Flood watch issued with snow changing to heavy rain

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE issued a flood watch Wednesday for northwest and southeast Providence County, western and eastern Kent County, and for all of Bristol, Washington and Newport counties, with coastal flooding possible. About an inch of snow is expected in Providence, while southern areas and along the coast are expected to see less than an inch before the changeover to rain between 6 and 8 p.m. / COURTESY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

PROVIDENCE – A flood watch is in effect for most of the state through Thursday with snow changing to heavy rain beginning Wednesday night. 

The National Weather Service in Norton, Mass., issued the warning Wednesday for northwest and southeast Providence County, western and eastern Kent County, and for all of Bristol, Washington and Newport counties, with coastal flooding possible. 

Wednesday evening’s forecast calls for snow to begin at 5 p.m., right on time for the evening commute, with an expected change over to rain from the south to north between 6 and 8 p.m., with wind gusts as high as 38 mph. 

Rainfall then will be heavy at times, which could cause minor coastal flooding in Newport, Portsmouth and Middletown and street flooding in poor drainage areas, according to the National Weather Service. However, temperatures are expected to climb into the 50s overnight, washing away most of the snow accumulation from this storm. 

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About an inch of snow is expected in Providence, while southern areas and along the coast are expected to see less than an inch.  

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for northern Rhode Island until 10 p.m. Wednesday, as areas there could see 2 to 3 inches of snow. 

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