Forecast discussion: Well, the busiest travel day of the year has been nothing but headaches for drivers along northern Rhode Island as we move into Wednesday evening. However, we have only had 2 car accidents in the state through the early afternoon. We started the morning as rain, but by the late morning, parts of Northern Rhode Island were seeing a mix of rain, sleet, and snow. Also, parts of Central Rhode Island were receiving freezing rain. But, the rain line has been moving back to the north since 4 p.m.
So, if you had a chance to see the morning or noon news, you probably noticed the snow accumulation maps showing less amounts. Well, as the low tracked up the coast early Wednesday morning, the low’s center took a more westerly track. So, we remained in the warmer sector of the storm. Therefore, most of the day the state has seen mostly rain, with the rain mixing with sleet north of Providence. As we move into the evening, the colder air will move north to south, and we will return to a mix of rain/sleet before seeing a rain/snow mix by midnight.
By early Thursday morning, enough cold air should turn the precipitation to all snow. But, we will only see light snow showers, as the majority of the heavier precipitation moved north. Looking over the snow maps, I feel WPRI-TV’s snow map best resembles my forecast. Providence may see an inch of snow on the ground by the time everyone wakes up to begin heating the oven and starting the turkey. The rest of northern Rhode Island will see 1-3 inches, with extreme northwest Rhode Island seeing 2-4 inches.
There may be a few passing snow showers while we sit down at the dinner table in the afternoon. This is due to a second low pressure system forming out into the Atlantic. We may receive the outer edge of the precipitation shield into Thursday night. Some snow showers may continue into Black Friday, but this will not interrupt the highways or roads for any early shopping.
The weekend looks to be rather quiet, as a high pressure ridge moves over the eastern U.S. Friday evening. However, we will keep moisture in the upper levels of the atmosphere, so we will keep partly sunny skies during the daytime hours Saturday and Sunday, and mostly cloudy skies during the night. A new cold front will bring the risk of rain showers by Sunday evening. However, we will receive some warmer air from the south, as high temperatures may reach 50 degrees by Sunday afternoon. The warmer air will stick around for Monday, and highs will reach the lower 50’s under mostly sunny skies. The next chance for any showers will be Wednesday morning, as a warm front helps to raise our temperatures back into the upper 40’s to lower 50’s.
I want to wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving. Please be safe if you have to drive anytime this evening. A new weather update will not occur until Friday evening, November 28.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: The sleet/rain mix will eventually change to a rain/snow mix by midnight, before changing to snow by 2 a.m. The southern coast will remain mostly rain. By sunrise, I am only expecting up to an inch of snow and sleet for Providence. The rest of northern Rhode Island will see 1-3 inches, and extreme northwest Rhode Island will have 2-4 inches.
Thanksgiving Day: Morning snow showers end by 8 a.m. Partly to mostly sunny skies expected by the afternoon. Passing snow showers are still possible in the early afternoon. We will have a high of 39 with northwest winds of 5-8 mph.
Thursday night: Mostly cloudy with possible snow showers and a low of 26. Winds will come from the north-northwest at 7-10 mph.
Friday: Isolated snow showers end by 1 p.m. with clearing skies and a high of 37.
Friday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 22.
Saturday: Partly sunny skies with a high of 40.
Saturday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 30.
Sunday: Partly sunny with possible showers by 9 p.m. Highs 48-51, lows 38-41.
Monday: Isolated showers end by 8 a.m. with sunny skies by the afternoon and slightly colder temperatures. Highs 51-54, lows 26-29.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Highs 38-41, lows 29-32.
Wednesday: Overcast in the morning with scattered showers by 11 a.m. Highs 49-52, lows 38-41.