There are multiple issues to deal with from this storm so here is a breakdown:
Rain will continue to fall this evening likely leading to areas of street flooding. In fact, before the heavy rain even started, intersections were starting to flood just down the street from our building in East Providence. This is because temperatures made it into the 60s today which led to a rapid melting of the snow. Here is a picture I snapped earlier on Friday in Fall River. These snow piles will keep on shrinking.
Total rainfall amounts of 2-3″ are expected, and that is not factoring in the excess water that will be on the road because of the melting snow. Please use caution if you have to be out on the roads, and if you know about roads that tend to flood near you home, this would be a good time to avoid those areas. Hyrdoplaning is always a danger in this type of situation!
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect until Saturday morning:
There will be quite a bit of water on the ground early Saturday morning. By late Saturday morning into Saturday afternoon, there is a threat of a flash freeze as temperatures fall rapidly below freezing. Please be especially careful on side roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. While road treatment will probably help the main roads and highways, it’s not out of the question to get some ice here as well. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from Saturday morning to late Saturday afternoon for all areas expect the south coast. However, these is a risk of ice along the south coast during the afternoon and evening.
Guts of around 45-55 mph are possible tonight into early Saturday morning, especially along the south coast. A wind advisory is in effect until Saturday morning.
A dense fog advisory is in effect until Saturday morning. Milder, humid air moving over snow is almost always a recipe for thick fog; so that’s just one more factor which will make travel difficult Friday night into Saturday.
One note on the timeline above, some of the more recent data indicates that temperatures may start top drop below freezing by late Saturday morning, especially north and west of 295. So don’t assume there won’t be icy surfaces during the late morning!
Stay tuned and we will keep you updated this evening. -Pete Mangione and Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca