Hurricane Arthur is churning towards New England. But forecasters are worried about an entirely different weather system hitting the area today.
National Weather Service meteorologist Glenn Field is hunkering down for a busy day. This afternoon and evening, Field says he’s watching a cold front that’s on track to bring severe weather and a couple of inches of rain to Rhode Island.
After a relatively warm weekend, with highs in the upper fifties on Saturday, Rhode Island is now being struck by below-freezing temperatures. And now snow is on the way.
The National Weather Service is watching a storm that’s expected to hit the North East on Tuesday night, lasting into Wednesday. Newport and Aquidneck Island are expected to get the brunt of it, with four to six inches of snow. A winter storm advisory has already been issued for the area. The rest of the state will see between two and four inches.
Meteorologists predict Wednesday’s storm will be quick and hard hitting. Glenn Field with the National Weather Service said the snow will hit around 4:00 am and start coming down hard during the morning commute, “maybe one to perhaps two inches per hour, for about four or five hours during that rush hour period,” said Field.
Rhode Island has been basking in unusually warm temperatures for a January day. According to the National Weather Service, most parts of the state were in the low 50’s throughout Monday. But a big change is just around the corner.
Rhode Island has been on a weather rollercoaster for the last four days. The temperature has swung from a near record low last week to a comfortable 50-plus degrees Monday. But National Weather Service meteorologist Charlie Foley says it will get very cold tonight and will remain so through Thursday.
Time to get out the snow shovel. The first significant snowfall of the season is headed our way and expected to start Saturday afternoon.
The Weather Service said a low-end Nor’easter will arrive in Rhode Island Saturday afternoon, bringing snow and wind gusts up to 40 miles an hour along the coast. By the time it’s over Sunday afternoon, the ground will be covered with three to six inches of snow.
The calendar still says autumn but it sure is looking like winter out there. You’re waking up to a mixture of snow and sleet which may make the morning commute a challenge. National Weather Service meteorologist Hayden Frank says the afternoon commute will be much easier.
"We’ll see a transition from the snow and sleet to rain as we work through Monday morning but the Monday morning commute will be messy because we will be dealing with a mixture of snow and sleet at the time," said Frank on Sunday.
Our heat wave is expected to persist throughout the rest of the work week. Temperatures will remain, at least, in the lower 90s until Friday.
Bill Simpson is the Spokesperson for the National Weather Service in Boston. Under these conditions, he recommends for everyone to stay hydrated and indoors as much as possible. Simpson also states the worst time to be outside is as the weather peaks at its highest temperature.
All eyes are on the Pawtuxet and Pawcatuck rivers as they are expected to rise even higher Friday night. The Blackstone River is also rising.
Two inches of rain fell between Thursday and Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service. It came in what was already a soggy week in Rhode Island. All the rain has pushed the Pawtuxet River to more than a foot above flood stage. The National Weather Service expects it to crest at 11 feet and remain high through Saturday night.