Forecast discussion: The Arctic cold front has now moved down into the Gulf Coast states, passing Houston, TX and Atlanta, GA. We will see single digits for temperatures this evening, and highs tomorrow will only reach the middle teens, despite bright sunshine. However, we will see some relief on Saturday. In Warwick, the low fell to 2 degrees early Thursday morning.
Actually, it begins Friday evening. Our winds will begin to turn from the northwest to the southwest, as an area of high pressure moves to our east. This will allow warmer air from the south to move into New England. On Saturday, temperatures will actually go above freezing. However, a quick moving cold front from Canada will bring some snow showers to Rhode Island by early Saturday afternoon. However, there will not be a lot of moisture from this low. Since the Great Lakes are pretty much frozen over, the low will not be able to pick up a lot of moisture. At this time, I am expecting about an inch of snow on the ground by early Sunday morning. The south coast will not see any snow, as it will be warm enough to keep it as rain showers.
Another quick disturbance will pass through Rhode Island early Monday morning, providing us with some snow showers once again. Scattered snow showers will remain with us until early Monday afternoon. Once again, some southerly winds will help raise temperatures to above freezing.
However, the warmer temperatures will quickly disappear. The computer models are forecasting another strong upper level trough moving over the eastern U.S. This trough will bring more Arctic air over us by Monday night, and our temperatures will fall to single digits once again. High pressure will keep us dry into the middle of next week. However, the American and European models do develop a strong low pressure system offshore. At this time, the high is strong enough to keep the low, and any snowfall, away from Southern New England. But, I will continue to watch the models, and keep you informed of any changes to the forecast. Temperatures will slowly moderate into the end of next week, as the jet stream pushes back north. This will allow warmer air from the south to return to New England.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Partly cloudy and bitterly cold with a low of 5. Wind chills will be 5 to 10 below zero.
Friday: Mostly sunny skies with a high of 16. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 10-13 mph. Wind chill values will be near 10 below zero.
Friday night: Increasing clouds during the overnight and warmer with a low of 13. Winds will come from the southwest at 4-7 mph.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with light snow by 1 p.m. and a high of 36. Rain showers will be along the south coast.
Saturday night: Light snow ends after 3 a.m. with a low of 16. I am only expecting a coating to an inch.
Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny with a high of 23.
Sunday night: Snow showers by midnight and a low of 18.
Monday: Snow showers end by 2 p.m. but remaining mostly cloudy. Highs 33-36, lows 7-10.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Highs 17-20, lows 8-11.
Wednesday: Partly sunny. Highs 22-25, lows 12-15.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. Highs 27-30, lows 15-18.