Forecast discussion: Thanks to an extremely strong high pressure system over southern Iowa, we received clear skies and bright sunshine. Temperatures actually reached the upper 20’s today in Providence. However, light winds and clear skies will once again drop our temperatures tonight into the middle single digits. This cold air will remain through the weekend, and will help keep one storm system’s precipitation as snow for early next week.
The storm I mentioned in the last paragraph is just making its way into Wyoming. The frontal boundary will move over the Gulf of Mexico, and begin to draw moisture. The high will protect us into Sunday afternoon, but the high will move offshore, and we will lose its influence. Based on the current computer models, I believe the first snowflakes will fall by 8 p.m. on Sunday, with light to moderate snow starting just before midnight. This will continue into the morning commute on Monday, with lingering snow showers lasting into the early afternoon. The low’s center moves out of the Gulf of Maine by the early afternoon. At this time, I am expecting about 3-5 inches for Providence, and most of northern Rhode Island. This means a Winter Weather Advisory will probably be put out by the National Weather Service by tomorrow night.
We will have a brief period of time to shovel and plow the new snowfall out of the way, as another low pressure system in the Southwest U.S. draws moisture from the Pacific Ocean. The moisture will be carried by the tropical jet stream, which moves right over the low’s center. A new high will only protect us until Tuesday evening, before we see a new round of precipitation.
At this time, the computer models are still a little hesitant on what kind of precipitation we will get Tuesday evening. At this point, with so much cold air still in place, we will see light snow. But, as we move into Wednesday, a warm front will push through Southern New England. The warmer air at the lower levels of the atmosphere should change the precipitation to a moderate to heavy rain by the morning commute on Wednesday. This will make for some slick weather, along with the risk of patch fog, as the warmer air begins to move over the large snow pack and melt it. We will keep the warm air around into Thursday, as temperatures stay above freezing during the daytime. But, a new blast of cold air returns over New England by Thursday night, keeping our normal temperatures for early March well below freezing. We should be in the lower 40’s for high temperatures now, and I am forecasting high temperatures next Saturday to reach the middle 20’s.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Clear skies and very cold with a low of 5.
Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high of 26. Winds will come from the northwest at 5-8 mph.
Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 7. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 2-5 mph.
Sunday: Sunshine in the morning gives way to overcast skies during the afternoon. Snow showers are possible by 8 p.m. We will see a high of 33.
Sunday night: Light snow starting around 11 p.m. with a low of 24.
Monday: Moderate snow ends by mid-morning. Snow showers/flurries continue until the early afternoon. At this time, 3-5 inches is possible for the capital city. We will see a high of 36 with temperatures falling during the afternoon.
Monday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 16.
Tuesday: Early sunshine in the morning gives way to overcast skies by mid-afternoon with light snow after 8 p.m. Highs 31-34, lows 25-28.
Wednesday: Snow changes to rain during early morning, becoming moderate to heavy rain by 5 a.m. The precipitation tapers into the afternoon, with showers ending by 5 p.m. Highs 38-41, lows 29-32.
Thursday: Partly sunny. Highs 36-39, lows 14-17.
Friday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 24-27, lows 7-10.