Blizzard-like Conditions Expected Tuesday

A major snow storm with blizzard-like conditions are expected on Tuesday.  Large snow amounts and very strong winds are anticipated through the day, but there will likely be some mixing at times.

Blizzard Watches are in effect for the Providence area and points north and west of the city.  HOWEVER, blizzard-like conditions are still possible south and east of the city…we can’t stress that enough.  A blizzard is defined as 3 or more hours of near zero visibility and strong winds with falling or blowing snow.  While 3 hours of blizzard conditions may not be met near the coast, it’s important for everyone to understand there will be prolonged periods of near white out conditions everywhere.

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A powerful storm will develop off the mid-Atlantic coast tonight and move to near Cape Cod by Tuesday evening.  This slightly more westerly track will bring warmer air into Southern New England, and that will cut down accumulations for some.

Now, 8-12″ is expected south and east of Providence to New Bedford and Westerly.  North and west of Providence, we still expect 12-18″ of snow.  In Providence, around 12″ is possible.

TIMING

As we have for the past few days, we expect the first flakes between 4 and 8AM from west to east.   It’ll be light at first, but as it becomes heavier, it will start sticking to the roads.  Don’t be fooled by the slow start to the snow, conditions will rapidly change after 9AM.

Late morning and into the early afternoon, expect horrendous conditions on area roads.  Snowfall rates of 1-3″ per hour are expected between 9AM and 2PM for most of the area.  Visibility on area roads will be near zero, at times.  Winds will quickly ramp up to 45-55mph in gusts.  Blizzard-like conditions are expected everywhere.

During the afternoon, a mix line (snow, sleet, perhaps rain) will be advancing northward over the coast.  Inland, however, snow will likely still be coming down heavily.

Lighter precipitation will be in place by 7PM, and a light mix could be falling across the region.  Most of the accumulating snow should be gone.

By midnight, all precipitation should be, basically done.

WINDS

Winds are still expected to be gusting between 45-55mph in most of Rhode Island, but gusts to hurricane force are not out of the question on Block Island.

COASTAL FLOODING/EROSION

The strong winds, coupled with an already astronomically high tide could create some minor coastal flooding between Point Judith and Westerly.  High tide is around 11AM.  Westerly could see a storm surge of around 2 feet.  In addition, large ocean waves could create some splashover.

Q&A

ANSWER:  They may still go up and down a little during the next 12 hours.  Providence has become the battle ground between all snow and sleet/rain.  We are thinking 12’ish inches for Providence for now, but the amount that ultimately falls will depend upon ‘if’ and how quickly and how long the mixing line gets into Providence.  For now, we are thinking it arrives around 2PM, after many hours of heavy snow.

 

 

ANSWER:  Imposing a travel ban requires coordination with neighboring states.  Governor Gina Raimondo has been in contact with her counterparts in Connecticut and Massachusetts.   She said she will make an announcement tonight regarding this.

 

 

 

ANSWER:  Winds could gust to 60mph on Cape Cod, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there is a gust or two to hurricane force.

 

 

 

ANSWER:  Very important question from a former WPRI videograher and Ghosthunter.  If you have some eggs and cinnamon, French toast of course! Maybe some bread pudding, too. 🙂

 

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

STORM READY LINKS: Storm Ready Resource Guide | Interactive Hurricane Tracker | Evacuation Routes & Storm Surge Maps | Ocean & Bay Forecast | Latest 7 Day Forecast | Pinpoint Weather Blog | Live Pinpoint Doppler 12 Radar | Threat Tracker | Pinpoint Traffic | WPRI.com Flight Tracker | Closings & Delays | Download: Pinpoint Weather App | Download: Eyewitness News App | Sign Up: Weather Alerts

 

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