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Monday, October 31, 2011

Snowtober: Cleaning Up After The Historic October Nor'easter

The October Nor’easter was the storm of a lifetime. Really. Many of you will not see destruction like this from a snowstorm for the rest of your lives. And now all you ghosts, goblins and Lady Gagas will be trick or treating for the first time on plowed driveways. That is…if your town doesn’t cancel the holiday festivities.

Why was it so bad?
If this storm happened two weeks later, we would have half the problems. With leaves covering the trees, the heavy wet snow had an extra place to stick to. The snow had a very low snow to liquid ratio which means it had more water and more weight than the powdery fluffy stuff skiers dream about. That meant more weight on trees and power lines. Tropical storm force wind gusts proved the final ingredient for chaos.



The result? The most widespread power outage in the state’s history, topping Tropical Storm Irene earlier this year! At one point 884,000 customers were in the dark! (Pretty much all of CL&P customers north of I-84.) The electric company is warns that people could be out of power for a week. But I think some rural areas may be forced to wait longer than that!



Interesting Factors
Temperatures remained above freezing for the entire event! I was shocked by how easily the sludge accumulated on the ground! I also thought we would see a longer period of rain before the changeover to snow. But the initial batch of precipitation was so heavy that it cooled the atmosphere enough for snow right off the bat! We call this evaporational cooling. We also experienced dynamic cooling during the event which is the cooling of the atmosphere caused by the big drop in pressure in the storm. The same drop in pressure and associated rising motion caused instability resulting in thundersnow, a rare occurrence.

Accumulations
Western Connecticut got pounded with 12”-20” of snow. Many of us meteorologists are confused by the number reported by Bradley International Airport. 20.1”? Not likely when you look at nearby Enfield. Before midnight BDL reported 12.1” which makes more sense. Either way, I think we broke the previous record of 1.7”! The shoreline got 3”-6” with the immediate shoreline getting the lower end of the scale. Some in the far southeastern corner of Connecticut which remained a messy mix of rain and snow reported a couple slushy inches.

Click the image to enlarge NWS snow totals:

1"-17" In Historic October Storm

Snow Totals:
Litchfield County
Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven Counties
Hartford, Tolland, Windham Counties

I'll have time to talk more about this later! For now I have to get ready for FOX CT Morning Extra.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dangerous Outside

I was about to hit "publish" on this post right before the power went out.

I don't use the word dangerous very often. Over 325,000 people (including me) are now without power. Thats is 25% of CL&P's consumers. Trees, branches and powerlines are falling all across the state & the worst of the storm hasn't even hit yet.

This is a very heavy wet snow with a low snow to liquid ratio, meaning it's heavier than the powdery stuff, weighing everything down. The snow is sticking to the roads easily.

The Merritt Parkway is now closed to non emergency traffic. I-84 in Southington is closed. Numerous crashes and bumper-to-bumper traffic forced police to shut down Route 44 on both sides of Avon Mountain in West Hartford and Avon.

Danbury's Mayor, Mark Boughton, ordered all local roads shut down by 4 p.m. The Mayor said only emergency vehicles would be allowed in order to clear away cars that are stuck.

I heard thunder at my house a few hours ago. Thundersnow is very rare! Think of a winter thunderstorm. With strong upward motion our air is very unstable. Snowfall rates will increase to 1"-2" per hour at times tonight. The forecast is still on track! This will be my last blog post. My blackberry doesn't have very good radar and I had to have my Mom publish this post.

Mom says, "If you still have power, find your flashlights, batteries and candles now!"

Be safe!

New Haven Green Is WHITE!


Hmmmm....I thought the NAM (computer model) was too cold. But we are changing over to snow way too quickly along the shoreline. This could mean more snow for New Haven, Bridgeport. I initially had the shore in the 6"-10" range but bumped them down to 3"-6" because I anticipated more mixing. (Read blog post below) I'll keep an eye on things and let you know if I need to go back to my original thinking! This storm is still evolving. FYI...the NAM forecasted 9" of snow in Bridegort and New Haven, 5.4" in Groton.

It Has Begun


Check out the heavy sleet band heading for the shoreline. Many areas in southern Connecticut now reporting light snow. Heavy snow is falling in Greenwich and Stamford right now with light rain in New London.

Game On!


This morning is the time to run your errands! The weather will deteriorate throughout the afternoon and tonight.

The overnight models haven’t changed much. I’m comfortable with 6”-12” inland. But the shoreline/SE CT is a much harder forecast with the opportunity for more rain to mix in. I will need to closely monitor everything throughout the day and “nowcast” as they call it.

Don’t be surprised if some of you southeast of Hartford don’t see snow until after sunset. That doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. Heavy wet snow will accumulate quickly and the worst is still expected after sunset.

For more on timing and what to expect please read my previous post!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Historic October Snow Storm

The biggest October storm in recent history was October 4, 1987. But this event was primarily in western Connecticut. Norfolk recorded 9.5” of snow. But Hartford got a little coating (trace).

The most snow ever recorded in October for greater Hartford is 1.7” on October 10, 1979. All we need Saturday is to 2” to break the record and I think we will triple that number!

Timing:
The storm will arrive midday between 10AM-1 PM as a rain/wintry mix. But that mix will change over to a heavy wet snow from northwest to southeast throughout the afternoon. Snow will pick up in intensity later in the afternoon with the worst starting around or just after 4 PM. Snow will come down heavy at times. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you heard thunder tomorrow night. Yep, thundersnow is possible! If that happens, snowfall rates could get up to 1”-2” per hour with blizzard conditions. The snow winds down and ends just before sunrise on Sunday.

Amounts:

I’m forecasting 6”-10” across most of the state. Areas in northwestern Connecticut, especially in the higher elevations, could pick up a foot of snow! Litchfield County, I’m talking to you! Right now I’m including New Haven and Bridgeport in that 6”-10” range. It makes me nervous because the shoreline almost always has more mixing due to the proximity to the water. But I have to go with the data I’m given. For now it looks as if we will have enough cool air along the shoreline to get some big numbers. Southeastern CT…New London County, this storm will still be annoying and historic, but not as bad. I’m forecasting more rain to mix in with 2”-6” possible for you.

Power Outage Concerns:
The heavy wet snow could weigh down trees that are still covered in leaves. This creates a big threat for power outages, especially combined with winds up to 60 mph and wet soil. Look for outages similar to the numbers in Irene.

Track Troubles:
I hate to be the annoying stereotypical meteorologist here. But storms like this are notoriously hard to forecast. If the track shifts just a little to the west (just 20-40 miles) we will see more rain mix in. Then my snow accumulation forecast is way too high. If the track shifts to the east then SE CT gets more snow than I’m forecasting right now. On the flip side, the precip will cut off sharply for western CT drastically decreasing snowfall amounts. The track has been pretty consistent for several runs now. I’ll make my final call tomorrow morning on the News from 7-9 on FOX.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October Snow Update!

Sorry for the bad audio/video synch. Bad kung foo movie times 10!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The "S" Word!

Ahhh yes, the four letter “S” word. In October people act like I’m curing when I say it. Snow. We have two chances to see flakes flying around here in the next five days. But don’t go buying milk and eggs just yet!

Thursday a cold rain will break out across Connecticut. Temps will stay in the 40s so grab an umbrella AND a warm jacket. But as the storm exits Thursday night into Friday morning, we could pull down just enough cold air from the north that we end as some wet snow or a wintry mix! This is most likely in the northern hill towns and higher elevations. I wouldn't be suprised to see a little coating on non paved surfaces!

So what’s next on the agenda?

The European computer model shows a snow storm for Saturday! GFS shows a complete miss with bright sunshine. Which one will be right? The European has had a great track record so far this year. BUT we are still 5 days away so I'm sure we'll get more agreement soon. I think the models are confused about what Hurricane Rina is going to do and that confusion is messing with our forecast around here! If the European is correct we could see several inches of snow accumulation. No freaking out yet. I’ll keep an eye on everything for you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Showers Tonight, Nice Tomorrow, Cold/Wet Thursday

A cold front will pass through tonight bringing some scattered showers. Tomorrow the front stalls to our south and bright sunshine temporarily returns. Winds will be gusty out of the NW 15-25 mph. Clouds will increase on Wednesday with a few scattered showers. I think most of Wednesday will be dry. Not Thursday.

Thursday looks very wet and chilly with periods of heavy rain and temps stuck in the 50s! Yucky November-like weather! In fact, some places in New England and upstate New York will see some wet snowflakes mix in with the rain Thursday night into Friday. Yep, I said SNOW!

Friday will feature slow clearing. This weekend looks dry but breezy with high temperatures in the 50s.

We are keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Rina in the Yucatan Penninsula. The National Hurricane Center forecasts the storm to strengthen into a hurricane, moving into the Gulf Of Mexico. This storm could become a threat for the United States but NOT Connecticut.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Regis Tribute Dinner, Mohegan Sun

I’m sort of obsessed with Regis Philbin. And I heard there was a private tribune dinner for Reg at Mohegan Sun this weekend. I wasn’t cool enough to get invited. But I pulled some strings and scored two tickets for me and my sister.

I heard there would be surprise celebrity guests! BUT…no one was more exciting then Regis. Susan Lucci and the host of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ made an appearance. The A-Listers were busy I guess. Video tributes from Joy Behar, Larry King and Kathy Lee Gifford played on large video screens on both sides of the stage. The event itself was kind of sleepy. The average age of the audience was about 75 years-old. But I’m an old soul and I enjoyed seeing the television icon in all his glory. He sang, did a little stand-up…after all these years, he’s still got it!

I only hope my career can be HALF as long as his! Thank you Reg for being such an inspiration!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Record Rainfall This Year? 2011 Keeps Climbing Up The List!

Since January 1st, the greater Hartford area has received 58.28” of precipitation. That makes this year the 6th wettest on record! And records date back to 1905!

If we just get “average” precipitation in November (4.06”) and December (3.6”) we’ll beat the #1 wettest year on record!

The Top Ten Wettest Years (Since 1905)
Windsor Locks, CT

  1. 2008: 65.43"

  2. 1972: 64.55"

  3. 1955: 62.94"

  4. 1938: 61.63"

  5. 1920: 60.96"

  6. 2011: 58.28" <---That's us!

  7. 2005: 57.12"

  8. 1996: 56.04"

  9. 2003: 55.91"

  10. 1937: 55.81"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The 2011 Black & Blue Ball

I helped emcee the 2011 Black & Blue Ball which helps raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I never did an auction before so I was very nervous. But it was a lot of fun and the event helped raise over $30,000 for the MDA!

Zuko from WCCC also helped with the auction. He was super sweet and we worked really well together!
With some of the amazing people that work with kids who have muscular dystrophy
Harry Levesque TSI Harley Davidson major sponsor for the event. Thank you so much for your generosity!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The 2011 ING Hartford Marathon

This was the first marathon for the 2011 female winner Erica Jesseman! REALLY!? You go girl! Check out all the pics and finalists on CTNOW.com.

Plus, if you ran in the race you can enter your last name or bib number on CTNOW.com to watch video of yourself crossing the finish line!

Our very own Joe Furey ran in the 5K and kicked butt!! He lost 70 pounds in a few months by training at Akua Ba fitness in West Hartford




I had the pleasure of working the finish line with anchor and sports producer Tim Lammers. He is the new morning anchor on the FOX CT Saturday morning newscast. I am so proud of him taking on a bigger role at FOX. He is is a hard worker and is so talented on-air.


Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rain Friday, Dry & Breezy Weekend

The rain has stopped for now…But we aren’t done yet! Many places received a quick 1”-1.5” early this morning. Some towns could add another 1”-2” to the rain gauge before this unsettled weather pattern moves out! Periods of rain will continue, some heavy through tomorrow evening.

Here’s the great news! We dry out just in time for the ING Hartford Marathon! I’ll be there covering the race on FOX from 7:55 AM until the winners cross the finish line. I hear runners enjoy a cooler race day with temps in the 50s to low 60s. But the wind could make the run a little challenging, gusting out the northwest up to 30 mph.

Sunday also looks dry and breezy with mix of sun and clouds. High: mid 60s

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Coldest Temps Of The Season Tonight

You may want to close the windows tonight! Or just reach for a heavy blanket. Temperatures will drop into the 30s inland, low 40s along the shore with scattered frost! A Frost Advisory is in effect for southern Litchfield Co. with a Freeze Warning for northern Litchfield. Frost can damage plants. A freeze means widespread temps near or below freezing will kill all plants/crops ending the growing season. High temps will climb into the 60s tomorrow with mostly sunny skies! More widespread frost will develop tomorrow night. So harvest those plants now while you have a chance! Sunshine continues right through the weekend with temps warming into low 80s with near record warmth by Sunday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm MADD About Dancing!

Mohegan Sun hosted the sold-out MADD About Dancing, featuring local celebrities partnered with professional dancers from the Arthur Murray Dance Studios. I won the award for top female dancer, and Waterford Patch Editor Paule Petrone won for best male dancer. He only practiced for three weeks!

Contestants included Morgan Aramone(Miss CT), Jennifer Bosworth, Sonia Baghdady, Kevin Hogan, Gil Simmons, Peter Petrone, Rachel Frank, Janice Garcia, and Marty Hausberger. Check the link at the top of the page for my blog entries while I was training for the event. I'm so happy! What a fun night and a great cause!

Top Ten Wettest Year On Record!


We are a few tenths of an inch away from the 10th wettest year on record and it's only October! Windsor Locks is already 20" of precip above average so far this year.

The wettest year on record is 2008 with 65.63". If we get an average amount of precip for October, November and December, we will beat the current record by .07". This could very well be the wettest year on record!