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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Minor Setbacks But Spring Is Winning

Yesterday was in the mid 50s.  Then just when you thought winter was over…snowflakes flew through the air this morning.  Spring will continue to tease us over the coming days with another mild stretch this weekend followed by snow showers and cooler weather to start off next week.  But don’t get disappointed in these minor setbacks. While the first week of April will remain cooler than average, I see hope on the horizon.  The second week of April looks promising for our first 60+ degree days! But I’m getting ahead of myself.  First let’s get through the next week or so…

Widely scattered showers and sprinkles will diminish after sunset, followed by some clearing. Temps will stay in the 30s. Partly sunny skies on Friday morning will give way to increasing afternoon clouds and an isolated shower. With more sun than today, temps should be a few degrees milder, topping out in the low to mid 50s. 

Saturday looks fantastic with plenty of sun and temps in the low 50s.  Clouds will thicken up on Sunday with showers developing late in the day. We squeeze in one last mild day on Monday before an arctic comes crashing in.  Snow showers are possible Monday night into early Tuesday followed by a brief cool down early next week. But this one doesn’t last long. After two days in the mid to upper 40s, 50s return by Thursday of next week.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.

Temperatures soared into the low to mid 50s today.  But rain and SNOW showers are possible by tomorrow morning. Not every town will get snow. Still, this is a reminder that we’re not entirely out of winter’s grasp. A few showers will linger midday with some sunny breaks possible in the afternoon. Friday looks better with partly cloudy skies. Weekend plans? Saturday is a winner with sunshine and mid 50s.  But you may want to have the Easter egg hunt in the morning on Sunday.  A cold front is advancing a little faster than previously forecast with showers developing in the afternoon or by sunset.

There are some timing issues regarding the cool down behind the front. Regardless, scattered showers continue on Monday with a noticeable cool down Tuesday and Wednesday with temps returning to the 40s!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Extra Spring In Your Step


Each day feels a little more “spring-like” than the day before it.  So when will 60s and 70s return? Don’t hold your breath! While this harsh winter pattern is starting to relax, there is no major pattern change on the way. In fact, the Climate Prediction Center is calling for below average temperatures to continue into the first half of April.  A sprinkle or flurry is possible at times through Friday with a mix of sun and clouds.

More sun returns this weekend with highs in the low to mid 50s. Showers are possible late Sunday.  But I think they’ll hold off until Monday.  Rain is likely on Monday with temps in the 50s followed by a cool down and 40s by this time next week.

Tomorrow: Mix sun & clouds. Chance sprinkle/flurry. High: 45-50
Wednesday: Mix sun & clouds. Chance sprinkle/flurry. High: 45-50
Thursday: Chance early snow shower/shower then turning partly cloudy. High: 45-50
Friday: Mix sun & clouds. Chance sprinkle. High: Near 50
Saturday: Partly cloudy. High: Low 50s
Sunday: Mostly sunny. High: Mid 50s
Monday: Rain likely. High: Mid 50s
Tuesday: Early snow shower, then some clearing. High: low-mid 40s

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Slow Return To "Average"

A large ocean storm could bring a touch of rain or snow to parts of the state tonight.  But the steady/heavy snow will remain just south of the state! At the risk of sounding cliché…we really dodged a bullet this time.
Looking forward, the weather is fairly quiet! When was the last time I said that?

Morning sun will mix with afternoon clouds the next few days.  An isolated sprinkle is possible through Friday with high temperatures in the 40s. So when will it start to feel like spring? While there is no big warm up or pattern change on the horizon, temperatures will slowly moderate this week.  The average high temperature for this time of year is in the low 50s. Over the weekend low to mid 50s are within reach with plenty of sunshine.  Our next storm April 1st looks wet, not white.

Tonight: Chance rain/snow shower. Then clearing. Low: 28-34

Tuesday: Sun mixing with clouds. High: Mid-upper 40s

Wednesday: Sun mixing with clouds, chance afternoon sprinkle. High: Mid-upper 40s

Thursday: Sun mixing with clouds, chance afternoon sprinkle Upper 40s to near 50.

Friday: Sun mixing with clouds, chance afternoon sprinkle Upper 40s to near 50.

Saturday & Sunday: Mostly sunny. High: Low to mid 50s.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hamden Middle School

Today I had the pleasure of hanging out with Mrs. Yaffe's 7th grade English class at Hamden Middle School! Great group of kids. They interviewed me for the school newspaper as part of their final project. Thank you so much for having me! No short jokes, please. ;)

A Bit Of Snow Thursday

Hello spring! The vernal equinox occurred at 7:02 AM. But the chilly air will be similar to the cold everyone in the office has been fighting off…never-ending. Below average temperatures will continue right through the beginning of April.

 An ocean storm will make meteorologists a little nervous on Thursday. (What else is new this season?) Although the center of low pressure will remain well out to sea, a few bands of snow on the outer edge could materialize. The best chance for snow will be for areas south and east of Hartford where a dusting or coating is possible (maybe up to an inch in New London if everything comes together just right). Skies will remain mostly cloudy with the chance for a few flurries or a period of light snow, mainly in the afternoon and evening. High temperatures will remain stuck in the 30s.

A flurry is possible on Friday too with a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures climbing up around the 40 degree mark.

The weekend isn’t too bad! I can’t use the words “warmer” without cringing because temps will still remain below average. Let’s call it “moderating temps” with highs that could reach into the mid 40s with partly to mostly sunny skies.

Here’s the deal with the coastal storm early next week. Right now the computer models are showing a strong storm developing near the Carolinas and moving due east. That would mean a close call with a glancing blow. Sounds better than a direct hit, right?

Well… 

I’m not quite ready to buy into that solution as much as I want to. That’s not to say it can’t happen. But I want to watch this storm. With the current weather pattern (negative North Atlantic Oscillation) and our luck this year, this storm could still change its mind and come back to bite us. We’ll put flurries in the forecast for now and watch closely. Very closely.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bridgeport's 2nd Snowiest Season


This is officially the second snowiest season on record for Bridgeport with 64.3” of snow! The ’95-’96 season holds the number one spot at 75.7”. Not many are in a rush to break that record. Spring arrives at 7:02 AM on Wednesday but winter cold isn’t going anywhere.  In fact, there is no big warm up on the horizon. 

Tonight: A leftover snow shower is possible overnight.  As temps drop below freezing, any wet roads could refreeze causing icy spots. Low: 20s

Wednesday: Partly cloudy, breezy and chilly!  Winds will howl out of the northwest with gusts up to 35 mph. A brief snow shower or flurry could pop up in the afternoon. High: 39-42

Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High: Upper 30s. A coastal storm will come close…but this one looks like a miss with the chance for a snow shower or some flurries.

Friday: Mix sun & clouds. High: near 40

Saturday & Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs: Low to mid 40s

Monday & Tuesday: Watching another potential coastal storm. Right now it appears the storm could miss.  But with a -NAO we need to keep an eye on this one!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Is Wednesday. HA!


 Snow is overspreading the state now (It’s 7:15 PM as I write this). Most of the snow is light and spotty with a lot of dry air to overcome.  But once the dry air erodes, snow will become steadier and heavier.

A coastal storm developing overnight will promote an easterly wind.  This will cause snow to transition into a wintry mix in the predawn hours of Tuesday.  By the morning commute (7-8 AM), most of the accumulating snow is already over with a mixture of sleet, freezing rain, and rain (shore).  Areas in the northern hills might take a little longer to change over.  This nasty mix will continue off and on throughout the day.  Then as cold air moves in back behind the storm, a change back over to snow is possible late Tuesday into Tuesday night.

If we get a good burst of snow late Tuesday, some additional snow accumulation is possible. A coating to an inch for most. But the northwest and northeast hills, along with areas bordering Massachusetts could see several inches of additional accumulation.

So how much snow are we talking about here? By tomorrow morning I expect 2”-3” of accumulation on the shoreline with 3”-5” inland and close 6” in the northwest and northeast hills. Additional accumulation may occur during the day in the hills on the order of 2”-4”.  But the majority of the state will be done with accumulating snow after tomorrow morning. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Last Weekend In Winter!

Who has two thumbs and can’t wait for the weekend?  THIS GIRL!

Just a heads up… The last weekend of winter will feel like the MIDDLE of winter.  There are no signs of spring making a comeback ANY TIME soon.  So mentally prepare yourself for winter coats for the next week (or two)!

A few flurries this evening will give way to mostly cloudy skies with temperatures dropping into the 20s.

Saturday is partly to mostly cloudy with a storm passing well south of Connecticut.  Even though steady rain/snow is out of the question, a flurry or sprinkle is possible in a few spots.  High temperatures will struggle to hit the 40 degree mark!

The clouds part just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day. (Luck of the Irish?) But even the sun can’t help warm up this frigid air mass.  Once again temperatures will fight to hit 40 degrees.

Monday is quiet during the day. Then Monday night into Tuesday morning a period of accumulating snow is likely. The commute could be messy before snow mixes in and changes to heavy rain.  There are still many questions that need to be answered before we throw out possible accumulations.  For one, when does the changeover to rain occur?  Also, will the valley’s and hills stay cold enough to see snow/mix longer than other locations. Either way, right now this looks like a mainly rain event. But since we’re on the borderline again, we need to keep a close eye on this one. Every time I say the word borderline I always start singing Madonna.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chilly Times Ahead

Spring starts in six days. But winter cold is in control. Temperatures will climb into the low 40s on Friday with a mix of sun and clouds. A passing flurry or snow shower is possible as a weak cold front approaches. This front will end up stalling south of Connecticut, acting like a magnet for incoming storms. One storm on Saturday will follow the front, staying well south of Connecticut. A brief flurry or snow shower is possible but most towns stay dry with high temperatures near 40 degrees.

Sun returns on Saint Patrick’s Day (luck of the Irish). High temperatures will climb into the low 40s. Below average. Again.
Monday night into Tuesday still looks stormy with snow to start (some could accumulate) before changing to heavy rain (and a lot of it). Tuesday morning’s commute could be tricky with snowy/slippery roads before the changeover to rain. Rain will likely wash away any accumulations. But this storm is still 5 days away so we’ll need to keep an eye on it for possible changes. A colder temperature profile could mean another big snow event.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Winter is back!

Thursday will be about fifteen degrees cooler with high temperatures stuck in the thirties.  If that isn’t chilly enough, a gusty northwest breeze will send wind chills plummeting into the teens and twenties.  On Friday temperatures will return to the 40s.  Then on Saturday an Alberta clipper will bring period of wet snow with some light accumulation possible. Sun returns Sunday. A bigger storm is possible next Monday into Tuesday with snow changing to a wintry mix and/or rain.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring-ish For One More Day

Our spring preview ends shortly.  Wednesday is the last day with 50 degree temps, enjoy!

Heavy rain has moved east tonight with clearing overnight and temperatures slowly falling into the 30s.
Sunshine will mix with some fair weather clouds on Wednesday with high temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s.  A cold front moving through at night could trigger a rain or snow shower in spots.  But with little moisture, most areas will stay dry.

Thursday will be about 15 degrees cooler with high temperatures in the mid to upper 30s!  There are two chances for snow in the forecast.  One is Saturday with a fast moving Alberta clipper. The next chance is Monday night into Tuesday morning. But the cold remains marginal for both events so mixing could cut down on snow potential. Basically none of these storms is a lock for snow accumulation.  No matter what…cooler days are ahead. Winter isn’t over yet!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Of Parade Fun!

Making fun of the "parade wave"
With Rachel Lutzker & Erika Arias
The ladies of FOX CT

With Erika Arias and Weston from the Sphinx Shriners Motor Patrol Newington, CT

With Joe Furey and the Sphinx Shriners Motor Patrol Newington, CT
Check out this AWESOME video of us getting ready for the parade

Spring Fling!

Not even the clouds could stop our ongoing spring fling. Temperatures topped out around 50 degrees today!  Impressively, almost all of last week's snow has already melted. That’s good news heading into tomorrow with around an inch of rain expected.  If we had more snow on the ground, flooding would be a major issue. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for parts of eastern Massachusetts where snow melt is more of a concern. But even there, flooding concerns are minor.

Tonight will remain mild with temperatures in the 40s.  Watch for areas of patchy dense fog and drizzle.

Grab an umbrella, not the heavy winter jacket on Tuesday.  Temperatures will climb into the 50s with a southerly wind.  An approaching cold front will bring periods of rain and drizzle.  Rain will come down heavy at times, especially late in the afternoon and at night. Minor poor drainage flooding is possible. Cold air will lag behind the front on Wednesday with 50s in the forecast for one more day (Wednesday is my pick of the week).  A winter chill returns Thursday and beyond.  We even have the chance for a period of snow/mix over the weekend.

On Another Note...
This is just too cool.
Check out this image from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Satellite - Terra for today. 

If you look closely, you can still see the track from the June 1st, 2011 Tornado extending eastward as a very thin line from Springfield, MA. Also notice the interesting snow hole located in RI.

The full image and varying resolutions can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/Wd8Ucr

Friday, March 8, 2013

4"-24"

It wasn’t even close.

4”-24” of snow fell on Friday.

Apparently when I called for “locally higher amounts”, I was talking about the entire state of Connecticut. This is definitely the biggest forecast bust for me in a long time and I apologize.

So what happened? Firstly, the storm’s center was about 500 MILES away from Connecticut.  Storms can pass 100 miles out to sea without bringing CT single flake or drop. But the key this time was the difference between the ocean storm and a big area of high pressure to the north.  The difference in pressure created a strong easterly wind, pulling in loads of moisture off the ocean (perhaps some subtropical moisture too) and catapulting it toward New England.

Even the craziest computer model projections over the last few days couldn’t predict just how much snow would fall.  (Including my precious European model.)  I knew we would get banding and an uneven distribution of snow totals. But instead of a few locations getting higher amounts in heavy bands, a large chunk of the state got hammered. 6”-12” of snow was common statewide with locally higher amounts in the northeast hills (Staffordvile at 23”).  The lowest amounts could be found in the Granbys and Farmington River Valley (Avon: 4.2”).  I could never have predicted that!

Bridgeport set a new daily snowfall record on Friday with 9.0” of snow. The previous record was 3.5” set in 2005.  This makes the 2012-2013 season the 5th snowiest on record.  Windsor Locks the other official climate site in the state only reported 4.5”(the lowest snow total in the state)!
When I woke up with an anxiety attack, my friend and fellow meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan sent me this message (he knows how I get)

“You can't work yourself up over it because it will mess you up for the next storm. You can't think about it and just have to move on. Forecasts aren't perfect... it's not like with this one you missed something that was glaring and obvious. At the end of the day it was a snowstorm and by now roads are fine and life has moved on.”

But in this job you’re only as good as your last forecast.  So even though I accurately predicted many forecasts (including the days leading up to the storm) all people can remember is the last one.  Oh well, I guess that’s the business I signed up for.

Looking forward:

After the snow moved out, temps jumped into the 40s helping snow covered roads thaw.  But tonight temps will drop below the freezing point. So watch for icy spots late tonight and early tomorrow. This weekend’s weather will jumpstart the melting process with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s.  I was predicting a high near 50 on Sunday.  But a snow covered ground will help cool the air and keep temps from reaching their true potential. Still, I think 50s are possible early next week with a period of rain during the day on Tuesday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Grand Finale

This is the grand finale of a long duration storm!  Snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning dropped a coating to two inches of accumulation.  During the day Thursday, snow melted on contact with the ground.  But Thursday night as temperatures drop below freezing snow will accumulate on the roads once again. I do anticipate problems for the morning commute tomorrow.

A large storm rotating over 400 miles away from Connecticut is the culprit for this mess. The storm will be drawn slightly closer to New England while it interacts with another storm in the Great Lakes region. As the storm inches east, ample moisture will be drawn in off the ocean fueling the fire.

Snow will fill in on the radar Thursday night into early Friday morning, coming down heavy at times. Snow will continue through the morning commute.  Snow covered, slippery roads could prompt school delays and cancellations. Temperatures will rise above the freezing point during the afternoon with steady snow tapering to snow showers. Winds will continue to howl, gusting 30 to 40 mph. Clearing will take place at night

How much?
On Thursday morning, some towns received 2” of snow while others received little or nothing.  This difference in accumulation is caused by process called mesoscale banding.  Small bands of snow within the storm have the ability to sit over a given area dumping snow.  It’s almost impossible to predict where these bands will set up. That being said, I expect 2”-6” of snow to set up state wide. But areas that get caught up in mesocale banding could see locally higher amounts.  There are some indications that the northeast hills could be a target.  That snow accumulation is expected to be achieved by midday Friday.

Coastal Flooding:
The coastal flood threat is over for our area.  But ocean facing beaches in New England will continue to get battered with beach erosion and flooding.

Looking Forward:
Any new snow accumulation should melt quickly. Temps will climb into the 40s with wall to wall sunshine on Saturday.  By Sunday many towns will top out near 50 degrees! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow Through Friday

Little has changed in my thinking from the post below.  My greatest uncertainty lies in tomorrow night's forecast.  Some of the mesoscale models (NAM, RPM) have a big ol' bullseye with heavy snow in western Connecticut. This precip field looks weird to me with heavy snow setting up hundreds of miles from the storm's center.  The NAM tends to be horrible outside of 24 hours.  So I'm not freaking out yet. But this is the 5th run in a row with the same trend so it makes you wonder!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Three Ugly Days

 Get ready for a nasty three day stretch with minor coastal flooding, rain, snow and gusty winds.  A storm exiting off the mid-Atlantic coast on Wednesday will slowly move offshore.  Even though the brunt of the storm stays out to sea, intermittent rain and snow showers on the northern fringe will plague the region from Wednesday all the way through Friday! No matter how much snow you get, we're in for an ugly stretch of weather that will leave you ready for spring. 

Timing, What To Expect:

Light rain and snow showers will develop on Wednesday, mainly during the afternoon with little or no accumulation. Temps will climb into the low 40s. Northeast winds will increase throughout the day with gusts to 40 mph.  Wet snow will accumulate Wednesday night into Thursday morning as temperatures drop. A slushy inch or two is likely by Thursday morning.  Some school delays are possible. School cancellations? I don’t think so but you never know what forecast a superintendent is listening to.


Temperatures will climb above freezing on Thursday into the upper 30s inland to near 40 for the shoreline.  With mainly light snow and mild temps, a lot of the snow that falls on Thursday could melt on contact with the ground. In fact, A coating to two inches is possible during the day, mainly in the higher elevations of northwest and northeast Connecticut. Winds continue to gust up to 40-50 mph with winds slowly diminishing  by Thursday night.


Thursday night into Friday, a NORLUN trough will kick back additional snow showers (even as the storm pulls away). This is the trickiest part of the forecast, especially in eastern Connecticut where snow potential is significantly higher (due to the proximity to the storm).  I’m thinking an additional 1”-4” is possible with the high end of that range for eastern Connecticut.


Snow Accumulation During Spring Storms:
As is typical in spring storms, location is key!  The shoreline will get more mixing (with rain) than inland areas.  But there will be plenty of inland variability too. Valley locations will get significantly less snow than the higher elevations. Another factor to consider during spring storms is the higher sun angle.  During the day solar radiation (even through the clouds) can make it harder for snow to accumulate than during the evening hours.  The next few days will also remain well above freezing.  So snow will have a hard time sticking (especially to paved surfaces).  During the evenings (Wednesday night and Thursday night), cooler temps and the lack of solar radiation will allow for accumulating snow.


This is also a long duration event.  So plows should have time to keep up with all the accumulating snow. 


A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for eastern Connecticut including New London and Windham counties for the potential for 6 or more inches of snow.  While I think 6 inches of total snow fall is possible in New London counties.  I think it’s unlikely to accumulate for the reasons mentioned above.  However, the northeast hills could indeed accumulate a half a foot of snow with colder daytime high temps and a better shot at holding onto accumulating snow.



Winds:
Winds will increase throughout the day on Wednesday, peaking overnight Wednesday into Thursday with gusts from 35-45 mph inland and gusts to 50+ mph on the shoreline.  Some isolated power outages are possible But I don’t expect anything widespread.  This will be a heavy wet snow. But we aren’t getting enough to cause major problems.  A wind advisory is posted for the shoreline of Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London Counties from 4 PM Wednesday to 6 PM Thursday.


Coastal Flooding:
This massive ocean storm will churn up waves and rough surf.  But these problems will primarily be for ocean facing beaches.  A coastal flood watch is in effect for the western Long Island Sound (Fairfield, New Haven counties) for tidal departures between 2.5’-5’.  That’s considered minor flooding. During Wednesday night’s high tide around 6:30 PM, Stamford’s forecast water level is 10.3’-10.8’, Bridgeport is 9.9’-10.4’ and New Haven’s is 8.8’-9.3’. Waves could reach 2’-5’ causing some beach erosion.

Little Update, Bigger Update To Come

I'm forecasting accumulations for this storm in pieces. This is a long duration event and I think lumping snowfall totals together would be more confusing than breaking it down. A lot of what falls during the days will melt with temps in the upper 30s Wed, Thu and Fri. Wednesday during the day: Little/no accumulation with light rain and snow showers developing. Wednesday night: 1"-2" with periods of wet snow. Thursday: A coating -2". Thursday night - Friday: 1"-4" (highest eastern CT). Overall a gray, windy, nasty three days. But not a big snow storm.

Friday, March 1, 2013

And The Record Goes To...


It’s official!  Last month will go down as the snowiest February on record for Bridgeport.  Windsor Locks is #7 on the list. The next few days will be very similar with a mix of sun and clouds and the chance for a sprinkle or flurry in spots. The pattern will start to break down by Tuesday of next week.  By that time, all attention will be on a potential storm.  Someone in the east coast could get nailed. There’s still hope the storm misses, sliding south of Connecticut, but it’s a close call!