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Providence weather: Heavy snow Saturday evening

The high temperatures for Southern New England on February 16, 2014.
The high temperatures for Southern New England on February 16, 2014.
www.weather.gov

Forecast discussion: Usually, I update my forecasts during the evening hours. However, after reviewing the latest computer models, and with some warnings updated, I felt an earlier update was warranted.

Snowfall totals during brunt of storm on Saturday night, February 15, 2014
www.weather.gov

Right now, the National Weather Service still has a Winter Storm Warning in effect for all of Rhode Island until 5 a.m. Sunday. The overall track of the low has not changed, but it will be a little more west than the previous model runs. So, this means we will see slighter higher snowfall amounts than what I forecasted last night. Already, parking bans and some cancellations for meetings are in effect. To view this information, click here.

Right now, the low’s center is located around 100 miles off the coast of North Carolina, and parallel to the Delmarva Peninsula. The low will continue to intensify as it moves in a northeast direction. We will begin to see heavy snow in the capital city by around 6 p.m. With winds increasing, some blowing and drifting snow remains possible. So, visibility will be near zero at times, especially along the south coast. So, if you must travel tonight, please take extreme caution. Due to the strengthening of the low, snowfall amounts may be coming down at 2 inches per hour. According to some more precise models, there is a decent chance of actually seeing thunder snow, especially in Bristol and southern Newport Counties. This would create snowfall of 3 to 4 inches per hour! By around 1 a.m. the heaviest snowfall will begin to taper off, with all snowfall shutting off by 5 a.m. To see how much snowfall your city or town will see, I will link you to view a snowfall map right here.

Sunday will be a breezy but calmer day, so we will have some time to dig ourselves out once again. By tomorrow night, it will be bitterly cold once again, thanks much in part of the new snowfall. Temperatures will fall into the lower teens, with wind chills of 0 to 5 above. We will remain dry into Sunday night, before we see yet another round of precipitation. However, it will start off as snow, but some warmer air coming up to the north will change the precipitation to rain. All precipitation ends by the late afternoon, as the cold front passes off to the east.
As we look into the extended forecast, we will see a little bit of a thaw. Temperatures will increase into the 40’s, with the slight chance of hitting 50 by Friday. However, there is the chance of seeing isolated to scattered showers on Wednesday, as a weak disturbance passes to our south. However, we will return to more normal temperatures by next Saturday, as the jet stream once again brings colder air from Canada back into New England. Despite the drier weather, high temperatures on Saturday will fall back into the middle 30’s.

72 hour forecast:

Rest of today: Moderate snow up to 6 p.m. After 6 p.m. heavy snow with strong winds of 22-27 mph with occasional gusts of 40 mph. We could see 1-2 inches per hour snowfall. Heavy snow tapers off by 1 a.m. with all precipitation ending by 5 a.m. We will have a high of about 37 and a low of 23.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and breezy with a high of 27. We will wake up to 5-9 inches in Providence, with 8-12 inches for parts of southern Bristol County. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 13-17 mph.
Sunday night: Partly cloudy and bitterly cold with a low of 11. Winds will come from the northwest at 9-12 mph.
Monday: Partly to mostly sunny with a high of 27.
Monday night: Cloudy with light snow starting around 4 a.m. and a low of 19.
Tuesday: Light snow to a wintry mix until the early afternoon, before changing to rain. All precipitation ends by the late afternoon. We will see a high of 38.
Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 28.

Extended Forecast:
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with isolated showers possible by mid-morning and lasting through the late afternoon. Highs 41-44, lows 31-34.
Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 44-47, lows 34-37.
Friday: Cloudy with showers around 1 a.m. and ending by the early evening. Highs 47-50, lows 33-36.
Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny and colder. Highs 35-38, lows 20-23.