T.J. Del Santo

What a Difference a Day Can Make

April 16th, 2014 at 1:53 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Mark Twain said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait 5 minutes, and it will change”.  He’s not kidding! We’ve seen wild temperature swings during the past week.    We were in the 70s three out of the past 6days, but a strong cold front took care of that as cold temperatures arrived after heavy rain, strong winds and some wintery precipitation blew through the region.

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Here are the 24 hour temperature differences between Tuesday at 11am and Wednesday at 11am.


Pretty dramatic!



Lunar Eclipse Early Tuesday Morning

April 14th, 2014 at 11:09 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Weather permitting, we’ll be able to see a rare treat in the skies early Tuesday morning — a Total Lunar Eclipse.

Courtesy: NASA

Courtesy: NASA

In this astronomical set up, the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, with the Earth casting a shadow deep into space.  The moon will pass into that shadow and will appear to slowly disappear before culminating with a reddish glow.   It will happen early in the morning, but it would be worth waking early for a look.


Here’s the timeline…

1:20am: The moon begins to fall into the outer part of the shadow called the penumbra.  It’ll take awhile before you’ll be able to notice the moon moving through this part of the shadow.  You may notice the moon starting to look a little dimmer.

1:58am:  The partial eclipse begins.  This is when the moon begins to move into the darker part of the shadow — the umbra.  A reddish/blackish shadow will move across the moon.  What will be interesting to watch is how dark the sky becomes.  Stars which you didn’t see earlier in the night will begin to appear as a “second night” develops.

3:07am: Total eclipse begins.  This is when the moon’s disk is completely within the umbra.  If you were standing on the moon, the sun would be completely blacked out by the Earth.  From the Earth’s perspective, the moon will have a reddish-orange glow.

3:46am: Mid-eclipse.  The moon is in the middle of the umbra…the darkest part of the shadow.  The moon will likely continue to take on a reddish-orange look but could be greyish, as well.

4:25am:  The total eclipse ends as the moon is completely out of the umbra and partial eclipse begins again.

5:33am: Partial eclipse ends as the moon passes out of the penumbra shadow.


Courtesy: Bob Horton, Brown University

Courtesy: Bob Horton, Brown University

What causes the reddish look to the moon?

It’s the same effect that causes the reddish sunrises and sunsets — refraction, which is the bending of light by the Earth’s atmosphere.  Other factors can influence the color including cloud cover, pollutants and volcanic ash.  A clear sky would produce a bright eclipse, while clouds, pollutants and ash would create a darker red or almost a black-look to the moon.

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Of course this is very weather dependent.  There will be a cold front working through the Eastern part of the United States Monday night and early Tuesday morning.  This will bring lots of clouds to Southern New England.  However, it is possible that there could be some breaks in the clouds early Tuesday morning.  It’s worth waking up to check on the sky, because the some clouds could create a neat, spooky-look to the blood-red moon.  If you miss it, don’t worry, there’s another lunar eclipse not too far away…on October 8th of this year.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Mild Again on Sunday…with Some Changes

April 12th, 2014 at 11:12 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

After a beautiful Saturday, we’ll see another very mild day on Sunday with some slight changes.

A warm front to our north will cause some rain showers in Northern New England; meanwhile another warm front will lift across Southern New England during the afternoon on Sunday. 


This second front will bring more humid air over the relatively chilly ocean water.  This will cause the air to cool and with the higher humidity in place, low clouds and fog could form more readily.  Expect low clouds and fog to develop during the afternoon and evening along the coast line.  (more…)

Play Ball !!! Opening Night at McCoy

April 3rd, 2014 at 11:34 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Thursday night is the home opener for the Pawtucket Red Sox, and the weather will cooperate….by April standards.  First pitch is at 7:05pm at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.  The PawSox will be facing the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in their first game of the year.


High pressure is nosing down from Canada.  This high pressure ‘ridge’ is promoting dry and pleasant conditions here in Southern New England.   With high pressure, you get sinking air, and with sinking air it is tougher to make clouds and precipitation.   There are some high clouds off to our west today, and we may see some of them arrive during the game, but we’ll stay dry.  You can leave the umbrellas and ponchos at home.


Coldest March in 30 Years…and One of the Wettest

April 1st, 2014 at 1:46 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We can probably all agree that March was very cold.  Temperatures through the month were frequently well below average.   In fact, 21 out of the 31 days in the month, we had below average temperatures.   Eleven out of those 21 days were 10° or more below average.

Despite the very cold month, it wasn’t the coldest March on record for Providence.



Afternoon River Check

March 31st, 2014 at 1:33 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Little weather nugget for you….Despite all the rain on Sunday (4.14″), Providence didn’t break the daily record. The record for March 30th? It was during 2010′s historical floods when we got 5.32″ on March 30th, 2010.

We certainly aren’t looking at historical flooding here in Southern New England, but it only takes a couple inches of water to ruin a nice basement….that will make it historical for anyone (trust me, I know).

Many small streams and brooks continue to overflow their banks this afternoon…remember never let kids play near a swollen river/stream.

Here’s an update on some of the larger rivers in the area…

Blackstone River at Woonsocket


Minor flooding was occuring as of early afternoon, but a slow drop in water levels is expected through the evening…likely falling below flood stage this evening.

In a minor flooding situation, here’s what can happen (according to the National Weather Service)




A Look at The Rivers

March 31st, 2014 at 11:07 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

After 3 to 5″ of rain fell Saturday night and Sunday, we continue to see concerns along the rivers.  Here’s are the hydrographs from some of the rivers which are seeing flooding.  Please note, not all rivers have gauges on them, so we can’t pinpoint when some of them will flood.  Smaller rivers and streams especially could see some flooding through the afternoon.


In Westerly and in bordering Connecticut towns, there is moderate flooding occurring this morning, but levels are expected to drop slowly through the day…and should go below flood stage on Thursday.


Winds Stay Strong and Gusty All Day

March 26th, 2014 at 9:36 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Amazing spring-time storm.  First take a look at this visible satellite picture of the storm.  This is courtesy of NOAA.


You can make out the classic comma-shape to the storm.  In addition, you can see a swirl of clouds into the center of the circulation –  even an eye-like feature near the center.  The system continues to undergo the “bombogenesis” process — that’s where the central pressure drops at least 24mb in 24 hours.  This storm has nearly doubled that! At 8am, the central pressure was nearly 965mb.   In comparison, Hurricane Bob was 964mb when it blew through Newport, back in 1991!!! 


Storm Remains on Track

March 25th, 2014 at 11:15 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We are still expecting a tremendously powerful storm to pass well southeast of New England early Wednesday.   As I type, it is undergoing a rapid intensification process called bombogenesis.  That’s a pressure drop of 24 millibars in 24 hours.  This storm will almost double that pressure drop! Super bombogenesis! While it will be well offshore, it will still be close enough to give us some snow and very strong winds.

Here’s the breakdown….


We’ll see the snow develop around midnight tonight, and as the storm gets a little closer, we’ll see the snow get steadier and heavier.   The heaviest of the snow will stay offshore, but Cape Cod will get quite a wallop.  During the morning commute on Wednesday, the snow could be falling heavily at times.  The snow tapers off by around noon in Rhode Island, but it will linger longer over the Cape.  Winds pick up late tonight and remain strong and gusty through Wednesday.

There will be many impacts due to the snow and wind.  The most severe of the impacts will be over the Cape and Islands where blizzard conditions are expected.




Strong Winter Storm Tue Night/Wednesday

March 24th, 2014 at 10:42 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

This upcoming storm is a very unusual storm for March, but certainly not unprecedented.  The arrival of bitterly cold air into Southern New England Sunday night will help to create this very powerful storm.  The worst of the snow/wind is expected to remain to the east of Rhode Island. 

Here we will discuss, the Watches in place as well as the potential impacts the storm will have on us…including snow accumulations.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Newport County in Rhode Island and Bristol and Plymouth Counties in Massachusetts.  A Blizzard Watch is in effect for Cape Cod and the Islands.


In this case, a Winter Storm Watch means that there is the potential for 6″ or more of snow in the areas in blue above.  The combination of strong winds and a period of heavy snow could create difficult driving conditions late Tuesday and Wednesday.

…continue reading…


Spring Arrives Thursday Afternoon

March 20th, 2014 at 11:48 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It’s been a rough winter, and we need spring! We’ve had prolonged stretches of bitter cold with a few weeks of non-stop snow storms.  My shovel broke from shoveling so much, and my back isn’t far from breaking, too! We’ll get a step in the right direction Thursday afternoon when spring arrives.


At exactly 12:57pm EDT, the sun’s geometric center shines down on the equator.  That is the moment when spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn begins in the Southern Hemisphere. 


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Dry Today, Rain Tonight

March 19th, 2014 at 12:52 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’ve been dry so far this week, but we’ve got some rain headed our way tonight.  With the later sunset times (6:57p tonight), I’ve noticed more and more people going out for a walk in the evening.  Any showers should hold off until after dark, so an evening walk/jog looks okay.


An area of low pressure moving through the Great Lakes will pass to our north through Thursday.  Its associated fronts will bring some some rain showers to Southern New England Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.  The rain likely won’t begin until after 8pm.

Initially, there could be enough cold air in place that the precipitation begins as some wet snow in our northern suburbs.   The output from the RPM Computer Model shows this nicely….notice the little blip of blue in the high elevations of northwest RI.  Any snow won’t last long and won’t accumulate.  Milder air will move into the region and force any precipitation to be in the form of rain in Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts.



Can We Go Back to 2012….Please!?

March 18th, 2014 at 12:59 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We need a time machine.  Hello?! McFly!? Can we set the time circuits on the Delorean to March 18, 2012, please?  We need a prolonged period of warm weather ASAP!  Look at the stretch of warm weather we had beginning 2 years ago today.


Doesn’t that look amazing? Unfortuntely, we are stuck with 30s, 40s and just one 50° day in the next 7days.  Why such a large difference? It all comes down to the jet stream.  While it can be complex as to how the jet stream gets its orientation, it is the shape and position of the jet stream that in the end makes the difference.


Luck of the Irish With Us Today…Warming Trend Ahead

March 17th, 2014 at 12:59 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The luck of the Irish was with us this morning as we dodged some significant snow.   Actually, we expected the snow to stay away — Pete Mangione said through the weekend that outside of a few flurries, the snow would remain offshore.   Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radar from Monday morning shows the snow offshore; although Nantucket did see some flurries.


What we didn’t get, the mid Atlantic did! Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. were hit pretty hard by snow early Monday.  In fact, Reagan National Airport was shut down for awhile due to heavy snow.  Some flights out of TF Green Airport to D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia were cancelled due to the snow to our south.



Record Low Temperature Tied This Morning

March 14th, 2014 at 8:41 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It was a frigid start to our Friday.  How cold was it? Our northern suburbs were in the single digits around sunrise, but in Providence, we tied a 66 year old temperature record.  At 5:36am, the temperature briefly dropped to 12° at TF Green Airport where the state’s climatological records are kept.  The weather information dates back to 1904.




Snow Totals Across New England

March 13th, 2014 at 1:38 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Quite a bit of snow fell across New England since Wednesday.  As expected, the snow was measured in feet in Northern New England.  Here’s a look at the maximum snowfall totals for each state across the region. Extreme_Snow_Social


Radar Update

March 13th, 2014 at 9:23 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Radar showing light to moderate snow filling in across the area, especially in northern Rhode Island and Bristol County, MA.  Visibility will be reduced, at times and some roads are becoming covered in a coating of snow.  Winds are gusty and some blowing snow is likely to reduce visibility, as well.  In general, a coating to an inch of snow is possible up to noon.

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Once a piece of energy in the upper-levels of the atmosphere swings to our east, the snow showers will wind down…again, around noon. 

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Slick Morning Commute

March 13th, 2014 at 6:35 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Slick morning commute! Please use extra caution.

Temperatures took an impressive nose dive overnight….one of the largest temperature drops I’ve ever seen.  Just before midnight, we were in the 50s and as of 6am it was 25°…a 27° temperature drop in 7 hours.  Amazing.  


Yesterday, we picked up 0.50 – 0.75″ of rain across Southern New England, and it was still raining as laste as 3am before the snow showers took over.  So, with all the moisture on the roads and plummeting temperatures, black ice will be an issue on untreated surfaces.  The highways have been treated well, but they are wet.  Side streets and your front steps could be treacherous.  Please drive/walk with extra caution.

To make things a little worse, we have some light snow falling across the area.  You can see on the Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radar snapshot at 6:17am (below) that we have bands of snow oriented northeast to southeast.  These bands will slowly exit the region through the morning….mostly done by noon.  However, a coating to an inch of snow is possible in spots. 


Spring Today, Winter Thursday

March 12th, 2014 at 11:48 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Dangerous Driving Conditions are Expected Thursday Morning

Big storm system winding up over the Ohio River Valley today.  It will move east-northeastward toward New York City and then Cape Cod.  As it heads our way, it will only slightly strengthen, but its effects will be quite significant in the Northeast U.S. including here in Southern New England.


We’ll see rain showers develop this afternoon (mainly after 3pm).  Those showers will become heavier and steadier through the evening commute. 



Wed/Thu Storm Concerns for S’rn New England

March 11th, 2014 at 11:07 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

This is a huge storm that will be impacting the Northeastern United States.   The impact on Southern New England won’t be as great as Northern New England, but I’m expecting some large impacts, especially Thursday morning.  We’ll talk about that in a bit.  First, look at the amount of snow expected in Northern New England.


1-2 feet is expected in a large swath from western New York through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.  There could be some isolated locations where 3feet is measured! Snow country will make out well in this storm…and the resorts could be open well into April!


Tuesday is the Pick Day of the Week

March 11th, 2014 at 6:23 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’ve got typical March weather this week.  This month is known for its wild swings in temperatures and weather conditions.  Make the most of today because it will be the best day of the week.  We’re going on a roller coaster ride temperature-wise into the weekend.

A cold front moving offshore Tuesday morning will allow drier air to filter into Southern New England.  West-northwest winds along with sunshine will allow for temperatures to climb well into the 50s. 


The computer models are forecasting highs in the 50s today, but they sometimes underestimate the temperatures this time of year.  I’ve noticed the models have a difficult time compensating for a process called compressional heating in the spring.  Compressional heating is the process where winds come down off higher terrain, and as the air sinks, it heats up.  Here’s what the RPM computer model has for temperatures Tuesday afternoon.



Wed/Thu Storm Looks More Wet Than White

March 10th, 2014 at 1:29 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’ve been watching this week’s storm for a week or so now.  As is usual with these storms, they are very track dependent.  This one is no exception. 


There are a number of scenarios that could play out as you can see by the graphic above.   We feel pretty confident that a low center will move over the Pennsylvania/Maryland border and head eastward.   Track #1 is consistently becoming the track of choice for most computer models — that’s a track north of New York City and across S’rn New England.  This would bring more rain to our area but some snow at the end of the storm.   The heaviest of the snow will likely be in Northern New England.  Tracks #2 and #3 are becoming less and less likely.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for western Massachusetts and areas to the north and west of there.  This means that there’s the potential for 6inches or more of snow in these areas.  However, some areas in Northern New England could be seeing a foot of snow. Great for ski country! 



Storm Grazes Us Into Early Saturday

March 7th, 2014 at 10:19 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Any time we have a storm near Cape Hatteras, we have to pay close attention to it.  At 9am Friday morning, an area of low pressure was just off the North Carolina coast.   Heavy rain was falling over eastern North Carolina and Virginia, while ice and snow was falling further inland.  Heavy ice accumulation was being reported on trees and power lines there, and thousands were without power Friday morning.


The cloud shield extends from the mid-Atlantic to New England.  The northern extent of the clouds is being halted right over us as the result of dry air overhead.

In fact, the day started beautifully in Providence.  We had an amazing sky just before sunrise with some of the high clouds already in place.

SKYCAM2_Social  (more…)

Temperatures Will Be Moderating

March 6th, 2014 at 1:46 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

After a brutal stretch of weather with temperatures staying well below normal for days on end, we are finally getting a warm up. 

Winds aloft will be from the southwest on Friday…a warmer wind direction.   Below is the 850mb map which shows a southwesterly wind flow at approximately 5,000 feet.  These winds will transport milder air into the Northeast and help kick out the Arctic air which has basically lived here most of this winter. 

GFS_MODEL_SocialWe’re not talking about 50s or 60s, but consistent temperatures in the 30s and 40s are better than 20s.  Also note that there is a circulation off the east coast on Friday.  This is a coastal storm that is expected to pass well to our southeast. However, we will likely be seeing some extra clouds in RI, and eastern Massachusetts may get some rain showers.


Snow Showers Wednesday Afternoon/Evening

March 5th, 2014 at 11:39 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We don’t see any major storms in the next 7 days, just some minor bouts of snow.  One of those little bouts happens Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Courtesy Accuweather

Courtesy Accuweather

A potent piece of energy in the upper levels of the atmosphere will drop southeastward out of Canada Wednesday afternoon/evening.  You can see it working into New York and Northern New England in the image above.  The strongest piece of this energy slides to our northeast tonight. 

Meanwhile, a cold front pushing through New England will move through Southern New England this evening.



“When Will It Warm Up?”

March 4th, 2014 at 12:51 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Interesting question from Danielle North this morning:  How many days this winter have we been below normal? I looked back through the data and found that during the period December 1st through March 4th we have been below normal 58 out of 94 days.  That’s 62% of the days since December 1st we’ve had a daily temperature below the average!

Here’s the breakdown by month

  • December: 16/31 days below average
  • January:  18/31 days below average
  • February: 20/28 days below average
  • March: 4/4 days below average

What is more interesting is the prolonged stretches and strength of the cold.  We have had multiple intrusions of cold Arctic air into New England this year including the effects of the Polar Vortex.  Pieces of the Polar Vortex moved southward during the winter resulting in bitterly cold air residing over most of the eastern United States.

Notable cold stretches this winter

December 7-18th: 12 day stretch of below normal temperatures including 6 days of 10° or colder than average.

December 31st to January 10th: 10/11 days below average including 5 days 10° or colder than average and one day of 20° colder than average.

January 21st – 26th: all below average including 6 days of 10° or more below average.

February 4th-19th: 15 out of 16 days below average with 4 days of 10° or more below average.

February 24th – March 4th**: 9 days below average including 6 days of 10° or more below average
**current 7day forecast calls for a stretch of below average temps into early next week.

So, we’ve had 30days when the temperature was 10-20° below average since December 1st.

Yesterday, I posted this graphic showing the Climate Predictions Center’s confidence in below average temperatures up until about St. Patrick’s Day….



Bitterly Cold Monday Night and Tuesday Morning

March 3rd, 2014 at 1:04 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

If you spent just a few seconds outside Monday, you’d think it was early January, not early March.  Old Man Winter still has his grip on the Northeastern United States.  Below are the noon time temperatures on Monday.  You can clearly make out the chunk of cold air hanging over the northeast part of the country.  In fact, temperatures are 20° below average in Providence today; 27° below average in Chicago; and 35° below average in Minneapolis!!!


Monday night will be another very cold night in Southern New England.  Temperatures will fall quickly after dark…from the 20s through the teens this evening.  Morning lows on Tuesday are expected to be around 8°. 



Bit of Snow This Morning Caused Minor Problems

March 3rd, 2014 at 11:07 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Although we were spared the big accumulations, we got just enough snow here in Southern New England that there were some slick roadways Monday morning.  In fact, there were reports of cars sliding off the road on Route 4 in North Kingstown and cars fishtailing on sidestreets in Middletown.

The accumulating snow began around 3am and continued until about 8:30am.  As anticipated, the highest accumulations were along the coastline.  Central and northern Rhode Island received very little accumulation. 

Here’ s a look at what fell in a few communities this morning…



Record-Challenging Cold and a Look Ahead to Monday

February 28th, 2014 at 9:44 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It’ll remain bitterly cold through the day on Friday with afternoon highs between 18 and 24°F.  Wind chills will still be between 5 and 15°, so it’ll be pretty uncomfortable to be outside for an extended period of time.  Dress in layers with a hat and gloves when you do go out.

An area of high pressure will be moving through the Northeast today.  Ahead of the high center, winds will still be blowing between 5-15mph.



Bitterly Cold Thursday Night/Friday Morning

February 27th, 2014 at 11:42 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The coldest day of this cold outbreak will be on Friday.  The day will start out with bitterly cold wind chills and afternoon highs will struggle to climb into the mid 20s. 

At 10am Thursday morning, a strong cold front was moving into western New York.  That front will move through New England late Thursday afternoon and evening.  Ahead of it, we’ll see some scattered snow showers and squalls.  A quick coating up to an inch of snow is possible in spots.


Behind this front is some bitterly cold  air.  Look at Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Fargo on the map below.  That is the air that is headed into the Northeast.  Fortunately, our low temperatures won’t be as extreme, but wind chills could be that bad.