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Providence weather: Snow showers in the afternoon

The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on February 26, 2014.
The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on February 26, 2014.

Forecast discussion: High pressure ridging passing south of Southern New England brought bright sunshine to Providence Monday morning and afternoon. However, a weak disturbance in the upper levels of the atmosphere out of western New York helped to produce some snow flurries and squalls during the early afternoon. By this evening, any clouds will dissipate, as the disturbance moves into the Atlantic.

High temperature forecast for February 26, 2014

As we head into Wednesday, a cold front will be passing through Southern New England during the early afternoon. This front will help trigger some snow showers and squalls, but only for a few hours. The precipitation will be light, as I am only expecting a coating to an inch in accumulation. However, isolated snow squalls could increase a city or town’s snowfall total to 2 inches. By Wednesday night, that ridge of high pressure will take over, clearing skies and diminishing the winds. This will create radiational cooling, allowing temperatures to fall into the lower single digits.

Another weak disturbance will pass through the region on Thursday, helping to create some passing snow showers for just a few hours. Again, a coating to a half-inch of snow is possible, as it will start by the late afternoon but end by the end of the evening commute. Dry weather will occur on Thursday and Friday, thanks to a cold high pressure system moving overhead.

The weekend will start with seeing some scattered snow showers Saturday afternoon. This will be a quick moving disturbance from the Great Lakes. The main weather feature to be watching will be a low pressure system developing over central Texas. This low will get moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and the moisture will move towards the north. We will begin to see light snow by Sunday afternoon, and remain light into Monday. From there, the computer models begin to disagree on the track and intensity of the low. The European and United Kingdom models keep the low more to our south, which keeps the precipitation lighter and ends sooner. The American model is a little more aggressive, keeping us under the influence of snow right into early Tuesday morning. We would see the heavier snowfall by Monday. At this time, my confidence in the forecast after Sunday morning is quite low, due to the constant changes in the models.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Partly cloudy skies at midnight, with increasing clouds. We will see a low of 18.
Wednesday: Cloudy with light to moderate snow showers by the late morning. We will see a high of 29. Any snow showers will end by the early evening. Winds will increase to 15-18 mph from the west-northwest by the mid-afternoon.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy and cold with a low of 10. Total snowfall accumulations will only be a coating to an inch. Any isolated snow squalls could make snowfall up to 2 inches. Winds will decrease from the west-southwest to 3-7 mph.
Thursday: Cloudy skies by the afternoon and windy with passing snow showers around 3 p.m. We will see a high of 28.
Thursday night: Skies become clear around midnight with a low of 12.
Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 24.
Friday night: Partly to mostly cloudy with a low of 15.

Extended Forecast:
Saturday: Cloudy with scattered snow showers by the early afternoon. Highs 29-32, lows 19-22.
Sunday: Snow showers possible by the late morning. Highs 29-32, lows 18-21.
Monday: Cloudy with light to moderate snow. Highs 30-33, lows 22-25.
Tuesday: Light snow ends by the early morning. Highs 31-34, lows 17-20.

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