Snow is here, and it's starting to get heavier in some towns... - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Technical Discussion

Snow is here, and it's starting to get heavier in some towns...

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It's been snowing for a couple of hours, sticking on the grass, and now starting to stick onto untreated roads. Conditions will continue to deteriorate throughout the rest of the day. Our forecast remains on track. We are noticing some heavier snow bands setting up in Eastern CT. Where this happens, we'll likely see the higher end of the snowfall totals- 6", 7" or perhaps even a few higher amounts. We're thinking most of the state will close out around 4/5". Conditions improve after midnight tonight. Please, please drive carefully if you do have to venture out. We've gotten quite a few accident reports coming into the newsroom. 

Previous Discussion and Further Storm Info....


Today will be a snowy day, and we will receive enough snow that we have named the storm Winter Storm Ali.  Right now, a ribbon of rain and snow stretching from the southeastern U.S. and up the Appalachian chain is producing accumulating snow from the mountains of Alabama, Georgia, all the way to the New York metro.  This same band of moisture will move into Connecticut later this morning.  At the same time, an upper level disturbance will flow overhead, and prove instrumental in forming a coastal low off the waters of southeastern New England.  This set-up will be the birth of Winter Storm Ali.

Timing.  The snow will begin sometime around 7 AM, starting along I-95, and then move north, covering the whole state by 10 or 11 am.  The snow will initially begin light, but will intensify quickly.  The snow will taper off from south to north after midnight Sunday morning.

Intensity.  The snow will be moderate much of the time, and sometimes heavy in areas where “mesoscale bands” of heightened upward vertical motion exist.  This motion – literally air that is rising from low altitudes to high altitudes – enhances the production of snowflakes and makes for localized heavier amounts.  The result will be variations in snow totals in small areas; some towns may get, let’s say, 5” while others just down the road get 8”.  By midnight, the intensity should wane to light and intermittent snow showers.

Accumulation.  Eastern Connecticut will likely be the favored area for the most snow.  In areas around and west or Hartford and New Haven, we expect 3-6” will fall.  In areas east of the river, 4-8” of snow will accumulate.  In far southeastern Connecticut, some mixing with sleet or rain is possible, briefly, as the low pressure center is forming and drawing in warm air aloft.  This mixing may result in slightly less snow in far southeastern New London County.

Fluff-factor.  This snow will be a wetter snow, with a likely snow-to-liquid ratio of around 10:1.  Toward the end of the snow, as colder air moves into the sky aloft, the snow may finish a little bit drier.

Icing.  As readings sink into the 20s overnight, there will be ice forming on surfaces that were slushy and wet. 


There will be sun glare galore Sunday as the sun comes out with fresh snow on the ground.  The wind will make the cold day blustery and feeling even colder.  A flurry or snow shower is also possible as residual moisture ripples in the northwest flow that will have developed as Winter Storm Ali exits.  Highs will range from 35-40, but the wind chill will be in the 20s most of the day.


Quiet Monday

Monday will be quiet and less windy.  As high pressure moves over the region, you can expect a partly sunny sky and highs in the upper 30s and lower 40s.  There will be some melting during the day.  As readings sink into the low 20s Monday night, refreezing of snow melt may cause a few slippery spots on side streets.

Another storm possible Tuesday

More snow is possible Tuesday.  An Alberta Clipper will follow the overall air flow and steam into New England.  Some models show that there will be rapid intensification offshore, forecasting a lot of moisture to pivot back into New England from the ocean.  Other models don’t depict this intensification. Regardless, we in Connecticut will at least receive a few snow showers or period of light snow or mix, if not more.  We will otherwise have a chilly day, with highs ranging from 40-45.

Much colder midweek

Brrrr; it’s going to get much colder starting Wednesday.  Although there may be some questions about details regarding Tuesday’s storm, there is far less uncertainty that the air will turn sharply colder by dawn Wednesday.  Temperatures will drop to 15-25 Tuesday night and highs on Wednesday will stay in the 20s and lower 30s.  Wind chill temperatures will be in the single digits and teens.  While a snow shower can’t be ruled out, most of the day will be dry with partly sunny skies.

Thursday will be cold as well with morning lows in the teens and afternoon highs 30-35.  It should be partly sunny and breezy.

More snow Friday

Yet another system will arrive Friday.  The details are quite limited at this point in the forecast cycle; however, it is possible that Connecticut would be in line for receiving another “plowable” snow.

Meteorologist Mike Cameron

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