T.J. Del Santo

Sandy: 2 Years Later

October 29th, 2014 at 1:08 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We didn’t take a direct hit from Sandy, but it was reminder (as was Irene the year before) of what hurricanes and tropical storms can do.  Sandy side-swiped Rhode Island, after it came up the East Coast and made an unusual left turn into New Jersey.  We were spared the worst, New Jersey and New York were not.

Parts of Rhode Island were still devastated.  Hurricane-force wind gusts battered the south coast.  A 3-5 foot storm surge inundated coastal communities and large waves eroded our fragile shoreline.

Hurricane Sandy off the East Coast
Hurricane Sandy off the East Coast

Here’s Sandy by the numbers:

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Double Show in Our Skies Monday Evening

October 27th, 2014 at 11:50 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

TUESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE:  The launch of the Antares rocket was scrubbed Monday evening due to a vessel within the launch zone.  The new launch time is set for 6:22pm Tuesday evening.  It will be visible in Rhode Island skies at 6:25pm, low in the southern sky (about 5° above the horizon).  The weather in Rhode Island won’t be as pristine as Monday evening’s weather.  There are lots of clouds out there, but if you have a good view of the southern sky, it’s worth a look.  Unfortunately, the International Space Station will not be visible in our skies this evening.

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For once, the weather should cooperate with something cool in the sky Monday evening — actually two things within minutes of each other.  We’ll have the opportunity to see a rocket launch and the International Space Station.

Courtesy:  NASA/Patrick Black.  Antares rocket on the launch pad.

Courtesy: NASA/Patrick Black. Antares rocket on the launch pad.

At 6:45pm, an Antares rocket is scheduled to launch from NASA’s Wallop Flight Facility in Virginia.  Approximately 3 1/2 minutes after launch, the launch will be visible in our skies.   It will be low in our sky, so you will need to go to a place with a clear view of the southern horizon.  The rocket will be visible only about 5° above the horizon.   Places where there will be a good view include

  • Misquamicut Beach in Westerly
  • Matunuck Beach in South Kingstown
  • Point Judith in Narragansett
  • Beavertail State Park in Jamestown
  • Brenton Point State Park in Newport

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Temperature Roller Coaster Ride This Week

October 26th, 2014 at 11:03 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The week ahead will feature significant ups and even more significant downs.  We are going on a temperature roller coaster ride during the next 7days.  And if you don’t get dizzy from that, the remnants of a tropical system, which was near Hawaii last week, could affect our weather this week!

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The first half of the week will feature a nice warm up.   The average high temperature for this time of year is 60°F and that’s where the work week will start.  A warm front will be approaching on Tuesday.  As the warm air edges closer, we’ll see some extra clouds, and temperatures will begin to rise.  After the warm front passes, Wednesday will be a little milder and a tad more humid, too.

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Also on Wednesday, a cold front will approach the area, and with it we’ll get some showers.   Behind the front, temperatures will fall below normal for Thursday…into the 50s.

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Rain Check!

October 24th, 2014 at 10:03 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The Nor’easter which has been plaguing us with rain, wind, clouds and chilly temperatures is slowly pulling away from New England this morning.

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The low will be up in Nova Scotia, Canada this afternoon.  In its wake, drier air will return to Southern New England.  Today (Friday) will be a transition day as we will still have lots of clouds in our skies this afternoon.  The skies will clear tonight, and we’ll get a beautiful weekend.

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Freeze Watch Sunday Night – Monday Morning

October 18th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

What will likely be the coldest air of the season, so far, will move into Southern New England Sunday into Monday.

Strong northwest winds will usher in this cold beginning Sunday morning.  Temperatures on Sunday will be 15-20° colder than on Saturday when highs were around 71.  We’ll probably see more in the way of sunshine Sunday afternoon, but it will be ineffective sun as temperatures won’t budge much.

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Northwest winds will be gusting as high as 30mph in the afternoon, and wind chills will be dipping into the 40s.  Those winds are expected to quiet down on Sunday night, and the temperatures will be begin to nose dive into the low to mid 30s by dawn on Monday….even in Providence!

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Frost Advisory for Parts of S’rn New England

October 5th, 2014 at 11:45 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Clear skies, dry air and light winds are allowing temperatures temperatures to fall quickly.  Areas away from the coastline could see a frost Monday morning.  Communities in the advisory include Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Burrillville, Foster, Glocester and Scituate in Rhode Island; Blackstone, Uxbridge and Douglas in Massachusetts; and Sterling, Killingly, Putnam and Thompson in Connecticut.

Light southerly winds will likely keep the temperatures above freezing near the coast and in the big cities.   However, it would not surprise me if north and central Bristol County, MA and Kent County, RI get frosts.

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Wet Start to October

October 4th, 2014 at 10:42 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of Saturday evening, Southern New England was still in a moderate drought.  Recent rains may slowly bring us out of  ‘drought’ status, however.  We could be labelled as “abnormally dry” when the next drought analysis is released from the United States Drought Monitor.  If not this week, we will could be out of a drought by the end of this week.  That analysis from the U.S. Drought Monitor will likely come Monday or Tuesday.

There has been measurable rain each of the first 4 days of October.

  • October 1:  0.30″
  • October 2:  0.31:
  • October 3:  0.01″
  • October 4:  0.28″

That brings the monthly total (through Saturday evening) up to 0.90″.

Compare that number to all the rain that fell in September…

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September was the second driest on record, and we’ve been keeping track of Septembers since 1905.

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It’s a New Record!!

September 28th, 2014 at 4:54 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Most people who have lived in Southern New England their entire lives have never seen a September 28th as warm as this one.  A 71 year old temperature record has fallen at TF Green Airport, where the state’s climatological records are gathered.

For most of Sunday, the winds were very light out of the south and southwest, and temperatures stayed in the low 80s.  Late this afternoon, the winds turned westerly, and the temperature jumped a couple of degrees to smash the high temperature record for the date.

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High temperatures all over Southern New England were quite warm today, including 87° in Boston, 84° in Taunton and a toasty 80° in Newport.  Windsor Locks and Providence both set high temperature records for today.

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Monday will be a little cooler, but highs should still be well above average.  Mid to late week, however, temperatures will  likely stay in the 60s.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Near Record Warmth This Weekend

September 27th, 2014 at 11:55 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Saturday felt like summer outside.  From Newport to Providence to Taunton, temperatures soared into the 80s in the afternoon.

Here’s a look at the high temps from around the area on Saturday.

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That 85° mark in Providence was reached at 2:40pm.   That was 1° shy of tying the record for the date which is 86°.

 

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Most of Southeast New England in Drought

September 26th, 2014 at 12:13 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We got some rain Thursday into Friday, but for most of Southern New England, it didn’t do much to stop the dry spell.

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During the month of September, T.F. Green Airport in Warwick got 0.64″ of rain which is 2.60″ below normal.  This was after a fairly dry August when 2.70″ of rain fell…close to an inch below normal.   Something to note about that August rain:  most of it fell on one day…August 13th when 2.26″ fell leading to flash flooding.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is now classifying Rhode Island and Bristol County, MA in a moderate drought (tan color below).

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Autumn Officially Arrives Monday

September 21st, 2014 at 8:57 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The leaves are beginning to change color and the temperatures are getting cooler….autumn is upon us.   Autumn will officially be here at 10:29pm Monday evening — the time of the Autumnal Equinox.

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What is an equinox exactly? Equinox comes from a Latin word, aequus, which means equal — equal days and equal nights.   Astronomically, it’s the tilt of the Earth that causes the solstices and equinoxes.  The Earth is always tilted about its axis.  At a summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun.  In winter solstice, the Southern Hemisphere gets the sun’s more direct rays.  At the time of an equinox, however, the sun’s direct rays fall on the equator.  This year that exact time is 10:39pm.

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Big Waves and Rip Currents Expected Monday

September 21st, 2014 at 8:03 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

A fairly potent ocean storm passing to our south and east is creating some big waves.  These waves will have a big impact on our coastline on Monday.  This system is passing closer than Bertha, Cristobal and Edouard did this summer.  While the system is weaker, its proximity to Southern New England will create larger and more frequent waves.

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This low is non-tropical, but it has a fairly deep central pressure of 997mb and winds of 25-30mph with higher gusts. These winds are creating the big waves which will impact Southern New England’s coastline on Monday.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Advisory for Monday 8am-5pm.

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CVS Downtown 5K and Patriots Futurecast: Showers

September 20th, 2014 at 11:57 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Moisture was working its way up the coastline Saturday evening and it’ll  be here in Southern New England on Sunday.  Expect some showers in the area, but we are not expecting a washout.  The bulk of the rain should remain offshore.  That moisture is associated with an area of low pressure that developed off the Carolina coast on Saturday.

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We expect the showers to develop in Southern New England before dawn on Sunday.   These showers will be mostly around during the morning on Sunday and they should be fairly scattered in nature.

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Watching a Low Center off the Carolina Coast

September 20th, 2014 at 10:50 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We are watching an area of low pressure off the Carolina coastline very closely.  This steadily developed and strengthened through the day on Saturday.

Storm_Radar_650x366

If this low were to sit off the coast another day or so, this system could become a tropical storm.  As of 10:15pm Saturday, the winds around the center were strengthening.  This is some weather information from a buoy just to the northeast of the center.

Courtesy: NOAA/National Data Buoy Center

Courtesy: NOAA/National Data Buoy Center

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Cold Morning, Cold Tonight, Warmer Weekend

September 19th, 2014 at 11:24 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Brrrrr…..temperatures this morning were pretty cold (by September standards) throughout New England.  Here in Southern New England, temperatures were between 42 and 50 at sunrise…a little milder on the Cape and on the Islands.

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In Northern New England and Upstate New York, temperatures were winter-like…and it’s not even officially Fall yet! The low was 21° in Saranac Lake, NY!!

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Northern Lights Could Be Visible Friday Night

September 12th, 2014 at 11:44 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Some space weather forecasters are saying tonight could be the best opportunity for us to see the Northern Lights in over a year.   Forecasting this phenomenon is very difficult, but here’s how you may be able to see it tonight.

  • Wait until the sky gets dark
  • Get away from city lights
  • Look to the northern horizon
  • Be patient, check back through the night

The science behind the Aurora Borealis

Two powerful solar flares erupted from the sun on both Monday and Wednesday this week.  Material from these eruptions was thrown through space and toward Earth.  Material released from a solar flare is called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME).   That material is a plasma consisting of electrons and protons and sometimes helium and oxygen.

Here’s a movie of the X-Class solar flare on Wednesday from NASA:

 

The Earth’s atmosphere protects us from the large amounts of radiation from the sun; however there are times that power grids see fluctuations or damage.  Communication satellites could see disruptions and GPS units could briefly become unusable tonight.

A nice side-effect of these particles hitting the Earth is the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis.  Space weather forecasters from NOAA said in their “Space Weather Watch” that auroras are potentially visible from Pennsylvania to Iowa to Oregon.  We are at the same latitude as those states, so it is quite possible we could see the Northern Lights tonight.

The Northern Lights occur when the particles from the sun follow the Earth’s magnetic poles and interact with the gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.  That interaction causes the gases to emit light.   The most common color is a pale green.  On some occasions, other colors are present.

From the first eruption from the sun on Monday, Northern Lights were reported from Northern Michigan to Alaska Thursday night.   So, the atmosphere is already energized, and the one-two punch on consecutive nights could create an Aurora visible from Southern New England.   The strength of the Aurora can be measured by a number called the Kp index.  To see the lights from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, we typically need a Kp index of 7 to 8.   What makes Friday night/Saturday morning special is that some space weather forecasters are saying we could get a Kp index of 9!

 

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Birds Caught on Radar

September 12th, 2014 at 10:06 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

This morning around sunrise, Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radar detected a very large flock of birds over Connecticut.

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Tropical Storm Edouard Latest

September 12th, 2014 at 9:32 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Tropical Storm Edouard continues his trek across the Deep Tropics.  As of 8am, Edouard was approximately 1130 miles to the west of the Cape Verde Islands.  It was moving pretty quickly, too, at about 15mph, heading westward.

Currently, the tropical storm is battling some upper-level winds and dry air, but a slow strengthening is expected during the next several days…possibly intensifying into a hurricane over the weekend.

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Minor Earthquake in RI Monday Evening

September 9th, 2014 at 3:30 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

At 9:58pm Monday evening, there was a minor earthquake just off the west coast of Portsmouth…between Portsmouth and Prudence Island.  The epicenter was right near Portsmouth Abbey.

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It was a magnitude 1.5 earthquake.  Typically, humans don’t feel earthquakes below magnitude 2.0, but a minor earthquake near New Bedford earlier this year was felt by many people.  That one was very shallow.  The earthquake Monday evening was about 7miles deep, and it’s doubtful anyone felt this tremor.   There were no reports of damage.

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Cooler Temperatures Ahead

September 8th, 2014 at 12:19 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

After a very warm and humid couple of days here in Southern New England late last week, we are going into a relatively cool stretch of weather.  The average high temperature for the second week of September is between 74 and 76°F with average lows between 55 and 57°.   We’ll have a couple days when we could see temperatures get above normal, but in general, this will be a cooler than normal period.

The jet stream, a fast-moving river of air high above in the atmosphere will be dipping down across the United States this week.  The jet stream guides storm systems and batches of air around the world.

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Cold Front Almost in RI, Still Showers Through Midnight

September 6th, 2014 at 8:37 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 8:30pm, a strong cold front was almost into Rhode Island.  It’ll be passing through Southern New England by midnight.  With the front comes a continued chance of showers and thunderstorms.

deleteme

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Some downpours and possibly some thunder have developed just north of Providence…from North Providence into Pawtucket and Central Falls out to Mansfield.  These storms were moving east-northeast.  While the storms are bringing heavy rain to the communities in their path, they only have a slight chance of becoming severe.

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Once this front passes, there will still be the chance for additional showers, but they will likely not be severe.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


5pm Radar Update

September 6th, 2014 at 5:03 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 5pm Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radar was detecting a couple of decent-sized thunderstorms moving through eastern Connecticut.  These storms have been producing frequent lightning and torrential rain.  As of 5pm, I have not seen or (believe to be) any wind damage from these two cells.

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Severe Thunderstorm Watch Until 9pm

September 6th, 2014 at 3:16 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for all of Southern New England, except for the Cape and Islands.  A Watch means that there is the potential for severe storms in our area — the atmospheric conditions are favorable and becoming more favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms.

 

Weather_Alert_650x366The timing of storms in our area will be between 4 and 9pm.  These storms have the potential to bring:

  • torrential, flooding rains
  • damaging wind gusts
  • frequent lightning
  • hail
  • isolated tornado

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Strong/Severe Thunderstorms Possible Saturday

September 5th, 2014 at 8:34 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The air will be  stickier today as southwesterly winds transport higher humidity into the region.  The dew point temperatures (measure of amount of moisture in the air) will spike on Saturday in the low 70s.

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In addition, we will have a cold front moving through New England Saturday afternoon.  This front will serve as a ‘spark’ for the development of showers and thunderstorms.  The atmospheric ingredients are coming together for some of those storms to be strong to severe.

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Tornado in Worcester Sunday Evening

September 1st, 2014 at 12:03 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

UPDATE:  The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF0 tornado touched down in Worcester.  Officials found mostly tree damage and estimated the winds to be 85mph.

Here’s the initial blog post:
============================================

Between 8 and 8:30pm Sunday evening, what is believed to be a tornado moved through the city of Worcester, MA.  Judging by the damage being reported late Sunday evening, it was no where near as strong as the F4 that moved through Worcester in 1953, killing dozens of people.  This one was much weaker, but still caused some significant damage in the city.

Here’s the Doppler Radar image around that time.

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Notice the hook’ish look to this thunderstorm cell.  This shape to the thunderstorm is a classic signature of a supercell thunderstorm.  It’s a result of rain and hail (and sometimes debris) being wrapped around the storm.  Just because there’s a hook’ish look to the radar, that doesn’t mean there’s a tornado.

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Flood Advisory

August 31st, 2014 at 10:11 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Flood Advisory for parts of area until midnight.

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From the National Weather Service:

AT 956 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED AN AREA OF HEAVY SHOWERS
  AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS SOUTHERN RHODE ISLAND. RADAR INDICATED
  THAT 1 TO 2 INCHES OF RAIN HAS ALREADY FALLEN ACROSS THIS AREA AND
  AN ADDITIONAL INCH WILL LIKELY CAUSE MINOR URBAN AND SMALL STREAM
  FLOODING. OVERFLOWING POOR DRAINAGE AREAS WILL RESULT IN MINOR
  FLOODING IN THE ADVISORY AREA. THE AREA WAS MOVING TO THE EAST AT
  25 MPH.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE MINOR FLOODING INCLUDE
  DARTMOUTH...SOUTH KINGSTOWN...NORTH KINGSTOWN...NEWPORT...
  WESTERLY...PORTSMOUTH...MIDDLETOWN...FAIRHAVEN...NARRAGANSETT...
  TIVERTON...WESTPORT...HOPKINTON...CHARLESTOWN...RICHMOND...
  EXETER...JAMESTOWN...LITTLE COMPTON AND GOSNOLD.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Downpours Continue to Move Through Our Area

August 31st, 2014 at 9:37 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

 

Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radar continues to show numerous downpours moving through the region.  We’re not seeing much lightning, but some rumbles of thunder are possible through midnight.

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Sunday Evening Radar Update

August 31st, 2014 at 8:10 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

While some rain and isolated downpours were moving through Rhode Island around 8pm, another line of heavy rain was racing across Connecticut.   This area of rain will likely weaken a bit, but light to at least moderate rain is likely through 9pm in central and northern RI from this batch of rain.

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Also note there were some heavy downpours moving along the southeast coast of Connecticut at 8:07pm.  This will likely move across South County through 9pm.   These downpours could cause some brief street flooding.  Remember, NEVER cross a flooded roadway.

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Sunday Evening Rain/Thunder

August 31st, 2014 at 7:20 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radar was tracking some showers and thunderstorms moving through eastern CT and central Massachusetts around 7pm.  They were moving to the northeast between 30 and 40mph.   These storms have been producing some hail and possibly strong wind gusts.

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There has been frequent lightning with these storms as well.

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As this area of storminess works eastward, they individual storms will likely weaken as they work into Rhode Island.  Still, some heavy downpours and lightning are possible.  Some localized street flooding is possible as well.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Shower/T’storm Risk Today

August 31st, 2014 at 8:31 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Most of today will be dry, but there is the chance for an isolated shower or t’storm late this afternoon areas north and west of Providence. Daily-Graphic-2_650x366 Further north and west of RI, we are expecting some strong thunderstorms to develop and move eastward. The Storm Prediction Center (one of the many offices of the National Weather Service) has indicated that areas north and west of RI have an elevated risk of severe thunderstorms (area in yellow below).   Furthermore, that area could be seeing damaging winds, and there’s a slight risk of a tornado there. risk (more…)