Forecast discussion: Providence received some heavy rainfall during the morning commute on Monday, as a warm front pushed through Southern New England. The end result was a high temperature of 65 degrees and 1.31 inches of rainfall. We will have one more mild day in store, before a possible Nor’Easter type system brings everything but the kitchen sink to Rhode Island. As of writing this article, northwest Rhode Island has been issued a Winter Storm Watch from 7 a.m. Wednesday until 10 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.
Right now, all the moisture from this morning’s rainfall is still around, in the form of mist, drizzle, and patchy fog. As we head into this evening, the dewpoint temperatures will remain high, so our overnight lows will be well above average. Also, patchy fog can be expected. For tomorrow, we will begin the day with bright sunshine and mild temperatures. You can actually put the winter coats away. Well, for a few hours, anyway. You will want to keep your coats handy as we head into Tuesday night.
We will begin to lose the influence of the high pressure ridging, as increasing clouds move ahead of the formation of a strong low off the coast of Georgia on early Tuesday morning. Right now, the computer models continue to disagree on how to track the low up into Southern New England. Here is a map made by WPRI/WNAC-TV meteorologist T.J. Del Santo to show us the different tracks of the low.
Right now, the European model has been the most consistent track of the models the last few days. So, for Providence, I am expecting to see isolated rain showers start by 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. Winds and precipitation will intensify by the middle of the morning commute. During the early afternoon, the precipitation will make the upper levels cooler, so there may be enough cold air to change the precipitation to all snow during the 1-4 p.m. time frame. Then, we will see enough warm air come back to make a rain/snow mix into early Thanksgiving morning. After 4 a.m., there will be enough cold air to make it all light snow and flurries into late Thanksgiving morning.
So, what I am calling for in terms of snow accumulation? At this time, up to 6 inches of snow is possible for northwest Rhode Island. I feel Providence down to the south coast could see 2-4 inches. Finally, the south coast will stay warm enough for the precipitation to remain all rain. But, I am still not confident in the totals. I hope to nail it down by tomorrow’s forecast.
By the time we finish off the turkey and stuffing, the weather will be quiet for the weekend. Black Friday looks dry but cold. We will see sunshine on Saturday, with temperatures trying to reach 40 degrees. The computer models run into more disagreement by Sunday, with the chance for some showers Sunday night. The European model keeps us dry throughout the weekend. However, warmer air will return by Sunday, as daytime highs reach the middle 40’s.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Mist and drizzle ends by 6 p.m. with clearing skies by midnight. Patchy fog is expected. We will see a low of 53.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny with increasing clouds by 3 p.m. We will see a high of 59. Winds will come from the west-southwest at 10-13 mph.
Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy and colder with a low of 37. We may see isolated showers by 4 a.m. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 5-8 mph.
Wednesday: Overcast with light to moderate rain beginning by 8 a.m. Increasing winds and moderate to heavy rain by the early afternoon. There will be a changeover to snow during the early afternoon before becoming a rain/snow mix by 4 p.m. We will see a high of 40.
Wednesday night: Windy with a changeover to snow showers after 3 a.m. We will see a low of 31.
Thanksgiving Day: Snow showers persist until 10 a.m. with snow flurries until 1 p.m. Partial sunshine expected before sunset. We will see a high of 38.
Thursday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 25.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 34-37, lows 20-23.
Saturday: Mostly sunny with increasing clouds by the early evening. Highs 37-40, lows 30-33.
Sunday: Partly sunny with possible showers by 7 p.m. Highs 44-47, lows 31-34.
Monday: Scattered showers end by 7 a.m. with sunny skies and slightly colder temperatures. Highs 40-43, lows 23-26.