Brrrrrr; the cold weather is not going anywhere. Finally, within the last hour or two, the temperatures have been coming above 10 degrees. On this path, the current forecast looks to be on target. regarding tomorrow's snow, the latest model runs do not give reason to adjust the forecast.
TODAY AND TONIGHT
We're starting out the day once again in the single digits, and a few towns in NW CT even dropped below zero. Salisbury got down to -1, and Norfolk dropped to -2. We also set a new record in CT. The low in Bridgeport was 9, breaking the old record of 10 that was set in 1993. Winds have been gusting to 15-20mph, and that is setting the wind chill value down near zero or below early today. Currently, there aren't any wind chill advisories in effect. Highs will range from the middle teens to the lower 20s, which is a slight improvement compared to Thursday. There will be more in the way of cloud cover, but we still expect a partly sunny day.
Tonight will be partly cloudy and cold, but the wind will continue to subside. Overnight lows will be in the single digits and lower teens.
THE LAST WEEKEND OF 2017
Snow appears likely for Saturday. The forecast guidance models have come into better agreement today. We are not expecting a big storm by any means, but a light accumulation of powdery snow is likely. The sky will become cloudy Saturday morning and snow should develop between 10am and 1pm. Snow will continue Saturday afternoon then it should end around midnight Saturday night. Total snow accumulations are expected to range from a coating to 3”. The highest amounts will probably occur in Southeastern Connecticut where some totals could reach or exceed 3”. Highs Saturday should range from the upper teens to the middle 20s. The sky will clear by late Saturday night and temperatures should fall into the single digits and lower teens by dawn.
Bitterly cold winds will return for Sunday, New Year’s Eve Day. Highs will only be in the teens and the wind chill will be sub-zero throughout the day. The northwesterly wind could gust as high as 40 mph! You won’t want to spend much time outdoors even though the sky will be bright and sunny.
Temperatures will fall back into the single digits Saturday night, New Year’s Eve, and the wind chill could range from -5 to -25. That means you will really need to bundle up if you plan on attending First Night activities in Hartford. Overnight lows will range from -10 to +5 on the thermometer!
THE START OF 2018
Monday, New Year’s Day will be brutally cold as well. Despite unlimited sunshine, temperatures will only reach the upper single digits and teens. The wind chill will be sub-zero throughout the day. The mercury will plunge to near zero Monday night.
Tuesday will be a little better. The wind will be lighter and the sky will be sunny. Temperatures are expected to reach the 20s across most of the state.
By Wednesday afternoon, temperatures should reach the upper 20s and lower 30s under partly sunny skies. Yes, we may have a shot at the freezing mark for a change! It’ll feel much better outside even though temperatures will remain below normal. The normal high for early January is 35 degrees for the Greater Hartford Area.
Thursday could be stormy. Several of our trusted guidance models are forecasting a significant coastal storm that could potentially bring a lot of snow and gusty winds. However, that storm is still a week away and a lot could change between now and then. We will keep you updated!
NOTABLE DEEP FREEZES FOR THE GREATER HARTFORD AREA
The last time the temperature remained BELOW freezing for a week or more was in February of 2014. That deep freeze lasted 9 days. The longest deep freeze on record lasted 19 days and that was in December 1989! That was the coldest December on record with an average temperature of 18.1 degrees!
It is also interesting to note there was a stretch of 10 consecutive days from January 19th through January 28th in 1961 when the high temperature was 20 degrees or lower in Windsor Locks. There was also a 7 day stretch from December 29, 1917 to January 4, 1918 where the high temperature remained BELOW 20 degrees in the Greater Hartford Area.
Our current deep freeze began in the late afternoon on Christmas Day. The temperature has now remained below freezing for approximately 72 hours. If our current forecast holds true, the deep freeze will last 9 days, perhaps even longer!
Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest and Melissa Cole
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