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Providence weather: Winter arrives by Sunday night

The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 23, 2014. Mostly sunny skies and with temperatures dropping are expected.
The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 23, 2014. Mostly sunny skies and with temperatures dropping are expected.

Forecast discussion: A cold front passed past Rhode Island earlier on Saturday, bringing some scattered showers to the state. By the middle of the afternoon, despite strong west winds, the mercury climbed to 60 degrees at T.F. Green Airport. However, this spring like weather will quickly come to an end, and we will see the type of weather reserved for the middle of February over the next several days.

High temperature forecast for March 23, 2014

A new Arctic front will pass through New England by the early afternoon on Sunday. We will probably see our high temperature by noon. Colder air will then lower our temperatures, as lows will fall into the middle teens during the overnight. We will still have sunny skies for Monday, but high temperatures will struggle to 30 degrees. We will have clear skies through Monday night, and then we have the potential to see an old fashioned Nor’Easter.

The computer models have all been in agreement over the last few days. A low pressure system will begin to develop on the eastern side of the Atlantic, between Georgia and Florida. The low will rapidly develop as it moves towards New England Tuesday evening. We will begin to see some snow showers from some upper level dynamics near the storm. The biggest question to answer is where does the low actually track and how strong the low will be when it gets here. So far, the computer models keep moving the low closer to New England. This means we will see stronger winds entering Tuesday night, and it appears the Cape and Islands will see the heaviest snowfall. Also, there is the chance of Cape Cod seeing some coastal erosion from strong waves and wind. There is the slight chance that Providence will see up to 6 inches of snow before the storm moves away Wednesday night. Again, this is all speculation, as the actual wave energy that will create this system has not even made it on to the west coast.

We will see milder air arrive by the end of the week, as a high pressure system helps shift our winds to the southwest. A low pressure system will slowly try to move into New England on Friday, as it will be blocked by the high. The high’s influence breaks down by Friday afternoon, as we will see some showers by the evening. This frontal boundary will be moving quite slowly, so there is a decent chance of seeing some heavy rainfall next Saturday. Temperatures will return to spring like conditions, with highs reaching the lower to middle 50’s.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Clear skies with a low of 29.
Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high of 43. Temperatures will begin to fall after 2 p.m. Winds will come from the northwest at 12-15 mph.
Sunday night: Partly cloudy and cold with a low of 15. Winds will come from the northwest at 10-13 mph.
Monday: Mostly sunny but quite cold with the high only reaching 29.
Monday night: Clear skies with a low of 17.
Tuesday: Increasing clouds through the morning with light snow starting by about 4 p.m. We will see a high of 36.
Tuesday night: Light to moderate snow with increasing winds and a low of 24.

Extended Forecast:
Wednesday: Cloudy and windy with light to moderate snow. Snow ends by 7 p.m. Highs 35-38, lows 19-22.
Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 40-43, lows 30-33.
Friday: Increasing clouds by the late morning, with showers arriving by 7 p.m. Highs 51-54, lows 39-42.
Saturday: Overcast with light to moderate rain. Highs 53-56, lows 38-41.

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