New Tropical Storm Bertha Forms In The Atlantic

July 31st, 2014 at 11:16 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening From Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca..

TROPICAL STORM BERTHA DEVELOPS EAST OF THE SOUTHERN LESSER
ANTILLES…
TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS AND WATCHES ISSUED…

SUMMARY OF 1100 PM
———————————————–
LOCATION…12.3N 55.5W
ABOUT 275 MI…445 KM ESE OF BARBADOS
ABOUT 385 MI…620 KM ESE OF ST. LUCIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 20 MPH…31 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1008 MB…29.77 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
THE METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE OF BARBADOS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM
WARNING FOR BARBADOS AND DOMINICA.

THE GOVERNMENT OF ST. LUCIA HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR
ST. LUCIA.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR PUERTO RICO…VIEQUES…
CULEBRA…AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.

THE METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE OF BARBADOS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM
WATCH FOR ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING COULD BE REQUIRED FOR MARTINIQUE FRIDAY
MORNING.

 betha1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bertha Track Now Thru Next Tuesday 8PM

Bertha track


Myrth York leaves Smiley’s campaign; will stay involved in mayor’s race

July 31st, 2014 at 6:24 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Myrth York, a former state senator and three-time Democratic candidate for governor, has stepped down as co-chairwoman of Brett Smiley’s mayoral campaign to “focus my attention on efforts to highlight what’s at stake for Providence in this coming election.”

York, who introduced Smiley when he launched his campaign for mayor last December, told WPRI.com she remains of “fervent supporter” of the East Side Democrat, but said she will spend the coming weeks “speaking with friends, neighbors and other Rhode Islanders who recognize the importance of keeping Providence free of the policies and practices that once plagued its past.”

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Providence police union blasts Taveras on cop staffing

July 31st, 2014 at 4:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The police union in Rhode Island’s capital city said Thursday it is protesting the Taveras administration “for their lack of foresight with the Providence Police Department manpower shortages.”

In a letter written by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3 president Taft Manzotti and four other officials, the union said the force “has been diminished to numbers that have not been seen since the late 1970s.” The letter goes on to criticize Taveras for not purchasing any new vehicles during his tenure until April and handicapping the force with an outdated computer system.

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Cianci allies paid for poll; may have violated campaign finance law

July 31st, 2014 at 3:08 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A group of allies to former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. contributed nearly $9,000 to a political action committee that polled the mayor’s race earlier this year.

Former Mayor Joseph Paolino, City Councilman John Igliozzi and Artin Coloian, Cianci’s former chief of staff, were among nine individuals who contributed $8,700 to the 7th Ward PAC, according to a report filed with the Rhode Island Board of Elections Thursday.

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Quiet Now, But Weekend Trouble?

July 30th, 2014 at 11:54 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We had a taste of autumn across the Northeast this morning.  Low temperatures were in the 30s, 40s and 50s….yes 30s! Look at Saranac Lake, NY! Martha’s Vineyard (not on map) had a low of 49°!  Very dry air, little wind and clear skies allowed the temperatures to plummet through the night.  The average low for the date is 65° in Providence.

LOWS_TODAY_650x366

Our weather will be mostly dry through Thursday, but we’ll begin to see some changes as we head toward the weekend.

As I wrote about yesterday, it’ll start to feel stickier in Southern New England on Thursday as southwest winds will begin to bring more humid air into the region.  We’re not talking about oppressive humidity, but you’ll  likely notice the change through the day tomorrow.

 

Sitting offshore is a plume of tropical moisture.  You can see it on this NASA satellite image from Tuesday.

modis

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Watching The Tropics….

July 29th, 2014 at 7:03 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening from chief  meteorologist Tony Petrarca…

National Hurricane Center and the Pinpoint Weather Team watching a clusters of thunderstorms in the eastern Atlantic for possible tropical storm development….

Satellite images indicate that showers and thunderstorms associated
with an area of low pressure located about 1450 miles east of the
southern Windward Islands are currently limited.  This system
remains well organized, however, and it could develop into a
tropical depression later today or tomorrow while it moves westward
or west-northwestward near 15 mph.
     * Formation chance through 48 hours…high…70 percent.
     * Formation chance through 5 days…high…80 percent.

 

 

bertha22


David Caprio resigns as RI Democratic Party chairman

July 29th, 2014 at 5:09 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – After less than a year on the job, the chairman of the state Democratic Party is stepping down.

David Caprio, a lawyer and former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the unpaid post “demanding and time consuming, especially in an election year.”

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Nice Stretch of Weather

July 29th, 2014 at 1:10 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

After a humid and showery stretch, we will have a nice stretch of weather the rest of the week.

A cold front ushered in much less humid air into Southern New England this morning. The dew points dropped from 71 Monday afternoon to 58 this afternoon.  The dew point is a measurement of the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.  The higher the dew point, the stickier it feels.

Fcst_Map3_650x366

That cold front will stall offshore and hang out there for the balance of the week (and may play a role in our weekend).  An area of low pressure will ride along the front Wednesday and may bring extra clouds to Southeast Massachusetts.  We’ll enjoy more nice weather for Wednesday with sunshine and continued comfortable dew points.

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Revere, MA Tornado Report

July 29th, 2014 at 6:24 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The first tornado in recorded history in Suffolk County, MA hit the city of Revere on Monday, July 29, 2014.  The tornado caused considerable damage to buildings, houses, trees, power lines and vehicles.

Revere_6

Below is the report from the National Weather Service regarding the EF2 tornado which had winds estimated to be as strong as 120mph.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
432 PM EDT MON JUL 28 2014

…TORNADO CONFIRMED IN SUFFOLK COUNTY MA…

LOCATION…CHELSEA AND REVERE IN SUFFOLK COUNTY MA
DATE… JULY 28 2014
ESTIMATED TIME…9:32 – 9:36 AM EDT
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING…EF2
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED…120 MPH
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH…3/8 OF A MILE
PATH LENGTH…2.0 MILES
BEGINNING LAT/LON…42.3980 / -71.0219
ENDING LAT/LON…42.4225 / -71.0037
* FATALITIES…0
* INJURIES…0

* THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT(S) AND PUBLICATION IN
NWS STORM DATA.

…SUMMARY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON MA HAS CONFIRMED THAT A
TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN ON THE MORNING OF JULY 28 2014 IN CHELSEA
AND REVERE IN SUFFOLK COUNTY MASSACHUSETTS. IT HAD A PATH LENGTH
OF 2 MILES AND PATH WIDTH OF 3/8 OF A MILE. MOST DAMAGE HAD A
RATING OF EF-1 ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE BUT EF-2 DAMAGE WAS
OBSERVED IN THE VICINITY OF REVERE BEACH PARKWAY. THUS THIS EVENT
IS CLASSIFIED AS AN EF-2 TORNADO. MAXIMUM WIND GUSTS WERE
ESTIMATED AT BETWEEN 100 AND 120 MPH. THANKFULLY AND MIRACULOUSLY
THERE WERE NO FATALITIES OR INJURIES REPORTED AS A RESULT OF THIS
TORNADO.

ALTHOUGH THE TORNADO BEGAN IN CHELSEA…WHERE A WINDOW WAS
REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN BLOWN OUT ON DUDLEY STREET…THE
OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF DAMAGE OCCURRED IN THE TOWN OF REVERE.

THE TORNADO MOVED ACROSS THE CHELSEA RIVER…DIRECTLY ACROSS THE
PAUL CRONIN MEMORIAL SKATING RINK…AND PORTIONS OF ITS ROOF WERE
BLOWN NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS ROUTE 16. NUMEROUS HOUSES ON REVERE
BEACH PARKWAY WERE SEVERELY IMPACTED…WITH ONE ROOF COMPLETELY
BLOWN OFF. IN THAT VICINITY…LARGE OAK TREES WERE SNAPPED MID-WAY
UP. JUST TO THE EAST OF THE ONRAMP FROM ROUTE 107 TO ROUTE
16…TREES WERE DOWNED FROM WEST TO EAST. TREES JUST TO THE WEST OF
WILSON STREET WERE DOWNED FROM EAST TO WEST. THIS GAVE A CLEAR
DELINEATION OF THE TRACK OF THE TORNADO…WHICH IS LOW PRESSURE AND
HAS TREES BLOWING IN TOWARD THE TRACK. SOME TREES AND TREE LIMBS
WERE LIFTED UP AND DEPOSITED ON TOP OF HOUSES IMMEDIATELY BEHIND
REVERE BEACH PARKWAY.

THE DAMAGE WAS WIDESPREAD THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE CENTER OF REVERE.
THE TORNADO TRAVELED NORTHWARD…BASICALLY FOLLOWING
ROUTE 107/BROADWAY. AT THE TOWN HALL…WINDOWS WERE BLOWN OUT AND
THERE WAS ROOF DAMAGE. A LARGE BIRCH TREE WAS UPROOTED THERE.
MORE THAN A HUNDRED HOMES HAD DAMAGE THAT RANGED FROM SIDING TORN
OFF TO PORTIONS OF ROOFS LIFTED OR BLOWN OFF. THERE WERE SEVERAL
STORE SIGNS THAT WERE DESTROYED. DEBRIS FROM HOMES COULD BE SEEN
COLLECTING ON FENCES. TREES FELL ON SEVERAL CARS WITH A FEW BEING
CRUSHED.

THE POLICE REPORTED THAT A CAR HAD BEEN OVERTURNED…TO THE WEST
OF BROADWAY AT THE INTERSECTION OF MALDEN STREET AND CARLSON
AVENUE. THE DAMAGE PATH CONTINUED NORTHWARD TO JUST BEYOND THE
ROTARY AT ROUTE 60. NEAR THAT ROTARY THERE WAS A BILLBOARD LYING ON
TOP OF SEVERAL CARS.

THE TOTAL PATH LENGTH WAS 2 MILES AND THE PATH WIDTH WAS
APPROXIMATELY 3/8 OF A MILE…WITH A SHARP CUTOFF OF THE DAMAGE
JUST EAST OF AMERICAN LEGION HIGHWAY/ROUTE 60.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND ITS APPRECIATION
TO OUR NORTH SHORE AND BOSTON SKYWARN AMATEUR RADIO
COORDINATORS…THE MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
REGION 1 OFFICE…AND THE REVERE POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR HELPING US
TREMENDOUSLY WITH THIS STORM SURVEY.

THIS INFORMATION CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE AT
WEATHER.GOV/BOX.

FOR REFERENCE…THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES
INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

EF0…WIND SPEEDS 65 TO 85 MPH.
EF1…WIND SPEEDS 86 TO 110 MPH.
EF2…WIND SPEEDS 111 TO 135 MPH.
EF3…WIND SPEEDS 136 TO 165 MPH.
EF4…WIND SPEEDS 166 TO 200 MPH.
EF5…WIND SPEEDS GREATER THAN 200 MPH.

$$

FIELD

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo
On Twitter: @tjdelsanto


Severe Thunderstorm Watch Until 8PM For “Parts” Of New England

July 28th, 2014 at 3:57 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Afternoon from chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca…

Strong to severe thunderstorms are developing over western Massachusetts and Connecticut. A few of these may impact areas from Providence points north and west thru 8pm. Storms looked to be localized so not all areas will see one. Some have potential to produce damaging winds and hail. Stay tuned for updates starting live at 5pm on channel 12 Eyewitness News.  We will have a live report from Revere, Massachusetts where a tornado touched down this morning with widespread damage.

 

watch12


Elorza wants schools open longer, more social services

July 28th, 2014 at 2:23 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Schools in Rhode Island’s capital city would stay open longer and on weekends and students would have more access to social services, under a proposal released Monday by Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza.

Elorza’s plan would provide “wrap-around programming” to students on nights, weekends and during school vacations, turning schools into “one stop hubs for students, families, and neighborhoods.” He said the goal would be to leverage existing community partnerships to create more full-service community schools.

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Sunshine is a Double-Edged Sword

July 28th, 2014 at 1:07 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It’s nice to have the sun this afternoon, but it really is a double-edged sword.  The sunshine will go to work and help de-stabilize the atmosphere in Southern New England.  This will help any storms that do develop to intensify and maintain their strength.  The satellite photo below shows many breaks in the cloud cover over our area.

vis_mon

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The high-resolution computer models we use are showing a line of showers and thunderstorms moving out of western New England and into our area during the early evening.  This is the HRRR computer model for 6pm this evening.

hrrr_1

Until then, individual storm cells could continue to pop up through the afternoon in our area.  Any storms, whether they are moving through this afternoon or evening, could be strong to severe.  The atmosphere is ripe for these storms to produce very heavy rain, frequent lightning, large hail and damaging wind gusts.  The threat of an isolated tornado remains with us into the evening.  We’ve already had two confirmed tornadoes in Southern New England during the past two days, and the environment remains favorable for a quick twister to spin up.

We encourage you to remain weather aware through the day.  The good news is…the rest of the week looks delightful.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Confirmed Tornado in Revere

July 28th, 2014 at 12:06 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Between 8 and 10am this morning a strong thunderstorm moved out of Northern Rhode Island and to the North Shore of Boston.  Revere was hit hard by what is now a confirmed tornado.  Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radar was tracking the storm as it moved from near Woonsocket to Revere this morning.  The storm was not severe as it moved through Rhode Island, but was developing a mesocycolone (a rotation within the storm cloud).

From the report:

“A TORNADO HAS BEEN CONFIRMED TO HAVE OCCURRED IN REVERE MASSACHUSETTS THIS MORNING. THE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT IS STILL ONGOING TO DETERMINE ADDITIONAL DETAILS SUCH AS THE MAXIMUM TORNADO INTENSITY…ALONG WITH THE LENGTH AND WIDTH OF THE DAMAGE PATH.”

Amazingly, there were no deaths reported to the Revere or Massachusetts State Police, but a baby was hurt by glass after a tree fell on a car.

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Here are some pictures courtesy of the National Weather Service and Marek Kozubal, a Storm Spotter.  You can see some fairly widespread tree and structure damage with these storms.

Revere_1

Revere_2

Revere_3

Revere_4

Revere_5

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Watching Things Closely This Afternoon

July 28th, 2014 at 11:49 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 11am, Live Pinpoint Doppler Radar was detecting showers and developing thunderstorms to our south, headed toward the coasts of RI and MA.

Radar_Loop_WEB_009

These storms are moving into an area favorable for development…decent instability, favorable wind shear and sunny skies.  In addition, low-level wind shear is favorable for the development of waterspouts and tornadoes.  While the possibility is low for a twister to develop, it’s there.  We encourage you to stay tuned through the afternoon….these storms can develop quickly.

 

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


As primary nears, mayoral hopefuls target Buddy Cianci

July 28th, 2014 at 7:51 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Jorge Elorza says it’s about building a diverse coalition of city residents. Brett Smiley says it’s about having the courage to stand up and fight. Michael Solomon says experience is everything.

They’ve got different talking points, but the three leading Democratic candidates for Providence mayor have adopted similar campaign strategies as the clock ticks before their Sept. 9 primary: each is making the case that he is the only one who can defeat former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. in the general election.

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Some Dry Time, but Strong T-Storms Still Possible

July 28th, 2014 at 5:06 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Updated at 9:30 AM:

We are currently in a lull as the downpours from this morning have moved up to our north.  However, if we can sneak in a little sun today…a few more showers and thunderstorms could fire up.  So while there is plenty of dry time, we can’t completely rule out a severe threat.

REST OF MORNING: Plenty of dry time with a little hazy sun possible.  There will be a chance of an isolated shower or strong thunderstorm.

FLASH FLOODING THREAT: Low

WIND DAMAGE THREAT: Low

 

AFTERNOON: Some breaks of sun are possible, but this could actually fire up a few additional showers and thunderstorms.

FLASH FLOODING THREAT: Low

WIND DAMAGE THREAT: Low to Moderate

 

Summary: Even though it won’t be raining the entire day, we need to be on alert for the potential of showers and thunderstorms for the entire day.  There is a SLIGHT risk of an isolated tornado.

Stay tuned and we will keep you updated! -Pete Mangione

 

 


Watch Executive Suite: rVotes founder Steve Adler

July 28th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Monday’s Storms…Some Could Be Severe

July 27th, 2014 at 9:55 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 9:30pm on Sunday widespread showers and thunderstorms were moving through Pennsylvania.  This is what we will be watching during the overnight and especially Monday morning.

Storm_Radar_650x366

Multiple computer models indicate this area of showers and thunderstorms will move into New England and expand in areal coverage as it does so.

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Here is the RPM computer model output for 7:30am on Monday morning.

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Storm has Weakened Significantly.

July 27th, 2014 at 8:55 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 8:45pm, that big storm in Connecticut has weakened significantly.  Just a few showers remain in along the CT/RI border.

Storm_Radar3_650x366

This storm was once a towering supercell.  What it looks like now is a sharp contrast between what it looked like at around 5pm.  Here’s a 3 Dimensional look at the storm while it was over Western Massachusetts.  It was a well developed thunderstorm standing up more than 30,000 feet high in the atmosphere.

3d

-Meteorologist T.J. del Santo


Tracking What Was Once a Severe Storm

July 27th, 2014 at 8:27 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Live Pinpoint Doppler Radar was tracking a nasty thunderstorm that moved through northern Connecticut.  It had mesocyclone (rotation) in it and was producing large hail alond with damaging wind gusts.  Trees and power lines were knocked down by this storm.

Storm_Radar2_650x366

This storm has weakened significantly, but some gusty winds and downpours are still possible in western RI during the next 30minutes.

Storm_Radar_650x366

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Funnel Cloud & Possible Tornado Reported

July 27th, 2014 at 4:38 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

4:46pm Update: The National Weather Service in NY has confirmed that a weak EF0 touched down in Wolcott, CT. 

———————————–

As I mentioned in last  night’s blog post, there was the chance for isolated tornado  today.  The biggest threat was in western New England.  Indeed, we saw funnel clouds and a possible tornado today.  Here’s the National Weather Service report regarding a funnel cloud spotted over Springfield, MA which moved to Ludlow, MA.

funnel_text

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In Wolcott, CT a storm chaser caught up with a funnel cloud and captured video of the cloud making contact with the ground as a weak tornado.  He reported a ‘tell-tale roar once the funnel reached the ground.  Here’s a picture of this reported twister and some of the damage near Wolcott High School.  These are from Twitter user @stormtrooperjay

 wolcott_tornado2

wolcott_damage2

 

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Severe Threat Diminishing

July 27th, 2014 at 3:21 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 3pm, we have only a few downpours in RI and nearby MA….mainly over southeast RI.  They are moving eastward into Southeast Massachusetts.

Storm_Radar_650x366

Looking upstream over Connecticut and New York State we are seeing significant clearing in response to dry air settling over that area.  While the sunshine could spark an isolated shower or thunderstorm into the early evening, the severe threat is diminishing. 

 

vis_sat

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A Few Strong Storms Possible Today, Better Chance Monday

July 27th, 2014 at 8:14 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Updated at 2:00 PM

If we get a little sun late this afternoon and early evening, that would be our best shot to get some strong thunderstorms.  I would say the chance of those storms turning severe is low, but it is still a possibility.    After that, the next decent chance of severe weather would be overnight into Monday morning.   Please read below for more information.

 

DGraphiBlgggggg

Here is a breakdown of the severe storm threat:

Now to 8PM: While there will be plenty of dry time during this period, there is a slight chance of severe storms (especially if we can sneak in some sun to heat up the atmosphere).   Inland areas have the best chance (even though it’s a small chance) of getting flash flooding and wind damage, the coast has as a much smaller chance.

8PM to 12AM: The storm threat will still be there, but there will likely be plenty of lulls in the action.

12AM Monday to Monday Noon: The chance of some strong thunderstorms increases, with flash flooding being the biggest threat.

Please stay tuned through out the afternoon, we will continue to update this blog.

-Pete Mangione

 


Watch Newsmakers: De Ramel, Gorbea debate for SoS

July 27th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Keep a Close Eye on the Weather Sun/Mon

July 26th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

During the next two days we will have several chances for showers and thunderstorms.  Some of the storms could be strong, too.

The Storm Prediction Center has put Southern New England under an area where there is a slight risk of severe weather on Sunday.

day2otlk_1730

The exact timing of these storms is difficult to pinpoint, but there are three main time periods for us:

  • Sunday morning/early afternoon
  • Sunday late afternoon/early evening
  • Monday morning

Round 1: Our first bout of storms comes Sunday morning/early afternoon.  The jet stream will dip down into a favorable position for air to rise over Southern New England.   The jet stream position, along with unstable air in place will allow storms to develop on Sunday morning over New York state and western New England.  These storms will move into RI and nearby MA after 9am and leave by early early afternoon.   The main impacts will be torrential rain, frequent lightning and possibly damaging wind gusts.

rpm2_650x366

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The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI

July 26th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, The Saturday Morning Post

Compdanmcgowanany policy dictates that you get a week off for every award you win, so after Ted’s performance at the Best of Rhode Island party this week, you’re stuck with me for the foreseeable future. As always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to dmcgowan@wpri.com and tnesi@wpri.com. For quick hits all week long, follow @danmcgowan and @tednesi.

1. Here’s one thing we learned from Democratic secretary of state candidates Nellie Gorbea and Guillaume De Ramel during their 30-minute debate on WPRI 12’s Newsmakers: what they lack in policy differences between one another, they more than make up for in delivery. Facing a steep financial disadvantage in the race, Gorbea came out swinging, attacking her opponent for his connection to Ray Rickman, the former state representative and lobbyist who failed to disclose a $10,000 loan he gave to then-House Majority Leader Gordon Fox in 2009. “It’s not just about policy ideas, but also what are you going to do in the line of fire,” she said. For his part, De Ramel, the perceived favorite thanks to his personal wealth and a stack of endorsements, stayed on message. He agreed that the loan to Fox was inappropriate, but said Rickman is entitled to due process in the probe. De Ramel never quite engaged with Gorbea, except to suggest that one difference between the two is “I’ve never roamed the halls of the State House as a staffer.”

2. Friday’s forum wrapped up a month of debates for all of the statewide races that have a significant primary. If you missed any of them, here’s a breakdown: Democratic governor; Republican governor; lieutenant governor; general treasurer; secretary of state. We’ll be back in action next month with more gubernatorial debates.

3. He may be using Hillary Clinton’s old campaign office, but former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci is hoping the technology used by conservative upstart David Brat will help build his ground game as he seeks to win back his old job. Cianci, the 73-year-old independent who hasn’t run a competitive race since 1994 – he ran unopposed in ’98 – has signed on to use the well-respected rVotes software to help modernize his campaign, company founder Steve Adler said this week during a taping of myRITV’s Executive Suite. Adler, a Providence native who helped launch the campaign technology that put the Democrats years ahead of their rivals when it came to fundraising and field efforts, has now switched sides and developed a similar program for the GOP. Although Adler’s biggest win came last month when Brat shocked the political world by defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary, it’s worth noting that former Rhode Island GOP Chairman Ken McKay embraced the program several years ago. McKay is now political director for the Republican Governors Association. It’s too early to know what rVotes will mean for Cianci in November, but it is a sign that the former mayor understands what it takes to win a race in 2014. Now all he needs is a functioning website.

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Smoky Skies in Southern New England

July 25th, 2014 at 7:54 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Typically with a wind flow like we had today, we should have very blue skies.  Instead, the skies were pretty hazy.   That haze was from forest fires in northwest Canada!

SKYCAM2_650x366

Above is a picture from our Hurricane Barrier Cam in Providence.   You can see the haze in the sky, but you can also tell it was sunny this evening.

Satellite photos from space clearly show the path of the smoke from Canada into Southern New England.   Notice the dull gray blob over all of New England.  You can trace that smoke back up into central Canada.

Smoke_650x366

The flow of the jet stream (a river of fast moving winds high above in the atmosphere) is from the Arctic Circle directly into Southern New England.

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upaCNTR_300

Now check out this picture from NASA.  This is a high resolution satellite picture of Canada and the northern United States.   You can clearly see the flow of the smoke from the fires in northwest Canada into the Northeast United States.

nasa_smoke

The smoke does not bring any hazards to Southern New England.  I could smell the smoke while outside, but the concentration of smoke particles is not high enough at this time.  There have been instances when smoke plumes from distant fires did cause health concerns for us.  This does not appear to be one of those times; nonetheless, we are monitoring this closely.   If you have a respiratory illness where smoke could bother you, leave your windows shut and turn on the air conditioning.

Also, the added smoke in the sky will cause the sunsets to be more colorful.  The skies usually take on a more reddish color with smoke in them.  So, get your cameras ready!

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

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Providence pension investments beat state’s again

July 25th, 2014 at 5:02 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence pension fund’s investment performance beat the state’s once again in the fiscal year that just ended, and it wasn’t particularly close.

The City of Providence Employee Retirement System’s roughly $272-million portfolio earned 17.5% during the 12-month fiscal year that ended June 30. The Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island’s roughly $8.2-billion portfolio earned 15.1% over the same period.

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Dem sec. of state candidates oppose voter ID law in debate

July 25th, 2014 at 2:40 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Democratic candidates for secretary of state said Friday they support bringing in an independent investigator for an active inquiry into Rhode Island’s failed 38 Studios deal and each expressed opposition to the state’s voter identification law.

Guillaume De Ramel and Nellie Gorbea largely agreed on ways the $109,000-a-year state office can oversee elections, regulate lobbyists and create a more efficient system to register businesses during a 30-minute debate on WPRI 12’s Newsmakers.

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Brown University shaking up its political polling operation

July 24th, 2014 at 11:39 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Brown University is working on a reboot of its closely watched Rhode Island political polling operation, WPRI.com has learned.

James Morone, a political science professor who took over from Marion Orr this month as director of Brown’s Taubman Center for Public Policy & American Institutions, confirmed that he is working to hire one or more new staff members to conduct the polls.

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