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Providence weather forecast for Jan. 21, 2014

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Forecast discussion: An Arctic front is moving through Southern New England at the moment. This front may provide Providence with some snow squalls until 9:30 p.m. From there, we will see some very cold temperatures for the next several days. Also, we have to watch a low pressure system over western Kentucky at the moment. This system will provide us with some substantial snowfall by Wednesday morning.

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First, Arctic air will be coming over Southern New England this evening. Temperatures will fall into the middle teens. Temperatures will struggle to reach 20 degrees Tuesday, with overnight lows in the single digits. But, we must deal with moderate to heavy snow, strong winds, and low visibilities by Tuesday evening. The low mentioned above will begin to move offshore and strengthen by Tuesday afternoon. We will begin to see snow showers before noon, with 1-2 inches of snow possible before sunset.

As we go through Tuesday evening, the low will move offshore and continue to strengthen. With northeast winds, ocean effect snow showers will help accumulate snowfall along the Cape and Islands. At this time, Rhode Island is under a Winter Storm Warning, starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday and last through 1 p.m. Wednesday. Due to the location of the low and precipitation shield, north and west of Providence will see the least amount of snow. But, I am still expecting about 4-7 inches for this region by Wednesday afternoon. Providence itself will see about 6-10 inches. I expect the south coast to see the chance close to a foot. With strong winds, blowing snow will create low visibilities, so please take extreme caution if you must travel during the overnight hours for work.

I expect school and some work closings by Wednesday. By Wednesday night, temperatures will fall into the lower single digits. Wind chills will make it feel like 5 to 10 below. So, please do not have exposed skin if you have to be out in the cold for Wednesday and Thursday night. An area of high pressure will try to bring drier weather on Thursday, although the Cape and Islands may see a few ocean effect snow showers in the evening into early Friday morning.

As we head into the weekend, the computer models are suggesting a slow moving low pressure system will bring the chance for some more light snow late Saturday night into Sunday morning. I am not expecting large snowfall totals, but another 1-3 inches remains possible. Despite warmer temperatures by the start of next week, it will remain below freezing.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Snow squalls until 9:30 p.m., then partly cloudy skies. It will be colder with a low of 16.
Tuesday: Becoming overcast with light snow starting in the mid-afternoon. We may see 1-2 inches before the evening. The mercury will only rise to 21 with north-northeast winds of 8-11 mph.
Tuesday night: Overcast, windy, and moderate to heavy snow. Visibilities will be near zero at times. We will see a low of 9 with winds increasing from the north to 20-25 mph with gusts at times of 40 mph.
Wednesday: Light to moderate snow continues through the morning, before all precipitation ends by 1 p.m. I am expecting 4-7 inches north and west of Providence, with 6-10 inches for the rest of the state. The heaviest snowfall will be along the coast. I am expecting a high of 16.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy and bitterly cold with a low of 4.
Thursday: Partly sunny with a high of 19.
Thursday night: Mostly cloudy with snow showers possible for the Cape and Islands with a low of 5.

Extended Forecast:
Friday: Snow showers for the Cape and Islands during the early morning, with mostly sunny skies by mid-morning. Highs 18-21, lows 12-15.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with snow showers by the late evening. Highs 31-34, lows 17-20.
Sunday: Snow showers end in the morning, with partly to mostly sunny skies. Highs 28-31, lows 16-19.
Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs 24-27, lows 14-17.

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