall ends by the late afternoon. Winds will begin to diminish to 20-25 mph in the afternoon, with a high of 23.
Saturday night: Partly cloudy and very cold with a low of 9. Winds will come from the north-northwest at 9-13 mph.
Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high of 35.
Sunday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 21.
Monday: Showers/light rain by the late morning with a high of 43.
Monday night: Showers ending, with partial clearing and a low of 36.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Highs 41-44, lows 24-27.
Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny with some possible late evening snow showers. Highs 39-42, lows 25-28.
Thursday: Showers/light rain by the early morning, changing to a wintry mix in the afternoon. Highs 40-43, lows 24-27.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 39-42, lows 25-28.