Update #2: Storm Potential Early Wednesday Morning.

October 7th, 2014 at 3:43 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Afternoon from chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca

I am looking at lastest data and coordination discusssions from National Weather Service Taunton Mass

Here are some quick bullet points…A more detailed update coming up this evening. Please refer to Michelle’s previous blog post

Primary concerns:

  • Strong wind gusts (40-60 mph), which could occur even with no thunder.
    • o Down branches and perhaps some down powerlines are possible as trees are still fully leaved.
  • Heavy rainfall (over an inch is possible), with the possibility of typical urban/nuisance flooding.
  • A brief tornado or offshore waterspout is possible.
  • Heavy rainfall/storms will affect the AM commute.


  • Mainly between 2 am til 10 am.
  • Particular focus from about 4 AM in the west – 8 AM in the east.

Area of greatest concern:

  • Heavy rain and wind threat is for all of Southern New England.
  • Best chance for tornado: across CT/RI and eastern MA. However still a possibility elsewhere.
  • South Coastal waters have best chance for waterspout.

Minor Coastal Flood Threat:

Strong south winds and building seas will lead to a surge up to a foot around the time of high tide Wednesday morning, which is an astronomically high spring tide.  Therefore, pockets of minor coastal flooding are expected.  A coastal flood advisory has been issued with location along Narragansett Bay being the greatest concern. The time of the high tide in Providence is 8:21 AM.

Despite st0rmy weather early Wednesday morning…It will turn sunny warm and dry by Wednesday Afternoon

NJ Gov. Chris Christie to campaign for Fung in RI

October 7th, 2014 at 10:42 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – One of the nation’s most prominent Republican governors, New Jersey’s Chris Christie, will swing through Rhode Island later this week to campaign for GOP gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung in Johnston and Providence.

Separately, The New York Times reported Tuesday that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC will air TV ads to support Raimondo’s campaign as part of a $25-million push on behalf of centrist candidates nationwide.

Read the rest of this story »

Potentially Strong Storms on Wednesday Morning

October 7th, 2014 at 9:14 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Heads up for early Wednesday: There’s the potential for some strong to severe storms during the morning commute in southern New England.

A strong cold front will approach southern New England with a line of thunderstorms expected to form along the front…. first affecting places like NYC and then heading east.

Simiulated Radar for Wed.

Simulated Radar for 5am Wed. 10/8

Simulated Radar for 9am Wed. 10/8

Simulated Radar for 9am Wed. 10/8

The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted Long Island and parts of CT and RI as having a “slight risk” for severe storms, including a small chance (2%) of a weak tornado.  However, it’s more likely that our area could see some damaging straight line wind gusts, torrential downpours and frequent lightning.  temp 1

Probability of a Weak Tornado

Probability of a Weak Tornado

In addition, there could be some minor coastal flooding around the morning high tide, between 8-9am.   A persistent southerly wind will combine with an astronomical high tide, leading to some minor splash-over in the morning along Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay as well as the south coast.

Next Providence mayor expected to face big budget gap

October 6th, 2014 at 5:43 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The next mayor of Rhode Island’s capital city will enter office facing a shortfall of between $15 million and $24 million in his first budget, according to the City Council Ways and Means Committee’s chairman and vice-chairman.

The projection is much higher than one published last spring by the Taveras administration, which said the city’s budget shortfall was expected to be only $2.2 million in 2015-16. At the time, a spokeswoman said the deficit projection amounted to “essentially a balanced budget as it represents less than 0.5% of the budget.”

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Providence’s troubled city pension fund, in three charts (Oct. 1)

Chafee hails Moody’s upgrade on Rhode Island’s finances

October 6th, 2014 at 5:36 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island got a positive report card about its finances on Monday from Moody’s Investors Service, with the Wall Street rating agency praising local leaders for taking steps they said have improved state government’s fiscal health.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee hailed the news in a statement. “I am pleased that Moody’s is acknowledging our strong fiscal management and my leadership to ensure that we are moving in the right direction through investments in education, infrastructure and workforce development,” he told WPRI.com.

Read the rest of this story »

Providence posts 2nd-biggest jump in advanced degrees

October 6th, 2014 at 12:32 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The share of workers in the Providence metropolitan area who have an advanced degree increased by more than in almost any other region in the country over the past eight years, a new study shows.

Read the rest of this story »

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.


Read the rest of this entry »

Poll: Jack Reed leads by 42 points in re-election bid

October 5th, 2014 at 12:31 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Jack Reed appears on track to coast to a fourth six-year term in the U.S. Senate next month, according to a new online-only poll released Sunday by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov, which has Reed at 64% and Republican Mark Zaccaria at 22%.

Read the rest of this story »

Watch Newsmakers: The Providence mayoral debate

October 5th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

• Related: Cianci was right: his final budget funded pensions at 80% (Sept. 30)

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…


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

Read the rest of this entry »

The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI

October 4th, 2014 at 9:29 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Click here to read this week’s Saturday Morning Post on the new WPRI.com website »

Anti-Cianci group collapses; Lorne Adrain to support Elorza

October 3rd, 2014 at 3:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A third-party group aimed at blocking Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. from winning back City Hall has collapsed before ever getting off the ground, WPRI.com has learned.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: RI delegation holds fundraiser to help Elorza beat Cianci (Oct. 2)

Cianci wants more cops, community policing in Providence

October 3rd, 2014 at 1:49 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Independent mayoral candidate Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. said Friday he wants to expand the city’s police force, pledging to find the money to add cops by conducting an audit of the city budget aimed at identifying “waste, fraud and abuse” if he defeats Democrat Jorge Elorza on Nov. 4.

Read the rest of this story »

RI delegation holds fundraiser to help Elorza beat Cianci

October 3rd, 2014 at 11:10 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A who’s who list of Rhode Island’s political establishment turned out to support Democrat Jorge Elorza at a fundraiser Thursday, pledging to do whatever it takes to help the 37-year-old former Housing Court judge defeat Buddy Cianci in the race for Providence mayor.

Read the rest of this story »

Cianci, Elorza differ on Providence waterfront plans

October 2nd, 2014 at 7:49 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The future of Providence’s waterfront has re-emerged as a campaign talking point in the city’s mayoral race, with independent Buddy Cianci calling for mixed-use development along part of Allens Avenue near the Providence River and Democrat Jorge Elorza maintaining the area should be used strictly for industrial purposes.

The candidates’ conflicting views on the land – which stretches from the Sprague Energy complex near the Providence River Bridge down to Fields Point, and hugs a large chunk of the Port of Providence – is likely to reignite a years-long battle over how best to utilize the waterfront, a flashpoint during Cianci’s previous tenure as mayor in the 1990s.

Read the rest of this story »

Providence takes beating in mayoral debate

October 1st, 2014 at 7:10 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Who was the biggest loser in last night’s mayoral debate? The city of Providence.

Democrat Jorge Elorza, Republican Daniel Harrop and independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. took turns battering the city they hope to lead Tuesday evening, decrying Providence’s struggles with crime, schools and finances.

Read the rest of this story »

Providence’s troubled city pension fund, in three charts

October 1st, 2014 at 3:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The sizable shortfall in Providence’s pension system for retired city workers has become a major topic of discussion in this year’s race for mayor, with facts and figures flying fast and furious.

To help you sort out facts from fiction, here are three charts that give an overview of the city pension fund’s finances over the last two decades under three mayors: Buddy Cianci (1991-2002), David Cicilline (2003-2011) and Angel Taveras (2011-present). The numbers come from the annual city audit.

First off, here’s a look at what’s called the “unfunded liability” in the pension fund – the official shortfall between how much the city has socked away and how much it would need to pay out promised benefits in full, as reported by the city’s actuary. For a variety of reasons, the shortfall grew from $137 million in 1991 to $759 million in 2012. (The latest audit isn’t out yet, but the shortfall rose to $832 million in 2013.)

Providence unfunded pension liability 1991 2012

Read the rest of this entry »

Flood Watch For Massachusetts Through Thursday AM

October 1st, 2014 at 2:24 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

A Flood Watch starts at 5PM this evening and goes through tomorrow (Thursday) morning.  This watch is for Bristol County Massachusetts only.  Remember, a watch means there is a POTENTIAL of flooding.  If flooding is imminent, then a warning will be issues.

HEADLINES FOR Bristol County Mass (as well as Plymouth County, Cape Cod, and the islands):

- Periods of heavy rainfall which could lead to the flooding of streets or small streams.  The more likely areas to get flooding would be in far eastern areas such as the outer Cape.  Areas from New Bedford and points west are less likely to get flooding.

- 1 to 2 inches of rain are likely; but isolated higher amounts are possible.

- Periods of heavy rain will be moving through this afternoon, but the most likely time to see the heaviest of the rain is 5PM this evening into early Thursday morning.

As of this afternoon, Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 RADAR was already showing heavy amounts of moisture moving in from the Atlantic.




0.5 to 1.5 inches of rain is likely; but some higher isolated amounts are possible. If the rain axis starts moving further west, it’s possible that parts of Rhode Island may have to be added to Flood Watch area. -Pete Mangione

September Was 2nd Driest on Record in RI

October 1st, 2014 at 8:30 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’re beginning October with rain…. something we saw very little of in September.  In fact, with just under 3/4″ of rain for the month at TF Green Airport, it became the 2nd driest September on record for RI.  The driest was 100 years ago– September 1914, when the area received 0.48″ of rain.  For September alone, that leaves us with a more than 3″ rainfall deficit.temp 3

The dry spell is taking its toll.  Last week, the US Drought Monitor upped the classification for most of southeastern New England from “abnormally dry” to “moderate drought”.

temp 2

US Drought Monitor valid September 23, 2014

No doubt, the ground is parched and our rivers and lakes are running very low.  Check out this view of Wordens Pond in Wakefield, RI from Eyewitness News viewer Gina Falcone.  The picture on the left is what the pond usually looks like, with the picture on the right from the past weekend.

Wordens Pond from Gina Falcone

Wordens Pond from Gina Falcone

We need some rainy days this month to help ease the drought conditions, and today will be one.  Periods of rain and drizzle are likely through tonight and early Thursday morning.  We’re hopeful that some areas will see more than 1/2″ of  rain.  A cold front on Saturday will give us another shot at some beneficial rain.  Even though the wet weather may impact your weekend plans, your lawns and gardens will be happy!

Analysis: 5 takeaways from the Providence mayor debate

October 1st, 2014 at 12:51 am by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read my five takeaways from the debate on the new WPRI.com website »

Providence mayoral candidates spar in first TV debate

October 1st, 2014 at 12:48 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The three candidates for mayor of Providence promised to spur economic development, improve schools and add police officers during their first televised debate Tuesday, making the case that the city is plagued by poor finances and crime.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Watch the full debate on WPRI.com | Analysis: 5 takeaways from the debate

Cianci was right: his final budget funded pensions at 80%

September 30th, 2014 at 9:10 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

I owe Buddy Cianci a correction.

Numbers were flying fast and furious during Tuesday evening’s Providence mayoral debate, and I got mixed up during the section on pensions when Cianci was talking in calendar years as I was looking at city audits that are in fiscal years.

It happened when Cianci said the city “finally got up to 80% funded in 2002,” meaning that the city made 80% of its annual required contribution (ARC) to the pension fund that year. Knowing the numbers somewhat (and recalling that Cianci incorrectly said on a recent Newsmakers that he made 100% contributions in his final years), I said the city’s contribution was actually around 60% that year.

Cianci then clarified that the final budget he put together before his September 2002 resignation was for the fiscal year that ran from July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003. And indeed, the city audit shows Providence did make 80.25% of its annual required contribution to the pension fund in the 2002-03 fiscal year, which is the budget Cianci was putting together in the spring of 2002.

(To compound things, as I tried to separate calendar from fiscal years on the fly I misread the 2002 and 2003 numbers when I looked down at the pension page from the city audit, and incorrectly said he only made a 60.6% contribution in 2002 and a 64.18% contribution in 2003; that was in fiscal 2001 and fiscal 2002.)

On this point Cianci was right, and I was wrong: the Cianci administration did indeed increase Providence’s annual required contribution (ARC) to the pension fund from 60.6% in the 2000-01 fiscal year to 64.18% in the 2001-02 fiscal year and 80.25% in the 2002-03 fiscal year, his final budget.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

• Related: Providence’s troubled city pension fund, in four charts (Oct. 1)

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

Tonight at 7 on Fox Providence – Cianci vs. Elorza vs. Harrop

September 30th, 2014 at 1:11 pm by under Nesi's Notes

City Council split on Elorza, Cianci in race for mayor

September 30th, 2014 at 9:16 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – What, you thought they’d vote as a bloc?

Providence’s all-Democratic City Council is divided when it comes to the race for mayor, with six members backing Jorge Elorza, five breaking party ranks to endorse independent Buddy Cianci and four saying they still have haven’t made a decision on whom they’ll support on Nov. 4.

Read the rest of this story »

Landscape Starting To Change…Why Leaves Change Color

September 29th, 2014 at 6:55 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening from chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca

What make the leaves change color? They really don’t change color but rather reveal colors that are already there, hidden within deep pigments of green….As the green pigments disappears, other “hidden” colors show up. Plants absorb water from the ground through their roots. They also take in carbon dioxide from the air, while using sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as “food” for energy to help them grow. The process of plants turning water and carbon dioxide into sugar is called photosynthesis. A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.

colorful leaves








Click HERE for current foliage color across New England this week

So….how do we get rid of the green colors?? That’s where the change of seasons comes in. As summer ends the days get shorter with less sunlight. During the winter, frozen soil means less water getting to the roots. As a result photosynthesis shuts down….green colors fade, revealing pigments of yellow and orange. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves to turn this glucose into a red color.

Our weather team will keep you updated…check back with us on wpri.com for more info.

Tony Petrarca

Fung attacks Raimondo on 38 Studios in new TV ad

September 29th, 2014 at 5:16 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung released the first TV attack ad of the fall campaign on Monday, criticizing his Democratic rival Gina Raimondo for supporting repayment of the 38 Studios bonds. The campaign is putting $93,000 behind the ad over 10 days.

Read the rest of this story »

First Raimondo TV spot ties her to Jack Reed

September 28th, 2014 at 8:40 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo is leaning on party elder statesman U.S. Sen. Jack Reed to give her a boost as she launches her first television commercial of the fall campaign. The state party is spending $90,000 on the ad this week.

Read the rest of this story »

Watch Executive Suite: NanoSteel; VETS Foundation

September 28th, 2014 at 8:30 pm by under Nesi's Notes

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.


 Detailed 7 Day  » Current Conditions » Radar » Severe Weather » Closings » Signup for Alerts & Closings » Hurricane Tracker » Storm Ready Resource Guide » Severe Weather » Ocean »

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.


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

Watch Newsmakers: Political roundtable on mayor, gov races

September 28th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes