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Providence weather: Winter returns this week

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Forecast discussion: A strong high pressure system coming out of the eastern Rockies brought a strong ridge into the Ohio River Valley. This ridge helped to bring sunny skies to Providence on Rhode Island. But, a low pressure system over the Canadian Maritimes helped tighten the pressure gradient, which in turn made for some strong northwest winds.

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The low will move further to the northeast, but the ridge will move closer eastward. So, we will keep breezy conditions on Tuesday. Also, the colder temperatures will be sticking around for the week. High temperatures will not even make it to freezing for the rest of the week.

By Wednesday, a weak area of low pressure over New York will help create some snow showers by the early afternoon. A much stronger low appears to be staying well offshore. This will keep the precipitation amounts minimal, with the snow showers ending by the middle of the evening commute. We will only see a coating to an inch by Wednesday night.

On Thursday, we will see mostly sunny skies for most of the day. However, a weak disturbance may help trigger a few snow showers for a very brief period of time, during the late afternoon and early evening. We will return to dry weather for the next few days. However, the overnight will be quite cold. The polar vortex will begin to move southward again. It will bring well below normal temperatures as far south as the Gulf Coast States.

The next chance for any precipitation will be Saturday. A weak low pressure system will move south of Southern New England. However, there will be more than enough cold air to make the precipitation remain as snow. However, the low will be quick moving, so we will only see snow showers for about 12 hours. We will return to colder and drier weather for Sunday.

As we look at the long range computer models, there is the slight chance of seeing some significant snowfall starting next Monday. A low pressure system will develop over central Texas, but will become blocked by a strong high pressure ridge. The low will move towards the northeast Sunday night into Monday. We will see the precipitation shield bring our first snowflakes late Monday morning. There is a slight chance it could turn to rain by Tuesday, if we stay on the warmer side of the system. But, if the system continues to slide east, then we would see more snowfall. Again, this is seven days out, and the computer models could change this forecast drastically before that time.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Any cloudy skies will give way to partly cloudy skies after midnight. We will see a low of 18.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny to start the morning, with partly sunny skies by the afternoon. It will be breezy with a high of 28. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 13-17 mph.
Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 18. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 4-7 mph.
Wednesday: Cloudy with light to moderate snow showers by the early afternoon. We will see a high of 29. Any snow showers will end by the early evening. We will see a coating to an inch.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy and cold with a low of 12.
Thursday: Mostly sunny skies with the risk of a passing snow shower during the early part of the evening commute. We will see a high of 29.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 11.

Extended Forecast:
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 23-26, lows 14-17.
Saturday: Cloudy with snow showers by the early afternoon. Highs 27-30, lows 10-13.
Sunday: Snow ends around midnight. Mostly sunny skies for the daytime expected. Highs 22-25, lows 8-11.
Monday: Cloudy with light snow possible by the late morning. Highs 27-30, lows 22-25.