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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Well that escalated quickly...

A snow storm is heading this way and the worst will hit during the morning commute on Friday.
I know it seems impossible. But snow can and will stick to the ground if it comes down heavy enough, even after several days of near-record warmth.

This storm looked like it would barely brush us a couple of days ago. But the trend over the last 36 hours has been to bring the storm closer to the coast and the impact for us has changed in a big way.

Timing:

Impact:

-Snow covered roads for the commute along with poor visibility.
-School delays and closings are likely.
-Snow will be wet and heavy (tough to move).
-Some power outages are possible with wet heavy snow sticking to trees and powerlines.
-North winds could gust up to 30 mph, blowing snow.

Accumulations:


3”-6” range for most of the state with higher amounts possible in eastern/northeastern Connecticut. Lower amounts, 1”-3” in northwest Connecticut, including most of Litchfield County.
While we have high confidence about the impact of this storm, there is lower confidence on the actual accumulations. Typically when forecasting snow, we use a 10:1 snow to liquid ratio. That means every 1” of precipitation produces 10” of snow. But that ratio will be lower during this storm. We’re also dealing with a warm ground. While that won’t prevent snow from accumulating, it can eat away at some of the snow that falls. Basically…more snow will fall than will actually accumulate. We feel confident that snow totals will be highest in eastern Connecticut with lower amounts in Litchfield County. The range you see does a good job at showing local variability depending on elevation and snow intensity and also accounts for a small shift in the storm track. We feel comfortable preparing you for the worst instead of you getting surprised with more than you expected. It looks like there will be an area of 6”+ in eastern Connecticut. Right now we think the best chance of that happening is in northeastern CT because of mixing issues in New London County. That being said, that bullseye may need to expand or contract depending on the temperature profile.

Weather Alerts:

A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for northeastern Connecticut, in Windham County. The warning begins at 1 a.m. Friday and ends at 3 p.m. Friday.


A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the rest of the state with the exception of Litchfield County. The warning begins at 1 a.m. Friday and ends at 3 p.m. Friday.

On the weather watch for early next week:

While there is no arctic cold in sight, the weather pattern does start to get more interesting heading into next week. A coastal storm with snow and gusty winds is possible next Tuesday. But the trend over the last 24 hours has been to bring the worst of the storm farther offshore. This would mean some snow, but nothing big here in Connecticut. Still, it’s a timeframe we need to keep our eye on as a lot can change between now and Tuesday.

Forecast Details:

Tonight: Rain showers develop tonight before mixing and changing over to snow after midnight. Low: 30-34.

Friday: Snow, some heavy for the AM drive. Snow ending 10 am - 2 pm from west to east. Breezy with developing sunshine. High: Upper 30s.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, milder. High: Upper 30s-Low 40s.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, mild and breezy. High: Lower 40s.

Monday: Partly sunny with increasing clouds late. High: Upper 20s-Low 30s.

Tuesday: Cloudy with the chance for snow. Watching the track of a developing coastal storm. High: Upper 20s-Low 30s.

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