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January 29 – Snow drought continues

The winter of 2018-19 has been a dud for snow-lovers. It got off to a promising start with a preseason snow storm in mid-November. Since then, however, every big storm has been either all or part rain. There have not even been any snowy Alberta Clippers. Officially in Providence, the season total stands at 7.9″ through January 28. Take out the November storm and the total is less than 2″ – in the top 5 least snowy December-January on record. Tonight’s storm will not bring much, if any, snow to Bridgeport and Providence. Windsor Locks has a better chance of getting a few inches of snow.

There have been a lot of comparisons to the slow-starting winter of 2014-15 that turned into one of the snowier on record in Southern New England. Well, if this winter is going to turn around, it better do it in a hurry. Based on the current forecast, it’s highly unlikely that there will be any significant snow for most of CT, RI, and SE MA before February 4. When looking back at the winter 2014-15, it turned around very quickly after January 24. In fact, Providence received THIRTY inches of snow between January 24 and February 3, and there was plenty more to come for the rest of February and into mid-March. This time around, however, we are going to be several days into February and still running way below the normal seasonal snowfall. Looking at the longer range outlook from the European model for the start of February, the consensus is that the snow drought will continue.

EPS predicts below normal snow in the Southern New England in the next two weeks
Warmer than normal in early February in the Eastern US

Am I ready to throw in the towel on the snow potential for this winter? Not yet. The pattern has been stormy, and a slight shift in the storm track could bring some wintry weather in towards the end of next week. It’s by no means a lock, but I do see some potential for it. A brief relatively warm stretch in early February (early-middle of next week) will most likely be followed by another cold shot in the middle of the month. There is still some hope for snow-lovers this winter. Now, on to the forecast…

As mentioned in previous updates, tonight’s storm may end as a bit of snow followed by a sharp drop in the temperature early Wednesday. Watch out for icy spots in the morning. It will be a brisk and cold day with temps in the 20s, and the true Arctic air is arriving tomorrow night. Ahead of that, there will likely be a line of snow squalls that could produce a quick coating-1″ of snow anytime between 3-7 pm from west to east. Wind chills fall below zero Wednesday night as the temperature hits the single digits. Expect highs in the teens with dry skies on Thursday. It will be bitter again Thursday night. Friday afternoon looks not quite as frigid, with highs in the 20s. It will likely reach the 30s on Saturday, and Sunday is well into the 40s. It’s early, but a storm system coming through in the early to middle part of next week will likely be mainly or all rain.

Fred Campagna

President and Chief Meteorologist - Right Weather LLC AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist #756 AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist #126

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