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Thursday, January 28, 2016

A whole lotta shaking going on

No it wasn't an earthquake. A sonic boom was felt in many locations across the tri-state area.  The cause? A military jet broke the sound barrier, flying 1,200 mph! Check out the full article here.
But how could people in Connecticut feel tremors from a sonic boom all the way off the coast of Southern New Jersey??
One explanation is a temperature inversion! Instead of sound spreading out in all directions, sometimes it can get trapped close to the ground. This same set up can also lead to poor air quality days, trapping ozone, dirt and pollen near the ground. It can also help radio and TV signals travel farther than usual (also called atmospheric ducting).
Pretty cool, huh? This graphic is an RF original. A masterpiece. I LOVE making graphics. It's my only outlet for using my artistic side these days.

Friday Flurries, February 50s

On Friday, there is a chance for a few flurries or light snow showers as a disturbance crosses the eastern Great Lakes. This has nothing to do with a big offshore storm that will miss Connecticut, staying out to sea. But it may end up being a close call. There are some indications that rain/snow showers could get as close as Cape Cod or even Rhode Island.

Saturday starts off cooler with highs in the 30s to around 40. By Sunday, the thermometer will approach 50 degrees and that’s just the start of what could turn out to be an impressive February thaw. Right now we have 50s in the forecast Sunday – Wednesday. The warmest day will be Wednesday when some towns could approach the 60 degree mark! But before you plan a “beach day,” keep in mind that Wednesday will be rather wet with lots of clouds, gusty winds, rain and even thunderstorms.

If the warmth doesn’t get rid of what’s left of the snow pack, the rain certainly will. Back behind this storm it’s cooler but not cold with highs in the 40s.

Forecast Details:

Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy, not as cold.  Low: 25-30.

Friday: Mostly cloudy, breezy. Chance for a few flurries or a snow shower. High: Near 40.

Saturday: Sunny to partly cloudy. High: Upper 30s-Near 40.

Sunday: Partly cloudy, mild. High: Upper 40s-Near 50.

Monday: Cloudy and mild with the chance for late-day and evening showers. High: Low 50s.

Tuesday: Sunny and very mild for early February. High: Near 50.

Wednesday: Rain and possible thunder, warm. High: mid-upper 50s.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Drip, drip, drip: Melting Ahead

You'll notice a common theme in the days ahead. Thawing during the days and refreezing at nights. So keep an eye out for slick spots each morning this week. If the road/front step looks wet, assume it's icy.

Weather Headlines:

  • Milder Tuesday, 40s, chance late-day/evening shower
  • Dry, trending a bit cooler Wednesday - Thursday
  • Watching an offshore storm Friday
More clouds fill the sky Tuesday as milder air returns. Temperatures will climb into the mid 40s. A shower is possible later in the day or at night as a cold front approaches. Showers will be hit or miss so not every town gets one.

Tuesday's cold front is pretty wimpy! The air following it on Wednesday will still be mild for January standards, near 40 degrees. I can't rule out a passing flurry in the far northwest hills.

Another storm will develop off the Carolinas later this week. I know what you're thinking...uh oh, not again! But this is a totally different set-up than Saturday's historic nor'easter. Right now the chance of that storm hitting us is 30% or less. That's a 70%+ chance it misses.

But while this coastal storm is stealing all the attention on social media, a sneaky disturbance moving through the Great Lakes has a slightly better chance at bringing us some light snow or snow showers.

Forecast Details:

Tonight: Increasing clouds. Watch for icy spots. Low: 20-30.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, mild. Chance for a shower or two, mainly late in the day. High: 40-45.

Wednesday: Becoming partly cloudy, remaining mild. High: High: 38-43.

Thursday: Sunny, a bit cooler than recent days. High: 35-40.

Friday: Mostly cloudy, a storm lurks just offshore. Chance snow/mix if it trends closer to the coast. High: Near 40.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunny start to the week and some milder days ahead

Snow Totals from the Blizzard 2016
Wow, what a storm! While parts of northwest Connecticut saw little or no snow, others saw up to 14" in southern Connecticut, and that's not including the giant snow drifts.

Connecticut was spared the epic and historic 30"-40" snowfall to our south and west. Look at the map of final snow totals. This storm could have been so much worse had everything shifted another 25-50 miles north.

Weather Headlines:

  • Quiet start to the week, sunny Monday, 30s
  • Chance for freezing drizzle Tuesday morning, slick roads are possible. 
  • Milder Tuesday, 40s, chance late-day/evening shower
  • Watching an offshore storm Friday
Another offshore storm Friday? Don't get nervous or excited
yet. Most guidance suggests this stays offshore. But some
snow is still possible. It's bears waytch
The calm after the storm continues on Monday with blue skies and temperatures near average. There's  a slight chance for freezing drizzle Tuesday morning as milder air tries to move in. More clouds fill the sky Tuesday. Temperatures will climb into the 40s by afternoon with the chance for a few showers late-day or at night. The air will be too warm for anything but rain. But if the timing is pushed back any later, that could change.

Another storm will develop off the Carolinas later this week. Most of our guidance suggests the storm stays mainly offshore, but it bears watching. The European ensembles (probably our best gauge for forecasting 3+ days out) suggests some snow is possible.

Forecast Details:

Tonight: Mostly cloudy start, then clearing late. Low: 10-20.

Tomorrow: Sunny, quiet start to the week. High: 34-38.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, mild. Chance for a shower or two, mainly late in the day. High: 40-45.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy, remaining mild. High: High: 38-43.

Thursday: Sunny, a bit cooler than recent days. High: 35-40.

Friday: Mostly cloudy, chance for a rain or snow shower as a big storm lurks just offshore. High: Near 40.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Snow-LAST CALL (I Swear)

My last call before the first flakes fly! I bumped up the numbers, especially in Fairfield and New Haven Counties. I still feel strongly about the sharp gradient/cut-off in northern Connecticut. 

I had to bump the numbers after the 0z (late evening) computer model runs came in. It became impossible to ignore the bump north. 

Sometimes it is so hard to change your forecast. You feel loyal to it. You're afraid if you change it, the old one was right and the new one will be wrong and you should have just left it alone to begin with. But in the end, forecasts don't love you back. And as we always say, trend is your friend. EXCEPT in this case when the storm trends north and then south and then north and then south again...

Blizzard Warnings are in effect for the shoreline with gusty winds combined with blowing and drifting snow leading to low visibility. Stay safe and enjoy, if you can!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Critical 30 Miles!

While parts of northern Connecticut will get little/no accumulation, some on the shore could get slammed with double digit snow totals. It’s a shoreline special!

Your storm cliffs notes:

Starts: Daybreak for southern Connecticut slowly overspreading the state from south to north and reaching the Massachusetts border by afternoon.
Heaviest snow: 3 pm – 10 pm
Ends: Around midnight, give or take a couple hours.
Accumulations: Little or nothing in far northern CT with up to a foot in southwestern areas
Additional Concerns: Minor coastal flooding, gusty winds, blowing and drifting of snow (low visibility)

Forecast Details:

Not only will be have snow around tomorrow, but gusty winds too! On the shoreline winds could
gust up to 40-50 miles an hour. While that’s not enough to produce widespread power outages. Scattered outages are a possibility.  Inland gusts will be up to 30-40 miles an hour. Blowing snow and reduced visibility will likely be a concern too. This isn’t a beautiful snow flakes gently falling on your head type of storm. Snow will whip you in the face.

Coastal flooding looks to be minor at this time for both high tide cycles Saturday.
There will be a big range in accumulation over a short distance. That’s one of the reasons this storm
has been so tough to forecast, and still is. Imagine the track shifts north by 30 miles. That’s the difference between 4-8” or 8-12”. A shift south would be the difference between 4”-8” and just 1”-4”. So this is a high stakes forecast. Because a 30 mile shift is the difference between a high impact event and a low impact event.

Our computer guidance is still all over the place. Some of our computer models are still suggesting over a foot of snow well inland which is a lot more than our current forecast (NAM, RPM). Other computer models are lower than our current forecast with up to 4” on the high end for the shoreline (RGEM). Now it’s a meteorologist’s job to take what the computer models say and draw their own interpretation.  This is why you will find different forecasts on different news outlets. Wish us luck! My sanity depends on it.

Tonight: Cloudy, dry. Low: 20-25.
Tomorrow: Snow in the shore around daybreak, slowly overspreading the state. High: 25-29.
Sunday: Becoming sunny. High: 34-37.
Monday: Mostly sunny, not as cold. High: Upper 30s-Near 40
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, chance for a shower. High: Mid 40s.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High: Near 40. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

We're Livin' On The Edge!

Although temperatures will be similar on Thursday, the wind will be calmer. A light wind combined with lots of sun should go a long way in making it feel more comfortable outside.

The weather remains quiet and dry all the way through Friday night. Then all eyes will be on a developing nor’easter. We have high confidence that the Mid-Atlantic will be the target for the highest snow accumulation. Parts of DC and Maryland could get 2 feet of snow or more. Here in Connecticut the impact will be less. Southern New England appears to be on the northern fringe of this storm.

Now here’s the tricky part… It appears this storm will have a sharp cut off between heavy snow and little to nothing over a short distance. 25-50 miles north or south can make a really big difference. So right now we’re not expecting a big snow storm in Connecticut. But it’s a high stakes forecast with some impressive snow totals lurking nearby!

Euro Ensembles show a 6" mean snowfall through
southern CT which is a jump north from previous runs
Snow totals will be higher farther south and west. So we expect the shoreline to have the highest snowfall totals in the state. It’s entirely possible that parts of northern Connecticut get a light dusting or a few flakes while some on the shoreline pick up half a foot or more. The gradient will be that sharp, leaving plenty of room for error.

Timing: Saturday into early Sunday morning

Impact: Plowable snow likely for many, especially in southern Connecticut. Gusty winds and minor coastal flooding are possible too.

Accumulations: A coating to a few inches for most of the state with the least snow in far northern Connecticut. Higher amounts are possible in southern areas and especially along the shoreline where up to about 6-8” is possible.

Stay with FOX 61’s weather team on air, online and in our app all week as we keep an eye on the possible storm.

Forecast Details:
Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Low: 15-20.
Thursday: Cold despite plenty of sunshine. Breezy. High: 30-35.
Friday: Increasing clouds. High: Low-30s.
Saturday: Snow & gusty winds possible. But the exact impact on a brewing nor’easter remains uncertain. High: Mid-upper 20s.
Sunday:  Any lingering snow ends early. Clouds break for some sun. High: Low 30s.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mid-Atlantic Bullseye Likely. CT Impact More Uncertain.

As computer models trend farther south, the
threat for big snow diminishes here in CT.
Plowable/fringe effects/miss are all still possible.
Wednesday will remain breezy and chilly. But it won’t be AS windy or AS cold as recent days. At least the sun is on our side.

The weather remains quiet and dry all the way through Friday. Then all eyes will be on a developing nor’easter. Before you read all the details regarding this tricky forecast, I wanted to get you started with the “meat and potatoes” of what we think so far. Remember of course a lot of this will likely change (it’s only Tuesday).

Timing: Saturday morning Impact: Big spread in possibilities ranging from a significant snow storm to just fringe effects or a total miss.
Trend: The trend over the last 24-36 hours has been to keep the heaviest snow south of Connecticut, near the Mid-Atlantic.
Precipitation: All snow
Additional Threats: Gusty winds and minor coastal flooding. 

Right now the piece of energy that we’re watching is just coming onto land in the Pacific Northwest bringing rain and mountain snow there. This energetic disturbance will travel across the country, eventually joining forces with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Then the fun begins. As the storm exits of the coast of North Carolina it will rapidly strengthen. It’s that process that usually helps mark a bullseye for the heaviest snow. So that’s where we have the most confidence in a blockbuster storm at this time.

High confidence on a rapidly strengthening low
off the Mid-Atlantic coast. But where that storm
tracks  next is more uncertain.
But what happens next is harder to determine. Some of our computer models are still hinting at a big storm here in Connecticut (GFS) with the chance for a foot of snow and the storm tracking just southeast of Nantucket. But when forecasting, “trend is our friend”. The latest trend over the last 24-36 hours has been to move the track farther offshore, taking the heaviest snow along with it. In fact, the European model shows a near miss! Will this trend continue? Or will it reverse course? That’s one thing we’ll be looking at over the coming hours/days.

Another aspect about this set-up that makes it interesting to forecast, It appears like this storm will have a sharp cut off between heavy/crippling snow(2-3 feet) and plowable snow (a few inches). With another sharp line from plowable snow to little/nothing.

Forecast Details: 

Tonight: Winds diminish a bit. But remaining breezy. Low: 12-18.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, not as cold but still a bit breezy at times. High: 30-35.
Thursday: Cold despite plenty of sunshine. Breezy. High: 30-35.
Friday: Increasing clouds. High: Low-30s.
Saturday: Snow & gusty winds possible. But the exact impact on a brewing nor’easter remains uncertain. High: Mid-upper 20s.

The latest run of the GEFS showing the wide spread in
possible solutions from a big storm to nothing!
Image: Weatherbell

Snow?! So you're sayin' there's a chance! FINALLY!

All of the models show a beast of a no'reaster. But where it
tracks and the speed is more uncertain. (Image by WxBell)
On Saturday we have the first real chance for significant snow this winter! A brewing nor’easter will bring the threat for a high impact storm from Washington DC all the way through New England. 

As of right now a plowable snow is becoming more likely. We also have decent confidence that this storm will produce the most snow of the season to date (which is easy because we haven’t seen much). But whether you’re rooting for an epic storm or hoping for a miss, there is too much uncertainty to get excited or nervous about this storm yet.

While there’s still a lot we don’t know, it’s actually REALLY impressive that all of our computer models agree 1) an impressive beast of a nor’easter will develop AND 2) said nor’easter will threaten the East coast.  When that happens, our forecast confidence grows.  But the storm’s ultimate track and speed is still a question mark. How much the low deepens and where it travels will be vital clues in determining the impact here in Connecticut.  While a big snow storm is still on the table for us, there’s still a good chance the heaviest snow misses to our south. (See BULLSEYE)

TIMING: All week looks dry, right up through Friday. Right now the most likely start time of this storm would be late Friday/predawn Saturday morning. The storm could last all the way into early Sunday morning.

The probability of over 1" of precipitation. Check out
that bullseye over the Mid-Atlantic.  (Image by WxBell)
BULLSEYE: If I had to guess who would get the worst of this upcoming storm, it appears the Mid-Atlantic area from Virginia/West Virginia to Washington DC will be under the gun for some of the heaviest snows.  That’s where the storm will rapidly drop in pressure or ”bomb” out.

WHERE IS IT NOW: The storm we’re watching is still out in the Pacific Ocean, moving from Alaska towards the Pacific northwest. It’s important to note, computer models work by taking a combination of weather observations and satellite data to get a picture of what’s going on in the atmosphere. But observations from buoys are more sparse than weather stations on land.  While computer models will attempt to fill in the gaps, it’s not always perfect.  We call this poor sampling.  And my teacher in Meteo 201 used to say “garbage in, garbage out”.  If the data used to feed computer models is wrong (or unavailable) the resulting forecast will be wrong. Errors amplify with time. This is one of the reasons why we send airplanes into hurricanes to gather data.   Until this storm moves over land (and that will not happen until Friday) the forecast is less reliable.

A variety of different solutions even when looking at
the same computer model. Bottom line, the impact in CT is not
set in stone yet.  (Image by WxBell)

It’s 2:20 AM Tuesday. I can’t think anymore. Hope this was interesting/helpful to you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Less Wind Tomorrow, Rain Likely This Weekend


After a blustery day with wind gusts exceeding 45 mph, the wind will slowly diminish tonight. While the "wind chill" will not be much of a factor Thursday morning, it will still be cold at the bus stop with temps beginning in the 10s and 20s.


Temperatures will rebound on Friday, climbing into the 40s in the afternoon with increasing clouds. Those milder temperatures will set the stage for our next storm. Hint, hint.


A storm Friday night into Saturday is taking a track that is typically favorable for snow here in Connecticut. But confidence is growing in a rain event. It looks like we're lacking enough cold air for powder. While a storm strengthens close to the "benchmark" for winter weather, there is no cold "blocking high" to the north to help lock in the cold.  This storm is still worth watching. It is January in New England, after all!


Some of our computer models are hinting at an offshore storm that could bring some light snow to the area late Sunday.  But there is poor model consensus regarding this. Either way it doesn't look like a significant event for us and there's still a good chance it will totally miss!

Forecast Details:

: Partly cloudy, increasing clouds late. Low: 15-20.

Tomorrow: Cloudy start with the chance for flurries or a snow shower. Turning partly cloudy. High: 30-35.

Friday: Partly cloudy with increasing clouds late. High: 40-45.

Saturday: Rain likely, mainly in the morning. High: 40-45.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, slight chance for snow late-day and at night. High: Mid 30s.

: Partly cloudy, colder and breezy. High: Mid 20s.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Snow Replaced By Cold & Wind

While most of the state saw a quick coating of snow, some of the hill towns in northern Connecticut picked up a quick inch or two of snow. Closer to the shoreline, it was a rain/snow mix or even just rain!

A few lingering snow showers are possible before 1-2 AM. Otherwise, the big story is the cold and wind that follows!


Wednesday will be cold and windy in the wake of today’s little storm. High temperatures will only be in the 20s but it will feel more like the teens and single digits when you factor in the wind. Gusts could reach up to 45+ mph. A Wind Advisory is in effect Tuesday night into Wednesday. The National Weather Service warns that isolated power outages are possible. There is also a chance for a few lingering flurries.


Looking ahead towards the weekend there is a more impressive storm on the horizon for Friday night into Saturday. That storm is taking a track that is typically favorable for snow here in Connecticut. But it looks like we're lacking enough cold air for powder. With a temperature profile that is borderline Saturday, our best call is to have you prepare for a wintry mix or rain. We’ll continue to watch the latest trends though as we get a little closer. Snow will be close by!

Forecast Details:

Tonight: Chance for a lingering snow shower early. Becoming windy. Low: 20s.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy, windy and cold. Chance for flurries in spots. Wind chills in the 10s. High: 25-30.

Thursday: Partly cloudy, less wind but remaining chilly. High: 27-33.

Friday: Mostly sunny, not as cold as recent days. High: 38-43.

Saturday: Rain, which may start off as a brief wintry mix in spots. High: Near 40.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, chance for a snow shower. High: 30s.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Saturday "Better" Than Sunday

Untreated surfaces could be slippery early Saturday morning with areas of mist and temperatures near freezing.

The rest of the day looks cloudy and damp. However dreary, Saturday is the pick of the weekend!

Sunday looks like a washout with gusty winds and periods of rain, some heavy. While you will need an umbrella, you won’t need a winter coat. Temperatures Sunday will likely break records, soaring through the 50s. With gusty winds, isolated power outages are possible on Sunday. Winter cold returns Monday with highs in the 20s and 30s for most of next week.

There is a chance for snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. But it looks like the ingredients for a big storm will not come together for us here in Connecticut just yet!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

From Ice To Rain & Record Warmth


Soak up the blue skies and sunshine on Thursday. Clouds return Friday with an easterly wind bringing in moisture off the ocean. Some drizzle is possible late in the day.


Mist, combined with temperatures dropping below freezing, could lead to some icy spots Friday night into Saturday morning. Most of Saturday looks dry yet cloudy with the chance for a passing shower.


Sunday is the warmer and wetter half of the weekend with periods of rain (some heavy). Record challenging warmth is possible too with highs in the 50s. Around an inch of rain is likely with higher amounts possible too.


Colder air will return behind Sunday’s storm.  There is even a chance for some snow in the forecast Tuesday night into Wednesday with the possibility for a little light accumulation. But that’s still 6-7 days out.

Forecast Details:

Tonight: Clear, cold. Low: 10-20.

Tomorrow: Sunny, a bit milder. High: 40-45.

Friday: Becoming cloudy with the chance for drizzle developing late. Some icy spots possible at night as temperatures drop below freezing. High: 37-42.

Saturday: Chance for icy spots early with areas of freezing drizzle. Otherwise, cloudy with the chance for a shower or two. High: 37-42.

Sunday: Mild and wet with periods of rain, some heavy. Record challenging warmth. High: 50-55.

Monday: Clouds break for sunshine. High: Near 40.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Stellar Winter Weekend (Excluding Skiers)


No, that’s not leftover confetti! There are a few flurries scattered about parts of the state tonight. Some towns have even seem a brief coating
of snow on top of cars or back decks (nothing sticking to the roads). Snow showers will be hit-or-miss through early tonight, followed by some clearing.


The coldest air of the season is heading this way! The arctic blast arrives Monday which means kids heading back to school will need to bundle up in full winter gear: hats scarves and gloves. Meanwhile, this weekend looks great for outdoor plans. Temperatures will be around (or a bit above) average with a fair amount of sunshine. High temperatures Monday and Tuesday will only be in the twenties with low temperatures in the teens and single digits. Cold, yes. But still no big storms in sight.

Tonight: Chance for flurries or a brief snow shower. Low: 25-30.

Saturday: Mostly sunny. High: Upper 30s.

Sunday: Partly cloudy. High: Near 40.

Monday: Cold despite plenty of sunshine. High: 20s

Tuesday: Windy and cold. High: 20s.

Wednesday: Sunny, not as cold as recent days. High: mid-upper 30s.