While there is a likelihood of a winter storm for this Saturday….the exact storm track and snow amounts are still uncertain. We should have a better handle on snow amounts later Thursday afternoon and evening as more data comes in. At this point the early “1st call” for Saturday is for 8″ to 12″ of snow. Over the the next few days we will fine tune the accumulation forecast either up or down, so be sure to check back for updates

Hour by Hour: A look at the next 36 hours’ conditions »

Meanwhile Thursday looks cold and dry with mostly sunny skies

Ocean, Bay & Beach // A look at the conditions by the coast »

Clouds will increase on Friday with the daylight hours staying dry. Snow arrives “late” Friday night (after mid night)

SATURDAY STORM: Major Storm Possible

We’re expecting steadier snow to begin to move in “late” Friday night with heavier snow and increasing winds by Saturday morning. Snow is expected to fall throughout the day Saturday and into early Saturday night. Winds could be strong enough, particularly along the coast and Cape/Islands to lead to some power outages and wind damage. Travel may be difficult during this time with accumulations likely. We’ll also be watching for coastal flooding and beach erosion in eastern MA during Saturday’s high tides.

WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued from “late” Friday Night and especially through Saturday

STORM LOCATION BY 7AM SATURDAY

Our computer models continue to be at odds with the storm track, with some computer guidance trending the forecast track more east (further offshore), and others tracking the storm a bit closer with higher snowfall amounts. We are still 2.5 days out with a storm that actually hasn’t even formed yet.

There are several possible storm tracks on Saturday. Option #2 would bring the most snow to our area, while option #3 would produce the heaviest snow over southeast coastal Mass. At this point we feel either track 1 or 2 will occur. Either track would bring plowable snow into Rhode Island

Here are two computer forecast model examples, with the European model showing a track near the benchmark (blue line above), indicating a major winter storm with hefty snowfall amounts (pink shading) over much of southern and eastern New England.

EUROPEAN COMPUTER MODEL: Favors more snow (areas in pink)

HOWEVER…..

THE AMERICAN MODEL: Favors less snow in Rhode Island, but more snow for east coastal Mass. Plymouth County/Cape

The latest data from the American model has the storm track further off-shore, which shifts the area of highest accumulations more eastward towards far southeast Mass/Cape, with LESS snow for Rhode Island. It also keeps the worst of the wind off-shore. Keep in mind…model forecast tracks can swing back and forth when a storm is over 48 hours way. A more generally track consensus should come together by Thursday evening giving us a clearer picture. For now the early call is 8 to 12″ of snow

***BOTTOM LINE….If the eastward storm track continues, this would result in less of an impact for Rhode Island. With that said, still a lot of uncertainty…we should have a better idea on Thursday afternoon/evening as more data comes in****

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