Forecast discussion: After having a little time for everyone to get over snow fatigue, I am watching yet another storm head towards Southern New England. At this moment, the low is centered over Ohio River Valley, and will head in an east-southeast movement. The system will then begin to intensify as it begins to move off the coast of North Carolina in a northeast direction early Saturday morning. We will begin to feel the effects of this system by Saturday afternoon.
Right now, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for all of Rhode Island starting at 10 a.m. Saturday and continuing through 5 a.m. Sunday. There is the potential of seeing at least 6 inches of snow. The precipitation will begin by around noon, but it may start off as a mix of snow and rain showers. As we move through the afternoon, the snowflakes may get larger and wetter, as colder air tries to move into the upper levels of the atmosphere. By the early evening, the precipitation should become all snow. We will see moderate to heavy snow from about 6 p.m. until about 2 a.m. before it begins to dissipate, and completely shut off by 4 a.m. Providence itself should see anywhere between 4-7 inches when it is all said and done. Extreme northwest Rhode Island will actually see the least amount of snow this time around, with only 1-3 inches. From Newport east, this is the area that will see the heaviest snowfall. This is due to the fact the low will me more out to sea, making it a coastal storm. This part of the area, along with east-southeast Bristol County will see up to 12 inches of snow. I’ll make a link which will take you to a snowfall map right here. Also, winds will be strong during the overnight, and wind gusts could reach 40-45 mph at times. So, please take extreme caution if you have to be on the roads during this time frame.
By Sunday, we will see sunshine, as high pressure takes over New England. It will remain breezy, especially during the morning and early afternoon. Also, temperatures will be colder, thanks in part to the fresh snowfall on the ground, which will reflect the sun’s energy. Sunday night will be bitterly cold as well, as temperatures will try to remain in double digits in the capital city.
We will see limited sunshine on Monday, as a weak cold front passes through Southern New England. The precipitation along the front will be light snow early Tuesday morning, but will begin to turn to a wintry mix and then rain during the daytime hours. As we head into the middle of next week, the jet stream will actually create a very small upper level ridge over the eastern U.S. This will allow for some tropical air to actually move into Southern New England, giving us a temporary thaw. As warmer air filters over the region, a weak cold front may bring some isolated showers by Wednesday night. The most important part of the forecast is the temperatures. No, this is not a joke. Temperatures will actually rise into the middle and upper 40’s going into next weekend. This will help melt some of those large snow packs around the state.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Partly cloudy until midnight, with increasing clouds towards dawn. We will see a low of 26.
Saturday: Cloudy by the late morning with light to moderate snow/rain mix starting by noon. It will become all snow by the early evening, and will be heaviest during this time. Expect increasing winds by the mid-afternoon. We will see a high of 36 with northeast winds of 13-17 mph by the mid-afternoon.
Saturday night: Light snow ends by 3 a.m. with clearing skies. We will see a low of 22 with north-northwest winds of 20-25 mph with gusts of 40 mph.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and breezy with a high of 27. We will wake up to 4-7 inches within Providence.
Sunday night: Partly cloudy and bitterly cold with a low of 10.
Monday: Partly to mostly sunny with a high of 28.
Monday night: Cloudy with light snow starting around midnight and a low of 19.
Tuesday: Light snow changing to rain by mid-morning, before ending by the late afternoon. Highs 37-40, lows 26-29.
Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny with possible showers by the evening. Highs 41-44, lows 31-34.
Thursday: Cloudy with isolated to scattered showers. Highs 44-47, lows 34-37.
Friday: Showers end by the late morning, partly sunny skies the rest of the day. Highs 46-49, lows 30-33.