Dangerous Wind Chill & Record Cold! - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Dangerous Wind Chill & Record Cold!

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****AFTERNOON UPDATE****

High temperatures for today have already been achieved, back in the pre-dawn hours.  This afternoon, a northwesterly wind will continue funneling cold air into CT under a mostly cloudy sky with a few scattered flurries.  While temperatures will be in the teens and lower 20s, it will feel more like the single digits. 

Tonight, the combination of wind and cold will create wind chill values 10 to 20 degrees below zero, yikes!   Furthermore, we'll likely begin Friday setting record low temperatures as we are forecasting the mercury to dip below zero.  Tomorrow, despite lots of sunshine, highs will only be in the lower to mid teens.

For the weekend, Saturday will still start our on a frigid note with record cold; but, by later in the day we warm into the mid 20s.  By Saturday evening and night, flakes will start flying.  For Sunday, with enough warm air mixing in, we may to deal with an icy mix for a time before more snow develops as this next storm system winds down and moves out.

Meteorologist Mark Dixon 


***PREVIOUS DISCUSSION***


AN INCREDIBLY COLD MONTH…

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty nice day with temperatures reaching the upper 20s and lower 30s. The afternoon high at Bradley International was 32 degrees. However, the normal high for February 18th is 39 degrees. Plus, we started out below zero in a number of locations. The morning low at Bradley International was 6 below zero. The average temperature for yesterday was 13 degrees, which is an amazing 17 degrees colder than normal!

The average temperature for the month of February has now dipped to 15.9 degrees and we have 10 days to go. If February were to end right now, it would easily be the coldest February on record! For now, the coldest February on record was in 1934 when the average temperature was 16.5 degrees. That was also the all-time coldest month on record, no matter what winter month we are talking about! As you can see, several impressive records are in jeopardy of being broken if this weather pattern continues!

A LITTLE MORE SNOW FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER BITTER BLAST…

Snow showers developed last night in advance of an arctic front that is approaching from the west. They didn't amount to much, nor are they expected to throughout the day today.

Temperatures have bottomed out in the teens this morning and they won't rise very much today. Highs will be in the upper teens and lower 20s, but temperatures will trend downward during the afternoon. Plus, a northwesterly wind could gust to over 30 mph as a storm gathers strength out in the ocean to the east of New England. At least the sun will make an appearance this afternoon, although it won't have much of an impact on temperatures.

The mercury will dip below zero in many outlying areas by dawn tomorrow. The record low for the Greater Hartford Area for February 20th is 3 below zero, which was established in 1936. That long standing record could be tied or broken! Wind chill readings early tomorrow morning will likely range from 10 below to 25 below zero. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory, which in effect for the entire state, starting at midnight tonight and continuing through noon tomorrow.

Despite plenty of bright sunshine, we only expect highs in the teens tomorrow afternoon. Plus, the northwesterly wind remain brisk with gusts to 30 mph or higher. That will keep wind chill readings near or below zero much of the day.

The wind will drop off tomorrow night as a ridge of high pressure approaches New England from the west. Once again, all of the ingredients will be in place for another frigid night. The mercury will drop below zero in many locations by dawn Saturday and another record could be tied or broken. The record low for February 21st is 2 below zero, set in 1972.

A MESSY WEEKEND…

Another storm will approach New England this weekend. Most of Saturday will be dry, although snow could develop in the late afternoon or evening. The snow will become steadier Saturday night and several inches could accumulate.

The computer guidance models are now forecasting a storm track near or to the west of New England on Sunday. That means there will likely be enough warming to change the snow to a messy mix of sleet, freezing rain, and perhaps even plain rain for much of the state. The precipitation could be heavy at times, which isn't good news. Our snow cover will just absorb all of that moisture and it will become even heavier. That means we could have more issues with structural damage to roofs, although that may be a bigger concern over eastern portions of Southern New England where there has been much more snow in recent weeks. Hopefully, that will not happen. As the storm moves away to the north, a brief change back to snow is possible, but it should be long gone by Monday morning. However, temperatures will drop below freezing Sunday night and a flash freeze is likely. Temperatures will reach the 40s in many parts of the state on Sunday, but they'll drop back through the 20s and perhaps into the upper teens by Monday morning. That means there could be a lot of big icy patches for the Monday morning commute.

Monday and Tuesday will be bright and sunny, but cold with highs both days in the 20s. The mercury could dip below zero again by early Tuesday morning. We have already dipped below zero 7 times this month at Bradley International and that number could increase to 10 times by early next week!

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SNOWFALL TOTALS FROM RECENT STORMS...

Looking for a specific snow total? Here are links to the surrounding National Weather Service offices, by jurisdiction and broken down by county, with their tallies for recent storms…

Litchfield County:

http://1.usa.gov/17bhMss

Hartford, Tolland and Windham Counties:

http://1.usa.gov/1iYqiKJ

Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London Counties:

http://1.usa.gov/1xMFapG

Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest with Scot Haney

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