Forecast discussion: After feeling some very warm air after a week of bitterly cold days, it felt more like March than the end of January. We reached 59 degrees at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, but did not reach the all-time high temperature of 62 degrees for this day. However, we will be returning back to winter temperatures very soon.
Right now, the warm front with this low has moved into Northern New England. This is what helped raised our temperatures to well above normal conditions. But, the main concern will be the associated cold front. This front has helped create some tornadoes in the Southeast, killing 2 in Georgia. Now, we will not see any severe weather as it passes through Rhode Island, but it will help create some scattered showers at first, before we see a moderate to heavy rainfall early Thursday morning.
Also, another factor from this front will be strong winds. As the cold front moves closer east, it will help create winds of 20-25 mph tonight, with gusts as high as 50 mph. There will be times when winds could reach 30-35 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. We may see some power outages through the overnight. Due to these strong winds, the National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for all of Rhode Island from 10 p.m. tonight to 9 a.m. Thursday morning.
After the front passes, precipitation will taper off to scattered showers, and wind gusts will diminish, especially during Thursday afternoon. However, we will see some arctic air move back over the region, and temperatures will fall through the afternoon. As we move into the weekend, we will see some quick moving low pressure systems, and they bring us a little snowfall.
The first system will pass to our south during the day on Friday. Because the low remains to our south, we may see just a dusting to an inch of snow as we head into Friday evening. As we head into Saturday night, an Alberta Clipper type system will move through New England. We will see light snow through Sunday, but I am not expecting any high snowfall amounts at this time. But, temperatures will be cold again, as lows fall into the upper teens.
As we head into early next week, a weak area of high pressure will bring us some sunshine on Monday, before another Alberta Clipper passes through Southern New England early Tuesday morning. But, temperatures will be just warm enough at the surface to turn snowflakes into some raindrops by the afternoon. Some moisture will remain in our atmosphere next Wednesday. The good news is temperatures will actually be normal for early February.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Showers starting this evening may turn to moderate to heavy rain during the overnight. Winds will be strong, and we may even get an isolated thunderstorm. We will see a low of 49.
Thursday: Moderate to heavy rain ending in the morning along with windy conditions. Precipitation tapers off by the early afternoon. I’m calling for a high of 52, before temperatures fall during the early afternoon. Winds will come from the west-southwest at 20-25 mph with gusts of 50 mph at times.
Thursday night: Partly to mostly cloudy and much colder with a low of 26. Winds will come from the west-southwest at 14-18 mph with occasional gusts up to 30 mph.
Friday: Cloudy with occasional snow showers and a high of 35.
Friday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 17.
Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high of 34.
Saturday night: Mostly cloudy with light snow starting and a low of 22.
Sunday: Light snow through the day. Highs 33-36, lows 22-25.
Monday: Mostly sunny early, but becoming cloudy by the evening. Highs 35-38, lows 25-28.
Tuesday: Light snow showers starting after midnight, turning to rain in the afternoon. Highs 34-37, lows 21-24.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Highs 34-37, lows 22-25.