Finally an end to the deep freeze! - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Technical Discussion

Finally an end to the deep freeze!

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Temperatures will rise above freezing across most of the state!  The one exception may be the Litchfield Hills.  Highs will range from the middle 30s to the lower 40s.  It’ll be a partly to mostly sunny day and a brisk northwesterly wind will gust to over 30 mph.

High pressure will move into New England tonight.  The combination of clear skies and diminishing winds will allow temperatures to dip into the teens in many locations.


Overall, tomorrow is going to be a very quiet day.  Winds will be very light in the morning with high pressure overhead.  A light southerly breeze will develop during the afternoon when high pressure slips offshore.  The sky will be mostly sunny in the morning, then clouds will overspread the state during the afternoon and evening.  Temperatures are expected to reach the 30s, which means it will be a seasonably chilly day.  The normal high for January 10th is 34 degrees.

A warm front will bring a wintry mix of light snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain Wednesday night.  Overnight lows will be in the 20s and lower 30s.


The morning commute could be slick over interior portions of the state with pockets of freezing rain.  However, temperatures will rise well above freezing in the afternoon.  A southerly flow will push temperatures into the 40s across most of the state.  Areas of fog may develop with moist, mild air flowing over the cold snow cover.


A storm will move northward from the Deep South, but mild air will already be in place.  That means this storm will be all rain in Connecticut.  We can expect periods of rain, areas of fog, and highs ranging from the upper 40s to the middle 50s!  There will be a lot of melting snow.  The combination of melting snow and rain could cause some localized poor drainage flooding.  Since the ground is frozen from the deep freeze, some water could runoff into basements.

We can expect rain and fog Friday night with lows in the upper 30s and 40s.


The storm will move through New England on Saturday with more rain and fog.  However, forecasting temperatures is very tricky.  It all depends on the location of a stationary front.  If it stalls to the south of Connecticut, we could have a cold rain and perhaps even some freezing rain in portions of Northern Connecticut.  If the front stalls to the north of Connecticut, Saturday will be mild with periods of rain.  For now, we are forecasting highs in the 40s, but that is all subject to change.

Precipitation will end Saturday afternoon or Saturday night.


The departing storm will usher in much colder air Sunday and early next week.  Sunday will be partly to mostly sunny and windy.  Highs will only be in the lower 30s and a northwest wind could gust to 40 mph.  Monday will be mostly sunny and even colder.  Highs will be in the 20s, but the wind will be much lighter by then.


Both in Hartford and Bridgeport, January 7th record lows were achieved.  The low in the Greater Hartford area was -9, surpassing the old record low of 1 above set in 1912.  In Bridgeport, the low of -2 shattered the previous record of 7 degrees.


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.


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.


Brody was an incredible storm throughout the Northeast.  Massive coastal flooding occurred in Massachusetts and Nantucket had a gust to hurricane force, 76 mph!  Here in Connecticut, there was a gust to 64 mph on New London Ledge, 59 mph in Litchfield, and 54 mph in Hampton.  Despite the powerful wind, there weren’t a tremendous number of power outages.  Snowfall ranged from 8” to 16” in most locations.  The highest total reported in the state was 16.6” in Staffordville.  There were several reports of 15”.

At the official climate reporting stations in Connecticut, record snowfall was recorded for January 4th.  For the Hartford Area, a 95 year old record fell with 10.2" of snow (previously: 8.1"); at Bridgeport, the prior record of 5.3" (1988) was also well surpassed with 8.0" of snow yesterday. 

Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest with Scot Haney

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