Spring arrived at 6:29 this morning! - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Spring arrived at 6:29 this morning!

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

NOON UPDATE: TOMORROW IS A PSYCHOLOGICALLY IMPORTANT WEATHER DAY HERE IN CT.

Today, the normal daytime high is 49 degrees.  Tomorrow it's 50! Isn't that amazing?  50 degrees!  And believe it or not, our temperatures tomorrow could be in the upper 50s for portions of the state.  In the meantime, it's a gorgeous spring day out there as temps are getting pretty close to normal.  There's a bit of a north/northwesterly breeze out there sustained between 9-18 mph!

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING!

Spring officially arrived at 6:29 this morning!  That's when the vernal equinox occurred.  The new season is off to a nice start.  High pressure is in control with mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will continue to rise through the 40s, to near 50 degrees in some locations. 

There is a slight chance for a rain shower very late tonight through early tomorrow morning.  However, most of the shower activity will slip by to the north and to the south of Connecticut.

TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT…

It will certainly feel like spring.  We have a pretty good shot at highs 55-60 away from the coast.  The sky will be partly sunny.  This mild weather will come in advance of a strong cold front that will sweep across the state Tuesday night.  Temperatures will drop into the 20s by dawn Wednesday, perhaps the teens in the Litchfield Hills.  Wind chill temperatures will dip into the single digits and teens.

WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT…

It is going to feel like the middle of winter again!  Cold air will pour into the state throughout the day on a strong north-northwesterly wind.  Gusts to 40 mph are possible.  Although the sky will become sunny, highs will be in the 30s at best and wind chill temperatures will be in teens and low 20s much of the day.

The sky will be crystal clear Wednesday night and the wind will gradually subside as a strong high pressure system approaches New England from the west.  It is going to be quite cold with lows in the teens, but some single digits are quite possible in the normally colder locations.

THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT…

Thursday is going to be a beautiful looking day thanks to high pressure.  The sky will be bright and sunny, and the winds will be fairly light.  After a very cold morning we’ll see a nice recovery with temperatures reaching 40 degrees by late afternoon.

Clear skies will give way to partly cloudy skies Thursday night.  It won’t be too cold with lows in the 20s across most of the state.

FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT…

A warm front will be heading our way and that means temperatures will be on the rise again.  Highs will be in the 40s to near 50 degrees.  A fairly strong south-southwesterly breeze will develop as the day progresses.  Morning sunshine will give way to increasing cloudiness and a few rain showers will likely develop Friday afternoon.  Scattered showers will linger into Friday evening, but they will end overnight as the warm moves away to the east of New England.

A MILD SPRING WEEKEND…

There is the potential for very mild weather on Saturday.  A cold front will approach Connecticut from the north, but we should remain in the warm sector most of the day.  If everything comes together in just the right way, temperatures could easily peak in the 60s!  It is all about timing.  If the front arrives earlier in the day, then cooler temperatures can be expected.  For now, we are forecasting a conservative high of 62 degrees.

The cold front will pass through Connecticut Saturday night and Sunday with showers or periods of rain.  A northerly flow will also usher in colder air.  Highs temperatures on Sunday could be held to the 40s.

BLIZZARD EUGENE

According to the National Weather Service, blizzard criteria were met in Waterbury between 8:40 Tuesday morning and 11:55am, then again between 1:30pm and 4:35pm.  Blizzard criteria were not met in Windsor Locks, Danbury, Meriden, Willimantic, Bridgeport, New Haven, or New London.  Please see the discussion below on what is a Blizzard. 

For Windsor Locks, Eugene wasn’t blizzard, but it was a record breaking snowstorm!  The grand total was 15.8”, which is the biggest MARCH snowstorm on record for the Greater Hartford Area.  The previous record was 14.8” during the “Storm of the Century” in March of 1993.  Official records date back to 1905.  Of course, we are not including the “Blizzard of 1888”, which dumped a lot more snow.  Middletown received 50” of snow during that storm. 

15.8” is also the greatest amount of snow that fell during any 1-day (calendar day) period in March.  The previous record was 14.0” on March 19th in 1956.

WHAT IS A BLIZZARD?

Many people have been asking about what conditions need to be met for a blizzard to occur.  For a period of at least 3 consecutive hours, we need to have sustained winds (or frequent gusts) of 35 mph or greater and the visibility must be frequently reduced to a ¼ mile or less.

Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest

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