A powerful nor’easter remains on track to deliver heavy rain, strong winds, big waves, coastal flooding, and even some snow. Here is an updated snowfall forecast map:
There is still some uncertainty in the snowfall amounts, and it’s possible the snowfall amounts may have to be increased depending on how the storm evolves. Even though it is March, the upward motion from this storm may be enough to produce snow that sticks!
A High Wind Warning is now in effect for our entire view area:
Gusts of up to 65 mph are possible along the south coast, and gust up to 80mph are possible along the eastern coast of Massachusetts and Cape Cod!
With winds this strong, downed trees, branches power outages, and even some structural damage is a concern. One factor which could help prevent widespread power outages are the lack of leaves on trees; but the strength of the winds and the long duration of the storm may be enough to bring down even some bare trees and branches. I would make sure you have fresh batteries for your flashlight, and make sure your mobile devices are fully charged by Thursday night or early Friday morning.
Because winds will be mostly coming in from the northeast, coastal flooding along the south coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts is expected to be minor. But moderate to major flooding is likely along the eastern coast of Massachusetts; residents in vulnerable coastal locations are being strongly urged to evacuate by local officials. Huge, battering waves and beach erosion is likely, especially for the eastern coast of Massachusetts. This may end up being worse than the January winter storm because there will likely be 3 high tide cycles of coastal flooding.
Flooding from rainfall is also a concern; 2-4″ inches of rain are possible and there is flood warning for the Pawtuxet River in Cranston; minor to moderate flooding is possible late Friday into Saturday. We will also have to keep a close eye on the Pawcatuck River in Westerly, the Wood River, and the Blackstone River.
Rain showers will start late Thursday night, and become heavy at times Friday morning into Friday afternoon. The winds will also start to increase so the morning commute will be very wet and windy.
The worst of the rain and wind will likely arrive Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. It’s also during the late Friday into Saturday time-frame that snow will start to mix with rain; this will start first north and west of 295 and may affect parts of the Friday evening commute.
Snow and rain will likely wind down by early Saturday morning, but it will likely stay very wind throughout Saturday. We will have more updates though out the night and Friday. -Pete Mangione