Forecast discussion: Parts of southern Rhode Island received some snow showers and snow squalls. However, the rest of the state just saw bright sunshine. Now, the cold front that passed Wednesday afternoon has moved offshore, allowing for more cold air to return to the Northeast U.S.
We will feel those cold temperatures in Providence over the next few days. Overnight lows will fall into the single digits this evening. We will continue to feel these cold temperatures, as part of the polar vortex digs down into the eastern U.S. It will not be as bad as late January and early February, but the temperatures are well below normal.
Despite a strong high pressure system in the south central U.S., a weak disturbance will pass through the region by Thursday afternoon. So, like Wednesday, we will see scattered snow showers and squalls for a few hours. All precipitation will move east of Rhode Island by about 6 p.m. High pressure will take over once again, helping to lower overnight temperatures below 10 degrees Thursday night.
The high will bring dry weather for Friday. There is the slight chance for some and snow showers again on Saturday. However, the computer models continue to go back and forth in giving us dry weather versus giving us some passing snow showers Saturday afternoon. It seems the weak low pressure system passing the Great Lakes gets partially blocked by the high, keeping the snow showers to our west until Sunday morning.
As we move into the end of the weekend, the computer models continue to predict a low pressure system will follow along a frontal boundary that passes over Southern New England. The low will track along the front, and the actual track will determine how much snow we will actually receive. The American morning and afternoon model did not even agree, and this model runs every six hours. So, we will keep light to moderate snow for now for Monday. The European model agrees that the precipitation will leave by Tuesday morning, giving us dry weather into next Wednesday. However, temperatures will continue to remain well below normal as we head into the first full week of March.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Clear skies and very cold with the low falling to 7 degrees.
Thursday: increasing clouds by the afternoon and windy with passing snow showers around 1 p.m. We will see a high of 29 with west-southwest winds increasing to 15-18 mph by the afternoon.
Thursday night: Snow showers end by 6 p.m. A coating to a half inch of snowfall is possible. Skies will become clear before midnight. We will see a low of 9 with west-northwest winds of 11-14 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 24.
Friday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 12.
Saturday: Increasing clouds by the mid-afternoon with a high of 30.
Saturday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 26.
Sunday: Snow showers begin by mid-morning, but end by the early evening. Highs 32-35, lows 21-24.
Monday: Cloudy with light to moderate snow by the early morning. Highs 30-33, lows 19-22.
Tuesday: Light to moderate snow ending by the morning, and becoming partly sunny by the afternoon. Highs 29-32, lows 13-16.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Highs 24-27, lows 12-15.