Even though the calendar version of spring doesn’t begin until March 20, from a weather stand-point we mark today, March 1, as the first day of meteorological spring. Here’s a wrap-up of Winter 2012-2013 released today from the National Weather Service:
PERIOD OF RECORD: 1905 TO PRESENT
AVG HIGH AVG LOW AVG MEAN PCPN SNOW REMARKS ——–
DEC: 45.7 31.0 38.4 5.55 9.3 TIED FOR 8TH WARMEST
+3.4 +4.7 +4.1 +1.33 +0.6
JAN: 39.4 23.2 31.3 1.93 6.5
+2.0 +2.2 +2.1 -1.93 -2.5
FEB: 37.9 24.0 31.0 5.03 24.3 7TH SNOWIEST
-2.4 +0.4 -1.0 +1.74 +15.8
SEASONAL SUMMARY —————-
WINTER: 41.0 26.1 33.6 12.51 40.1
+1.0 +2.5 +1.8 +1.14 +13.9
01/31…TIED RECORD HIGH…62…ALSO SET IN 1988.
02/27…RECORD DAILY PRECIPITATION…1.22…PREVIOUSLY 1.06 IN 1913.
In summary, meteorological winter in RI was warmer than average and snowier than average.
We won’t see nearly as much rain as yesterday, but it’s still going to be an unsettled, damp and cloudy day. A broad area of low pressure continues to spin over the northeast, sending scattered rain and snow showers over New England. During the daytime today, it will be warm enough in SE New England for just plain rain showers… Rainfall totals should be under 0.25″.
With the drier stretch overnight, water levels at the Pawtuxet River crested at about 9.1ft, just slightly over the 9ft flood stage. Water is receding and levels are below flood stage, leading the National Weather Service to cancel the flood warning. However, a FLOOD WARNING has been issued for the Pawcatuck River in Westerly. The river is affected not only by rainfall but also by the tide cycles… and with water levels close to flood stage from yesterday’s heavy rain, some minor flooding is possible around the 10:30am high tide. Water levels are expected to recede after high tide.
Pawcatuck River Water levels
We’ll be keeping an eye on the radar overnight, with the potential for rain showers to transition to light snow showers. As temperatures fall, we could see some slick spots develop for the Friday morning commute.
The storm system responsible for this stretch of unsettled weather will slowly drift east through the weekend. Extra cloudiness and even a sprinkle or flurry is possible over the weekend… but without a winter storm bearing down on our area, it looks like the nicest weekend we’ve seen in about a month!!
It’s been a pouring rain all morning, leading to water-logged streets and poor drainage flooding, rough timing for the evening commute—but on the bright side, at least you don’t have to break out the scrapers and shovels.
As the steady rain tapers to lighter showers and drizzle this afternoon, rainfall totals may top 1″ in spots. Unlike other storm that are in and out in a day, this storm is going to linger… and linger… and linger…. giving us a stretch of unsettled weather for Thursday and Friday. The storm will weaken as it hangs around, so just intermittent showers expected by Tonight and into Thursday and Friday. An abundance of clouds and chilly temperatures will make for a dreary finish to February, though.
Good news for weekenders…. we still have a storm-free weekend on the way with partly sunny skies and slightly below average temperatures.
Enjoy today… it will probably be one of the nicest days this week. Part of the same storm system that brought the record blizzard to the deep south will be delivering a soaking rain to southern New England. The rain may start with a period of snow/sleet after midnight tonight.
Ahead of the messy weather, we’ll see a mix of sun and clouds today and slightly warmer than normal temperatures with of 42-46.
Overnight we’ll see the wintry mix arrive before warmer air moves in and “plain rain” takes over by early Wednesday morning. Winds from the ESE with gust to near 40mph at times through early Wednesday and could pile up the water along the south coast of RI. That could mean minor coastal flooding at the 8:30am high tide. Nothing major, but definitely something to watch along our vulnerable south coast. Here are some details:
– Wintry mix after midnight, quick change to plain rain for most. Snow/sleet may linger NW RI where a small slushy accumlation possible
–Heavy rain Wednesday… especially before 3pm… around 1 inch of rainfall leading to localized street and poor drainage flooding
Precipitation Totals by Wed Night with about 0.5″ to 1.25″ of QPF Per the 06z RPM model
–Showers linger on Wednesday night, Thursday and possibly into Friday as our storm system slowly creeps off-shore.
–As cold air drains in behind the slowly departing storm later Thursday, the rain showers may mix with or change back to wet snow showers. Some small accumulations are possible Thursday night into early Friday
This morning there remains some uncertainty with where the rain/snow line ultimately sets up. It’s a fine line between a heavy, wet snow and a pouring cold rain…. and our computer models continue to struggle with where that changeover will occur. That’s the reason why accumulation amounts are tricky in Southern New England.
There is less cold air around than the last 2 weekend storms and a track closer to the coast both support more of a snow-to rain-back to snow scenario. Our 06z early morning runs of the NAM and GFS computer models this morning are showing a slightly colder set-up, with a burst of accumulating snow on the back side of the storm on Sunday morning. That’s when the bulk of our accumulations will occur. Combine the wet snow with gusty winds and there could be some isolated tree damage and power outages in our area—certainly nothing to the extent we saw with the Blizzard two weekends ago. If the storm doesn’t intensify and there’s not a burst of snow on Sunday, then our accumulations would be much lower.
Here’s my updated accumulation map for the weekend:
It still looks like the highest accumulations from this storm will be in central New England.
Can we go 3 for 3 with weekend storms? Last two weekends have had southern New Eglanders hunkering down as snow and wind whipped through… and our computer models are suggesting it may happen again. In fact, all of the overnight computer models were forecasting a coastal storm moving southeast of our area over the weekend… with the most likely time from Saturday night into Sunday.
As is typical 5-6 days out, the computer models are all showing the storm, but the track, timing and intensity are different… leading to a variety of possible solutions–from a soaking rain to a plow-able snow. Here’s the latest morning run of the GFS model, showing a scenario of rain changing to snow.
12z GFS Valid at 1am Sunday
One thing is certain, the weather pattern remains an active one. And not just for this week–but possibly into early March.
After the weekend snow and a frigid Monday, it’s hard to believe that the next system to make it’s way into southern New England will deliver rain.
However, temperatures will warm significantly before the next batch of precipitation falls, enough so that it should be wet and not white.
We’ll begin to climb out of the deep freeze early tomorrow as temperatures quickly climb above freezing early Tuesday morning. We’ll continue the climb in the afternoon… into the mid to upper 40s with increasing clouds on a southwest wind. Rain will move in ahead of a cold front by about 5-6pm and continue into the first part of the night.
Temperatures will stay in the 40s early in the night before dropping into the 30s. Weather looks pretty quiet from Wednesday through Friday.
The weekend forecast continues to be a tricky one, as our computer models this morning are still showing a variety of tracks for an ocean storm Saturday into Sunday. The trend has been a track closer to our coastline, with potential accumulating snow. Here’s a look at two different accumulation maps from the GFS and NAM…
06z GFS Valid Sunday Night
06z NAM Valid Sunday Evening
the GFS shows moderate accumulations (5-10″) while the NAM shows all of the accumulations off shore. These are the two extremes…. the reliable ECMWF is in between, with a track close enough to bring several inches of snow by mid-morning. It’s still an evolving forecast, so check back in for updates. My early call is for 3-6″ of snow, though this is not a final forecast.
Lighter rain/snow showers during the day, little to no accums
Turning Heavier at Night, Moderate Accums during this time
Tapering off Sunday morning
Poor travel Saturday night and Sunday Morning
Not as significant as Blizzard. Widespread power outages are not expected
Temperatures fall, winds pick up on Sunday. Some gusts over 40mph possible by evening.
For snow-weary Southern New Englanders I have a bit of good news. The threat of significant accumulations from our next weather disturbance for Wednesday night is diminishing this morning. The overnight and early morning computer guidance are shifting the storm track further off-shore… keeping the bulk of accumulating snow over the ocean waters to our south. That’s the good news. However, it will likely still track close enough to give our area–particularly coastal communities– a period of light snow from Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. Here’s the latest run of the RPM model valid at 11pm Wednesday. :
RPM Model Valid 11pm Wednesday
Accumulations based on the latest track shifts southward would be small… a dusting to perhaps an inch or 2. If the trend off-shore continues, amounts could be even lighter.
A similar trend is developing for the weekend storm system, too. Our more reliable computer models have this storm south of the benchmark (40/70 lat/lon lines). If that storm track is correct our area would be spared any major accumulations. However, the weekend storm is a large and powerful storm and will need to be carefully monitored for any shift in the track.
We are still in the “height” of this storm, as another band of heavy snow is pinwheeling through RI and SE MA. It’s something we’ve been watching on radar over the last few hours as it brought very intense snow to central and eastern MA (>20″). It’s on the move, now and will be moving over our area through about 7am. We believe it could bring an additional 4-8″ of snow as it moves through. After that, conditions in RI will start to slowly improve, however, additional light to moderate snow showers are possible through late morning or early afternoon.
In addition, wind gusts of 40-50mph+ are still possible at times, continuing to create near whiteout conditions and leading to potentially more power outages and wind damage.
Temperatures have plummeted and are now in the ‘teens with wind chills below zero. It is brutal outside. Please stay safe. Eyewitness News will have coverage through the day starting at 5am. We’ll be streaming online and on-air (if you have power/cable). Keep sending us your storm reports and pictures at reportIt@wpri.com. Thanks!!
Our computer models are continuing this morning to show a major winter storm—a pretty classic nor’easter–impacting New England on Friday into early Saturday. It’s a storm that has the potential to be the most significant storm of the season, so far, for our area. While we’re feeling more confident that the storm will impact our area… there are still disagreements among our computer models about the track and intensity of the storm–and how much/how long/ how far north the mix with or changeover to rain/sleet will be. That is one of the trickier forecast details that has yet to be worked out, and it will affect our snowfall accumulations with this storm. The two main camps are the European/RPM models vs the GFS Model. The Euro/RPM is the colder/snowier scenario for southern New England:
06z RPM Accum Snow Through Friday Night
Yes–that’s 1.5ft to 2ft+ of snow for most of our area!
On the flip side, the GFS is continuing to show a warmer scenario, with snow changing to rain for much of southern New England for a time late day Friday into Friday evening. That means much less snow locally—heaviest snow would be farther north in MA/NH/ME.
00z GFS Snow Accums through Saturday AM
This model still shows 6-10″ for inland areas of RI… but only 3-6″ along the coast. Huge difference between the models, right? That’s why we’re going to continue pouring over the weather data over the next few days and keep you updated on the latest information. Here’s what we are thinking for timing/impacts:
Snow has been overspreading our area since this morning… and while the snow has been steady for several hours already, it’s not amounting to much. That should be the case as light snow continues to fall through this evening and tonight. The main concern will be for the coating of snow leading to slick conditions on untreated surfaces. Be careful walking on sidewalks, parking lots and, of course, driving today! Total snowfall accumulations by tomorrow morning will generally be under 1″ of snow. Though some isolated totals up to 2″ possible. This is being caused be a series of weak disturbances passing well to our south.
The main event this week, though, is focused on Friday. Our computer models this morning continue to be in disagreement with how a potential winter storm will evolve from Thursday night into Friday night. One computer model, the ECWMF, continues to be very bullish with the development of the storm. The 00z model shows a major winter storm impactng southeastern New England, with accumulating snow and potentially a period of a wintry mix along the coast. And the 12z GFS has just come in with a much stronger storm and a track much closer to the coast—much more in line with what the ECWMF’s been saying.
12z GFS Valid 7pm Fri
Other models are still weaker and further south… but are showing signs of trending towards the ECWMF. It’s still too soon to say, so stay tuned!
Temperatures will be chilly through the work week with afternoon highs running at or below average. While several weak disturbances will pass by southern New England over the next few days… the only potentially significant storm of note looks to be on Friday. Our computer models are still all over the place with the track and intensity of this storm, but if the European Model (ECWMF 00z) is correct, a major storm with a variety of precipitation types would be possible–snow-rain-sleet.
After the Friday storm system, a stretch of warmer-than-average temperatures looks likely heading into the middle of February. I have our temperatures climbing into the 40s by Sunday afternoon. The trade-off with the milder temperatures will also come some stormy conditions, too… so we could be looking at some rain mid-month. Here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s temperature anomaly forecast for February 11-17, followed by the precipitation probability:
Wow! What a morning! Torrential downpours and powerful winds knocked out power to more than 23,000 Rhode Islanders and lead to school delays and cancellations as well as numerous reports of wind damage all across New England. It was a strong cold front moving through this morning that was responsible for the damaging winds. Here are the latest wind gusts we’ve received as of 8:30am:
Peak Wind Gusts
And you can get the National Weather Service’s complete storm reports list here. And it looks like we’ve tied the record high for January 31, when we hit a high of 62° early this morning. That ties the record from 1988. Temperatures have already dropped in the 50s this morning, and we’ll be in the 40s by mid to late afternoon.
A warm front is heading our way… and it WILL bring milder weather for the middle of the work week. But before that happens, it’s going to be responsible for the messy weather heading our way this afternoon and evening.
We are expecting poor travel conditions for the evening commute as moderate snowfall and sleet will lead to reduced visibility and slick roads. Timing is everything… and the snowfall amounts will be light, but the impacts may be high.
Here’s what we’re looking at for today with the first flakes arriving after 1pm in RI and spreading east:
As temperatures warm this evening and tonight, the snow will eventually mix with and change to sleet, freezing rain and rain before tapering to drizzle after midnight. The changeover will occur first at the coast and then spread inland. Temperatures tonight are expected to hold steady or even rise a few degrees so that most areas are above freezing by 5am tomorrow. Prior to the change to rain/freezing rain, an inch or two of snow can be expected for most, with lighter amounts at the coast. On top of the snow will be a thin layer of glaze, adding to the slick conditions. Be careful this evening!!
Once the warm front moves through, temperatures will respond by climbing into the 40s by Tuesday afternoon and then well into the 50s by Wednesday afternoon! The warm-up doesn’t last long… a strong cold front will sweep through New England by Thursday morning and will bring back winter’s chill.
All week we’ve been tracking the potential for wintry weather tonight. We’ve been watching the development of an ocean storm. What we can tell you today is that:
The storm stays far out to sea and our area is only brushed by the outer edges of the storm
The storm intensifies AFTER it makes it’s closest pass to SE New England, again means lighter impacts
Snowfall accumulations will be small
We are looking at snow developing after 8pm and continuing into the pre-dawn hours of Saturday. In general the snow will be light, but small accumulations can be expected when you wake up on Saturday morning. Most of RI and Bristol County, MA will end up with a dusting to 1″ of snow. However, closer to the coast, there’s still a chance of up to 2″ of snow. It will be easy to clean up and should be over with before 7am on Saturday.
The snow is moving out, and the arctic air is moving in. This will be the coldest stretch of days we’ve seen so far this winter. In fact, I don’t have our temperatures climbing above freezing until next Monday!
As for the snow…. one band of heavy snow ended up clipping the south coast and Cape Cod yesterday evening… delivering about 3-5″ of snow. The second band of heavy snow that was anticipated over eastern MA and coastal NH and ME ended up positioned JUST off-shore.. so only the fish saw heavy snow overnight. It was a tricky forecast indeed! Here’s a map of the snowfall totals and some local storm reports we’ve received.
Snow Accums Map
Blustery northwest winds are driving in a batch of Arctic air today, with temperatures only making into the mid and upper 20s this afternoon, evening with mostly sunny skies. Wind chills are running in the single digits this morning and will still be in the lower ‘teens this afternoon. Winds diminish tonight, and clear skies, a fresh snow pack and dry air are all ingredients for ideal cooling conditions… setting us up for a frigid stretch of nights. I have temperatures next 3 nights dipping into the single digits.
Another ocean storm will be developing over the waters to our south on Friday and Friday night. It has the potential to bring us accumulating snow. There are still a lot of questions about the track and intensity of this storm and that will determine how much snow we see, and if there will be any sleet or rain mixing in (possibly at the coast). Check back in for updates!
Snow is still in the cards for tonight… and confidence is growing on enough snow to not only need the shovels, but to also cause problems for the Tuesday morning commute.
This snow will be a lighter, fluffier snow than the other snow events this winter so far… meaning it will be easier to clean off of your cars and driveways, but will also have a higher snow-to-liquid ratio. That will lead to it fluffing up and higher amounts than “usual” for the amount of precipitation we’re expecting.
Accumulation Amounts by Tuesday Morning
This updated accumulation map isn’t a big change from what TJ and Pete had over the weekend. It’s still a tricky forecast, as a slight shift in the track of the storm and the eventual location of a surface (Nor-Lun) trough over New England will determine where the heavier snow bands will set up. Some of our computer models are showing a heavier band possible along the south coast… so snowfall totals may still need to be adjusted, especially there.
Higher Amounts Possible at Coast
This morning the National Weather Service has placed RI and Bristol County under a Winter Weather Advisory with coastal MA still under a Winter Storm Watch. Check back in for updates throughout the day today.
Not everyone saw snow as a storm system tracked well south of southeastern New England overnight… but we did see some small accumulations (dusting to 1.5″ from coastal RI to New Bedford… and as much as 3-5″ on parts of the Cape and Nantucket). Just that little bit of snow, combined with tumbling temperatures lead to very icy conditions on untreated surfaces.
We’ve been receiving reports of icy side roads in Middletown, New Bedford and Westport… where a thin layer of snow was covering up an icy coating on the roads. Be careful!
The other big story for today is the much colder temperatures. Brrr! Plenty of sun, but it’s ineffective today. High temperatures will struggle to return to the mid to upper 20s… and gusty northwest winds will make it feel like it’s in the ‘teens.
Hold on… because the cold is BRIEFLY gone over the weekend. We’re back into the 40s during the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday along with dry and partly sunny skies. Winds will remain busy with gusts up to 30mph. If you are heading to the Pats game, make sure to layer up. We’ll start tailgating temperatures near 40F… but by game time we’ll be dropping through the 30s and eventually into the 20s. Add in the winds, and it will FEELlike it’s in the ‘teens.
Cold air will continue to rush in through Sunday night, and it’s looks like an extended stretch of mid-winter’s chill next week…. temperatures running below average from Monday through at least Thursday.
This year’s severe flu season has been making headlines this week as health officials have warned that this is one of the earliest and worst outbreaks of the flu in a decade. And even though your mom and grandma will scold you for leaving the house without a winter coat and (gasp!) not wearing a hat… research shows the weather won’t give you the flu. In fact, scientists say the ONLY way to get the flu is to come in contact with the virus that causes it.
Looking at the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high levels of the flu are not just found in northern/colder states right now, like RI and MA… but states like Texas, Florida and Louisiana are all classified by the CDC with high levels of Influenza like illnesses (ILI):
Flu Outbreak by State
The typical flu season runs from around October through April… and probably has more to do with the school calendar than the shorter, colder days. Research has shown that the flu spreads mostly from school-age children, who often have poorer hygiene and catch the virus because they are in close contact with one another. Then, they pass it along to adults.
The way the weather comes into play is to force people indoors…. more mixing, mingling and spreading of germs. That brings up the importance of good hygiene—washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, coughing into your elbow, limiting exposure, etc to help prevent the spread of the flu.
Now, my mom would adamantly disagree and swear that not only going outside with a wet head in the winter will condemn you to the flu, but that her homemade chicken soup is as good as Penicillin. And while she may not have the science to back up her claims, her hot soup always soothes a sore throat and a hat will make it more comfortable to be outside. Plus, even as an adult, it’s easier to do what she says rather than try to argue with her, especially when it comes to her grandchildren.
My son has a birthday on January 21… and he has repeatedly said that he wants and expects it to snow… enough snow to go sledding with his friends down our driveway. In his little mind, this is what happens on his birthday. Last season’s ONLY significant snow event in RI fell on January 21, throwing his original 3rd birthday party plans into disarray. The day instead became a “snowman-making-hot-cocoa-drinking-sledding-with-the-neighbors-party”. It apparently left quite an impression. He’s not old enough to comprehend that the mother he sees forecasting the weather on TV every morning doesn’t actually control it.
So as I look at the weather pattern for the coming two weeks, I not only have the job of figuring out when it will return to a colder, stormier pattern, but also if it will happen in time for Charlie’s birthday.
Right now, it looks like the ridge in the jet stream over the eastern US will hold through the middle of next week.
06z GFS 300mb Heights on Wed. Jan 16
Right now, I’m not seeing signs of any significant changes (a cool down) before the middle or maybe even the end of next week. It does look like cold air over the western half of the nation will start to advance east next week. So right now, I’d be leaning towards at or above average temperatures through probably the Jan. 17… but maybe a return to a cooler pattern by next weekend.
Temperature Outlook from Jan 15-21
The bottom line is, it’s still too early to say if Charlie will get his birthday wish… but for any snow-lovers looking for another healthy dumping of snow, the chances aren’t good over the next 7-10 days.
Brrrr! It’s the coldest morning since mid-January 2012. Here’s a look at this morning’s low temperatures:
Low Temperatures Today
And the winds, while light, were creating a “feel like” temperature–wind chill–below zero for most of the morning! The good news is that after today, the temperatures will start to moderate. Tonight’s lows will stay around 20F and high temperatures for Friday and the weekend will climb back to more average highs for early January, in the mid to upper 30s.
There are signs of a January thaw for next week… the “January Thaw” is a perceived, occasional warming of temperatures (well above average) that can happen in the northeast in mid-January. It does look to be in the cards by the middle of next week and perhaps beyond. Here’s the outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for January 8-12
The ingredients are coming together for a pretty good wallop in southeastern New England from a quick-moving but potent winter storm that will track up the eastern Seaboard and move south and east of Nantucket. It’s a position that puts inland areas of southeastern New England in an area that’s likely to see the heaviest snowfall amounts. The timing of the storm hasn’t changed… accumulation amounts were raised slightly from overnight… impacts are the same.
Here are the main bullet points to take away from this storm:
Snow/Mix arrives Mid-Day… very little accumulation before sunset
Mostly Snow North and West of Providence, Mix of Rain/Snow and Sleet South and East of Providence for a time in the afternoon before Changing to all Snow
Heavy snow after 5pm… Difficult Travel, Snowing at 1-2″/hr
Tapering off after midnight
One of the issues with accumulation amounts will be how far inland the rain/snow line moves. Where rain and sleet mixes in amounts will be held down, but where it stays all snow you can expect at least 6″ of snow. Even on the map where I have 3-6″ of snow, I’m leaning towards the higher end of that range–say 5-6″.
I’ve been analyzing all of the new weather data coming in through the morning, and there was a definite trend emerging… one that shows the storm center intensifying sooner and tracking more northwest (closer to the coast). Those are two ingredients that would increase our snowfall potential. I “upped” my forecast snowfall accumulations slightly to account for the new model information… but I didn’t want to go too crazy until we made sure this was a continuing trend. Here’s my latest thinking:
Saturday Snow Accums
With the storm tracking a little closer, there’s a better chance of some rain mixing in south and east of Providence… at least for a time Saturday afternoon and evening. As the storm intensifies, though, cold air should be dragged down and several hours of accumulating snow looks like even on Cape Cod. I do want to note that there are several computer models that are showing even higher snowfall potential– in the 6-12″ range. We’ll keep you updated if we decide to go with those higher amounts.
Another round of unsettled weather moves in to southern New England, and this time, the storm track favors mostly snow for our area.
Today is a “catch your breath” day with dry skies and diminishing winds in the afternoon. It will be chilly with highs in the mid to upper 30s. By late tonight, clouds start to roll in ahead of an area of low pressure developing off the NC/VA coastline. The storm looks to track south of our area, with light snow starting to fall by about mid-day. The snow will pick up in intensity late afternoon and evening before tapering off overnight. Along the immediate coast, Cape and Islands the snow may mix with or change to rain for a time.
The storm system is a fast mover… and there’s a few variables in play for determining how much snow we will get. One is the storm track…. right now it looks like the storm will be just outside of the 40N/70W “benchmark” for southern New England snow storms, keeping the heaviest of the precipitation just off the coast. Only a slight shift in the track northward would bring heavier amounts into RI/SE MA. Another factor is when the storm intensifies. Latest guidance has the storm intensifying AFTER it’s made it’s closest pass to us… again, sparing the area a blockbuster storm. If the storm intensifies a few hours earlier, our amounts could be heavier. A third factor is the rain/snow line. Right now, the guidance I’m looking at keeps most of our area cold enough for snow… but if the rain/snow line creeps north and we see more of a rain/snow mix, then our amounts would be lower.
The overnight computer model guidance were all in good agreement with the track of the storm and QPF (quantitative precipitation amounts) between .25 and .42″… which brought me to my 2-5″ snowfall forecast.
Snow Accums Forecast for Saturday-Sat. Night
06z NAM Snow Accums
The bottom line is that we are still trying to iron out some important details, and you’ll want to check back on the WPRI website for additional updates. Most likely, our area will see a plow-able and shovel-able snow… probably the heartiest snow event of the season so far for most of RI/SE MA, except perhaps for northwestern suburbs.
With bright, cold morning sunshine greeting us today.. all appears quiet. However, there is a major storm system making it way into the northeast today… one that will have a variety of weather threats. For southern New England, this will be a storm that will bring mostly a windswept rain. By the time the storm lifts away around 1-2″ of rain will fall across RI and southeastern MA.
The cold air that greeted us this morning will slowly fade under a strong easterly-northeasterly wind this evening and tonight. While our area may briefly begin with a mix of sleet or wet snow as the precipitation begins (between 7-11pm), a quick changeover to plain rain is expected. The exception to that, locally, will be far northwestern RI. Updated computer models this morning are indicating that there may be wintry weather into the early hours of Thursday morning (maybe until 2-3am). That’s the area–Cumberland, Burrillville, Foster, Smithfield–that could see a few inches of accumulation, while the rest of southern New England sees little to no accumulating snow.
Accums through Tonight
This will be a storm that produces white gold for ski areas from the Berkshires to VT and NH… with some spots picking up near a foot of snow! Perfect timing with the holiday week!
GFS Snow Totals through 7pm Thursday
The other component with this storm will be the strong winds. Winds will be howling late at night, and areas south and east of Providence are under a high wind watch. East-northeast winds will be sustained around 25-35mph with gusts 45 to near 60mph. Isolated power outages and wind damage are possible.
Merry Christmas! After a lack of snow through most of December, we’re going to get a little burst of wintry weather… just as Santa makes his rounds tonight.
The National Weather Service has placed RI and most of SE MA under a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY from 10pm tonight until 10am on Christmas morning. The concern is that light snow and freezing rain will lead to slick conditions on untreated roadways and sidewalks.
Winter Weather Advisory
The snow should begin near midnight and continue until about mid-day on Christmas. Towards the coast, temperatures will warm enough to see mainly rain, and and little to no accumulation is expected. Away from the coast a coating to an inch or 2″ of snow can be expected… with higher amounts further inland.
Snow Accums through Christmas Day
The active weather pattern continues into the end of the month, with 2 more storm systems in the line up this week. After a dry “day” on Wednesday, rain will move in Wednesday evening and night.. it may be cold enough for a brief period of a wintry mix before changing to a plain, soaking, raw rainfall through Thursday. By the weekend yet another storm is in the works. Right now, the timing looks to be Saturday evening through Sunday… with a wintry mix or rain.
While the weather in southern New England will be quiet today, we’re tracking a significant storm moving across the central part of the US. It’s a storm that’s brought blizzard conditions to the northern Plains and severe weather to the deep south. In fact, there are reports of a tornado overnight near Mobile, AL. That entire storm system will push east, and send a windswept rain into southern New England… right as we mark the arrival of the Winter Solstice at 6:12am EST.
The national weather service this morning placed areas south and east or Providence and Boston under a High Wind Watch this morning. The watch was issued due to the potential for southeast wind gusts up to 40-60mph. Winds of that strength could lead to downed trees and power lines, possibly causing isolated power outages.
High Wind Watch
The rain will be heavy at times from late morning into mid-afternoon (10am-3pm) and an isolated thunderstorm is possible. Many areas will end up with around 1″ of rain. Behind the storm, cooler air will drain in… and other than a few lingering flurries or sprinkles on Saturday the weather will be quiet leading up to Christmas.
I still think our chances of seeing a white Christmas are slim…. but maybe not completely non-existent. Some of our computer models are continuing to show a very week system passing close to our coast early on Christmas day…. while there’s a good chance this will miss us… if it tracks in the right spot, we could see some snow showers or flurries. It’s the sort of weather that would add to the ambiance… but shouldn’t foil travel plans.
High pressure is sitting firmly over the northeast, keeping the weather quiet and dry for the next few days all across southern New England. Enjoy it. Our luck runs out starting on Sunday.
The weather pattern at that point will begin to shift, with a trough–or dip–in the jet stream developing over the central and eastern part of the United States. That will send storm centers towards New England… with one, or possibly 2 systems impacting our weather between Sunday and Wednesday. There’s not an abundance of cold air to work with, so major snows don’t look likely for southeastern New England. However, there may be enough cold air to allow for some wintry weather to mix in at times. The track of the storm systems will be key in determining how much wintry weather our area sees. Best chance of a plow-able snow will be well north of our area, and ski country in VT/NH should get a much needed pre-Christmas boost.
Probability of Precipitation from 12/18-12/22
The way things look right now, there may be some light snow and rain early on Sunday before transitioning to plain rain showers… mostly just a cold rain is expected on Monday and Tuesday, with a potentially more significant storm on Wednesday that could bring both rain and snow and gusty winds. During this stretch the precipitation “type” is not written in stone, so be sure to check back for updates on the forecast through the weekend.
It’s an unsettled, but rather mild start to the work week with showers, drizzle and fog continuing to push through southeastern New England. As of 11am, a warm front had already moved through most of our area, sending temperatures soaring into the upper 50s and low 60s with a breezy southwest wind.
Unfortunately, we’ll never get to enjoy the mild air under anything but a cloudy and damp sky. Once a cold front sweeps through tonight, the showers will end and cooler temperatures return (though still slightly warmer-than-normal) for Tuesday. The drier, and a bit cooler weather will continue into the end of the week. Carrying on with the trend so far this month, any cool down is pretty wimpy… with afternoon highs close to 50 by the end of the week.