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Monday, November 5, 2012

Typical Fall Nor'easter, Bad Timing.

Sunny and chilly for election day!  Temperatures will start in the 20s…right down to the Connecticut shoreline with the coldest air we have seen so far this season. Afternoon highs will be trapped in the 40s.  That’s winter jacket weather for me!

Now for this nor’easter.  Ugh. This isn’t an incredibly damaging storm.  It should be on par with a normal fall nor’easter.  But the timing sucks (excuse my choice of words).  We’re still cleaning from Sandy!

Timing: Wednesday afternoon-Thursday.  When the storm first arrives, rain may mix in or change over to a brief burst of wet snow or sleet. The models seem colder today.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if they flip flopped back to a warmer solution tomorrow.  Either way, a small accumulation is possible for the hill towns or areas north of I-84 on the order of a coating to an inch or two.  Most of us get zero accumulation with a warm ground and a change back to rain. Even so…you may want to mentally prepare to see your first flakes of the season. Northeast winds increase during the afternoon and evening on Wednesday.  Rain and wind down on Thursday.

Coastal Flooding: 
A Coastal Flood Watch has been issued with minor to moderate coastal flooding possible.  Tidal departures are forecast by the National Weather Service at 3-4 feet.  That means, water can rise 3-4 feet higher than the normal high or low tide cycle.  The bad news: Beaches took a beating from Sandy, reducing, relocating or eliminating protective barriers like sand dunes.  This leaves the shoreline more vulnerable than usual. The good news: tides will be astronomically low (instead of high like they were in Sandy).  This nor’easter is not likely to cause additional flood damage.  But the storm will hamper clean up efforts and slow progress for some shoreline communities that were recently hit hard. Click here for town specific forecastwater levels.

A High Wind Watch is in effect for the southern half of the state: New London, Fairfield, Middlesex and New Haven counties. Sustained winds will be between 25-35 mph.  But higher gusts could top 50-60 mph on the shoreline.  Inland, gusts could get up to 40-45 mph in the higher elevations with sustained winds 20-30 mph. A few additional scattered outages are possible as loose tree limbs fall.  This will also slow restoration efforts for line crews who are unable to get into the bucket trucks in wind gusts that exceed 40 mph. 

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