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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Blizzard of 2013

ONE TO TWO FEET OF SNOW!  Sorry…after this winter, I felt like that sentence warranted caps lock.  If the forecast pans out, we’ll call this storm the Blizzard of 2013 for years to come. Or we’ll just call it Nemo. ;)

Timing: Friday morning – Saturday afternoon

We're in it for the long haul. Snow will start off light Friday morning. If you could stay off the roads all day, BONUS!  But I know some of you still have to hit the roads.  Get your stuff done in the morning.  Conditions will deteriorate in the afternoon with snow becoming steady and heavier.  Official blizzard conditions will not get underway until around or after sunset.

After sunset, be wherever you plan on spending the night.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Governor plans on closing the roads to non-essential vehicles. Snowfall rates Friday night into Saturday morning could get up to 1”-3” per hour.  Add the heavy snow to gusty (perhaps damaging) winds and you have near white out conditions.  Thundersnow is possible! Heavy snow continues through 6-8 am Saturday before conditions begin to improve.  That doesn’t mean you’ll be able to drive to Saturday brunch at 10am.  Plows will be playing catch up all morning long as snow tapers to a few leftover snow showers by afternoon.

Impacts:
  • Some power outages are likely.  This won’t be a repeat of the October nor’easter but scattered outages are possible, especially along the shoreline and in eastern Connecticut where winds will be the strongest.
  • Snow drifts.  Winds will blow the snow into piles that could get up to 4  feet high. 
  • Clean up.  Sometimes after these big storms, it’s hard to find a place to put all the snow!  Finding a parking spot could be challenging in the coming days.
  • School/business cancellations and parking bans.

Accumulations:
One to two feet statewide.  The two feet amounts are most likely in the northwest and northeast hills of Connecticut.  The shoreline will be closer to the low end of that range with some mixing possible during the day on Friday.  Mesoscale banding will set up within the storm. That means heavier bands of snow could bring locally higher amounts.  Higher than two feet?  Yeah, it’s possible if everything sets up perfectly.

Winds:
Sustained 20-30 mph inland with gusts to 40-50 mph.
Sustained 30-40 mph along the shoreline with gusts to 50-60 mph.

What is a blizzard?
At least three hours of: Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 30 mph combined with visibility of a quarter mile or less.

Coastal Flooding:
During high tide on Friday night, the water will rise 3’-5’ higher than usual. Typical flood prone roads along the shoreline might become impassable for a while. Moderate coastal flooding is forecast for Bridgeport and Stamford with forecast water levels of 11-12 feet. 

Type Of Snow:
95% of this storm will produce the light, fluffy, powdery stuff.  But Friday morning the snow could start off wet and heavy, especially along the shoreline and in southern Connecticut. 

Prep for power outages, stay off the roads…and you’re in good shape!  Enjoy your snow day.  I remember how much fun I used to have drinking hot chocolate and waiting for the madness to stop so I could go sledding!  Except…the “hills” in NYC were only 3’.

5 comments:

Dresden said...

Bring it on!!! Been waiting for this storm for 2 years.

Anonymous said...

Please, not Nemo. Don't give those TWC ninnies any credibility for their inane practices.

Anonymous said...

Rach,

Hope you have your snowboard ready and in prime condition.

Lets hope everyone stays safe.. heeds the warnings to stay home.. and just chills..

Hopefully Spring arrives next week...

Keep snuggling!!!

:)

John W.

Dresden said...

20" in Avon as of 1am.

We had 9" in a two hour period from 9:30pm-11:30pm!

What I can't understand is why the CT DOT is reporting only 5.5" in Avon!? I made sure to not measure any snowdrifts, and measured in different areas.

John M West said...

25-26" in Southingon on Academy Hill drifts 48-55" high where you can measure.. Where will they put it all??

Last year the golf courses opened February 15 -- not this year.

Hugs Rachel,

John W
NWS SKYWARN Spotter Taunton