Season's first winter storm could make for tricky Tuesday mornin - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Season's first winter storm could make for tricky Tuesday morning commute

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The first winter storm of the season is headed to Connecticut and its wintry mess could affect the Tuesday morning commute.

With the first storm headed our way, Monday was declared an Early Warning Weather Day

A winter weather advisory goes into effect for 7 p.m. on Monday through mid-day on Tuesday. Hartford, Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham counties all fall under the advisory.

The storm may start with snow, but could quickly change over to sleet and freezing rain.

"As a storm system that is currently bringing severe weather to the lower Mississippi River Valley and snow to Texas and Oklahoma heads to the northeast, a secondary storm develop off the Delmarva Peninsula," explained meteorologist Mark Dixon.

Around midnight and shortly after, snow is expected to start to fall but quickly change.

"Snow, sleet, and freezing rain will become steadier in the predawn hours. Temperatures will bottom out in the 20s and lower 30s, which means roads will become slick," said Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest.

This mixture doesn't bode well for the morning commute.

"You’ll want to give yourself some extra time since, especially since this is the first round of wintry weather of the season," DePrest said.

Temperatures are expected to rise above freezing near the coast quickly on Tuesday morning, however that may not happen until late morning or early afternoon for northern Connecticut.

Precipitation will be steady throughout the morning hours, and will taper off to showers and drizzle during the afternoon and early evening.

"Total snow and sleet accumulation will range from very little at the coast to 1 to 2 inches over portions of Northern Connecticut. Freezing rain could result in a 0.10 inch to 0.25 inches of ice accretion in northern portions of the state," DePrest said.

Eyewitness News will be on bright and early at 4 a.m. to keep drivers informed of the conditions.

There wont be enough freezing rain to cause significant power outage concerns, but it will make traveling difficult.

Any lingering precipitation will come to an end Tuesday evening and the sky will clear, however areas of black ice could develop, which could be a problem for Wednesday morning.

Over the weekend, in New London, a cargo ship carrying 40 tons of road salt made its first big drop.

Road and sidewalk treatment will soon be the new normal again with cozy spring temperatures about to disappear.

Public works crews ask that drivers also be prepared.

AAA told Eyewitness News that checking car batteries with an auto parts store or mechanic is a vital first step for winter preparations. The same idea goes for making sure wiper blades are working evenly. 

"As temperatures fall below freezing, it takes a battery one and a half times as much power to start a car," said Amy Parmenter, AAA spokesperson. "Batteries that worked fine last week may not work at all this week."

Temperatures will only get as high as 40.

The transition to colder weather is a difficult one, especially those who work outside in it.

"Well if it's really windy, and it's like real, real cold, we stop," said Nelson Echevarria, a construction manager. "But like if things are freezing and stuff, we work."

For the full Technical Discussion, click here.

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