Forecast discussion: Although most kids were back to school today, it still felt like the dog days of August. Temperatures hit the upper 80’s in parts of northern Rhode Island, with Providence receiving a high of 87 degrees. However, it will begin to feel like autumn by Friday, as we await a cold front.
The front is now passing through central New York. This front will move through Rhode Island this evening, and may help produce some passing showers or even thunderstorms during the overnight. Any precipitation will end before dawn, with clearing skies as the kids head out to the bus stop or walk to school. However, the front will help bring cooler air over New England, as our temperatures will only reach the lower 80’s for highs on Thursday.
As we move into the holiday weekend, it appears the first half of the weekend will look just fine. If you happen to be on vacation or school has not started, the beach will still be fine. However, as Hurricane Cristobal continues to move off to the north and northeast, we will see heavy surf, high swells, and high rip currents for Thursday and Friday. In fact, a High Surf Advisory is now in effect for Thursday. Temperatures will be slowly warming as we head into Saturday.
For the second half of weekend, a slow moving cold front will help bring the risk for showers and isolated thunderstorms for Sunday and Labor Day. I would not call Sunday a washout, but the best risk of seeing some showers will occur by the late afternoon. The front will stall over the area on Monday, giving us the risk for some scattered showers, thunderstorms, and isolated periods of heavy rain. The American model keeps the front over us into Wednesday morning. However, the European model pushes the front out by late Tuesday, with clearing skies on Wednesday. For now, my overall confidence in the forecast after Tuesday morning is low.
Finally, Hurricane Cristobal is centered at 32.7N 71.4W, or about 290 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds are at 75m mph, and is moving northeast at 15 mph. The storm will keep hurricane force winds even after it becomes a extratropical storm within 72 hours. The only effects we will feel is high swells and rip tides on south facing beaches over the next couple of days. The Gulf of Mexico will be watched as well, as the American model develops a low pressure system out in the western Gulf of Mexico. There is only a 20% chance it becomes a tropical system within 48 hours.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Cloudy skies with passing showers or thunderstorms until 4 a.m. We will see a low of 65.
Thursday: Mostly sunny skies by the late morning with a high of 81. Winds will come from the north-northwest at 10-13 mph.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 58. Winds will come from the north-northwest at 5-8 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny and cooler with a high of 75.
Friday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 56.
Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high of 78.
Saturday night: increasing clouds with a low of 64.
Sunday: Partly sunny with a possible shower or thunderstorm by the late afternoon. Highs 82-85, lows 66-69.
Labor Day: Cloudy with showers and a possible thunderstorm. Highs 80-83, lows 64-67.
Tuesday: Cloudy with possible showers. Highs 81-84, lows 63-66.
Wednesday: Cloudy with showers until the late morning, with partly sunny skies by mid-afternoon. Highs 79-82, lows 57-60.