Forecast discussion: A high pressure ridge brought sunshine to Providence on Friday, along with some windy conditions early in the day. But, that ridge will begin to weaken this evening, as we watch a couple of low pressure systems in the Midwest U.S. work their way up towards the Northeast U.S. for tomorrow. In fact, a Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the state of Rhode Island starting at 10 AM Saturday morning until 7 AM Sunday morning.
We will begin to see increasing clouds by sunrise, as moisture from the system begins to infiltrate our atmosphere. Based on the latest computer models, I’m expecting to see the first snowflakes to fall during mid-morning. We should see some light snowfall by noon. Based on the track of a secondary low along the coastline, we will see some heavier snowfall during the evening and overnight hours. As the move through early Sunday morning, the low’s center will continue to move further northeast, with some remnant snow showers by sunrise. All precipitation should end by mid-morning on Sunday, with some sunshine expected Sunday afternoon. Since the low’s track has not changed since last night’s forecast, I will call for 4-7 inches north and west of Providence, with about 3-5 inches in the capital city. Along the south shore, we will see more of a mix of rain and snow, so I’m calling for 1-3 inches.
Already, some cities and towns have parking bans starting Saturday afternoon. If you are not sure if your town or city has any parking bans or what may be closing due to the storm, click here. Take precaution if you do have to travel during the storm, as streets may become icy and visibility may be low due to moderate snow.
By Sunday night, high pressure over the Central U.S. will move over us, but it will bring polar air down from the Arctic. Temperatures Sunday night will be in the upper teens, with wind chills making it feel like the lower teens. As we approach New Year’s Eve night, it will be quite cold if you are attending First Night, as lows will be approaching the middle teens for midnight. Also, a weak Alberta Clipper may bring some brief snow showers Tuesday morning. The first few days of 2013 will remain dry but cold as we move into the next weekend.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy with a low of 24.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with light snow developing in the late morning. Moderate snow expected by sunset. We will see a high of 34, with east-southeast winds of 5-8 mph.
Saturday night: Light to moderate snow with a low of 25. Winds increase from the north-northwest to 10-13 mph.
Sunday: Snow showers end by sunrise, with bright sunshine in the afternoon. I’m expecting 4-7 total inches of snow. We will see a high of 33.
Sunday night: Partly cloudy and very cold with a low of 17.
Monday: Mostly sunny with a high near 32.
Monday night: Partly to mostly cloudy with a low of 23.
New Year’s Day: Mostly cloudy with possible morning snow showers. Highs 32-35, lows 13-16.
Wednesday: Partly sunny. Highs 26-29, lows 16-19.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. Highs 29-32, lows 14-17.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 27-30, lows 15-18.