The same storm system that brought us a shower on Tuesday is continuing to impact our weather today. Not much of a change in the forecast since then…. times of sun and clouds, a few spotty showers and slightly cooler temperatures. The storm system will slowly drift east today and lose it’s grip on our weather tonight… giving way to clearing skies and dry conditions for Friday.
Surface Map this Morning
Temperatures will be warming up through the weekend and next week…. the tricky part of the forecast will be the location of a back door cold front…. it it stays north of our area the temperatures will soar into the 70s from Sunday into possibly Tuesday or Wednesday of next week…. if it ends up south of our area then those temperatures could be cooler. It may be close enough to our area to bring a few stray showers.
A lot of “oohs” and “aaahs” could be heard across southern New England late yesterday afternoon as rainbows lined the sky. And our viewers had their cameras ready, with folks across the area sending us pictures.
Sent in by Frank Picozzi of Warwick
So what goes in to the making of a rainbow? A rainbow is formed when the sun’s rays are refracted and reflected through a raindrop.
There are three main ingredients:
A recent rain shower or rain nearby
The sun’s rays have to be less than 42° above the horizon
The sun’s rays must be hitting the raindrops
Since a raindrop is circular, the reflection it creates is also circular. However, we don’t see the full circle of the rainbow because the ground gets in the way. The lower the sun is to the horizon, the more of the circle we see. At sunset, we would see a full semi-circle of the rainbow with the top of the arch 42o above the horizon. The higher the sun is in the sky, the smaller the arch of the rainbow above the horizon. If the sun is more than 42o above the horizon, then no rainbow will be visible.
Rainbows are most common in the late afternoon, the last 4 hrs of daylight, because the sun’s rays are lower on the horizon and that’s when showers, especially convectively driven ones in the summertime in New England, are most likely. To see the rainbow, the sun will be at your back and the rain in front of you.
The quiet weather continues in southern New England, with dry air, a mix of sun and clouds and slightly warmer than average temperatures today. We’re still under an elevated risk for fires, so keep using your common sense—don’t do any outdoor burning and carefully discard cigarettes.
City Cam This Morning
Shower chances are pretty small today…. perhaps a passing sprinkle or light shower–maybe 15-20% of seeing one in our area. The chances get better as we head into Wednesday and Thursday.
Rainfall Probability Next Few Days
I mentioned yesterday that rainfall totals, even for those areas that do see showers, will be on the light side this week…. a few tenths of an inch if we’re lucky. If we see an isolated thunderstorm Thursday, that could bring some heavier downpours… but also, possibly some small hail.
Looking ahead to next week…. several of our computer guidance models this morning showed a potent storm moving towards the east coast by late next week. If that storm (1) does in fact form and (2) comes up our way (instead of slipping south like others this season) then it could give us a decent soaking. Lets hope! Here’s the GFS 06z model from this morning. This is for next Thursday morning:
Even a stalled out storm system this week doesn’t look like it will provide the kind of relief we need from the moderate drought conditions in southern New England. While I do have showers in the forecast for mid-week, they should be fairly light and scattered… not the kind of rain you can count on to give your lawn the drink it’s craving. It will control our weather through Thursday, though, giving us times of sun and clouds, gusty winds and slightly warmer than normal temps.
In terms of the drought situation, an updated long-range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center shows some potential for conditions to improve in Southern New England. The good news about droughts here is that they typically don’t last long, and can be turned around pretty quickly by a couple of moisture-laden storms. An ocean storm that pulls in tropical moisture can often bring 2-4″ of rain over a day or two… that could help put a significant dent into our 7″+ rainfall deficit for the year.
While we’re still forecasting quiet weather conditions this weekend, neither day looks to be as bright as the last 5 work week days. I know–Murphy’s Law right?!
Here’s what’s happening…. a storm system that making it’s way off of the southeast US coastline will track into the northern Atlantic. This is where it takes an unusual turn…. insteading of heading out to sea and being another “miss” for our area… it’s drawn back towards Nova Scotia slowly through the weekend, bringing some clouds into New England. It looks like the first batch of moisture (in the form of some cloudiness) arrives Saturday… turning a mostly sunny morning into a mostly cloudy afternoon.
Our computer models are still in disagreement about the position of this storm center by Sunday… for example, one computer model this morning shows mostly cloudy skies and temperatures 50-55… even perhaps a little drizzle along the eastern MA coastline late Saturday night. Another model shows mostly sunny skies and highs in the low 60s. After looking at all the new data this morning, I’m leaning towards the brighter, milder option. Times of clouds/sun with temperatures in the upper 50s.
That same storm system will stall over our the area next week providing an opportunity for some much needed April showers. The week won’t be a washout, but there will be a chance of showers almost every day.
In a stretch of beautiful early Spring weather this week, it’s small shifts that garner the weather headlines. The shift today is towards a slightly cooler afternoon, with highs in the mid to upper 50s, compared to the mid 60s from yesterday. There will still be plenty of sun, dry air and breezy winds. Overall its going to be another A+ day.
Temperatures look pretty “average” for early to mid-April over the next 5-7 days with afternoon highs 55-60 and nighttime lows 35-40. The weather pattern for next week looks more unsettled as an area of low pressure, a storm center, retrogrades (or backs in from east to west) over New England. Once there, it will be in no hurry to leave, giving us extra clouds and the threat of showers. I made a slight shift in my Sunday forecast to account for this storm system being a bit closer to us than originally thought by the end of the weekend. While Sunday should still stay dry, clouds will start to filter in and temperatures will likely be a bit cooler. It will still be remembered as an Easter with cooperating weather… dry skies, seasonable temps, etc.
The dry weather continues today with the warmest temperatures of the week expected this afternoon. In fact, high temperatures at TF Green will be running about 10° warmer than normal.
Providence Area Today
The combination of gusty breezes, low humidity and dry brush is leading to a red flag warning for our area from 11am to 7pm. While we are all enjoying the sunny, mild afternoons, we could definitely use some April showers. However, for the remainder of the week into the Easter/Passover weekend storms will stay away.
In fact, the storm system that brought the wild weather that ripped through downtown Dallas yesterday will stay well south of our area today, heading into the southeast US today. The tornado risk looks fairly low today but there may be some strong thunderstorms in that area..
Storm Prediction Center Tornado Outlook
As far as in Dallas, storm assessment teams from the National Weather Service are going to be on the ground to evaluate the damage from yesterday. The images of the tractor trailers being tossed in the air looks like something from the movie Twister! Crazy!
A winning stretch of weather is on the way this week, with very dry air, gusty breezes and plenty of sunshine. This is the time of year where there can be a large difference between the night time lows and afternoon high temperatures–30° or so. As we head further into Spring the sun’s rays get stronger and the days are longer allowing the sun to more efficiently warm the low levels of the atmosphere. On clear, dry nights, the heat gathered during the day escapes into space as longwave radiation and temperatures cool quickly. It’s the kind of week when you’ll still need a coat and the heat on in the mornings, only to want to crack the windows to allow the fresh air in during the afternoons.
Today’s northwest winds (a land breeze) will allow coastal temperatures to be nearly as warm as inland areas. Here’s how we envision this afternoon’s weather in Providence and Narragansett:
Providence Area this AfternoonNarragansett This Afternoon
The dry air does have a drawback…. there is a Red Flag Warning in effect for today as any fires that develop could spread quickly due to the low humidity, gusty breezes and dry brush. More fire weather watches may be needed later in the week. We’re also heading into April with a pretty significant rainfall deficit. Since January 1st, rainfall is running more than 6″ below normal. The US Drought Monitor now has most of New England under abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.
An area of low pressure is exiting the coast this morning bringing an end to the rain showers from the night. Breezy and drier conditions will build in from northwest to southeast today with near-seasonable high temperatures.
We’re going to being repeating these words quite a bit this week: “Dry, breezy and seasonable”. Temperatures will be very reminiscent of early April and major storms look to stay away.
The holiday weekend is showing signs of a slight warm-up: 58 Friday, near 60 Saturday, and 64 by Easter Sunday. Sunrise Sunday is at 6:13am.
I was taking a look this morning at our April Tide Chart, which also has sunrise/sunset times, and realized that we’re going to gain more than an hour of daylight just this month! Right now we have 12hours and 52 minutes of daylight and by April 30 that will grow to 14hours and 4minutes of daylight.
After two dreary days it’s refreshing to see the sun shining on this Friday morning, with a cool and crisp finish to the work week expected. In fact, today will be one of the more pleasant days of the week.
City Cam Friday Morning
A storm system that’s making it way into the Ohio Valley today will head off of the mid-Atlantic coastline tomorrow and track south our area. It’s still looking like it will come close enough to us to give our area a bout of precipitation, especially Saturday morning. Our computer models this morning are still highlighting the threat of some wet snow mixing with the rain. Some are even showing the potential for some very small accumulations (slushy coating to 1″) through Saturday morning. Here’s what I’m thinking for Saturday:
What to Expect Saturday
The wintry mix should transition to a chilly light rain and drizzle by mid-day before ending late in the afternoon. Skies will clear overnight and we’ll begin Sunday with bright, cool sunshine. The next weather disturbance will move through later Sunday evening and night bringing scattered rain showers. At this point it looks like Sunday “day” will be dry.
Yup… we are talking about it… the threat of a rain/snow mix to start the weekend. It’s not unheard of to get snow in late March or even early April… in fact, one of the more memorable snowstorms in southern New England is the April Fools Day Blizzard of 1997 that brought about 2ft of snow.
Even last April 1st we saw a rain/snow mix with some slushy accumulations in northern RI.
And as we close out a month that has seen some record warm days… we have a shot at getting some wet snow and rain mixed in. Here’s how the surface map should look by Saturday morning.. with an area of low pressure (a storm center) moving from southern NJ over the waters to our south.
Wintry Mix Friday Night & Saturday
It looks to be close enough to bring a period of light rain and snow. Accumulations aren’t likely as temperatures will only be marginally cold enough to support some wet flakes, and the pavement is so warm that the flakes should melt as they hit the ground. Still it will be a raw, damp start to the final weekend of March.
We’re waking up to temperatures that are about 10-15° warmer than yesterday, and without the biting winds there’s a noticeably change in the air. As winds turn to the south-southwest today, milder air will flow in with highs back into the mid 50s for most of us. Here’s a map that shows the temperature change from 24hrs ago:
We won’t have as dramatic of a warm-up as the folks in Pittsburgh and Buffalo are seeing, but it will be a bit more comfortable to be outside. There is a trade-off, though. A weak low pressure center will slowly make it’s way across New England today and tomorrow… turning our skies mostly cloudy and bringing a few scattered rain showers at times. You’ll want to throw an umbrella in the car, but you probably won’t need it most of the day. Even when a shower develops, it will likely be widely scattered and fairly light. We could use the rain as the rainfall deficit for the month is almost 3.5″ at TF Green!
We’ll have another shot at some rain to start the weekend. Though, at this point, the details are very, very sketchy. Our computer models are flip-flopping on the location of a storm system tracking from the Midwest and moving off of the East Coast. About half of them this morning have the storm close enough to us to bring some rain, while the other half are far enough away that rain stays south of our area. Hopefully, the computer models will come into better agreement later today and/or tomorrow. Stay tuned!
You’ve gotta love Spring in New England—one week we’re in shorts and flip flops, the next week we’re breaking out the winter coats and awaking to wind chills in the ‘teens! It’s that huge contrast in temperatures across the United States that makes the weather so often tumultuous (tornadoes, flooding, freak snows, record highs and record lows) this time of year. While summer warmth is gathering across the deep south and gulf coast… cold, arctic air is still entrenched over much of Canada.
Last week, on a southwest wind, we were able to tap into that very warm maritime tropical air… the result was a stretch of days in the 70s and 80s.
Last Week's Summer Warmth
This week, air source region for our colder airmass is central canada… on a stiff north-northwesterly wind we’re tapping into a continental arctic airmass…. the result is temperatures some 30 degrees colder.
A cold front is moving through our area late this morning, bringing with it some strong winds for the remainder of the day. As winds turn to the north-northwest behind the front, they’ll strengthen 15-25mph and some gusts may reach 30-40mph. Temperatures are also expected to drop in the afternoon…. from the 50s into the 40s. This is the kind of weather we’ll have to get used to in the coming days…. I don’t see any signs of 70s and 80s returning any time soon. In fact, temperatures will be at or slightly below average much of this week. And as TJ mentioned over the weekend, we’ll be at risk of a hard freeze tonight and possibly again Tuesday night. While the growing season hasn’t officially begun, there are many early blooms from the last few weeks of well-above average temperatures.
It’s been a shorts and sunscreen week with temperatures running 25-30° above average. Just incredible! It is only March, however, and the reality of early Spring in New England is often wild swings in temperature and still some chilly, raw days… we’ve even had some memorable snowstorms this time of year. While we’re not forecasting any snow… temperatures will be transitioning from summer warmth to more typical early Spring cool days and chilly nights. It will happen gradually, with one more summer-like… near record setting day today. And overall the weekend temperatures will still be about 5-10° above average.
A cold front swept off the coast early this morning bringing with it a deck of clouds for this morning, low humidity and a north-northwest wind for this afternoon. Skies will turn mostly sunny this afternoon with temperatures climbing well into the 70s. The cooler air associated with the front will be delayed until late tonight for our area, with lows falling to near 40-45 by dawn Saturday. A slow-moving low pressure center (storm system) will inch our way through Saturday, giving southern New England a blend of clouds and some hazy sun. Temperatures will only reach to near 60. By Saturday night and Sunday, some showers will move through. The storm center will drift away through the day on Monday bringing slow clearing. Rainfall totals will generally be light with under 1/4″ of rain for most of us.
Temperatures today will be summer-like with afternoon highs more typical of LATE JUNE and EARLY JULY! In fact, I’m forecasting temperatures inland to shatter the old record of 74, from 1948.
Record to Beat
Does this unseasonably warm air have you dreaming of a day at Watch Hill? Narragansett Town Beach? Hard to believe we are giving a beach futurecast in March, but here it is:
The water temperatures are still very cold… only in the upper 40s… and the Coast Guard is urging boaters/beach goers to dress for the water temp, not the air temperatures as hypothermia can set in quickly.
Here are some tips from the Coast Guard:
Always file a float plan (time out, time back and area) with a friend or family member and stick to it. If changes occur, let them know.
Wear a USCG-approved personal flotation device. Newer, inflatable types are very comfortable for paddling activities without much restriction. Wet suits are not an approved PFD.
Check marine forecast to ensure the most accurate forecast.
Warm, humid air continues to flow into New England producing a summery stretch of weather to finish out the work week. It’s that same air mass, coming in on a southwest wind, that has allowed for locally dense fog each night and early morning. And it’s that “sea breeze” that will keep temperatures at our beaches cooler than inland areas. Here’s the temperature set-up for today… you can add a few degrees onto each high for tomorrow, but the set-up will be the same.
Temperature Outlook Today
The winds will be out of the southwest again tonight and tomorrow… meaning more patchy fog developing for late night/early morning and cooler coastal temperatures in the afternoon. Winds finally turn from the southwest to the north-northwest once a cold front moves through on Thursday night. That “land breeze” will allow for a mild day at the coast with temperatures around 70-75. Behind the front, a cooler airmass will begin to settle in on Friday night and for the weekend, bringing our temperatures back to more seasonable highs.
Unseasonably warm temperatures continue through the end of the work week… especially for areas away from the coastline. The temperatures today are expected to soar into the 70s inland—once some pesky clouds and low fog burn off—with temps in the 60s along the shore. These temperatures are more typical of early June today and tomorrow… with some summer warmth (average highs for JULY!!) on Thursday. Here’s a nice site from the National Weather Service that gives the Providence Daily Temperature Normals for each day of the year.: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/box/climate/pvdnml.shtml
Look for fog to reform each of the next few nights and early mornings, only to thin out to mostly sunny skies by late morning.
As we head into the end of the month and early April, it looks like some of the extreme warmth over the last few weeks will wane a bit. New England should return to more seasonable highs, with shots of cool air invading from Canada. Here’s the outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for March 25-29 and March 27-April 2. If you compare the two maps, you can see that the core of the unseasonably warm weather (the area shaded in orange and red) retreats westward, with more average early Spring temps returning to the northeast.
Southern New England has been enjoying several weeks of early spring weather, and now the calendar will finally catch up. Spring arrives at 1:14am Tuesday with the Vernal Equinox.
The Vernal Equinox marks the point where the sun’s direct rays cross the equator–marking equal day and night there. Locally, we already have more than 12hrs of daylight—our sunrise this morning was at 6:50am and our sunset is at 6:57pm.
So what will these final hours of Winter 2011-12 bring? Much like the rest of this winter, it will be another day of unseasonably warm temperatures. In fact, it could be record-breaking warmth. Temperatures under a mix of hazy sun and patchy clouds will soar to near 70° inland.
Record to Beat
The days ahead will continue to bring warm temperatures… especially in inland areas. The trade-off with the warmth, though, will be patchy dense fog late at night and early each morning. As the fog thins out, hazy sun will allow temperatures to warm quickly. Winds from the southwest off of the cooler ocean waters will keep coastal locations as much as 10 degrees cooler than inland areas.
We’ll have another shot at breaking–actually shattering–the record high temperature on Thursday. I have inland temperatures around 75-80 in the afternoon, while the coast could be in the upper 60s to near 70. The record high on Thursday is 74 from 1948.
A weak disturbance will move through the northeast today, spreading clouds and occasional showers through our area. Temperatures will still be on the “cool” side with highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s. While showers should move out through this evening, some lingering moisture could allow for patchy fog and low clouds to reform tonight. Some of the murkiness could greet us first thing tomorrow morning.
Scattered Showers this Afternoon
Then the temperatures begin to soar…. especially by Sunday and Monday, with warm temps forecasted for much, if not all, of next week. It looks like the weather will cooperate with weekend plans… of course, one of the big events is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Newport. Any lingering morning clouds and/or fog will give way to sunshine. Temperatures on Aquidneck Island will be cooler than inland areas, but overall it’s going to be a fantastic day for a parade!!
While it will be noticeably cooler today and tomorrow… thanks to a northeast wind…. the temperatures will still be above average for mid-March… and another surge of incredibly warm air heads into New England this weekend and lasts into next week, too. It has been pure weather madness. Here are some stats on the first 14 days of March in RI. This data comes from TF Green Airport in Warwick… the official spot for weather record-keeping in the state.
Cooler than normal days: 5
Warmer than normal days: 9…. most have been between 10-20° warmer than normal!
After three straight days of temperatures nearly 20° warmer than average, changes are on the way. We’ll enjoy another day of highs in the 60s and mostly sunny skies this afternoon. The sun and warmth should even make it to the south coast. The exception to the warmth will be along the eastern MA coastline. I mentioned yesterday the trickiness about the back door cold front and timing out it’s arrival in our area. As of this morning it looks like it will make it to Boston/Plymouth areas this afternoon, but hold off until late evening/tonight for RI. The temperature difference could be quite dramatic by 3pm between Providence and Boston….. with temperatures soaring to near 66 in Providence… but falling to near 50 along the Boston waterfront.
Back Door Cold Front Arrives
Colder air (it’s all relative) will arrive tonight across our entire area with temperatures falling into the upper 30s to near 40. Temperatures tomorrow and Friday will only climb to 50-55. But, as has been the case since last Fall, the warm air doesn’t stay away for long. Temperatures will soar into the 60s (may even 70s) next week.
Temperatures Next 5 Days
Is there any end to the unseasonably warm weather? I don’t see any big changes in the weather pattern through the end of the month. And, in fact, the outlook through the spring is for warm, relatively dry conditions across the eastern 1/2 of the nation. While it’s great if you’re a mom with young kids like me (plenty of time to get the kids outside), it could bring concerns of increased fire weather risks as well as possible drought conditions. Here’s the latest information from the US Drought Monitor. It has parts of eastern MA already under abnormally dry conditions (not quite to “drought” level) yet.
While I’m not looking for us to break any records today, temperatures will still soar to highs more typical of early to mid-May. There are a few reasons for the slightly cooler (non-record setting) temperatures:
Morning showers and, overall, more clouds around today
A stronger south-southwest wind off of the relatively cool ocean waters
The record high for today is 77° from 1990
That said, after a murky start the day will get brighter and will still be warm enough to shed your jackets in many neighborhoods.
A noticeable change is coming…. all courtesy of a back door cold front. This pesky east coast weather disturbance gets it’s name because of it’s unusual track. While most of our weather systems come from the west and northwest, back door cold fronts come from the northeast. They happen mostly in the spring and they can turn what could have been a sunny, 70° day into a cloudy and 50-55° day. Our computer models are hinting at one of these back door fronts heading our way tomorrow. The tricky part will be timing it out. For those areas on the warm side of the front (including RI for at least part of the day), temperatures will soar into the 60s. Once the front moves through—1st in eastern MA and then moving southwest, winds will turn to the east-northeast and temperatures will fall back into the 50s… some low clouds may move in as well.
Spring-like air has moved into southern New England with temperatures soaring into the 50s today and, in some spots, the 60s tomorrow. While some cooler air will return later this week, I do see a trend towards warmer-than-normal temperatures as we head into the rest of March. So it begs the question…. is winter weather over? It’s not a guarantee—remember the April Fools storm? But for snow lovers the outlook isn’t good.
Here’s the 6-10 day forecast from the Climate Prediction Center. It shows warmer than average temperatures anticipated for March 12-16. You can see, too, that we’re not alone… most of the country will be enjoying an early Spring.
Temperature Outlook March 12-16
And more warm air is expected the following week, too…. in fact, there’s fairly high confidence in it.
Temperature Outlook March 14-20
Keep in mind if you live along the coast…. as is usually the case in March, warm air comes with some trade-offs…. usually a gusty wind, coming from a south-southwest direction. Water temps are cool–in the low to mid 40s° –and the stiff wind off the water will keep coastal communities cooler. There may also be some fog and low clouds around by tomorrow morning. Warm, humid air traveling over the cool ocean waters can generate that fog… the sun should be able to thin out the clouds in most areas by afternoon…. but it may linger longer at the coast. The end result may be temps in the low 60s inland and only 50-55 at the shore.
Brrr! I just ran out to grab a cup of coffee this morning and it is chilly! Temperatures are in the low and mid 30s and wind chills are in the ‘teens and 20s. It’s a cold day evening for early March standards. While gusty west winds have been driving in the cool, dry air today, they’ll begin to relax tonight. With clear, moon-lit skies, dry air and diminishing winds we’ll be setting the stage for a cold night, with most areas falling to 15-20 by dawn.
By Tuesday high pressure will be building into the northeast—providing another day of dry and cool air. But, then the high slides south and eventually east of southern New England. That’s a prime spot to drive in much milder air. It’s going to mean a spring feel later this week. I’m envisioning temperatures climbing well into the 50s on Wednesday afternoon and, possibly, into the 60s by Thursday afternoon. Even Friday will still be 8-10 degrees warmer than normal.
After a slippery start this morning–with black ice coating untreated surfaces–a dry, cool and uneventful weather day is unfolding across southern New England. Temperatures will remain slightly cooler than average for early March, with highs in the upper 30s to near 40 and clouds will break for some peeks of sun at times. In fact, visible satellite images from this morning are showing some clearing along the south coast of RI.
Visible Satellite Friday 9am
Enjoy it, because the next weather system to impact our area is racing toward the east coast. This next system will be what we mets like to call an “inside runner”… taking a track through the interior northeast US…. bringing a surge of mild air, and thus, mainly rain to southern New England.
Saturday Morning Surface Map
There might be enough cold air around to briefly begin with a bit of wintry weather late tonight, but that should be short-lived with rain all across Rhode Island and southeastern MA expected by 3am tonight. We may even see a few thunderstorms pop-up ahead of an approaching cold front tomorrow, as mild humid air provides plenty of moisture and instability. The storms are not expected to be severe here, but some heavy downpours and lightning are possible. I’m looking at an exit time of the wet weather between 1-4pm Saturday for most areas. Leaving the rest of the weekend dry, brisk and seasonable.
This same storm system could bring more tornadoes to the central US. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center has placed a relatively rare “high risk” of severe (tornadic) storms over parts of Indiana, Kentucky and Tennesee today. That classification is only used for the 1-2 most dangerous looking situations a year. Very dangerous long-track tornadoes are possible in that area.
March has in fact come in like a Lion…. after yesterday’s snow and sleet, a cold rain has been falling much of the night. While roadways from Providence and points south are mainly just wet (and in some spots slushy), its a much different story north of I-295. Temperatures stayed near freezing through the night with rain, sleet and freezing rain falling. Numerous reports of spin outs and accidents—especially for commuters heading north into Boston. In fact, 95N at 495 was shut down early this morning due to a tractor trailor going off the road.
Today we’ll see precipitation turn lighter through the morning with rain early transitioning back to a wintry mix and light snow in the afternoon and evening. The changeover occurs in northern suburbs first then lastly at the coast. Additional LIGHT accumulations possible—around a dusting to 1″ for most… possible 2″ north of Providence. The evening commute will likely feature at least scattered light snow.
The snow showers FINALLY taper off overnight, and Friday “day” looks dry. We don’t get much of a break though…. our next storm system moves into the northeast late Friday night into Saturday. That storm will take a much different (warmer) track for our area with just a good soaking rain in the forecast. We may even see some isolated thunder and gusty winds on Saturday.
While hazy sun greeted morning commuters, the scene will be quite different for the evening commute today. A fairly vigorous storm system is moving across the Great Lakes while cold, dry High Pressure has anchored itself to our northeast. The result will be a lot of moisture and warmth colliding with cold air and leading to a burst of wintry weather.
It’s not so much the amount of snow/sleet that will be the headline with this storm, but rather the timing. We’re still looking for snow to arrive by mid-late afternoon and turn steadier and heavier by evening. Initially, the pavement and late February stronger sun will prevent accumulations, but as night falls the snow is expected to begin sticking–even to the roadways.
During the evening hours and into tonight a wide variety of weather can be expected, depending on your location… the coast will begin to change to rain, while a wintry mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain are likely in the metro area and in northern suburbs the accumulating snow will continue. Eventually, the warmer air is expected to win out with all areas changing to rain and freezing rain through the night.
I feel pretty comfortable with a coating to 2″ of snow for most areas…. higher totals will be in northern suburbs–generally 2-4″ with isolated 5″ amounts possible if the snow is slower to mix with/change to rain.
By the way: the storm system has already made headlines…. bringing blizzard like conditions to parts of the northern Great Lakes to deadly tornadoes last night in the plains and Midwest.
The storm system heading our way tomorrow looks to be one of those southern New England winter storms where everything but the kitchen sink is in the forecast–snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain…. then back to sleet and snow.
Here’s what we’re thinking right now for timing:
1pm-4pm Wednesday–snow and sleet arrive, accumulations expected especially away from the coast.
Wednesday Evening–Snow and sleet begin to transition to rain and freezing rain–1st at the coast then spreading northward. Evening commute could feature slick roads and poor visibility at times.
Wednesday night–Periods of rain and gusty winds…. some pockets of freezing rain and sleet still possible in northern suburbs
Thursday–Rain tapers to lighter showers… may mix with or change back to sleet and snow before ending Thursday evening. Little to no additional accumulations expected
Lighter amounts at the coast due to a quicker changeover to rain, higher amounts the further inland you go. Early take on accums is coating to 2″ for points south of Providence with 2-5″ for areas north and west of Providence.
Snow Accums Forecast for Wed--Thu
Check back in for updates! The key to the accumulation forecast will be the exact track of the storm and figuring out how quickly (and how far north) the changeover to rain occurs.
You know the old saying, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”? This year the 1st part of the quote, at least, may be true. A complex area of low pressure–a storm center–will track near our area, bringing a round of snow, sleet and rain to New England. Present thinking is that the highest snowfall totals will be outside of RI—Berkshires, northern MA, etc… but some accumulating snow is possible for at least parts of southern New England. It looks like we’ll have the potential for a wintry mix starting Wednesday afternoon… possibly changing to rain for a time.. before ending with some colder air and a return to a wintry mix or snow. Our computer models are still showing some discrepencies in the track, intensity and amount of cold air with this storm… which will all help determine how much snow (vs sleet/rain) we see. I’m not ready to put out an accumulation map yet…. but here’s a 1st look at the HPC’s (Hydrometeorological Prediction Center’s) snowfall probability maps for 7am Wed through 7am Thursday. These maps can give you an idea of “where” the greatest likelihood of accumulating snow is. The 1st map is for the probability of accums greater than 4″, the second is for the probability of accums greater than 8″
HPC Probability of 4" of Snow From 7am Wed through 7am Thu
HPC Probability of 8" of Snow from 7am Wed through 7am Thu