Bit of Snow on Thursday

January 20th, 2015 at 3:09 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Although it won’t be a major storm, we could be seeing a bit of snow Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  It could be enough to create some slick spots, too.   Generally a coating of snow will fall, but a maximum of one inch could fall in some spots.

An Alberta Clipper will work across the Midwest on Wednesday.  As it does so, an area of low pressure will develop off the North Carolina coastline.  This low moves northeast Wednesday night and Thursday morning, passing southeast of New England.

Fcst_Map_1_650x366 Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend Storm Potential

January 20th, 2015 at 12:49 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It’s been a relatively quiet winter so far, with either wind-swept rain storms or minor bouts of snow (just 4.2″ total snow at TF Green since December 1 ).  Is that finally going to change?  That’s the big question…. and our computer models are at least giving us something to watch for the weekend.

First up… it’s “same old same old” with another low pressure center mostly missing our area mid-week… delivering a batch of clouds and snow showers/flurries late Wednesday night into Thursday.  Little to no accumulation is expected with this.

The storm that is of more interest is a system that could develop in the Gulf of Mexico before moving off the mid-Atlantic coastline Saturday morning and passing southeast of Nantucket by Saturday evening/night.  There’s still a lot of uncertainty with the track, intensity and timing of the storm… but the computer models have trended closer and stronger over the last 24 hours.

temp 2 (mmuscatello v1)

 At this point, I wouldn’t get too excited as it could pass well out to sea, but it does need to be monitored in the coming days.  Depending on the track, we could also see a mix with or change to sleet and rain in RI and southeastern MA.

And if you’re a fan of the European model… the 00z run overnight had another, even stronger storm impacting our area on Tuesday of next week.  So far, it doesn’t have much support from the other models.


ESPN host Mike Greenberg dismisses Patriots scandal

January 20th, 2015 at 10:57 am by under Patriots

ESPN radio’s Mike Greenberg was quick to dismiss the NFL’s investigation of the Patriots deflated ball scandal today when he was a guest on CBS This Morning.  He refused to “entertain this conversation”. Watch his take.  The CBS This Morning crew also discuss the  best-selling novelist’s new book, “My Father’s Wives.”


Report: Deborah Gist a finalist for Tulsa superintendent’s job

January 20th, 2015 at 10:26 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is a finalist for the school superintendent’s job in her hometown of Tulsa, Okla., according to a report in the Tulsa World.

Read the rest of this story »

State funding for RI colleges up 10.8% since 2010

January 19th, 2015 at 2:38 pm by under General Talk

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island has upped funding for its three public colleges 10.8% since 2010, the second-largest increase in New England, according to a report released Monday by Illinois State University and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

Read the rest of this story »

Lifespan: Charity care down by half thanks to Obamacare

January 19th, 2015 at 12:26 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island’s biggest hospital chain is already seeing a positive financial impact from President Obama’s health law, has learned.

Read the rest of this story »

Watch for Black Ice This Morning

January 19th, 2015 at 6:43 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Monday morning’s early commute is proving to be very difficult with icy road conditions due to black ice developing.  It’s happening even though temperatures through the night have stayed mostly above freezing.  The cold stretch of weather last week, means that the ground is frozen and so pavement temperatures are at or below freezing. The result has been numerous patches of ice reported across the southern New England.  Use extra caution traveling this morning, go slow and allow for more space than usual between you and the vehicle in front of you.

temp 3

temp 2

The risk of black ice will diminish after 8am this morning as the sun will help to melt the ice and gusty west winds will dry the damp roads.

temp 2 (mmuscatello v1)

The early money: Pats favored?

January 19th, 2015 at 12:25 am by under Patriots, Super Bowl
Vegas oddsmakers have Seahawks-Patriots as a pick'em. (

Vegas oddsmakers have Seahawks-Patriots as a pick’em. (

Our crew around here likes the Pats chances against the Seahawks, but what about Vegas? The early money in Las Vegas is on the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLIX.

The Patriots opened up as a 2.5-point underdog at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, however, that number was bet down to a pick’em less than an hour after the opening line went live.

The Patriots are now even favored by as much as one point at several Vegas sports books.

Black Ice Potential Monday Morning

January 18th, 2015 at 11:30 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As the rain heads out of Southern New England, colder temperatures will return.  Temperatures will fall into the 30s overnight in Providence.


Areas north and west of Providence could get temperatures at or below freezing toward dawn.  With moisture on the roads from the rain, we could see some ice.  Any untreated surfaces could be icy.  Please drive and walk with extra caution.


 Detailed 7 Day  » Current Conditions » Radar » Severe Weather » Closings » Signup for Alerts & Closings » Hurricane Tracker » Storm Ready Resource Guide » Severe Weather » Ocean » -Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Bursting It Wide Open

January 18th, 2015 at 9:50 pm by under Patriots

Only ten points separated the Patriots and Colts when they came out of the locker room for the second half – but it didn’t stay that way for long.

New England once again brought out the creativity that helped them take down the Ravens last week. After engineering a 71-yard drive to get into the red zone, offensive tackle Nate Solder checked in as an eligible receiver – and receive he did. The big man pulled in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Brady, the first of his career.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

The following drive for Indy ended in a 3 and out – and the Patriots continued to pile it on. Gronk pulled in yet another touchdown to give the team a commanding 31-7 lead. But alas – they weren’t done.

The Colts’ next drive was again cut short by a Darrelle Revis interception, which culminated in another rushing touchdown for Blount. That marked his sixth postseason touchdown – topping Antoine Smith for the franchise record.

Staying in Control

January 18th, 2015 at 8:50 pm by under Patriots
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

The Colts had one of the most powerful offenses in the NFL this season, and the Patriots defense was again able to keep them relatively quiet in quarter #2.

A Patriots drive was cut short when a pass intended for Rob Gronkowski was picked off by D’Qwell Jackson. Much like the Patriots did in the first quarter, the Colts took the mistake and got 7 points out of it in the form of a 1-yard run by RB Zurlon Tipton.

New England immediately stormed back with a 65-yard drive of their own – but failed to put the ball in the end zone despite numerous attempts.

The drive ended with a short FG by Stephen Gostkowski, and the Patriots went into the locker room up 17-7.

Special Weather Statement from NWS

January 18th, 2015 at 8:39 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service:







-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

8PM Radar Check

January 18th, 2015 at 8:13 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As of 8pm, a thin line of heavy rain and strong, gusty winds was working through parts of Rhode Island.  Brief street flooding and poor drainage flooding is possible with this rain.  Arrival time in Foxboro is between 8:30 and 9:15PM.


-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Capitalizing on Mistakes

January 18th, 2015 at 7:48 pm by under Patriots

Fifteen minutes of football are behind us in the AFC Championship, and New England is in the driver’s seat.

After a pair of failed drives from both teams, the Patriots caught a break early on when Josh Cribbs muffed a punt and it was recovered by Darius Fleming at the Colts 26. The Patriots took advantage of the good field position and went up 7-0 with a short touchdown run from LeGarrette Blount.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Looking to recover, the Colts put together a quick drive and set up a 51-yard field goal for former Patriot Adam Vinatieri – and he kicked it wide right. New England again drove down the field and were able to capitalize off another Indianapolis mistake in the form of a touchdown pass to FB James Develin. It was the Brown University alum’s first touchdown reception, and it came at a great time, putting the Patriots up 14-0.

Tom Brady added more postseason passing yards to his resume, which once again put him on top of Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history.

Inactives for AFC Championship

January 18th, 2015 at 6:59 pm by under Patriots

Inactive for the Patriots today are:

  • RB James White
  • OL Jordan Devey
  • OL Bryan Stork
  • WR Josh Boyce
  • WR Brian Tyms
  • DL Zach Moore
  • DL Chris Jones

And for the Colts:

  • WR Griff Wayland
  • RB Trent Richardson
  • CB Sheldon Price
  • OL Xavier Nixon
  • OLB Bjoern Werner
  • DL Zach Kerr

Last week Patriots RB Jonas Gray was inactive, but he’s in uniform today. Maybe the team hopes he can repeat his last performance against Indy and run for 201 yards and four touchdowns.


January 18th, 2015 at 6:39 pm by under Patriots

For a while it looked as though we could potentially see a rematch of Super Bowl XXXI. But the Seahawks wanted no part of that.

Kickoff for the Patriots-Colts game was delayed 10 minutes after Seattle mounted a late comeback against Green Bay and the game went into overtime. It was capped off by a miraculous walk-off touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse, propelling the defending champs to their second straight Super Bowl.

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Tracking Heavy Rain This Evening

January 18th, 2015 at 6:15 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Sunday evening update:


We’re tracking a line of heavy downpours with some embedded thunderstorms moving from CT through Long Island.  This line is headed east-northeastward and is expected to move through our area between 7 and 10PM.

Cloud to surface lightning is well south of New England, but some cloud-to-cloud lightning is possible.

Strong winds and heavy rain is expected in our area between 7 and 10pm.  Localized street and poor drainage flooding is possible.   Please keep the speeds down while driving.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Let The Games Begin

January 18th, 2015 at 4:59 pm by under Patriots

Hello again from the press box! Gillette Stadium has traded in bitter cold temperatures for cloudy, wet conditions, and we’re gearing up for an AFC Championship showdown between the Patriots and the Colts.

Crews have taken the tarp off the field, and the players are out there getting warmed up. Once again we’ll be live blogging throughout the game, so be sure to check back in throughout the game instead of watching those pesky commercials.

Below are a few pics from field level:

Freezing Rain Advisory This Morning

January 18th, 2015 at 8:53 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog


There is a potential for freezing rain, primarily to the north and west of I-95 over the next several hours.  Here is a snapshot from our RADAR earlier this morning:


I did notice Westerly, Providence, and Smithfield all went above freezing at around 9 this morning.  That is good news.  However, we will have to watch western RI closely (e.g. West Greenwich, Foster, Johnston) over the next several hours as those spots were still below freezing as of the writing of this blog.

Please use caution! Freezing rain is often more dangerous than snow because you can’t see the layers of ice that can buildup on the roads.  By the time we get into this afternoon, all of our viewing area should be well above  freezing with only liquid rain showers.  -Pete Mangione


Watch Newsmakers: Senator Reed; Congressman Cicilline

January 18th, 2015 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

The Saturday Morning Post: Jan 17

January 17th, 2015 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, The Saturday Morning Post

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

A Friendly Wager

January 16th, 2015 at 5:20 pm by under Patriots

In keeping with tradition, Charlie Baker has made his first sports bet as the governor of Massachusetts.

He and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence exchanged football-related jabs on Twitter, and made a friendly wager on the outcome of Sunday’s showdown between the Patriots and the Colts.

Baker offered up a Super Bowl-themed cake from Montilio’s in Brockton and Boston Creme Pie cupcakes from the Koffee Kup bakery in Springfield if the Colts come out on top. Pence made a really bad joke about shredding the Patriots before putting some pulled pork from Shoup’s Country Foods on the table. That’s a serious win-win for Baker if (read: when) New England is victorious.

Don’t forget – on Sunday I’ll once again be live blogging during the game from the press box at Gillette Stadium, plus tweeting @wpri12.

Here’s a snippet of the conversation between the governors:

Twitter conversation - Gov. Baker and Gov. Pence


Bitterly Cold Air Arrives Late Friday

January 16th, 2015 at 9:21 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Another blast of cold air from the North Pole is headed our way…ETA is late afternoon.

As of 9AM, another Arctic front was moving through Upstate New York.  Snow showers and snow squalls were scattered all over New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania.


Read the rest of this entry »

Latest Summary On This Week’s Series Of Quakes

January 15th, 2015 at 8:18 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening from chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca

The following  is the latest detailed summary on the series (swarm) of minor earthquakes in our area this week. The following statement is provided by MEMA





Since Thursday, January 8th, as many as a dozen minor earthquakes have been detected/recorded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Weston Observatory in the area of Plainfield, Killingly, and Sterling in eastern Connecticut, with the most recent occurring at 4:39 this morning. The strongest of these, a magnitude 3.3 quake, occurred on Monday, January 12th, and was felt across southern New England, including in multiple areas of Massachusetts. It should be noted that a 3.3 magnitude earthquake is close to the average of the strongest earthquake in New England each year, and that earthquakes under 5.0 magnitude typically do not cause structural damage.  

Today, MEMA hosted a conference call with the Weston Observatory.  The state emergency management agencies in Connecticut and Vermont, and the Northeast States Emergency Consortium (NESEC) also participated in the call.  According to the Weston Observatory, these earthquakes are associated with an earthquake ”swarm”, which is a series or burst of earthquakes in succession. The last earthquake swarm to occur in New England took place in Bar Harbor, Maine in 2006-2007. It is not possible to predict the frequency of future earthquakes in a swarm based on past activity, or the duration of the swarm.  Earthquake swarms are not usually followed by a significantly stronger quake, although this possibility cannot be conclusively ruled out and there are instances of swarms being followed by a strong, damaging earthquake.

The Weston Observatory has deployed mobile seismographs to the area to capture more detailed information on local seismic activity and has coordinated with the Connecticut state geologist to conduct data collection. The seismographs will remain in place for at least three weeks.

The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection is continuing to monitor the earthquake activity and will be holding a multi-agency briefing tomorrow morning at its emergency operations center.

MEMA has been in contact with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and has been advised that none of the nuclear power plants in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are reporting operational issues or concerns as a result of the earthquake activity.

This screen capture from the US Geological Survey website shows the approximate locations and magnitude of earthquakes recorded over the past seven days in eastern Connecticut:

quake data














Additional information on actions to take before during, and after an earthquake can be found on the MEMA website at:

The Weston Observatory has information on the history of earthquake activity in New England at

MEMA Operations:

This afternoon, MEMA participated in a conference call with the Weston Observatory, the states of Connecticut and Vermont, and the Northeast States Emergency Consortium.


The State Emergency Operations Center is operating at Level 1 (Steady State Monitoring).  MEMA will continue to monitor the situation and will disseminate additional Situational Awareness Statements as necessary. 


Stay Informed: 

For additional information and updated forecasts, see (National Weather Service Taunton) and (National Weather Service Albany)

For real-time power outage information, by community, county, and provider, see MEMA’s Power Outage Website:

Utilize Massachusetts Alerts to receive emergency notifications and information from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service.  Massachusetts Alerts is a free app that is available for Android and iPhones. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit:

Online Resources:

For additional information and resources, visit:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at
MEMA’s Facebook page:
MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency at
National Weather Service/Taunton at
National Weather Service/Albany, NY at
National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center:
National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center:
Northeast River Forecast Center:

Mass211 at






Inspector general probing RI Housing, filing reveals

January 15th, 2015 at 7:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A federal inspector general is looking into Rhode Island Housing’s management of a major affordable-housing program, has confirmed.

Read the rest of this story »

3 important RI health care stories you might have missed

January 15th, 2015 at 11:24 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The end of the year is often a time when news stories that might otherwise receive a lot of attention get overlooked while people are busy with the holidays. That’s even more true in a year like 2014, when Rhode Islanders were recovering from a huge election season and preparing for new leadership.

One example of this phenomenon was health care. While the future of HealthSource RI continues to get a lot of attention, three other things that happened in December deserved a closer look than they got. Together, they give some sense of what public and private leaders in the local health sector are expecting to focus on in 2015.

Here they are.

1. The $20-million federal health-care grant

Governor Chafee and the congressional delegation announced Dec. 16 that the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had awarded Rhode Island $20 million for a State Innovation Model initiative. The eight-figure grant garnered headlines, but relatively little attention was paid to how it will be spent.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ride the T to Gillette

January 14th, 2015 at 4:57 pm by under Patriots

If you’re heading to the game on Sunday and are not interested in dealing with Route 1 traffic outside of Gillette Stadium, the MBTA will be offering a special game day train schedule from T.F. Green Airport and South Station in Boston.

The agency released the full schedule on Wednesday:

Sunday, Jan 18
vs. Colts
Kick Off
6:40 p.m.
South Station Train
4:00 p.m.
4:05 p.m.
4:20 p.m.
Gillette Stadium
5:05 p.m.
TF Green Airport Train
3:30 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
4:10 p.m.
4:20 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
Gillette Stadium
5:05 p.m.

Round trip tickets are $15. Visit the MBTA’s website for more details.

Study: RI cities, towns face $5B retiree shortfall

January 14th, 2015 at 4:13 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island cities and towns owe their current and former workers more than $5 billion in retirement benefits with no money set aside to pay for them, a new state study has found.

Read the rest of this story »

RI has no formal policy for opting out of new standardized test

January 14th, 2015 at 3:51 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – There is no formal policy for students to opt out of taking Rhode Island’s new standardized test later this year, but department of education officials said Tuesday students aren’t legally required to participate in the exam.

The department fully expects most students to take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam, just as they would with any test given in schools every day, according to deputy commissioner Dave Abbott and Mary Ann Snider, RIDE’s chief of educator excellence and instructional effectiveness.

Read the rest of this story »

We’re on to Indianapolis

January 14th, 2015 at 3:44 pm by under Eyewitness Sports, Patriots

After knocking the Ravens out of the playoffs, the Patriots got back to business on Wednesday. Even though they made it look easy in Week 11, the team will have their work cut out for them when the Colts come to town on Sunday.

The Patriots may have rolled to a 42-20 victory on the back of Jonas Gray, but they recognize that one of the league’s best offenses will not be looking to repeat that performance. AFC Championship Patriots Colts helmets

Brady and Belichick held a news conference Wednesday morning to give their thoughts on the Colts. A lot of it was preparation humdrum, but they both made it clear there’s a lot of work to be done prior to kickoff. Here are the details: Brady: Beating the Colts will “take everything we’ve got”

Also – Brady noted that Gisele asked “what’s your problem?” in regards to his pre-game intensity and helmet smashing. Apparently she had different ways of getting amped up for Victoria’s Secret fashion shows.

Now Gray, who ran for 201 yards and four touchdowns in the last game against Indy, didn’t dress for Saturday’s showdown with Baltimore. At this point you’re probably wondering the same thing as me – will the team give him another chance to run amok against the Colts?