Forecast discussion: For tonight, Providence, and the rest of Rhode Island, will see some off and on snow showers throughout the evening into early Wednesday morning. By Friday, however, we may see our second major snowstorm of the winter season.
First, let’s begin with the light snow that is falling outside right now. We will continue to see snow showers throughout the overnight into Wednesday morning, thanks to a weak area of low pressure well offshore and in the Atlantic. The low is helping to create some snow showers, and we will see another dusting to an inch north of Kent County tonight. Kent County to the south shore may see an inch or two my tomorrow morning. Also, due to the temperature and dewpoint temperature being close to one another, we may see patchy fog in some areas tonight. Also, there have been some reports of some roads being slippery, due to not being treated. So, if you have to head out tonight, just give yourself a little extra time for travelling.
The precipitation will end by Wednesday morning, and we will see some sunshine by the afternoon. This will help raise our temperatures, as we could reach 40 by the early afternoon. We will see some sunshine to begin Thursday, before we begin to see increasing clouds from a low pressure system moving into the Ohio River Valley Thursday evening. This low will actually be just one piece of the weather puzzle for a potentially strong storm for Friday.
As we move into Friday morning, there will be two low pressure systems along the eastern U.S. One is the aforementioned low in the Ohio River Valley. The other low will be moving over parts of northern Alabama and Georgia. As we move into Friday afternoon, the southern low will gain some upper level dynamics, helping it to intensify as it moves towards the northeast. It will gain more energy by absorbing the low over the Ohio River Valley. Light snow will fall early Friday evening, with moderate snow expected late Friday afternoon. The precipitation will remain intense until Saturday morning, before it begins to taper off.
Now, I wish I could tell you exactly how much snowfall we could expect. However, there are two factors to take into effect. First, there is the possibility that if the low tracks further north, inland areas may see a mix of sleet and rain. At this time, based on the models, the coastline would see the mixture, with inland areas seeing heavier snowfall amounts. The other factor is that we are still three days away. Although all of the computer models are now coming to a general agreement, the track of the low to our south of just 50 or 60 miles can greatly lower our snowfall totals.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Snow showers this evening, with a low of 25. Accumulations will be a dusting to an inch north of Kent County; the remainder of the state will see an inch or two. There may be areas of patchy fog.
Wednesday: Scattered snow showers will end by the late morning. We will see increasing sunshine in the afternoon. I’m expecting a high of 40, with northwest winds of 10-13 mph.
Wednesday night: Clear to partly cloudy with a low of 18. Winds will come from the northwest at 5-9 mph.
Thursday: Mostly sunny during the morning, with increasing clouds in the afternoon and a high of 29.
Thursday night: Becoming cloudy with snow showers starting around 3 a.m. and a low of 24.
Friday: Light snow in the morning possibly becoming moderate snow and mixing with sleet and rain by the late afternoon with a high of 37.
Friday night: Moderate snow, possible mixing with some sleet along the coast, turning to light snow by about 4 a.m. and a low of 26.
Saturday: Flurries in the morning, with sunshine by the afternoon. Highs 30-33, lows 12-15.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Highs 36-39, lows 27-30.
Monday: Showers/light rain by the late afternoon. Highs 45-48, lows 34-37.
Tuesday: Showers/light rain. Highs 46-49, lows 24-27.