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The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for northwest Rhode Island, including the communities of Cumberland, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Burrillville, Foster, Glocester and Scituate. This replaces the Blizzard Watches which were originally in effect.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: there will be a period of blizzard-like conditions everywhere Tuesday morning into Tuesday afternoon. Snowfall rates will be on the order of 1 to 3″ per hour. Roads will quickly become snow-covered. Visibility on the roads will be near zero at times.
The official definition of a blizzard is three hours of sustained winds or gusts in excess of 35mph, considerable falling/blowing snow and visibility near zero. The areas where there is the highest probability of an ‘official’ blizzard are in the warning area (red) above.
We are still expecting a widespread 12-18″ north and west of Providence, 8-12″ to the south and east. Winds will be howling, gusting as high as 60mph.
Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for areas not in the in the Blizzard Warning, this includes the Providence metro area and areas to the south and east. This means that 6″ or more of snow is expected.
Also, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Block Island, Cape Cod and the Islands.
High winds are anticipated on Tuesday. Easterly winds could gust to 60mph on Block Island and along the south coast of Rhode Island as well as along the coastline of eastern Massachusetts including Cape Cod and the Islands.
A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for Tuesday morning. 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.
-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo
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