The storm is rapidly developing and moving northeast. Steady snow was already breaking out in SW CT at noon, and flurries were flying throughout Rhode Island. Conditions in CT should deteriorate by mid-afternoon, and the weather will really go downhill in RI by late this afternoon.
Once the sun sets, travel is not advised in areas that are receiving snow. The snowfall rates may be 1-2″ per hour this evening, and the plows will have a tough time keeping the roads clear. The storm may be reminiscent of the December 13, 2007 “December Debacle” which snarled traffic for several hours in Southern New England. Thankfully, there should not be as many people on the roads this evening.
It is a very close call between snow and rain near the coast. The dew point, and indication of the moisture in the air, was rising above 32° on Long Island, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket – a sign that those places will most likely start as rain or a mix of rain/snow. The dew point was still in the 20s over most of RI and SE MA, except for the immediate coast.
At noon, the dew point at TF Green Airport was 24° and the temperature was 34°. The wind was out of the northeast at about 10 mph. That is a good setup for snow. Once the precipitation begins, the dew point will rise and the temperature will fall, they’ll probably meet between 30-32°.