Forecast discussion: We have been seeing light to moderate snow come through Rhode Island since about 4 a.m. Monday afternoon. The light snow started outside my weather office in Pawtucket about an hour later. We will continue to see light snow through the evening, and some local areas could see some snow bands, which would bring moderate snow at times for several hours straight. For these reasons, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory until 7 a.m. for the entire state. Also, several parking bans are now in effect, with some school and business delays. To see this list, click here.
The snow is being produced by a low pressure system right off the New Jersey shoreline as of writing this article. The low will move off to the northeast through the overnight, and away from the Gulf of Maine by tomorrow night. For Rhode Island, we will begin to see the snow dissipate by the start of the morning commute, with just a few flurries by mid-morning. Because the main part of the storm went offshore, heavier amounts are expected along northeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.
But we will stop talking about the snow and start talking about the bitterly cold air mass that will come down into New England, starting Tuesday night. High pressure will help bring down much colder air, and keep it over New England. Our overnight lows will fall all the way into the single digits. If you add the wind chill, it will feel more like temperatures near or below zero. Daytime highs for Wednesday and Thursday will only make it to 20 degrees. We will see single digit lows right into Thursday night.
As I have been reporting the last few days, I have been watching the models for what could become some significant snowfall for Friday and part of Saturday for Rhode Island. A low pressure system coming out of the central U.S. will move offshore of Long Island and stay just south of Southern New England Friday evening. Based on the forecast track, we would see the heaviest snowfall Friday night into early Saturday morning. Most of the computer models are already agreeing on this scenario.
A high pressure ridge will slowly build over the region by Saturday evening, giving us some sunshine by Sunday. Also, high temperatures will rebound back into the lower 30’s by Monday.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Light to moderate snow at times, and becoming breezy. We will see a low of 20.
Tuesday: Cloudy with snow showers ending by mid-morning and breezy with a high of 26. I’m expecting about 3-6 inches within the state, with 2-4 inches in the extreme northwestern part of Rhode Island. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 15-19 mph with gusts of 30 mph at times.
Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy and bitterly cold with a low of 7. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 9-12 mph. Wind chills will make it feel like 0 to 5 below zero.
Wednesday: Partly sunny and breezy with a high of 20.
Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy and continued cold with a low of 6.
Thursday: Mostly sunny and breezy with a high of 19.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 9.
Friday: Cloudy with light snow starting in the late afternoon. Heavier snowfall could come during the evening and overnight hours. Highs 27-30, lows 15-18.
Saturday: Snow ends by mid-morning, but staying mostly cloudy and windy. Highs 27-30, lows 11-14.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Highs 27-30, lows 17-20.
Monday: Partly sunny. Highs 32-35, lows 17-20.