Rhode Island is in for a wet Christmas. And, as Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, unseasonably warm weather.
The National Weather Service predicts temperatures could hit the upper fifties on Christmas Eve. There won’t be any snow, but the state can still expect precipitation in the form of heavy rain into Christmas Day. National Weather Service meteorologist Kimberly Buttrick said temperatures could reach near-record highs. “Normal highs usually run around forty degrees so for the next three days we can expect unseasonable warmth,” said Buttrick.
Rhode Islanders may be in for a hairy afternoon commute today. The National Weather service has issued a wind advisory starting at 3 this afternoon. Wind speeds may hit 20 to 25 miles per hour with gusts between 40 and 50 miles per hour. National Weather Service Meteorologist Bill Simpson said the southern part of the state will feel the brunt of the weather.
“The coasts will be more likely to have the highest winds. Newport, you could see wind gusts over fifty miles per hour, little bit less in the Northern part of the state.”
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.
The National Weather Service has reported that this week's upcoming snowstorm will be less intense than originally expected, with the state receiving just 1 to 3 inches Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.
National Weather Service spokesman Bill Simpson says that although there have been more storms than usual this winter, the amount of snow is not out of the ordinary.
"It's not that unusual. It's not record-breaking snow, it's not record-breaking cold, but it has been pretty persistent. It's lasting into the first week of spring and maybe almost into early April."
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.