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
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.
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.