T.J. Del Santo

Chances of a White Christmas

December 15th, 2014 at 12:08 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, but it’s not really looking a lot like Christmas.   Southeast New England still has bare ground.  Christmas is fast approaching and there are no snow storms expected this week.  However, our snow storm threat could begin to change next week.


First, here’s a look at the climatological chances of Southern New England getting a White Christmas — a White Christmas being when there is one inch or more of snow on the ground.


This is from data collected from 1981 to 2010.  More specifically, Providence has a 37% chance of seeing a White Christmas, while Burrillville has a 48% chance and Newport has a 25% chance of there being one inch of snow on the ground Christmas morning.

Here’s a look at some weather extremes for Christmas Day:

  • Snowiest:  2.8″ (1919)
  • Wettest:  1.68″ (1978)
  • Warmest:  63° (1964)
  • Coldest:  -10° (1980)


This week (through Saturday) looks pretty uneventful…especially as far as snow goes.  However, a pattern shift will begin to unfold over the weekend.  A shift in the jet stream will signal better chances for snow the week of December 21st.   For the past couple weeks, the jet stream has been (mostly) flat — more west to east.   Beginning Sunday, the jet stream will be taking bigger dips through the eastern United States.


Geminid Meteors Peak Saturday Night

December 13th, 2014 at 4:59 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

One of the best meteor showers of the year will peak tonight, and the weather looks like it will mostly cooperate — there may be some clouds to contend with (especially east of Providence).


The Geminids can be seen through the night, but are best seen after 10PM until about 4AM (EST).   We may have to contend with a last quarter moon which will rise in the east at 11:19pm in Rhode Island, but Geminid Meteors are usually very bright.  All you have to do is look up!

Courtesy: NASA

Courtesy: NASA

Note, the sky probably won’t look like the picture above.  Instead, you’ll likely see one meteor every few minutes.  You may see as many as 50 per hour! The picture above is a “photographic stack” of pictures.  What’s interesting to note in the picture is that if you drew a line along the path of each meteor, they all go back to the same part of the sky — the constellation Gemini.


Storm Update

December 9th, 2014 at 11:19 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 11am, we are seeing moderate to heavy rain across the region.  Radar estimates of rainfall rates are in the range of .10 to .50 inches per hour.



Heavy, Flooding Rains Expected Today

December 9th, 2014 at 6:42 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

While the morning’s commute featured icing issues, the evening’s commute could feature some lingering flooding issues.

We are expected to see some very heavy rain today.  We’ll see steady rain from 7am through 5pm, but the heaviest will be between 9am until about 4pm.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Southern New England.  This means that we are watching for the potential for flooding.  In this case, we could be seeing street and poor drainage flooding.  We’ll monitor the rivers and streams, but they should be able to handle this rain.  Once flooding seems imminent or occurring, the Watch will be changed to a Warning.



Strong Wind Gusts Today

December 9th, 2014 at 5:30 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As an area of low pressure moves northward today, we will be seeing some periods of heavy rain and strong wind gusts.  In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the wind gusts.


The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for coastal areas of Southern New England for strong wind gusts to 50mph from the east and northeast.



Icy Morning Commute

December 9th, 2014 at 4:07 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As you can tell by our SkyCam in Providence, it’s a little icy out there this morning.


For inland areas of Southern New England, this could be a tricky morning commute as freezing drizzle has created slick conditions in parts of our area.


Windy and Cold Sunday Ahead

December 6th, 2014 at 7:19 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

A frontal system will be pushing through the Northeast tonight.  With it, we’ll see periods of rain, some of which could be heavy.  Expect rain to continue through the night, ending before dawn on Sunday.



Orion: A Huge Leap in Space Travel

December 5th, 2014 at 1:12 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog


After several delays and an eventual scrubbed launch on Thursday, the Orion Spacecraft was once again prepared for a launch on Friday morning. orion_1


Done: 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season

December 1st, 2014 at 10:46 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season is done.  Complete. Fini!  Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th.  As expected, this hurricane season had below average activity.


There were eight storms given names, four storms below average.  Six of those storms formed into hurricanes (with winds of 74mph or greater)….the average is 6.4 hurricanes per season.  Of those six hurricanes, two became major hurricanes with winds of 111mph or greater.  The average is 2.7 major hurricanes per hurricane season.  In the list of names, we got to the ‘H’ storm, Hanna.


New Month, New Season

December 1st, 2014 at 9:41 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Welcome to Meteorological Winter! November, 2014 is in the books and with the start of December comes the beginning of Meteorological Winter.   To make data more manageable, meteorologists break seasons up by months as opposed to astronomical alignments.   It will officially be winter on December 21st.

November was a cool, rainy and a little bit snowy month in Rhode Island.



Wednesday’s Storm Could Bring Travel Headaches

November 24th, 2014 at 12:27 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

In Saturday night’s blog post, I wrote about the ‘possibility’ of a storm on Wednesday.  After looking at another day’s worth of data, I’m confident that we will see a storm on Wednesday.  Now, harder questions arise.  The biggest is what track will the storm take?



Rain/Wind for Monday Morning Commute

November 23rd, 2014 at 7:42 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The morning commute could be a slow one on Monday.  Rain, wind and coastal flooding could create some headaches.

A warm front will be lifting through New England.  Ahead of it, we’ll see rain/wind in the morning, some of which could be heavy/strong.  Behind it, we’ll get some very mild air.  Temperatures will soar into the 60s Monday afternoon! If we get enough sunshine, we could sneak up to 70!



Coastal Storm on the Wednesday Before T’Giving?

November 23rd, 2014 at 12:05 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

You may have heard some rumors about the possibility of a Nor’easter on one of the busiest travel days of the year…the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  The rumor is true.  There is the possibility of a storm which could disrupt travel from the Mid Atlantic to New England.

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Based on the latest computer models from Saturday evening, here is what we could be looking at.



Lake Effect Snow Machine About to Turn Back On

November 19th, 2014 at 4:46 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Sixty five inches.  Nearly five and a half feet.  That’s how much snow has fallen in the Buffalo, NY suburbs during the past few days.  And more…a lot more… is about to come.

Here are some snowfall reports from the National Weather Service in Buffalo.



Snow is piled up as high as doors and covering the tops of cars and roofs of houses.

Courtesy: Jessica Marie in West Seneca, NY

Courtesy: Jessica Marie in West Seneca, NY


Coldest Morning in Nearly 8 Months

November 19th, 2014 at 10:40 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It felt pretty uncomfortable outside this morning…and for good reason.  It’s been awhile since it has been this cold! This morning’s low temperature of 21° in Providence was the coldest temperature we have had in the capitol city since March 27th when the low was 20°.



Major Lake Effect Snow Storm in NY

November 18th, 2014 at 5:36 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The amount of snow that has fallen in western and northern New York is mind-boggling.  The recent blast of cold air, which has settled over the Northeast, is helping to create monster snow totals in parts of the Empire State.  As I type, 51″ of snow has fallen in Cheektowaga, NY!

During the morning, the National Weather Service in Buffalo wrote in their technical discussion that they are forecasting nearly 6feet of snow for Buffalo’s southern suburbs.

nwsbufThis is for good reason.  The band of lake effect snow was not moving at all, and it wasn’t expected to move out of the area until about 7pm EST.   Snowfall rates of 3 to 4″ per hour were reported and there was even some thunder heard in the area.


Here’s the MODIS satellite photo of the snow bands.



All 50 States at or Below Freezing This Morning.

November 18th, 2014 at 2:04 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

This blast of Arctic air is being felt by millions of Americans today.  Here in Rhode Island, busy winds and cold temperatures are creating wind chills well into the 20s.  Western New York is dealing with a tremendous lake effect snow storm; parts of Florida have Freeze Warnings; and even parts of Hawaii would give you goose bumps.

Across the country, every single state had a weather station with readings of 32°F or lower this morning.   Rhode Island, by the way, was the last hold out.  That’s typical…we were the last of the Thirteen Colonies to sign the Constitution, too!  Rhode Island’s freezing temperature came at 8:54am when the temperature hit 32.0°F in Chepachet, RI.

Here are some temperature readings from some typical ‘warm’ states:

  • Florida:  28°F at Bob Sikes Airport
  • Texas:  Amarillo 17°F at the airport
  • California:  Mammoth/June Lakes  7°F
  • Hawaii:   Mauna Kea: 30° at NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility



Strong Winds Expected Monday Afternoon/Evening

November 16th, 2014 at 5:34 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

A quick-moving, but powerful storm system will move through the Northeast tonight through Monday evening.

An area of strong winds will pass over Southern New England Monday afternoon and evening.  Winds could gust to 50mph from the southwest.  A Wind Advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service in Taunton for the Providence Metro Area and points to the south and east.


On the Cape and Islands, stronger wind gusts are possible.  Isolated power outages are possible everywhere.


Look for Meteors Next Few Nights/Mornings

November 15th, 2014 at 10:20 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

I saw a stray Leonid Meteor Friday evening.  It was very colorful, very bright and pretty large.  Unfortunately, meteors are fleeting, and I had no time to get a camera ready.  It was beautiful, though and you can see these meteors, too, for the next few days.

In the early morning skies of November 16-18, the Leonid meteors will make their annual appearance.  These meteors are famous for reaching ‘storm’ level when thousands of meteors could be seen per hour; however, these kind of shows don’t happen every year.  In fact, it’s about every 33 years or so when the number of meteors shows a significant rise.

Courtesy: Navicore/Wikipedia Commons.  A Leonid meteor in 2009.
Courtesy: Navicore/Wikipedia Commons. A Leonid meteor in 2009.

The Leonids are created from left over pieces of Comet Tempel-Tuttle.   This comet comes in and out of the inner solar system every 33 years.   As the comet approaches the sun, the ice melts and bits and pieces of the comet are left in space.   These particles are small–usually the size of a piece of dust or a grain of sand.  On a rare occasion, however, they can be larger.  As the Earth orbits the Sun, it passes through this debris.  The little bits of the comet burn up as they fall through the atmosphere, and we see the streaks of light.    The larger pieces of debris can create spectacular fireballs which can linger in the sky like fireworks. (more…)

Freeze Warning for Parts of Our Area

November 15th, 2014 at 10:00 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

In our area, the last area to see a frost or a freeze is Block Island.  The growing season is still technically ongoing on the island, and with another pretty cold night ahead, the National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for Block Island for Sunday 2-6am.   In addition, Nantucket also has a Freeze Warning for that same time period.


According to the National Weather Service, a Freeze Warning is issued when freezing temperatures are forecast to threaten outdoor plants.  Those with agricultural interests in the warning area are advised to harvest or protect tender vegetation.

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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Saturday: Coldest Day in 7.5 months

November 15th, 2014 at 7:10 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It was pretty cold today, there’s no doubt about it.  At sunrise, temperatures were well below freezing across most of the area.


It was a frosty start to the day, too.  I snapped these two photos of Jack Frost’s handywork up in Pascoag where the low was 23°.

frost_leaves Frost_Window


Landing on a Comet…History Made

November 12th, 2014 at 10:18 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Update:  Confirmation….Philae has landed on Comet 67P.  ESA scientists are trying to see if the lander is tethered to the comet.  However, the first image from a comet has been released.

Courtesy: ESA

Courtesy: ESA

Previous post:


History will be made this morning as the European Space Agency will be landing on a comet…the first time this has ever been attempted.  We’ve flown by comets a few times, but humans have never attempted to land a space craft on one.

The Rosetta spacecraft which has been circling the solar system for a decade was in orbit of Comet 67-P since August.  It took stunning pictures of the comet, which is currently past the orbit of Mars.  A suitable landing site was found in the past couple months and now history is about to be made.

The lander, named Philae, separated from Rosetta this morning.  Here’s a picture of Rosetta from Philae just after separation.

Courtesy: European Space Agency

Courtesy: European Space Agency

…and here is a picture of Philae from Rosetta.

Courtesy: European Space Agency

Courtesy: European Space Agency


Tale of Two Seasons This Week

November 9th, 2014 at 11:09 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

This week will likely average out to be pretty normal as far as temperatures go.  That is only because the first half of the week will feature above normal temperatures and the second half will feature below normal temperatures.  Our temperatures will go from mid-fall to early winter.

In previous posts, we discussed how ex-Typhoon Nuri in the Pacific Ocean would help create a powerful storm in the Bering Sea which would disrupt the weather patterns over North America.  The disruption in the atmospheric flow will bring much cooler air into the eastern half of the country.

This scenario is still playing out.  As the cooler air plunges into the United States, we’ll see the first significant winter storm of the season work across the country.  Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories are in effect from Idaho through Michigan.


These warnings/advisories are for heavy snow that will fall especially from South Dakota through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.



Colder Than Normal Stretch Ahead

November 4th, 2014 at 2:17 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It has always amazed me how a storm system on one side of the Earth can impact the weather on the other side.  This will be the case during the next 10 days.

First, here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for the next 6-10days.   The blue and red represent the amount of confidence the forecaster has in whether it will be cooler or warmer than normal.   Notice the higher confidence in cooler-than-normal temperatures in the eastern half of the country during the period November 9-13.


Part of the reason why is on the other side of the world.



Season’s First Snow

November 2nd, 2014 at 11:40 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Most communities in Southern New England saw snow on Sunday.  Most saw just snow flakes mixing with rain while others saw some accumulations.   The accumulating snow was mainly limited to Southeastern Massachusetts, and mainly on the grass and decks.

Courtesy Derek Adesso:  East Freetown Snow

Courtesy Derek Adesso: East Freetown Snow

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Here are some snow totals from across the area on Sunday.



Saturday Evening Storm Update

November 1st, 2014 at 6:58 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’ve seen some rain and gusty winds today and this evening, but the worst of the storm is yet to come.  I’m thinking the strongest of the winds will be between 2am and noon on Sunday.  The worst of the rain will be this evening until about 7am.  Here’s what to expect from the storm in a nutshell…

  • Rain, heavy at times
  • 1-1.5″ of rain possible.
  • Bit of snow possible inland early Sunday (no accumulation).
  • Wind gusts to 45mph possible in our area through Sunday.
  • Wind gusts to 60mph possible for E’rn MA through Sunday

Here’s how the storm will play out…

As of 6:30pm on Saturday, the storm was a broad and complex area of low pressure with multiple low centers off the coastlines of the Mid-Atlantic and New England.  The central pressure was approximately 997mb.  The storm will intensify through the night and develop into one main area of low pressure by morning.   We’re anticipating the pressure to drop to approximately 984mb by tomorrow afternoon.  A typical Category 1 Hurricane has a central pressure of 980mb.   This low central pressure combined with a strong area of high pressure to our west will create very strong winds in Southern New England through Sunday.


Again, the strongest of the winds will be early on Sunday as the storm is strengthening and making its closest apporach to Southern New England.   During this time, the rain will continue and may change to a little wet snow as cold air moves into the area late tonight.


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:


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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.