The following was updated at 4:04 p.m. Thursday.
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Winter storm Niko might have arrived much later than expected Thursday, but it brought some late party gifts in the form of thunder snow.
Loud booms could be heard Thursday afternoon for more than an hour from Island Park to the Glen.
Snow continued to fall heavy throughout the afternoon. The snowfall is expected to continue through the evening hours. A blizzard warning remains in effect until 8 p.m.
From the National Weather Service (NWS):
* HAZARD TYPES...Blizzard conditions. Heavy snow and strong to damaging winds. Scattered thunderstorms. * ACCUMULATIONS...12 to 18 inches of snow. * TIMING..Snow will continue heavy at times through the afternoon then taper off to snow showers this evening. * IMPACTS...Heavy snow and strong to damaging winds will result in blizzard conditions this afternoon and early evening. Intense snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour will be possible at times this afternoon. Strong winds will create blowing and drifting snow and near-white out conditions at times. Travel is not recommended this afternoon and evening. In addition strong to damaging winds may result in isolated power outages.
Residents are advised to stay off the roads due to unsafe driving conditions.
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has canceled all trips after 5 p.m.
Many residents reported a power outage, which started around 1:50 p.m. Thursday in Portsmouth.
Various areas were affected by the outage, including West Main Road at Bristol Ferry Road, Common Fence Point, East Main Road near Ferreira’s Package Store, and East Main Road near the library.
The National Grid Power Outage Map showed nearly all of Portsmouth (and Prudence Island) without power as of 2 p.m. According to the map, nearly 8,000 customers were affected at that time.
Power came back just before 4 p.m. for most residents. Power was restored at our West Main Road office at around 3:50 p.m.
Thank you, National Grid!