weather

John Bender / RIPR

Many public schools remained closed for a second day, as residents continued the work of digging out from the snowstorm that pummeled Rhode Island and the South Coast on Thursday. In New Bedford, officials warned that a deep freeze could cause more problems.

John Bender / RIPR

Yes, it’s frigid outside. It’s New England, and it's winter. But this week’s cold weather is breaking records. The National Weather Service confirmed that a 14-degree high on Thursday broke the previous record cold temperature, set in 1976.

John Bender / RIPR

Even as homeless shelters swell over capacity, social service workers are scrambling to get more people off the streets and out of the bitter cold.

Not since 2014’s so-called polar vortex has the state seen such sustained frigid temperatures. According to meteorologists, the culprit this time is a blast of arctic air hitting the East Coast.

“This appears to be the coldest air mass for the last four or five years,” said National Weather spokesman Bill Simpson. “It’ll probably be an extended period of cold air, probably breaking by next week. So we’re looking at well, well below our normal temperatures.”

Ryan Caron King/WNPR

Blanca Ortiz-Torres was sitting in a Puerto Rican oasis. She was at a working bakery in the tiny mountain town of Maricao that had both a generator and a cistern and, as a result, could serve cold drinks, hot coffee, fresh pastries, and pizza.

But she wasn’t happy about it. 

John Bender / RIPR

Hurricane Jose was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved towards Southern New England. But sailors are still preparing.

Marc N. Belanger / Creative Commons/ Wikimedia Commons

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the state, effective through Friday. Rains are likely to make for a messy evening commute Thursday. Weather Service meteorologist Joe Dellicarpini said the wet weather should end later Thursday night.

Rhode Islanders saw the first accumulated snowfall of the season Monday morning. Less than an inch of snow fell across most parts of the state, and much of it melted within a few hours. Across the state most areas saw less than an inch of snow, with a full inch in parts of Washington County, and Cranston.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson says Rhode Island could see more snow Wednesday into Thursday.

National Weather Service

Rhode Island may feel only limited effects from Hurricane Matthew. The Category 3 storm left a trail of damage in Haiti and was moving toward the Bahamas on Wednesday.

NOAA

The storm, Hermine, which made landfall last week has been downgraded from a category one hurricane, to a tropical storm, to what's called a post-tropical cyclone. In general terms that just means a lower-strength event, said Rebecca Gould, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

"Really no different than a Nor’easter," said Gould. "You might get some showers, some rain, probably not until [Monday night] into [Tuesday]. Winds along the south coast will be a bit stronger than anywhere else. We’re expecting gusts up to about 30-35 mph. In Providence 25-30 mph gusts."

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

An advisory is the lowest of four drought designations.

State Water Resources Board Chairwoman Susan Licardi says the drought advisory is meant to raise awareness about current conditions. State officials are urging Rhode Islanders to take precautionary measures to conserve water and to be aware of the dry conditions.

State recommendations include avoiding over-watering of lawns, and not watering yards during the hottest part of the day.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence reached 96 degrees Sunday. It's not a record -- that's 98 degrees -- but the humidity was unusually high. The National Weather Service issued heat advisories for several days last week.

On Monday, the state will get relief, according to Weather Service meteorologist Bob Thompson.

“[Monday] will be a little bit less humid, it’s still going to be very warm [Monday], we’re still probably going to see high temperatures near 90, but the humidity will be a little bit less," said Thompson.

But Thompson predicts the respite will be brief.

National Weather Service

The advisory for much of Southern New England lasts through 7 o’clock Friday evening. Temperatures are climbing into the 90s, but humidity could make it feel as hot as 103 degrees.

Meteorologist Lenore Correia recommends keeping outdoor activities to a minimum.

“People can get heat exhaustion and things like that,” said Correia. “You don’t want to leave your children in the car, or your pets, and you just want to be careful and make sure to drink lots of water.”

Correia said things will cool off by the end of the weekend.

John Bender

After a stretch of warm weather, snow is on the horizon for Rhode Island. The National Weather Service is predicting a brief winter storm late in the weekend, and has issued a hazardous weather outlook for much of southern New England.

Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson says snowflakes will likely start falling late Saturday evening and last through Monday.

Temperatures broke records across southern New England, as the mercury plunged to subzero levels. In Providence it hit -9 degrees Fahrenheit Sunday during the early morning hours; breaking the previous record of -7 set in 1979, according to the National Weather Service.

The deep freeze is expected to break this week in Rhode Island. Temperatures will hover in the twenties across most of the state, and are expected to climb above freezing along the coast.

Temperatures will reach 50 degrees on Tuesday, which will feel practically balmy, after the harsh weekend.

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