Forecast discussion: After starting the morning with a Winter Storm Watch, the overnight computer models projected more snow for inland Rhode Island. The National Weather Service than upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning. The warning will continue for all of Rhode Island until 7 AM Sunday morning.
Right now, snow is coming down at almost an inch an hour outside my weather office in Pawtucket. West Greenwich has already reported 4.5 inches of snow, while the south coast has been seeing more rain than snow. Newport has just received one inch of snow as of 7 PM. We will continue to see moderate snow for the next three to four hours. By then, the low’s center will move into the Gulf of Maine, and the heavier precipitation will lighten. We will taper to flurries around midnight. We will see some scattered snow showers and flurries before sunrise. I am expecting northern and central Rhode Island to see between 6-9 inches. The south coast will see more of a 1-3 inch amount. The rest of the state should see 3-6 inches tomorrow morning.
Once the system moves out, we will see a couple days of high pressure ridging over the region. But, it will remain windy, as the pressure gradient between the departing low and the incoming ridge remains tight. Also, polar air will be racing down from Canada, and it will be here after the last day of 2012.
We will be seeing a series of Alberta Clippers pass over Southern New England as we begin 2013. The snow showers will be brief, with no additional accumulations. Also, much colder air will come down via the jet stream by Tuesday night. Overnight lows will fall rapidly, staying just above single digits Thursday evening. Daytime temperatures will stay below freezing.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Moderate snow until midnight and windy, with snow tapering to flurries. All precipitation ends by 5 AM. We will see a low of 27.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and windy with a high of 32. Winds will come from the northwest at 17-22 mph.
Sunday night: Partly cloudy and very cold with a low of 15. Winds will come from the northwest at 10-14 mph.
Monday: Mostly sunny with a high near 31.
Monday night: Partly to mostly cloudy with a low of 25.
New Year’s Day: Partly sunny with passing flurries and a high of 32.
Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 13.
Wednesday: Cloudy with a passing snow shower in the afternoon. Highs 26-29, lows 13-16.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. Highs 26-29, lows 10-13.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 23-26, lows 11-14.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Highs 28-31, 17-20.