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PROVIDENCE — Heavy rainfall forecast for Wednesday evening through Thursday morning could cause street-level flooding and rapid rises on small streams and creeks, forecasters warned.

At 3:11 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Norton, Mass., issued a flash flood watch for portions of Rhode Island, including Block Island, Bristol, Eastern Kent, Newport, northwest Providence, southeast Providence, Washington, and Western Kent.

The heaviest impact could arrive between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday, according to WPRI-TV meteorologist Michelle Muscatello.

Rainfalls totals between 1 to 3 inches are predicted, but locally up to 4 inches of rain are possible, the NWS reports.


In the 7 a.m. forecast discussion, the NWS said that an “impressive frontal wave” in the shape of a leaf was taking shape over the Mid-Atlantic region. The system is resulting in a thick canopy of high-level clouds that will continue to thicken through the morning.

A rain shield — a nearly solid area of rain — will come onshore in southern Rhode Island and Massachusetts mid to late afternoon.

The axis of the rainfall is uncertain and may still shift west or east. Forecast confidence is highest along the Interstate 95 corridor, the NWS reports, including Providence and Boston for the heaviest rainfall. However, some weather models show the heaviest rainfall farther west into Connecticut.

Rainfall rates will gradually diminish Thursday morning.

Carlos Muñoz can be reached at carlos.munoz@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ReadCarlos.