Forecast discussion: A low pressure system developing off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC is going to bring snow to all of Rhode Island this evening. Looking at the latest radar imagery, the first snowflakes have already reached the southwestern part of the state. We should see some light snow start in Providence within the next hour.
Right now, the state has two winter advisories in effect. For southern and central Rhode Island, a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Providence County for the same time period. Moderate snow is possible for the northern part of the state during the overnight hours, falling at an inch per hour. The northern part of the state should see between about 4 to 7 inches of snow before we begin to see a turn over to sleet and freezing rain at the start of the morning commute Tuesday morning. South of Providence County, we should only see 2-5 inches, with 1-2 inches 20 miles in from the coastline.
Sleet and freezing rain will be on top of the snowfall, so this might make for a messy commute on the highways. By 10 a.m., the precipitation should changeover to all rain in Providence. It may take until noon until the northern part of the state sees rain. Also, we could see heavy rain during the afternoon, so street and river flooding is possible. The precipitation may change over to snow showers by the end of the evening commute, before all precipitation ends before midnight.
It will be more clouds than sunshine on Wednesday, with the chance of seeing extra snow or rain showers for Thursday afternoon. This is due to some leftover moisture over the Mid-Atlantic, which will pass through Southern New England, but will end before midnight.
High pressure coming down from Alberta, Canada will eventually bring drier weather to the region for the weekend. However, temperatures will still remain below normal, despite spring officially arriving at 7:02 a.m. Wednesday morning. This is when we reach the vernal equinox.
I will be watching the models carefully over the next few days for next Monday. The American and European models agree that a low pressure system will develop over the Southeast U.S. However, the low is forecast to move out into the Atlantic, and away from New England. For now, I will keep mostly sunny skies and below normal temperatures in the forecast.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Light snow showers starting around 9 p.m., turning to moderate snow after midnight. Snow could be coming down an inch per hour. It will mix with sleet and freezing rain by 5 a.m. We will see a low of 28.
Tuesday: A combination of snow, sleet, and freezing rain turning to rain by late morning. Rain may be heavy at times. We will see a high of 41 with east-northeast winds at 13-17 mph.
Tuesday night: Precipitation changing to snow showers by the evening commute and ending before midnight. Patchy fog is expected. We will see a low of 28 with west-northwest winds of 12-15 mph.
Wednesday: Partly sunny and a high of 41.
Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 26.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy with possible afternoon rain/snow showers and a high of 39.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 26.
Friday: Partly sunny and breezy. Highs 39-42, lows 26-29.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs 42-45, lows 28-31.
Sunday: Partly sunny. Highs 42-45, lows 30-33.
Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs 41-44, lows 29-32.