Tony’s Pinpoint Weather Blog

Back to School for Many This Week

August 25th, 2014 at 5:45 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

For many students, this is back to school week.   In Rhode Island, Barrington and Lincoln begin school today.   It looks like the weather will have little impact for those headed back to school during the next few days.


High pressure will be building into Southern New England today both in the low levels and upper levels of the atmosphere.  This is a weather pattern which usually promotes lots of sunshine.


Cristobal Could Affect Waters, but not Land

August 24th, 2014 at 7:35 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of Sunday evening Tropical Storm Cristobal had winds of 46 mph and was moving to the north at 7 mph.  There is a “dip” in the jet stream that seems to be interacting with the storm.   That is likely the reason it does not have that classic circular shape yet.  However, as the dip in the jet stream moves away, it’s likely that Cristobal will become better organized and turn into a hurricane.  However, this may not happen for several days.

Here is the Sunday evening track from the National Hurricane Center:



There are 2 important things to note.  First, notice how the red, hollow tropical storm graphic becomes a “filled in” hurricane graphic from Tuesday into Wednesday.  This makes sense given that the above mentioned “dip” in the jet stream should be gone that point.  Tropical systems don’t like dips in the jet stream, so once this moves away Cristobal will have a change to organize.

The second thing to note the sharp bend to the right on Thursday.  There is actually a second “dip” in the jet stream that will bring in a cold front around this time.  This should help push Cristobal out to sea and keep it well offshore from southern New England.  However, rip currents are possible around the end of the week into Labor Day weekend.  Even if the storm is several hundred miles away, it can still affect our waters if it is strong enough.  The front itself may give us some isolated showers or thunderstorms, but we will take that over a hit from Cristobal!


The weather for the Friday and Saturday actually looks nice and comfortable with highs in the upper 70s and low humidity.  Some showers are possible Sunday from a another wave of low pressure that may ride in from the west.

Obviously, interactions in the atmosphere between fronts and tropical systems are complex so we need to continue to watch this for any changes in the path.  Have a good night and enjoy the warmer temperatures this week! -Pete Mangione

Tropical Storm Cristobal: What does it mean for us?

August 24th, 2014 at 9:15 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of Sunday morning Tropical Storm Cristobal had winds of 45 mph and was approaching parts of the Bahamas.  Conditions will be favorable for the storm to strengthen over the next few days, this could make it either a stronger tropical storm or a hurricane.

There is still a lot of uncertainty in the track of the storm.  There is a chance it could drift into the Florida or the North/South Carolina coast.  The most likely scenario keeps it near the Florida and Carolina coast but never brings it onto land.  A bend back to the northeast is then expected mid-week.  Here is the updated track from the National Hurricane Center:


Notice that in the above track, the storm does not make it that close to southern New England.  However, we can’t rely on just one solution.  We need to account for some variation from this track; either closer or further away from southern New England.  IF the storm tries to get near us towards the end of the week, a cold front may help push it away. This front will bring the chance of showers.


Based on all of the above, it is likely that Cristobal stays well offshore from southern New England.  That being said, some dangerous rip currents are possible as we head into the start of the Labor Day Weekend.  However, the weather itself looks OK.  We will continue to bring you more updates, enjoy the nice Sunday! -Pete Mangione




Tropical Storm Cristobal Forms

August 23rd, 2014 at 6:56 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Updated at 7AM On Sunday

Tropical Storm Cristobal is now here.  Winds are sustained at 45 mph.  IF the storm makes it offshore from New England, we are NOT expecting a landfall.  The storm may give us some rip currents, more information is below….

There are several different scenarios involving this tropical storm.  One scenario brings the storms into the Gulf of Mexico, another scenario brings it into Florida or North/ South Carolina.    The most likely scenario (and most agreed upon by the computer models) brings it into the northwest initially, but then bends it back out to sea as shown below.



IF the above scenario were to occur, it would likely be during the end of next week as a tropical storm or hurricane.  A front will likely be moving in from the northwest at the same time; this would help push the storm out to sea (sometimes fronts can be good!). The front could bring a few showers, but mostly dry weather is expected during this time.

That being said, we would still likely get some rip currents right before or during Labor Day Weekend.  Stay tuned as we need to see what happens with this storm over the next 48 hours to get a better idea of the path.  -Pete Mangione



Watching a Potential Tropical System Next Week

August 23rd, 2014 at 7:44 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

There is a disturbance near the Bahamas which has a good chance of turning into a tropical system over the next couple of days.  At this point, the majority of our computer models bring the storm offshore from the US east coast into the middle/end of next week.  There is no immediate threat to our area right now, but we could be looking at some rough surf and rip currents next week.





A great way to keep hurricanes and tropical systems AWAY from New England is to bring in some kind of weather disturbance from the west.  There is a pretty good chance that, next week, a cold front will be approaching from the northwest at the same time that the tropical system is lurking in the Atlantic.   This front would act to keep the storm at sea…although some high surf may be able to make it to our shore.

We obviously need to look at more data to get a better handle on this potential tropical system.  We will bring you updates through out the weekend and into next week.  -Pete Mangione




23rd Anniversary of Hurricane Bob

August 19th, 2014 at 1:02 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Courtesy: NOAA

It was 23 years ago this afternoon, on August 19, 1991 that Hurricane Bob made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane in Rhode Island. bobphoto11

It was the last direct hit from a hurricane in southern New England, though we’ve certainly had impacts from tropical systems in recent years–including Tropical Storm Irene and Super Storm Sandy.  Most recently, Hurricane Arthur spoiled our 4th of July with a soaking rainfall as it tracked south and east of Nantucket.

Here’s a great write up from the National Weather Service in Taunton, MA about the effects of the storm in southern New England:

Hurricane Bob developed in the central Bahamas on August 16, then steadily intensified and reached hurricane status on the evening of August 17. Bob continued to strengthen during the next 48 hours, as it began an acceleration north-northeastward, paralleling the East Coast. The eye of Hurricane Bob passed over Block Island, Rhode Island at approximately 1:30 PM, and made landfall over Newport, Rhode Island shortly before 2 PM. 

Hurricane Bob brought sustained hurricane force winds to the immediate coastal communities of Rhode Island and most of southeast Massachusetts. Strong tropical storm force winds blew across the remainder of the region, with many areas receiving gusts to hurricane force east of the Connecticut River. Wind damage to trees and utility poles was common and resulted in numerous power outages. Over 60 percent of the residents across southeast Rhode Island and southeast Massachusetts lost power. Damage was also extensive to apple and peach orchards across these areas.

Coastal communities bore the brunt of the storm, with sustained winds between 75 to 100 mph. Peak wind gusts to 125 mph were recorded on Cape Cod in the towns of Brewster and North Truro, as well as in Wethersfield, Connecticut. The highest sustained wind of 100 mph, was recorded in North Truro. Block Island reported sustained winds of 90 mph, with gusts in excess of 105 mph (maximum speed of equipment). Wind gusts to near 100 mph were recorded in Newport and by the Navy Ship Samuel B. Roberts, which was riding out the storm on the east passage between Newport and Jamestown, Rhode Island. Additionally, there were four reports of tornadoes as Bob came ashore. The lowest barometric pressure was recorded by the USS Valdez while in the east passage of Narragansett Bay, with a reading of 28.47 inches.

Hurricane Bob caused a storm surge of 5 to 8 feet along the Rhode Island shore, but drove a surge of 10 to 15 feet into Buzzards Bay. The Buzzards Bay shore east to Cape Cod was hardest hit. The highest surges, of 12 to 15 feet, were observed in Onset, Bourne, Mashpee and Wareham, at the head of Buzzard’s Bay. Cove Road, in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts had 29 of 37 homes destroyed, while Angelica Point, Massachusetts lost 32 of 35 homes along the shore. Boat damage was significant, as many boats were torn from their moorings. Extensive beach erosion occurred along the shore from Westerly, Rhode Island eastward. Some south facing beach locations on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket islands lost up to 50 feet of beach to erosion.

Significant rainfall of 3 to 6 inches fell across all but southeast Rhode Island and eastward to Cape Cod, where less than 1 inch fell. The heaviest rainfall of over 7 inches affected western Rhode Island and extreme eastern Connecticut. Foster, Rhode Island had the highest amount of rain with 7.01 inches.

Bob was responsible for six deaths in the region, all in Connecticut. Total damage in Southern New England was approximately 680 million dollars.


Hazy, Hot and Humid–Not This August

August 19th, 2014 at 12:41 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog


It’s been a delightful summer filled with temperate days, cool nights and low humidity…. which means it’s been lacking much of the sultry air New Englanders either love or loathe.  It’s quite a difference from last year–where we had 16 days hit 90° or higher.  So far this year, we’ve managed to climb to 90°+ just three times–all in early July.  And this month, especially, temperatures are running cool.  Through August 18 temperatures at TF Green Airport are running more than 2° below normal, and  14 of the first 18 days of the month have been at or below normal.  temp 1

This morning lows were the coldest so far this month for many areas, including at TF Green where temperatures dipped to 54° at dawn.  temp 3

I don’t expect any significant spells of hot weather heading into the end of August.  Starting on Thursday and lasting into the weekend, temperatures will be below normal again with highs in the 70s and nights in the upper 50s to lower 60s.  And the outlook for the last week of August from the Climate Prediction Center shows continued cool conditions over much of the northern tier of the country.  temp 1

Monday’s Outlook In S’rn New England and Williamsport

August 18th, 2014 at 12:07 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Outside of a few showers on Sunday, the weekend was pretty nice!  A cold front passed through Southern New England Sunday evening and brought with it some drier air.  High pressure will be building into the Northeast on Monday.  With high pressure, you get sinking air, so it’s harder to get clouds and precipitation.   We’ll stay dry here in Southern New England on Monday with lots of sunshine.




Sunday Update: A Few Showers, Dry Time Too

August 17th, 2014 at 9:15 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good morning! When I was on the air this morning, there were a few showers passing through around 6AM.  But after that, we cleared to partly cloudy skies and we ended up with a decent morning.  That being said, a front still has to clear the area this afternoon, so the chance of a shower or thunderstorms will still be with us.  Overall, there will be more dry time than shower time.  Sun will mix with clouds off and on today….we should get a pretty good sunset as dry winds from the west should help clear out our skies.  I will leave you with a breakdown of the shower threat.  Have a good Sunday! -Pete Mangione


Planetary Conjunction Monday Morning

August 17th, 2014 at 12:04 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

There’s going to be an spectacular astronomical phenomenon called a planetary conjunction in the early morning sky Monday morning.  A conjunction is when planets (or any celestial bodies) appear to join together (as seen from Earth).   Earth, Venus and Jupiter will make a near perfect line in space, and this will create a unique show just before sunrise. 

After the sun and the moon, these two planets are the brightest objects in our sky.   Venus and Jupiter will look like a double star as they will appear less then 1/2° apart from each other.  That’s a very small piece of the sky.  The distance between the two will be about the size of a coffee stirrer held at arm’s length!


Despite their close appearance in our sky, the two planets will be very far apart. 


Sunday’s Outlook

August 16th, 2014 at 8:49 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We are expecting some rain showers on Sunday, but we are not looking at a washout.  In fact, many people won’t even be seeing any rain.  There are two time periods for showers that we are watching– early morning and afternoon.

Early Sunday morning we could see some rain showers move in off of the ocean.  They’ll be moving northeastward and areas to the south and east of Providence could be clipped with a few showers.  The Cape and Islands could hear a rumble of thunder, too, as the air will be pretty unstable there.  Below is the computer model HRRR for midnight.   These showers are expected in Southeast New England between midnight and 8am.


Another batch of showers will move into Southern New England from New York…similar timing here as well — midnight to 8am.


Little League World Series Forecast

August 15th, 2014 at 3:12 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Congratulations to the players, coaches and parents from the Cumberland American team!  They’ll be representing New England in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA Friday evening.   It’s a tremendous accomplishment to make it this far and Rhode Island is proud.

Weather-wise for the game, it looks good Friday evening.


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As of 3pm, there were some clumpy clouds that developed here in Rhode Island and over central Pennsylvania.  These clouds are in response to a batch of cool air above our heads and the heating of the day.  As the sun gets lower in the sky this evening, skies should be clearing out both here in RI and in PA.

Here’s what the forecast looks like for Williamsport, PA…


Go Rhode Island!

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Wild Wednesday: Morning Recap, Afternoon Outlook

August 13th, 2014 at 3:10 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Heavy rain moved in this morning creating problems on many of our roads.  The heaviest of the rain ran along and to the west of I-95.  There were many reports of street flooding, especially in Cranston, Coventry, and Providence.  Here are a few pictures sent via our ReportIt feature.


 Coventry Flooding: Courtesy Shannon Moore




Cranston Flooding


Our rainfall amounts ranged from about 1 to 4.5 inches.  Here are some totals as of Wednesday afternoon:



I put in the Islip (Long Island, NY)  number because it is such an incredible amount of rain! The Long Island Expressway was not a good place to be this morning!



While the rain won’t be nearly as steady and as widespread as this morning, there will still be a threat of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and early evening.  A few of the storms could be strong with a small chance of damaging wind.  The threat of showers and rain should be gone by midnight (possibly a few hours sooner).

Our weather improves tomorrow and Friday with low humidity and comfortable temperatures. Have a good afternoon and evening! -Pete Mangione





Heavy Rain, Flash Flood Threat This Morning

August 13th, 2014 at 9:35 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Heavy rain has moved into a good part of our viewing area.  A Flash Flood Warning is in place for much of Providence and Kent County.  These warning are in effect until 1:15 this afternoon.

I just looked at the observations at TF Green airport….between 8AM and 9AM 0.91 inches of rain fell, that is almost an inch per hour.

Here are some initial reports coming in courtesy of SKYWARN from the National Weather Service:

East Lyme, CT: 3.90″

Montville, CT: 4.84″

Canterbury, CT: 2.94″

Willimantic, CT: 2.04″

Cranston, RI: 1.56″

East Lyme, CT: 4.15″

Hebron, CT: 2.05″

Hampton, CT: 2.05″

Cranston, RI: 1.61″


Rainfall Reports (1″ or more):

Providence, RI: 1.38″

Coventry, RI:: 1.24″


Flood Reports:

924 AM: Cranston, RI: Cranston Street between Batcheller Avenue and Cavalry Street closed due to the flooding


Once we get into this afternoon, there will still be a threat of showers and downpours but there will likely be some lulls in the rain as well.  The Flash Flood Watch extends through this evening to account for the “potential” of additional flash flooding, even though it will not be raining the entire time.

Please do NOT drive through flooded intersections! -Pete Mangione


Heavy Rain Moves Across RI /SE MA This Morning

August 13th, 2014 at 7:52 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’ve been watching an incredible flash flood event developing over parts of LI and CT this morning, with more than a foot of rain in Islip, NY on Long Island…. flash flooding has shut down numerous streets and lead to water rescues there.  Check out this photo from the Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams:

temp 2

Islip, NY

That band of heavy rain will continue to lift northeast across RI and southeastern MA through the morning and early afternoon.  Our computer models are still indicating the potential for 1-3″ of rain in our area, with isolated higher amounts possible.  Here’s one look at potential rainfall totals from the RPM model this morning.  temp 3

Periods Of Heavy Rain, Thunder Wednesday

August 12th, 2014 at 7:23 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening from chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca….

High resolution satellite photo from this evening shows storm over Great Lakes with a secondary storm forming off the Mid Atlantic coast. Both will play a part in our weather for Wednesday….

Wednesday Outlook:

. Heavy Rain: Confidence High

. Minor Coastal Flooding: Confidence High, but does not look to be major

. Thunderstorms: Confidence High

. “Severe” Thunderstorms/Damaging WindConfidence Low to Moderate (stay tuned for updates regarding this)



Flash Flood Watch Expanded

August 12th, 2014 at 12:49 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The National Weather Service has expanded the Flash Flood Watch to include all of RI and southeastern MA except for the Cape and Islands as our computer models continue to show the potential for heavy rain and embedded thunderstorms with a potent storm system moving through New England on Wednesday.

temp 1

We are still forecasting 1-3″ of rain for most of our area, though isolated higher amounts are possible.  Here’s the 12z RPM model precipitation forecast for rainfall totals:  temp 2

In addition, our coastline is now under a “Coastal Flood Advisory” for the potential for minor flooding during tomorrow mornings high tide around 10am-11am.  The combination of an astronomical high tide and a strong southeast wind could cause minor splash over at south and east facing coastlines. temp 3

Wednesday Storm Update

August 12th, 2014 at 9:47 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’ll squeeze in one more dry day before a storm system moves in and brings heavy rain and embedded thunderstorms to our area starting later tonight and into Wednesday.  We could certainly use the rainfall as parts of our area have been abnormally dry; however, the rain could be heavy enough to overwhelm storm drains leading to localized street and poor drainage flooding along with smaller stream flooding.

The highest risk of seeing flash flooding is across inland parts of southern New England, where rainfall rates of up to 2″/hr are possible. As of this morning, northwest RI and the Boston suburbs were included in a “Flash Flood Watch” for late tonight through Wednesday evening.  temp 1It looks like our best shot of getting widespread rain and thunder will be from mid-morning through late afternoon. In addition, there’s the risk–though small–for some severe thunderstorms.  This morning, the Storm Prediction Center highlighted southern RI and SE MA as an area that could see severe weather tomorrow–with damaging wind gusts and even an isolated tornado possible. temp 1

Finally, we could see some minor flooding along the coast and bay during tomorrow morning’s high tide. High tide in Newport Harbor is at around 10:30am.  The astronomically high tide due to the nearly full moon, combined with a stiff southeast wind may lead to minor flooding.  temp 2

Stormy Weather Late Tuesday Night Into Wednesday

August 11th, 2014 at 4:30 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good afternoon from chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca…our weather  dept continues to monitior the potential for severe weather late Tuesday Night into Wednesday…the following items we continue to track along the National Weather Service In Taunton Mass…

       Heavy Rain/Flooding Potential:

  • Flash Flood Watch for late Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon. The watch includes the following areas:
  •      Cheshire County in southwest New Hampshire
  •      Western and central Massachusetts
  •      Northern Connecticut
  •      Northwest Rhode Island
  • Bands of heavy rainfall with some embedded thunderstorms may cause localized urban/poor drainage flash flooding as well as a risk of flash flooding along a few small streams.
  • In coastal areas, any urban flooding may be exacerbated during high tide, which may inhibit drainage.  High tides in association with the “super moon” will be astronomically high during Wednesday.
  • Widespread river flooding is not expected.  Main stem river flows are quite low going into this event.
  • Potential  widespread 1 to 3 inches of rainfall across southern New England Tuesday night into Wednesday with pockets of 3 to 5 inches possible.

        Severe Weather:

  • Localized strong gusty winds are possible especially during the daylight hours Wednesday.
  • A brief tornado is also possible. This is a low probability event, but the expected weather pattern on Wednesday is a type that could produce a short track tornado.  Timing on any such occurrence during the day remains uncertain, with low confidence at this time of any one area more at risk than another. 

         Coastal Flooding:

  • The combination of high spring tides and fairly significant onshore winds may result in pockets of minor coastal flooding around the times of high tide on Wednesday.
  • Highest risk for any coastal flooding along the south coast will be around the time of the Wednesday mid morning high tide. 

             Highest risk for any coastal flooding along the east coast will be around the time of the Wednesday afternoon high tide…….

           ……”National Weather Service  Taunton, Mass.

Stormy Day on Wednesday

August 11th, 2014 at 11:21 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As Pete Mangione mentioned  in the previous blog, the ingredients are coming together for a potentially stormy day on Wednesday.  An area of low pressure currently over the Great Lakes will drag a cold front through New England by Wednesday with a new storm developing along the front.

Surface Map valid at 8am Wednesday

Forecast Surface Map for 8am Wednesday

The set up gives us the potential for periods of heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms.  Right now the forecast is for as much as 1-2.5″ of rain in New England.

Forecast Rainfall Amounts for Wednesday

Forecast Rainfall Amounts for Wednesday

Heavy rain could lead to localized street and poor drainage flooding, and potentially some dangerous flash flooding.  In addition, any embedded thunderstorms will bring torrential downpours and possibly damaging winds.  Timing of the heaviest rainfall in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts looks to be Wednesday morning and afternoon…. tapering off in the evening.  Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to monitor this potential severe weather day.

Watching Wednesday for Strong Storms

August 10th, 2014 at 9:25 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

There is a threat of some severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.  Here is a breakdown of what we know, and what we need to fine tune:


-A humid air mass will move in during the middle of the week.

-Low pressure, series of fronts , and an active jet stream will also move in during the same time period.

-When you combine the above ingredients, severe weather becomes a possibility.

-Torrential downpours, lightning, damaging winds, and even isolated tornadoes are possible.



-How well do the storm ingredients come together? This will make the difference between a very active weather day and a day with just a few non-severe thunderstorms and rain showers.

-What is the timing? It looks like there is a threat of severe weather anytime from early Wednesday morning to Wednesday evening.  As we get closer to Wednesday, we should be able to determine which commute (morning or evening) is at a higher risk of being affected.


Tony, Michelle, TJ, and I will be looking at more data this week.  Tune in for our on-air and online coverage to get more specifics.   Have a good week! -Pete Mangione





Super Weather This Evening for the Super Moon

August 10th, 2014 at 9:15 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Today will be beautiful here in Southern New England — lots of warm sunshine with low humidity.

Once you’re home from the beach or out of the pool, you might want to check out the “Super Moon” — the closest the moon will be to the Earth this year.  I think the weather will cooperate, too.

There will be a piece of energy dropping down from Northern New England today. You can see it in the image below (yellow, orange and red).



This will help create some rain showers for parts of New Hampshire, Maine and northeastern Massachusetts, but that’s about it.   Any showers should be isolated up there, and they’ll likely stay out of our area.

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Cloud-wise for RI and nearby MA, there will be some clouds especially east of Providence.  Our computer models indicate there will be some moisture in the atmosphere at 850mb and 725mb (approximately 5,000 to 8,000feet up).   This will translate into partly cloudy skies this evening.  Below is the relative humidity in the atmosphere all the way up to about 40,000feet.  Notice the pinkish area this evening…that’s high relative humidity over Providence.  I think dry air aloft will help keep our skies in good enough condition to see the moon, especially as it rises.  Times run from left to right on the graph…UTC is Greenwich Mean Time (4hours difference from us).



Another Nice Day on Sunday

August 9th, 2014 at 10:50 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Saturday’s weather was fantastic, and we’ll get another great day on Sunday.

An area of high pressure will be sliding overhead through the day.  High pressure promotes sinking air, and it’s tougher to make the clouds and therefore tougher to get precipitation.   There will be a little piece of energy in the upper-levels moving southward from Maine/New Hamphire.  This may scare up a few extra clouds across eastern parts of our area, but that’s about it.   We’ll be staying dry.


Winds will start from the north as the high center builds into New England, but those winds will become more onshore during the afternoon with a developing sea breeze.   Temperatures will be a little cooler at the coast, but it will be nice everywhere with low humidity.  The weather looks good for seeing the “Super Moon” Sunday evening and for Perseid Meteor watching early Monday morning.


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The nice weather will continue through Monday and into Tuesday.  We could potentially see a washout on Wednesday.  If you picked this week for vacation, you did pretty good.  Wednesday may be a book-reading, chore-doing, movie-watching kind of day though.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Perseid Meteors Peak Next Few Nights

August 9th, 2014 at 9:40 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

One of the best meteor showers of the year will peak August 9-14 — the Perseid Meteor Shower.   They are best seen after midnight and during this time of the summer, it’s comfortable to be outside and stargaze.  In a dark sky, you could see 50 meteors per hour.  This year, we’ll have the full “Super Moon” and waning gibbous moon to dim some of the meteors.

Sometimes you can see a few after 9pm as the constellation Perseus rises over the horizon, but the best show always arrives after midnight.

What are the Perseid Meteors?

Meteors are tiny bits of rock, usually the size of a piece of dust or as large as a pebble, that burn up in the atmosphere as the Earth plows through the debris in space.  They get their name because of the constellation they appear to come from — Perseus.  This debris is actually from a comet, Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Courtesy: NASA

Courtesy: NASA

The comet passes through the inner solar system once every 134 years.  It spends most of its time hanging out past the orbit of Pluto in an area known as the Kuiper Belt — an area of space filled with many pieces of rock, likely left over from the development of the Solar System.  The last visit was in 1992.  During each passage, the comet sheds gases and debris as it gets closer to the sun.  That debris is left floating in space.

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From August 9-14th, the Earth passes through this debris field, and the tiny bits of rock light up in the atmosphere.



Super Moon Sunday

August 9th, 2014 at 8:16 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Get your cameras ready! This year’s “Super Moon” is coming to a sky near you.  Here in Southern New England, the moon will rise at 7:36pm on Sunday and will appear bigger than other full moons we’ve had this year.


What is a Super Moon?

The moon has an elliptical orbit around the Earth, and our only natural satellite takes approximately 27 days to make a full orbit around the Earth.  That orbit changes  Because of that elliptical orbit, the moon has both a closest (perigee) and farthest (apogee) distance from the Earth.   During a “Super Moon”, the moon is at its closest approach of the year and appears to be bigger and brighter.   When the moon is the farthest, we call it a “Micro Moon”.  The smaller-looking moon was visible in our skies in January.  The distances change each month throughout the year.


These terms are fairly new in our lingo.  The moon has had this elliptical orbit for eons, but the words “Super” and “Micro” Moons have emerged in just the past few years.  Sunday’s Super Moon isn’t really even the closest the moon can get to Earth.  In March, 2011, the moon was 221,565 miles from us — that’s 126 miles from the smallest Earth-Moon distance.  It was during the days leading up to that perigee that the term “Super Moon” really exploded into our lingo.

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What To Look For Sunday


Thursday Evening Update: Hail and unconfirmed report of a water spout

August 7th, 2014 at 4:38 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Update at 6:30PM

During our newscast, Tony and I noticed some possible rotation in a storm just offhsore from Little Compton, RI.  Here is snapshot from the RADAR….


That same thunderstorm moved to the southeast and we are now getting unconfirmed reports of a water spout just a few miles offshore from Martha’s Vineyard.

603 PM EDT THU AUG 07 2014

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....

0548 PM     WATER SPOUT      10 NW AQUINNAH          41.44N  70.95W
08/07/2014                   ANZ234             MA   AIRPLANE PILOT


Stay tuned…we will continue to update you on this.

We have also been tracking isolated but strong thunderstorms this afternoon.  Not everyone is getting these storms, but some cities and town have been hit by hail.  This picture of hail is from Chepachet courtesy of TeriLyn Colaluca.

Chepachet Hail  - Terilyn


There were multiple reports of hail; I saw one from Middetown, RI with 1 inch hail!

There is a very cold pool of air sitting high overhead, and that will act as our trigger for the storms through early this evening.  The activity should start to wind down by around 7PM.  We will be on t he air from 5 to 6:30 on WPRI, and from 6:30 to 7 on FOX Providence with the latest information.  -Pete Mangione

Thursday’s Rip Current Threat

August 6th, 2014 at 5:05 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Waves from Bertha will slowly subside during the next 24hours, but there will still be a moderate risk of rip currents at area beaches.  If you are going to the beach and plan on going in the water, please swim in sight of a lifeguard.


The moderate risk of rip currents exists at beaches exposed to the open ocean.  These beaches include, but not limited to:

  • Misquamicut (Westerly)
  • Westerly Town Beach
  • Blue Shutters (Charlestown)
  • Charlestown Town Beach
  • Matunuck Beach (South Kingstown)
  • Carpenter’s Beach (South Kingstown)
  • East Matunuck State Beach (South Kingstown)
  • Scarborough Beach and Scarborough South (Narragansett)
  • Narragansett Town Beach
  • Eastons Beach (Newport)
  • Second Beach (Middletown)
  • Town of Little Compton Beach
  • South Shore Beach (Little Compton)
  • Horseneck Beach (Westport, MA)
  • Ballards Beach on Block Island
  • Aquinnah Public Beach (Martha’s Vineyard)
  • Squibnocket Beach (Martha’s Vineyard
  • South Beach State Park (Martha’s Vineyard)
  • Miacomet (Nantucket)
  • Fisherman’s (Nantucket)
  • Nobadeer Beach (Nantucket)

Here’s the ocean wave forecast for Thursday around noon.



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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Severe T’stom Warning for Parts of SE MA

August 6th, 2014 at 4:33 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

4:45pm UPDATE: This warning has been cancelled by the National Weather ServiceWeather_Alert_650x366
Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect until 5pm for Central and Southeast Bristol County in MA.  A thunderstorm capable of producing large hail and damaging winds was moving southeastward.  Lightning and torrential rain are also threats.  Communities in the path of the storm include Acushnet, Fall River, New Bedford and Dartmouth.  If you are in the path of this storm, stay indoors and away from windows until the storm passes.


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-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Strong Tstorm Over SE MA

August 6th, 2014 at 3:53 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Live Pinpoint Doppler Radar tracking a developing strong thunderstorm over SE MA, moving southeastward toward New Bedford.  It has lightning, torrential rain and possibly hail and strong gusty winds.


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We were watching the storm developing in 3-D during the last hour.  With doppler radar returns this strong at this height within the atmospheric conditions present today, lightning was expected…that’s what we are seeing now.

3-d radar_wed

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

4-6 Foot Waves Crashing on Areas Beaches

August 6th, 2014 at 3:03 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Watching our Narragansett Beach Cam, we are estimating the waves crashing on the beach to be betwteen 4 and 6 feet high.  This is great for surfers, but still potentially dangerous for swimmers.  These breaking waves can create dangerous rip currents.


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Buoys offshore of RI show wave heights of 6feet.  We’ve been noting the wave heights going up and down over the last several hours.  Also, we’ve noticed the frequency of the waves has been increasing….something known as wave period.  The period of the waves went from 10seconds to 8.8seconds through the day.


Wave heights should slowly ease through Thursday, but there will likely still be a risk of rip currents.  Swim with caution.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo