Forecast discussion: As Hurricane Sandy continues to inch closer to the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast U.S., Governor Lincoln Chafee declared a State of Emergency for the state of Rhode Island. Also, due to the forecasted storm surge along the south shore, several mandatory evacuations are already done or will be taken place by 6 AM Monday morning. For a full list, click here. Also, all schools have been closed for tomorrow, and several business and some government offices will be closed. Click here to see the list of closings or delays.
All of Rhode Island is under a Coastal Flood Warning, which will begin at 6 AM Monday morning and continue into 1 PM Tuesday afternoon. A High Wind Warning is now in effect for all of Rhode Island from 2 AM Monday morning until 1 PM Tuesday afternoon. For Narragansett Bay, A Storm Warning is in effect from 6 AM Monday morning into 5 AM Tuesday morning.
As of 8 PM EDT Sunday evening, Hurricane Sandy was centered at 34.0N 79.0W, or about 280 miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds are at 75 mph, and is moving to the northeast at 15 mph. During the overnight hours, Sandy will begin to turn back to the north and north-northwest, before making landfall by 2 AM Tuesday morning over southern New Jersey.
For Providence, we will begin to see increasing winds during the overnight hours, with showers becoming more widespread. By sunrise, we will begin to feel wind gusts reach tropical storm winds. As we enter the afternoon, winds should reach sustained winds of 35-45 mph, with occasional gusts of 65 mph. Precipitation will remain light to moderate rain, with an increase in waves outside of the Bay. Also, we will have to worry about astronomical high tide along the shorelines, which will help raise seas another 4 feet, on top of the possible 4-6 feet in storm surge. Any roads near the ocean waters may become flooded. At this time, there has been no decision on whether the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier will be closed. Also, numerous power outages may begin to occur, so please make sure if you have taken the necessary precautions.
We should see the heaviest rainfall Monday night into early Tuesday morning, as we begin to reach the northeast quadrant of the system. I am still expecting only a total of 2-4 inches of rainfall into Tuesday morning, although some areas may see 5 inches. By Tuesday afternoon, winds should begin to change to the south-southeast and decrease, once the center makes landfall, and moves into Pennsylvania.
Although conditions will improve on Wednesday, the remnants of Sandy will continue to give us cloudy conditions and scattered showers. Drier air will begin to move into the southern part of the low, and we may see some peeks of sunshine on Thursday. High pressure from Alberta will help push what is left of Sandy into Nova Scotia Thursday night, allowing us to see some sunshine for Friday. Looking over the long range models, high pressure will give us sunny skies for next weekend.
I will do my best to continue updating everyone on the weather forecast Monday evening, but I am already having problems with my computer. Also, I am also susceptible to power outages, just like everyone else.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Increasing winds and more widespread showers with a low of 51.
Monday: Light to moderate rain with tropical storm force winds and a high of 62. Winds will increase to easterly 35-45 mph with gusts near 65 mph at times.
Monday night: Heavy rain with tropical storm force winds and a low of 57. Winds will shift to the southeast at 30-40 mph with gusts of 55 mph at times.
Tuesday: Heavy rain tapering to showers with winds decreasing through the day with a high of 68.
Tuesday night: Some leftover showers but remaining breezy with a low of 52.
Halloween: Scattered showers with a high of 60.
Halloween night: Isolated showers with a low of 45.
Thursday: Showers ending by the early morning, becoming partly sunny by the afternoon. Highs 54-57, lows 40-43.
Friday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 53-56, lows 40-43.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs 52-55, lows 39-42.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Highs 54-57, lows 39-42