BLIZZARD BRODY IS HERE...
That's right, the National Weather Service upgraded the Winter Storm Warning, to a Blizzard Warning in New Haven, Middlesex, and New London counties. This warning goes out until 1am. A Blizzard Warning is issued when winds are expected to exceed 35 mph and visibility due to blowing and drifting snow drops to less than a 1/4 mile, for a period of 3 hours. These conditions are expected today, into this evening, especially in southeastern CT.
As of 11am we have gotten reports of 4.5" of snow in Lyme, 4.5" in Union, 4" in Rocky Hill, and 3.5" in Unionville. Peak winds we've seen so far are 53mph in New London (New London Ledge), 46 mph in East Haven, and 44mph in Wolcott.
Blizzard Brody is a monster coastal storm with the pressure dropping to potentially 950 mb, perhaps even lower. The center will track just to the east of Cape Cod today near the 40N/70W benchmark. This storm is intense. It’ll have a very large area of precipitation and widespread damaging winds for much of Southern New England. Winds could gust to 70 mph on portions of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Here in Connecticut, northerly winds will gust to 40-50 mph and that will cause considerable blowing and drifting. White out and near blizzard conditions will occur at times, so travel is not advised. The steady snow will taper off in the late afternoon and evening. We are now forecasting 6-14” of snow with the highest totals likely over eastern portions of the state. Locally higher amounts are possible since the ratio will be about 15 to 1. High temperatures will only be in the 20s. Therefore, this is going to be a light, fluffy snow that will be easily picked up and blown around by the wind.
Lingering snow will end by midnight and strong northwesterly winds will send temperature dropping into the single digits and lower teens.
ANOTHER ARCTIC BLAST FRIDAY & SATURDAY…
As the storm departs, another shot of bitterly cold air will arrive for the end of the week and the start of the weekend. Friday will be partly sunny, but highs will only be in the upper single digits and teens. The wind chill will plunge to -5 to -20. The actual air temperature is expected to dip below zero Friday night. Saturday won’t be any better. In fact, it could be even colder by several degrees despite a full supply of sunshine. Highs will only be in the single digits and lower teens and it’ll be another day of gusty winds. The wind chill is expected to drop to a dangerous -10 to -30 Saturday morning! Wind chill advisories and wind chill warnings will likely be issued for Friday and Saturday.
Sunday morning will be very cold, but the wind will be lighter by then. Early morning temperatures will likely range from -5 to -20 on the thermometer. Sunday afternoon will be better with mostly sunny skies and highs 15-20.
A BRIEF THAW NEXT WEEK…
Monday will be milder for a change! A south or southwesterly breeze is expected to push temperatures into the 30s! However, it will be unsettled with mostly cloudy skies and a period of wet snow and rain in the afternoon and evening.
A wintry mix is expected Monday night and Tuesday morning, then the sky will become partly sunny Tuesday afternoon and a gusty northwest wind will develop. Temperatures will likely reach 40 degrees or higher before colder air arrives in the afternoon and evening.
Wednesday will be partly sunny, windy and cold with highs in the mid to upper 20s.
DECEMBER 2017 IN REVIEW…
It was the deep freeze during the last week of the month that really lowered the average temperature to levels far below normal. The average temperature at Bradley International Airport was 27.5 degrees, which is 4.1 degrees below normal! Total precipitation was 2.41”, which is 1.03” below normal. This includes rain plus the water equivalent of snow and ice. However, snowfall was above normal by 2.4”. The grand total was 9.8”. The snowiest December on record was in 1945, when 45.3” of snow was measured in Hartford.
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 more 9 days. If our current forecast holds true, the deep freeze will last 2 weeks.
Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest and Melissa Cole
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