Brief Evening snow to an overnight wind-driven soaker

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for NW Providence County, Rhode Island this evening and for  Worcester County and Western Massachusetts, as well as New Hampshire and Vermont tonight.

Our next storm will track from Ohio through northern New England. Expect light to moderate snow 3 to 4 p.m. this afternoon changing to rain 6 to 8 p.m. for Rhode Island.

The south coast mixes with rain from the start.  I expect no accumulation at the shoreline and a wet commute along I-95.

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The warm front will push north of us during the evening. This will bring in heavy rain and a strong south wind. Highest wind speeds will be realized near midnight and through the early a.m. hours.

 

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By sun up on Thursday, we’ll accumulate nearly 2 inches of rain!

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Forecast and graphics prepared by Meteorologist Nick Morganelli

TODAY: Brief evening snow northern RI. Rain south coast. Temperatures in the mid 30s.

TONIGHT: Heavy wind-driven rain. WIND ADVISORY and a FLOOD WATCH in effect through tonight. Gusty wind to 35-45 mph. Nearly 2 inches of rain expected.

THURSDAY: Sun and clouds. Dropping afternoon temperatures. Windy. 40s.

FRIDAY – SUNDAY: Dry and mild. Near 40.

WHY THE MILD, SNOW-LESS WINTER?

A BIG INFLUENCE IS OCEAN TEMPERATURES IN THE PACIFIC.

La Nina (opposite of El Nino and one of the reasons for our mild, snow-less winter) occurs periodically. This year it’s back.

La Nina 1

Much like upwelling at our shoreline, the cooler water just below the surface rises when the warm surface water is pushed away by the trade winds. At our Rhode Island beaches, when there’s a land breeze, the same effect happens on a smaller scale. Warmer gulf stream waters are pushed away from the shoreline and cooler water at greater depths along the continental shelf rise to the surface.

La Nina 2

Those fast winds at about 5 miles up govern our weather pattern and this is pretty close to what we’ve had this winter so far. We’ll have to see whether La Nina conditions wane in February and March. If they do, that pattern may turn more wintry than spring-like.

January, our normally coldest month, is just about done and it will go on record as a warm one. There is an indication that winter cold and the chance for snow may be in the offing for the last weekend of the month and prepare to welcome February.

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