A significant snowstorm is heading for Southern New England beginning Tuesday PM and ending Wednesday AM. Check this page on Tuesday, January 22, 2014 often for live blog updates on the current weather and forecast from Right Weather meteorologist Fred Campagna. Feel free to ask questions in the comment section near the bottom of the page.
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THIS BLOG IS CLOSED
Heavy snow has been parked over N RI and interior SE MA for over an hour. No sign of it moving in the next hour. The rest of SNE has moderate snow. Temperature is down to 10-15°. Check out the radar here: http://goo.gl/b9UA9
Q: Going from West Greenwich to Warwick for work. Need to be there for 9. Better off leaving now or wait until traffic goes down but snow picks up?
A: That’s a tough call. I hear it’s gridlock out there right now. Presumably, traffic will clear by 8 pm. I would wait and go, but leave lots of extra time.
Not a heck of a lot of melting in the next few days…
Thanks for checking out the Live Blog. Let’s reset the forecast:
Tonight: Snow, heavy at times, becoming breezy inland, windy near the coast. Very cold. Lows: 6-12°
Tomorrow: Snow ends in RI by 10 am, in SE MA by noon. Becoming partly sunny, but blustery and cold. Sub-zero wind chills early in the day. Highs: 15-20
Tomorrow night: Mainly clear, breezy, frigid. Lows: -3 to 8
The snow forecast map is in the next post down. If you have any specific forecast questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section. Please refrain from “How much snow will ___ get?”
Checking in on the RAP model, and for the second straight run it is cutting back on the Providence area snow totals. This run has 6″ of snow (with a nearly 20:1 ratio) in Providence between 4pm-9am – when it ends. We’re feeling pretty good about our snow forecast based on what’s on the ground and what the radar looks like.
Awaiting your loved one’s arrival at home? Join the club. Here is how the traffic looks in RI and SE MA. Lots of red = not good.
The Storm Prediction Center is expecting 1-2″ per hour snowfall rates until 10:30 pm in the Megalopolis of the Northeast. That includes CT, RI, and SE MA. There is a very technical discussion below.
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 0328 PM CST TUE JAN 21 2014 AREAS AFFECTED...ERN MD/NRN VA/DE/NJ/SERN PA/SERN MY/SRN NEW ENGLAND CONCERNING...HEAVY SNOW VALID 212128Z - 220330Z SUMMARY...HEAVY SNOWFALL -- ONGOING WITHIN A BAND FROM THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION NEWD INTO SRN NEW ENGLAND -- WILL CONTINUE THROUGH MUCH OF THE EVENING...WITH SNOWFALL RATES OF 1" TO 2" PER HOUR EXPECTED. DISCUSSION...LATEST RADAR LOOP SHOWS A RELATIVELY NARROW BAND OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL EXTENDING FROM NRN VA/ERN MD NEWD INTO SRN NEW ENGLAND. THE SNOWFALL IS OCCURRING WITHIN A WELL-DEFINED DEFORMATION ZONE ON THE NRN AND NWRN PERIPHERY OF A SURFACE LOW ANALYZED JUST OFF THE SERN VA COAST...WHICH WILL CONTINUE TO DEEPEN/SHIFT NEWD WITH TIME AS A STRONG UPPER SHORT-WAVE TROUGH CONTINUES DIGGING INTO/ACROSS THE CAROLINAS/GA THIS EVENING. THIS BAND OF SNOW IS FORECAST TO GRADUALLY CHANGE ORIENTATION THIS EVENING -- FROM BEING A SW-NE BAND TO MORE SSW-NNE CONFIGURATION -- AS THE SURFACE LOW MOVES SLOWLY NEWD ACROSS THE WRN ATLANTIC WITH TIME. THAT BEING SAID THOUGH...THE PIVOTING BAND OF HEAVIEST SNOWFALL WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE MID-ATLANTIC/SRN NEW ENGLAND REGION THROUGH THE EVENING HOURS. WITH A COLD AIRMASS IN PLACE /TEMPERATURES AT THE SURFACE GENERALLY RANGING FROM THE TEENS TO LOW 20S/ SNOW-TO-LIQUID RATIOS AT OR ABOVE 15-1 WILL AID IN ENHANCEMENT OF THE ALREADY HEAVY PRECIPITATION RATES. THIS WILL SUPPORT SUSTAINED SNOWFALL RATES OF 1" TO 2" PER HOUR AFFECTING THE PHILADELPHIA/NEW YORK CITY/BOSTON CORRIDOR THROUGH THIS EVENING.
Short-range RAP model was consistently giving Providence area 10-11″ of snow in the past 5-6 runs (it runs every hour). Now, it’s thinking more along the lines of 7-8″ starting at 3 pm when there was less than an inch on the ground. This includes a healthy fluff factor, too. We’ll find out at 5 pm if it’s a one-run hiccup or the start of a trend. For now, it looks like there is plenty of steady snow for this evening. Check out the radar: http://goo.gl/b9UA9
Also, you may see it accumulating until 9 am on the RAP model above, but that’s the end of it per this map depiction of the radar from the same model.
Slow-moving traffic through Providence at the start of the commute. Highways in Providence are wet, but will get slushy then snowy after sunset.
Heavy snow in northern RI. RT 146 is not looking so great – except for the fact that there’s no traffic.
A noticeable difference in snowflake size in Bristol, RI in the last 15 minutes. Bigger flakes will accumulate quickly. However, the snow intensity will vary as the bands move northeast. Right now, the heaviest snow is in NW RI. The snow began shortly after noon in Bristol, and as of 3:30 we did not have 0.5″ on the ground.
Q: Hi Fred, I was wondering if you anticipate any power outages?
A: The winds do not look like a huge factor with this storm, and the light/fluffy snow will not stick to tree limbs too well. The best chance of isolated power outages is in Eastern MA. If outages happen in RI, it’s just a case of bad luck because the winds will not be extreme.
I will be on 630AM/99.7FM with Tara Granahan at 3:20 pm.
It is another very cold snowstorm in SNE. Check out the temperatures. They’re only going down from here. Single digits inland by dawn.
Heavier snow moving east, but also north. In fact, the heaviest looks like it’s heading for interior CT – not an area that many expected to see the most snow from this event. That is not to say that they will get the highest totals, but it will be interesting to see where that heavy band stops moving north.
The commute in the I-95 corridor between NYC and Boston looks to be somewhere between bad and awful.
A very snowy scene in SW RI. 0.25 mile visibility at the Westerly Airport.
Heavy snow from Long Island to Philly is moving northeast. ASSUMING this band holds together, it will hammer a good chunk of Southeastern New England between 4pm-10pm.
For anyone thinking this compares to the December Debacle of 2007, there was already heavy snow falling by 1 pm on that day. This one is a couple of hours behind schedule, and that will hopefully make a difference with the evening commute. It’s also not coming in quite as fast and furious as that storm did.
Here are the observations from TF Green Airport on December 13, 2007
95-100% chance of 8″ of snow? That is very aggressive. I felt that way before the blizzard last February, but that was for a 16-24″ forecast. I’d say 65-75% chance of 8″ of snow. It still gets the point across. The strange thing is the odds of at least 12″ drop to only around 50%. My line of thinking says if you’re sure the storm will deliver at least 8″, that you’d leave the door a little more open than 50% of 12″ given the usual forecast uncertainty.
Anyway, it’s snowing and sticking in most of RI, and there is heavier stuff starting to move into the coast.
In order to preempt any questions that I will surely get on the blog or Social Media…we think the updated NWS forecast is too high. While we think 10-14″ is possible in a worst-case scenario, we do not see it as the most likely outcome. In fact, most short-range modeling, plus the latest European model is supporting a 6-12″ snowfall for the areas outlined in 10-18″ on the NWS map.
The storm is underway in the southern half of RI and coastal SE MA. Still flurries around Providence, but not for too much longer. We expect there to be 1-3″ on the ground in all of Southeastern New England by 5 pm.
Localized steady band over Buzzards Bay has a coating on the ground at the Hawthorne Country Club in Dartmouth, MA.
Flakes flying in RI are steadiest in S County. It’s all downhill from here! Although, away from the coast there should be another 1-2 hours of flurries and lighter snow showers before it gets solid.
Q: Hi Fred! What are you thinking in terms of the morning commute? Any changes from previous thoughts?
A: No changes. Accumulating snow ending 6-9 am in RI, 7-11 am in SE MA. Windy and cold. Temps in the teens. 8″+ snow on the ground in many spots. Overall, not looking great.
Flurries in part of RI and SE MA, but steady snow is not yet on the doorstep. Look for it in most of RI and SE MA by around 2 pm.
Model watchers…the GFS looked the same as it has for a couple of days. The Canadian RGEM model has been trending farther southeast with the storm. If correct, there will be 5-6″ in the Providence area and 7-10″ in SE MA. Of course, our latest snow forecast is available a little farther down this page.
Flurries in SW RI and over part of Cape Cod. Steady snow is over Long Island. It is still on track to arrive in the early to mid afternoon, and get heavier by this evening.
It has been snowing in New York for two hours. Roads look ok, but snow is sticking on untreated surfaces. The temperature is in the low 20s.
No snow yet in CT, but it’s getting close. The darker the blue snowflakes indicate heavier snow. It’s all heading for SNE this afternoon and tonight.
Closings, delays, and parking bans: http://goo.gl/rK58Kd
There may be wonderful snow growth in the clouds over RI this evening. There is the potential for 8″ of snow between 4pm and midnight if everything comes together just right. The fluff factor (snow ratio) could be 20:1, which is nearly double what it usually is in RI and SE MA. So, for every 0.5″ of liquid, you’re getting 10″ of snow. Obviously, we’d have to up our totals if that looks imminent. Right now, we’ll leave it as a possibility.
Hi-res NAM computer model thumps SE CT, most of RI, and all of SE MA with 8-10″ of snow by 7 am. If there is the same fluffy consistency on Cape Cod that we’re expecting in RI and interior SE MA, then look for some 15-18″ storm totals out there.
Nudged the snow totals up an inch. 6″ seems like a lock for all of RI and SE MA. Fluff factor will probably lead to widespread 8-10″ amounts. A foot possible near the coast.
Biggest change to the forecast is moderate snow arriving before 4 pm and potentially having a major impact on the evening commute.
Short-range model with moderate snow at 5 pm in most of CT, RI, and SE MA. The evening commute will be slowed considerably by the snow.
It looks like snow will be an issue for the evening commute. It will develop 1-3 pm, and become steadier after 4 pm. By 6 pm, there could be 2-3″ on the ground.
We’re looking for some of the finer points of the forecast now. It looks like there could be a band of heavy snow that moves through RI and SE MA between 5pm-9pm that leads to around 3″ of snow. If it arrives a bit sooner, the evening commute will be a mess. As it is, it will go downhill quickly by 6 pm.
The stage was set for snow last night as cold air rode in on a northerly wind. Check out the temperature this morning.
Flight delays and cancellations are piling up in the Mid-Atlantic: http://flightaware.com/miserymap/
Snowfall wise, this storm will probably be similar to the January 2-3 storm in RI and SE MA. Totals may not be as high on Cape Cod. Although it will be very cold, it will not be as frigid as it was during the January 2-3 storm. The peak wind gusts will not be as high, and the coastal flooding is not a major concern for Eastern MA. Here are the snow totals from that storm: http://goo.gl/lPI2h1
Here is the storm timeline for the Providence Metro Area. It looks like the steadiest snow will be this evening.
The National Weather Service has upgraded Eastern Massachusetts to a Blizzard Warning: http://goo.gl/I2Mr1j
The rest of Southeastern New England is in a Winter Storm Warning
Not much has changed with the overnight computer models. It still looks like a significant, but not blockbuster, snowstorm for Southeastern New England. We are leaning toward the high end of these totals.