After a burst of heavy snow, sleet and rain early this morning the precipitation will both taper off and transition to all rain as the morning continues. Accumulations have been between a slushy coating to 1″ for most areas, but we have seen some isolated 2-3″ totals. Rain, drizzle and raw conditions expected to continue this afternoon, evening and first part of tonight before dry skies and strong winds take over after midnight. Dry and windy Saturday with a wind advisory in effect all day for west-northwest gusts up to 45mph.
Our computer models have come into better agreement this morning on the eventual track of an ocean storm for this weekend. Below is a look at the latest GFS and NAM models for Sunday evening. You can see the center of Low pressure in both computer guidances centered well south of our area. It looks like the storm will be far enough south that any rain or snow stays just off-shore with partly sunny skies Sunday for most of our area. Still check back for updates. A slight shift in the track could still lead to changes in the forecast.
While we’ll be seeing rain showers this evening and tonight from a weak weather disturbance moving through the northeast, we’re also closely monitoring Sunday’s forecast.
Our computer models are honing in on a potent ocean storm developing for the second half of the weekend that will get organized in the Gulf Coast states then track off the Carolina coast. It’s a very close call as to whether the storm tracks close enough to bring any snow and/or rain to southern New England. This morning, I’m still leaning towards the storm staying far enough south that our area is spared any major impacts. It wouldn’t take much of a shift in the track to the north for us to see at least some light snow in parts of southern New England.
One of our “go to” long range computer models, the GFS has shown the potential for accumulating snow on Sunday—(though the latest data has shifted the storm further to the south). The jetstream pattern over the last few weeks has favored this more southerly storm track, with a noticeable lack of snow around here. Last weekend’s storm is a good example. The track shifted south at the last minute…. keeping the brunt of the storm over the ocean and snowfall very light over RI/Mass. While its possible that our area will get “brushed” by the outer edges of the storm–with perhaps some light rain and snow–I think there’s a better chance the storm will stay far south over the ocean. Check back in for updates though!
Ahhhh… another day basking in the sun and mild “Winter” air. It’s been the case more often than not this winter with unseasonably warm temperatures and storm-free conditions. We’re ending the work week with temps near 50 and viewers even sending in photos of early blossoms.
An arctic front is heading our way, though, and our weather will go through some dramatic changes over the course of the weekend that will remind everyone that we are still in FebRRRRuary. Low pressure, a storm center, is going to get organized off the Carolina coast and travel in the waters south of New England through the day on Saturday. It will likely bring enough snow to break out the plows and shovels… but it’s a bit of a tricky forecast. We have 2 things working against any significant accums–1) storm track is a bit too far south and 2) temps are only marginal to support snow. Right now it looks like most areas will end up with 2-4″ of snow, with isolated 4-6″ totals possible if a band of heavy snow develops over our area late morning. The snow may initially have a tough time accumulating with temperatures in the mid 30s and warm pavement, but travel conditions will still likely become more difficult as the snow picks up in intensity through the morning and early afternoon.
The timing of the storm brings the arrival of some flurries/sprinkles by dawn… with the steadiest snow (and possibly some rain at the coast) from late morning into early afternoon. The snow should taper off through early evening for most areas, except perhaps in eastern MA.
The second part of the dramatic change will be the temperatures. While we’ll still be in the 30s on Saturday, temperatures will tumble on Saturday night and wind chills will dip into the single digits by Sunday morning. Sunday is going to be unseasonably chilly with wind chills in the ‘teens and highs only near 30. Mild air begins to move in again on Monday afternoon temperatures climbing back into the 30s.
Tomorrow morning, Feb 2, at 7:20am, Punxsutawney Phil will come out of his burrow in western Pennsylvania and determine how the second half of winter will unfold. According to the legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If it’s a cloudy day and Phil doesn’t see his shadow then Spring will arrive early.
Looking at the weather conditions in Punxsutawney, PA tomorrow morning, I’d say chances are skies will be mainly cloudy and no shadow will be seen. How often is Phil right….a measly 39% of the time.
Cornell University released some information this morning talking about the mild “Winter that Wasn’t”. It’s no surprise that Punxsutawney Phil won’t be the only animal or insect roaming the fields and forests in the coming weeks. The lack of snow and mild temperatures are leading to a booming deer population, mating skunks and lots of ticks and mosquitoes. Climatologists with the Northeast Regional Climate Center say while our area has been seeing a warmer than average winter… it’s not the warmest in recent history. Winter 2001-02 was warmer for most northeast weather reporting sites. How does this winter rank? Top 20 seems likely. Though we’ll have to wait until the end of the winter season to have a the official stats. This is a look at the snow pack from Jan 29, 2012 compared to the same time last year:
Here’s the link to the Northeast Regional Climate Center for more information. http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu/
For those interested, here’s a link to a list of storm reports from the snow storm that impacted southern New England on Saturday, January 21:
Coastal communities bore the brunt of this storm with 8-12″ of snow. Now a major warm-up is on the way with rain by the end of the day and continuing into tonight as temperatures warm through the 40s.
It’s a 1-2 punch from Mother Nature with another round of snow on the way starting early tomorrow morning. Snow lovers rejoice! Snow haters–it was good while it lasted (half way through the season with only a trace of snow isn’t bad!).
Here’s a look at what fell last night. It was a pretty unique set-up. A band of heavy snow brought most of these accumulations in about 1hrs time. It was in response to a small area of low pressure that developed right over southern New England just as the band of snow moved through…. that brought our accumulations up slightly from the 1-3″ that I forecasted yesterday at noon.
The next storm system slated for Saturday has a different set-up than last night’s clipper. This storm is just developing over the Tennessee Valley today and will track south of New England on Saturday. It’s a stronger, more organized storm with more moisture to work with. While the track makes forecasting the precipitation type a bit more difficult, its a set-up that looks to deliver a decent amount of snow to our area. I think any way you look at it, it’s going to be messy most of the day. Here’s the timing and impacts:
Snowfall accumulations look moderate…. most areas should end up with 4-7″ of snow, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few 8″ totals. If the coast stays “all snow” then totals will be near 1/2ft there, too, but I’m envisioning a little sleet or rain mixing in during the afternoon and bringing down the totals slightly there. It winds down between 5-8pm.
A brief period of light rain and snow overnight, followed by temperatures falling into the 20s was all it took to create major problems for the morning commute. Any wet surfaces overnight quickly froze after 5am creating a layer of black ice that sent cars sliding on untreated surfaces and led to numerous spinouts and accidents across RI and southeastern MA. In addition, dense freezing fog in parts of coastal MA has added to the slick and slow conditions on this Tuesday morning. What a mess! Milder air is going to be moving in today with clearing skies and temps climbing above freezing in most areas by 9am. By this afternoon, highs should reach into the mid to upper 40s—about 10° warmer than average.
Here’s a picture sent in by Joette from Pawtucket of this morning’s dusting of snow.
I have been getting a lot of questions from people wondering when snow will finally make its way to southern New England. While the pattern isn’t looking conducive for any big snows around here this week, I did find something in the long range forecast that may make snow-lovers smile. Now–let me preface this that saying anything beyond 7 days shouldn’t be viewed at face value–ie: a certain weather event will/will not happen at xx time, xx day–but it can be a sign of a particular pattern emerging. So what am I seeing? Overall, it looks like a longer-lasting cold pattern emerging. That will give us a better chance at having frozen precipitation fall as any storms move towards our area. Here’s an image of the 300mb winds and heights for the early morning hours of Friday, January 20.
In the winter, we use the 300mb heights (about 30,000ft up) to identify the jetstream. Here we can see a ridge in the jetstream over the west coast and a trough–or dip–in the jetstream over the East Coast. That’s a pattern more favorable for cold air and winter storms in the northeast.
In the meantime, a few flurries or light rain/snow showers are possible late tonight and early tomorrow morning as a distant storm system brushes by. Best chance of seeing this will be on Cape Cod and the Islands. A more significant rain and wind storm looks to be on the way for late Wednesday night into Thursday. Rainfall totals could be around 1″. Some of our computer models are starting to show a colder scenario with this storm…. it doesn’t change the precip type for our area (a soaking rain is a good bet)… but it does make the forecast a little trickier for areas north of the Mass Pike. There’s a possibility of some snow for ski country in northern New England. The resorts are definitely desperate for Mother Nature to “throw them a bone” leading up to the MLK weekend. We’ll be talking more about this storm in the coming days.
My previous post this morning mentioned that our computer models were beginning to show a developing storm system for the Sunday/Sunday night time-frame. One of our go-to models, the GFS, though, didn’t have it. Well–a brand new model run for the GFS just came in and low and behold the low pressure system is there on Sunday.
What does it mean? At this point, not too much—whether the storm will actually form, where it will track and what it will bring is still up in the air… but it does reaffirm that there is at least a threat of rain and/or snow over the weekend. There’s not a lot of cold air to work with by Sunday, so the chances of a major snowstorm aren’t too high… but we could get at least a wintry mix out of the storm.
We’ll continue to keep you updated.
It was a year that started out snowy and ended with some record warmth in Autumn… here’s how 2011′s weather measured up to more than 100 years of record keeping:
It’s hard to imagine given the snow “drought” we’ve been experiencing, but last year’s seasonal snowfall total came in just under 50″. And January 2011 was one of the snowiest on record (4th snowiest January and 6th snowiest month all-time) with 30.7″ of snow.
This work week will continue with the temperature see-saw we’ve been experiencing for the last few weeks. We’ll see a 2 day cold snap followed by a return to “average” temperatures on Thursday and Friday then above-average temperatures for the weekend.
If you’re ready for some weather action–the pattern looks a little more interesting next week…. possibly even by the end of the weekend. This morning I added some rain/snow into the forecast for late Sunday. Several of our computer guidance models are showing a developing area of low pressure in the southeast US. While the 00z GFS continues to keep Sunday afternoon dry in southern New England, the 00z ECWMF, 00z Canadian and 00z NOGAPS models are all bringing rain and possibly some wintry mix into our area on Sunday/Sunday night. It will be something we’ll continue to track in the days ahead.
The storm system that brought well more than 2″ of rain to most areas in southern New England has moved out… but at the tail end of the rainfall, strong damaging winds mixed down in a line of very heavy rain and isolated thunder. It happened around 3:30-4:30am. Here are the gusts that were reported as the line moved across our area:
At one point, National Grid was reporting more than 3,000 homes/businesses had lost power (as of about 5am). And there were reports of trees and wires down… even some near I295 that affected the early morning commute.
In addition, the Pawtuxet River is seeing minor flooding this morning… the river is expected to crest around 10ft this afternoon which is 1ft above flood stage.
How about this stat—it is the 4th Wednesday in a row with rain in southern New England! The trend of mid-week storms continues, with a slow-moving cold front bringing periods of rain to our area through the day. We’ll have 2 waves of low pressure ride along the front that will enhance the rainfall, the first during the day and the 2nd will pass nearby tonight.
Earlier in the week there were some computer models that had the 2nd area of low pressure in a position southeast of Nanucket bringing our area the potential for some snow (cold air, wind direction, etc all in our favor)… but this morning it’s looking more likely that the storm will track over the Cape and Islands, that’s a “warmer” scenario for southern New England, meaning mainly rain for us.
It doesn’t feel like it today, as temperatures once again soar to unseasonably mild highs, but big changes appear to be on the way. Our computer models are continuing to show a significant cool down later this week. And, unlike the rest of this Autumn Season when any cold air was short-lived, this time the chill looks to last. In fact, there may even be a few chances for some snow to mix with rain later this week. There are two time frames, in particular, that I’ll be monitoring closely… Wednesday night into Thursday… and Friday night into early Saturday.
Today and tomorrow will remain warm with highs 57-62. A slow-moving, moisture laden cold front will begin to bring showers to our area late tonight and last off and on into Wednesday before the front begins to shift off the coast. Initially the air is still too warm for any type of precipitation other than just “plain rain” through Wednesday… but *if* (and it’s a big “if” at this point) 1) the cold front is still close to our coast on Wednesday Night, 2) enough cold air arrives, and 3) another wave of low pressure (a storm center) can develop along the cold front, we have the potential to see rain mixing with or changing to snow for Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
After that, it appears we’ll be stuck with a more winter like weather pattern…. with afternoon temperatures late this week running bout 20° colder than today and tomorrow.
I posted a little bit about this earlier in the week, but the official numbers are in, and as expected, this Autumn has been one of the warmest on record in southern New England. The National Weather Service office in Taunton, MA just released the report this morning. “Meteorological Autumn” runs from September 1st through November 30th. The data has been compiled from records dating back to 1905 at TF Green Airport, which the weather service refers to as “Providence”. Here are the stats:
October–8th Wettest, 2nd Snowiest
Seasonal Summary: Autumn 2011 was the 3rd warmest and 5th wettest.
For more data check out the full National Weather Service Autumn Season in Review
It wasn’t your imagination… November was exceptionally mild. In more than 100yrs of record keeping at TF Green airport, it was the 4th warmest on record. We saw temperatures top 60° on 14 days, and we climbed to 70°+ twice. Rainfall was slightly above average, too, with 4.79″ of rain.
The Autumn Season (Sept 1–Nov 30) has also been very mild…. the average temperature was 57.1° at TF Green, making it the 3rd warmest on record.
The incredible November warmth continues today with temperatures in most areas in the 50s overnight and reaching highs into the low and mid 60s this afternoon. I’m forecasting a high of 66° at TF Green Airport, that would break a 21-yr old record.
Temperatures will remain very mild overnight… in the 50s, but a cold front will be moving through. We’ll see showers with the front–mainly overnight and very early Wednesday morning– before drier and gradually cooler air returns. If you’re hoping for a long-lasting shot of cold air… it’s still not in the cards. Temperatures will only return to near-normal highs for the end of the week and weekend.
Through the first 28 days of the month, this has been the 7th warmest November on record in Rhode Island and the 2nd warmest in Boston. We may move up a few more spots before we close out the month with above average temperatures expected through tomorrow.
The heavy rain has moved out but lingering lighter showers are possible over the next few hours. Winds will continue to pick up and temperatures will fall. There is a wind advisory in effect through late this evening for Boston and the Cape where some gusts to 50mph are possible. North-northwest winds will gust 35-45mph in RI at times. While temperatures will be falling, I don’t think they’ll cool enough to support anything other than “plain rain” in our area. So, overall, travel conditions weather-wise are better for the afternoon commute.
Rainfall totals are between 1″-2.5″. Ski country is reporting about 6-12″ of snow. It’s some much-needed “white gold” as they try to kick off the ski season.
Steady rain with torrential downpours continues this morning… with 1-1.5″ of rain already being reported in southern New England as of 7am. Watch for localized street and poor drainage flooding.
I’ve been checking out the latest computer models and they’re all honing in on a scenario that has most of the rain outta here by 1pm. There may be a few lingering lighter showers, but travel (weather-wise) should become easier. That said–the other big hazard in southern New England will be wind. Right now there’s a wind advisory for the eastern MA coastline with gusts to near 50mph possible in the afternoon and evening. Even in RI, some gusts over 40mph are possible.
A potent storm system will be traveling through New England tonight and tomorrow just as millions of Americans hit the highways to try to get to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. While we’re just forecasting “plain rain” for southern and central New England, we could see quite a bit of it. In fact, our computer models this morning are still printing out around 2″ of rain in our area. Most of the heavy rain falls late tonight through 2pm Wednesday, with lighter scattered showers continuing in the afternoon and evening. The biggest concern for the roads around here will be localized street flooding.
It gets a little trickier if you’re headed into northern New England. Rain will mix with and transition to snow across central and northern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The ski resorts are going to be “thankful” for this storm after a very slow start to the season…. they’re getting a little gift from Mother Nature. In fact, some of our computer models are hinting at more than 1ft of snow possible in ski country! They’ll have to deal with another slug of very mild air by the weekend. Here’s a map of the 00z GFS forecasted snowfall totals through Thanksgiving morning… it shows a swath of 8-14″ of snow across central VT, NH and western Maine:
Skies should be sunny for Thanksgiving with gusty winds and cool, dry air.
My trip to the grocery store during my lunch break this morning was filled with people commenting on the weather. What a difference in the air today! The cold, dry Canadian air has rushed in over the last 24 hours, sending our temperatures from the incredible 60s, back down to reality. We’re struggling through the 40s this afternoon and wind chills are still in the 30s.
If you’re not a fan of the cold air, you’re in luck… high pressure will shift south of our area this weekend, allowing winds to turn to the southwest. The winds will tap into milder air, and once again our temps will climb well above average… especially by Sunday.
It was less than 48hrs ago that we hit an incredible high temp of 71° on a mid-November day…. now the temperatures are in a nosedive… and by this evening, we could be dealing with some wet snow showers! The key to seeing the snow is that there has to be enough moisture around by the time the temps cool enough for the snow to make it all the way to the surface . Bottom line–any snow that develops won’t last long.
It’s quiet this morning. In fact, there are even some breaks of sun… but another batch of showers will push our way this afternoon… at the same time that cold air is draining into our area. The result will be afternoon rain showers, mixing with or changing over to some wet snow showers for the evening commute.
The snow will most likely melt when it hits the pavement, considering that the temps will be above freezing and it’s been so warm over the last 2 weeks–but it may reduce visibility on the roads.
Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radarat noon is showing a batch of steadier and, at times, heavier rain approaching our area… slated to move through this afternoon and evening. While this is just going to be an average rain storm for us… it will likely be enough rain to cause some localized, brief street flooding. We’re rapidly losing leaves off of the trees now, and they may be clogging storm drains.
The showers will continue overnight but will become spotty and lighter. Thursday will feature mainly cloudy skies, brisk winds, chilly temps and a few lingering lighter showers during the day. It may be cold enough by Thursday late afternoon and evening to see a few wet snowflakes in areas away from the coast any showers that linger. The cold air doesn’t last long…. we’re forecasting highs in the 60s again by Sunday!! ~Michelle
After #Snotober moved through Halloween weekend, we’ve been enjoying some fairly tranquil and mild temperatures through much of the first half of November. In fact, according to preliminary climate data from TF Green Airport, temperatures are averaging 0.5° above normal. For the first 14 days of the month (including today) exactly half (7) of the days have had high temperatures at 60° or higher… including a high of 70° on November 8. Nighttime lows have remained mild, too, with only 3 days so far this month at or below freezing.
We have had some short bursts of colder air, but each time it’s only lasted a few days before being replaced by an unseasonably mild air mass, sending our temps to at or above average highs.
I don’t see any big changes in the weather pattern for this week, either. Temperatures through Wednesday should be running well above average… followed by a brief shot of colder air for Thursday and Friday. But, once again, the cold air doesn’t last long…. the upcoming weekend shows another warm-up.
Fog rolled in from the coast this morning covering the south coast and communities along Narragansett Bay. We had visibilities below a quarter mile for much of the morning from TF Green Airport south through New Bedford, Newport and Westerly. By 10am the skies were blue again for most areas. The fog developed in response to moist air trapped beneath a high pressure subsidence inversion.
What is an “inversion”? An inversion is an area in the atmosphere where the temperature warms with height. Typically in the low levels of the atmosphere the temperatures cool with height… Take, for example, conditions in Providence compared to the top of Mt Washington (elevation 6,288ft): it’s 57° in Providence as of 10am… and only 41° at the Mt Washington Observitory. But the atmosphere can have areas of inversions, too,–where the opposite occurs and temperatures warm with height.
So what is a “high pressure subsidence inversion”??? Well… high pressure–our fair weather friend–promotes sinking air. As the air sinks it warms, but that doesn’t happen uniformally in all levels of the atmosphere. An inversion develops where the strongest sinking takes place–that’s typically at about 5,000ft to 15,000ft aloft. As the moist air coming in off the ocean this morning tried to rise, it became trapped under the dome of subsiding high pressure and was compressed into fog.
Our area will be enjoying some unseasonably warm weather next few days with temperatures running about 5-12° above average for early November. Seeing as this warm spell follows a period of frosty and cool days, we can officially call it an “Indian Summer”.
Here’s how the American Meteorological Society defines an Indian Summer:
Indian summer—A period, in mid- or late autumn, of abnormally warm weather, generally clear skies, sunny but hazy days, and cool nights.
The mild weather should last through Thursday… before we return to more “typical” November temperatures for Friday and the weekend. Enjoy!
The official numbers are in and the weekend storm will definitely go into the record books. While our accumulations were relatively minor compared to some parts of New England (some locales in the Berkshires topped 30″!!) it was still an historic storm. In fact, Sunday was the 3rd snowiest October day on record at TF Green Airport with 1.2″ of snow. The actual storm total was slightly over 2″ but it was spread over 2 days–Saturday evening into Sunday morning.
There is growing concern about a potentially significant early winter storm that could bring rain, strong winds and some wet snow to our area. If this storm was happening in a few months from now, we’d be talking about more than a 1ft of snow in spots. But, because it’s still October and ocean water temps are still very mild… it will be much tougher to get low level temperatures cold enough to see snow. That said–this storm does have the potential to bring enough snow to parts of our area to break out the plows and shovels!!
At the moment our computer models are still showing slight variations in the track of the storm… either inside or outside of “the Benchmark”—the 40N/70W Lat/Lon Lines. If the storm were to track closer to the coast (inside the Benchmark) we’d be looking at mostly rain with some wet snow on Saturday night. If the storm tracks further away (over or just outside the benchmark) we could be looking at accumulating snow starting early Saturday evening and continuing through Saturday night.
TIMING: Rain overspreads our area Saturday afternoon…. may begin to mix with snow far inland around sunset. The changeover and/or mix with snow will happen north to south through the late evening. Rain, mix and/or snow will continue through Saturday night before tapering off by early Sunday morning.
IMPACTS: Heavy rain leading to poor drainage/street flooding. Wet snow will lead to slippery roads and reduced visibility Saturday night. We are also concerned about the potential for power outages where heavy snow occurs–the weight of the snow on tree limbs and branches combined with strong north-northeast winds could lead to downed trees and branches.
AMOUNTS: Predicting snowfall accumulation amounts with this storm is very tricky…. At the moment I’m looking at a coating to perhaps 2″ of snow for a good part of our area… upwards of 6″ possible in the northwest corner of the state. This is all going to be dependant on the eventual track of the storm. The area that ends up with the highest snowfall totals (right now looks to be in central/western MA) could see 6-12″ of snow. Here are some maps from NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center on the probability of snowfall:
More information is constantly coming in. Definitely check back in for updates!
In one word–yes! We are still looking at the potential for some wet flakes in our inland areas on Thursday evening and night. There may even be enough to leave a brief coating on grassy surfaces in our northwest corner of the state—Foster/Glocester I’m talking about you.
Here is some of the brand new data just coming in late this morning, that continues to indicate at least a brief period of wet snow from Providence and points north and west:
The map above comes from the 12z Wednesday (8am EDT) North American Model (NAM). It continues to show the potential for some accumulating snow in central MA and some very light snow in northern RI. The light pink color is a coating to 1″ , the dark pink is 1-2″ and the blue color is 2-3″.
This map is another computer model, the 06z (2am Wednesday) GFS. It also shows predicted snowfall accumulations through 2am Friday. Once again it has northern RI as an area with the potential to see a coating of snow. The heavier accumulations are a little further north on the GFS with a few inches predicted in northern MA and southern NH/VT.
Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938., also known as the “Long Island Express”. It is one of the most destructive and powerful storms to ever hit New England. It roared ashore in a time before modern tracking tools, like satellites, were available…… catching New Eglanders off-guard. Based on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale it would have been a strong Category 3 hurricane at landfall with winds sustained at 121mph and gusts to 186mph. It decimated downtown Providence, flooding the city with a storm tide of nearly 20ft.
Here’s a Purdue University map that shows the track of the hurricane:
Here are some additional stats:
–More than 600 Deaths in New Enland
–Almost 9000 buildings destroyed
–More than 3000 boats destroyed or damaged
–50ft waves in Glocester, MA
–Storm Surge of 15-20ft
–Raced north at 58mph
This is a story that TJ Delsanto did last year at the Anniversary. It includes some video and Eyewitness accounts.