Michelle Muscatello

Cold Winds Will be Blowing

March 26th, 2012 at 9:17 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Back to Reality Next Week

March 23rd, 2012 at 9:34 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Weekend Weather

Weekend Weather

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.


A Beach Futurecast in March!!

March 22nd, 2012 at 8:39 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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

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:

Beach Futurecast

Beach Futurecast

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.

Here’s some interesting facts and information on Cold Water Survival

Sea Breeze Continues to Keep Coast Cooler

March 21st, 2012 at 7:53 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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

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.

Temperatures Next Few Days

Temperatures Next Few Days



Jumping Ahead a Season

March 20th, 2012 at 9:26 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Temperature Outlook Mar 25-29

Temperature Outlook Mar 25-29












Temperature Outlook for Mar 27- April 2

Temperature Outlook for Mar 27- April 2

Calendar Finally Catches Up with the Weather

March 19th, 2012 at 9:48 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Spring Arrives

Spring Arrives

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

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.

Damp Today, then Luck O’ the Irish This Weekend

March 16th, 2012 at 8:04 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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!!

Newport Parade Forecast

March (Weather) Madness Continues…

March 15th, 2012 at 8:53 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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!

March Warmth

March Warmth


Changes on the Way

March 14th, 2012 at 8:07 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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

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.

Northeast Drought Monitor


May Temperatures in March Continue

March 13th, 2012 at 6:54 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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:

  1. Morning showers and, overall, more clouds around today
  2. A stronger south-southwest wind off of the relatively cool ocean waters
  3. 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.



Is Winter Over?

March 7th, 2012 at 8:46 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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

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.

Chilly Start, Spring-Like Finish to the Work Week

March 5th, 2012 at 11:19 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Overnight Lows

Overnight Lows

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.

Spring Fever

Spring Fever


In Between Weather Systems Today

March 2nd, 2012 at 10:14 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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

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

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.

Probability of Severe Thunderstorms Friday Mar 2

Probability of Severe Thunderstorms Friday Mar 2

Slippery Commute North of Providence This Morning

March 1st, 2012 at 6:25 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Burst of Wintry Weather to Coincide with Evening Commute

February 29th, 2012 at 8:26 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

A Kitchen Sink Storm

February 28th, 2012 at 8:42 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog


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

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.



March Coming in Like a Lion?

February 27th, 2012 at 9:16 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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

Check back in for updates!

Wintry Mix Winding Down this Morning

February 24th, 2012 at 7:36 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Weekend Storm Still Looks Like a “Miss”

February 17th, 2012 at 8:17 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

06z NAM for 10pm Sunday

06z NAM for 10pm Sunday

06z GFS Model for 1am Monday

Sunday’s Storm a Close Call

February 16th, 2012 at 8:54 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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!

Dramatic Changes to the Weather on the Way

February 10th, 2012 at 11:53 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

sent in by Barb Wallace of Westport, MA with her Quince Bush in bloom

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.

Snow Accums by Saturday Night

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.

Snow Timing

Snow Timing

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.

Groundhog Day

February 1st, 2012 at 8:24 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Courtesy of groundhog.org

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/



Saturday’s Storm Totals

January 23rd, 2012 at 8:12 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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:

NWS Office Boston Storm Totals

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.


More Snow on the Way

January 20th, 2012 at 11:03 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

What Fell Thursday Night, Jan 19

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.

It doesn’t take much…

January 10th, 2012 at 8:38 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Dusting of Snow

Dusting of Snow and Black Ice Leads to Numerous Problems for the AM Commute

Something for Snow Lovers?

January 9th, 2012 at 10:02 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Sunday Rain/Snow

January 3rd, 2012 at 11:52 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

12z GFS for Sunday, Jan 8 at 10am

12z GFS for Sunday, Jan 8 at 10am

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.

2011 Weather in Review

January 3rd, 2012 at 9:52 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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:

2011 Weather in Review in RI

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.


Storm Has Moved Out

December 8th, 2011 at 9:09 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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:

Peak Gusts Dec 8

Peak Gusts Dec 8

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.

Too Little, Too Late for Snow Lovers

December 7th, 2011 at 8:44 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

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.

Warm Storm Track = Mainly Rain Tonight/Thursday AM

Warm Storm Track = Mainly Rain Tonight/Thursday AM


Meanwhile, ski country (VT, NH, ME) will get some much-needed snow out of this storm.  Here’s a look at some of the predicted snowfall accumulations for New England through 7am Thursday.