Forecast discussion: So far, Rhode Island is holding up pretty well, as Hurricane Sandy reached maximum sustained winds of 90 mph earlier Monday afternoon. But, problems are beginning to arise, especially along the shorelines.
Due to the east and southeast winds, the biggest problem facing the state right now will be coastal flooding. Right now, heavy waves that have been created out in the Atlantic are beginning to reach the shorelines. There has already been some street flooding along Narragansett Bay and Newport, and we are awaiting an astronomical high tide at about 8:25 PM. Due to these conditions, storm surges will create another 5-8 feet of possible flooding. Along with the surge, waves of 10-15 feet are also hitting the coastline. A Coastal Flood Warning will continue for the shorelines until 1 PM Tuesday afternoon. Also, a High Wind Warning will remain in effect until 6 AM Tuesday morning. To see school and business closings for the state, click here.
For the capital city of Providence, the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier was closed at 6:45 AM this morning, due to the astronomical high tide this morning. As of writing this article, about 108,000 people have lost power in the state, including about 18,000 customers within Bristol County in Massachusetts. Winds were quite strong during the afternoon, as the town of Misquamicut reported a maximum wind gust of 86 mph. Northern Rhode Island were getting reports of 55-60 mph.
As of 5 PM EDT, Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy was centered at 38.8N 74.4W, or about 30 miles east-southeast of Cape May, New Jersey. Maximum sustained winds were at 90 mph, and it was moving west-northwest at 28 mph. Based on the latest satellite imagery, it appears the center has made landfall. Last night, it appeared that the center would not make landfall until about 2 AM Tuesday morning. This may have helped conditions up in New England.
As we go into tonight, there will still be occasional rain bands moving over the state, with winds still near gale force, with tropical storm force wind gusts. I would not be surprised if you heard a rumble of thunder, but the chances of a thunderstorm are low. The winds will continue to slowly decrease, as the pressure gradient continues to weaken. Also, precipitation will be tapering off, as satellite and radar imagery shows lighter precipitation on the eastern side of the system. Winds will become weaker by tomorrow night, although we will still have some scattered showers from time to time. High pressure will eventually take the remnants of Sandy into Canada, and we should see some sunshine by Friday. The weekend looks nice, but cooler, as we begin to feel seasonable temperatures.
By Wednesday, some isolated showers will remain around Southern New England for our ghouls and goblins, as they get ready to go trick-or-treating. By Thursday, warmer air will begin to move eastward, as cooler air begins to move over the Northeast. In fact, temperatures during Saturday and Sunday night will fall into the middle 30’s.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Windy with periods of rain bands and patchy fog with a low of 59. Winds will come from the southeast at 30-35 mph with occasional gusts of 55 mph.
Tuesday: Scattered showers with winds decreasing through the day with a high of 69. Winds will come from the south-southeast at 15-22 mph with occasional gusts of 35 mph.
Tuesday night: Scattered showers with a low of 53. Winds will come from the south-southeast at 9-12 mph.
Halloween: Scattered showers with a high of 63.
Halloween night: Isolated showers with a low of 46.
Thursday: Some isolated showers early, otherwise mostly cloudy and a high of 56.
Thursday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 44.
Friday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 53-56, lows 40-43.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs 52-55, lows 39-42.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Highs 52-55, lows 35-38.
Monday: Becoming cloudy with scattered showers by the evening. Highs 49-52, lows 41-44.