Messy Wednesday, in less than 24 hrs: snow, sleet, and rain ! - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Technical Discussion

Messy Wednesday, in less than 24 hrs: snow, sleet, and rain !

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The round of snow from this morning is over, but in its wake some towns saw some minor accumulations:  1.5" from Winsted, 1" from Sharon... even flakes were flying in Niantic.  As of 12p, the snow was over and clouds were breaking up over western CT, a trend that will continue this afternoon.  Temperatures will peak in the low to mid-30s with a slight southwesterly breeze. 

For Wednesday:  the storm arrives after the morning commute, initially as snow statewide (could be moderate/heavy at times).  Then as we progress through the afternoon hours, a mix including freezing rain will move inland/north… for coastal/southeast CT, expect a transition to a chilly rain.  Atop snow that has accumulated, we could get an icy coating/glaze – primarily along and north of I-84, especially in the Litchfield Hills.  As the storm pulls away later tomorrow evening, it could end briefly as snow.   We're still forecasting the highest totals will be in NW CT where the precip stays the longest as snow, lesser amounts as one heads southeast across the state, with a coating to an inch or two of slushy accumulation along the shoreline.

Meteorologist Mark Dixon 



Overall, today will be a quiet winter day.  Morning clouds will give way to partly sunny skies.  There could be a few snow showers, but we expect little or no snow accumulation.  The air will be seasonably cold with temperatures rising well into the 30s as the wind remains fairly light. 


A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for Litchfield and Hartford Counties from tomorrow morning through late tomorrow night.

Energy aloft is currently diving southward across the Pacific Northwest.  This will cause surface low pressure to develop in the Deep South today.  The storm will then move northeastward toward New England tomorrow.  The storm center will track near or just to the south of Connecticut by tomorrow evening.  Given what we know now, we expect snow to develop in Connecticut tomorrow morning, but after the morning commute.  Snow will then change to an icy mix and rain during the afternoon and evening as milder ocean air moves into much of the state.  However, precipitation could remain all snow in the Northwest Hills.  Precipitation may briefly change back to all snow before ending around midnight.  Total snow accumulation is expected to range from 2-5” across much of the state.  Coastal communities will likely get only a coating to 2” of snow before the change to rain.  Litchfield County and the hills of Northwestern Hartford County could get 4-8” of snow.  The snowfall forecast is subject to change since a shift in the storm track of only 20 miles to the north or south can make a big difference in how much snow we’ll ultimately see. 

Temperatures should reach the low to middle 30s over Northern Connecticut tomorrow afternoon.  Shoreline communities could see highs closer to 40 degrees, especially in New London County.  Temperatures will drop into the 20s by late tomorrow night.  That means black ice could form on untreated surfaces.


Thursday will be a windy, cold day with highs 30-35.  A northwest wind could gust to 30-40 mph.  The wind chill will be in the teens most of the day.  At least the sky will be bright and sunny.  A ridge of high pressure will move into New England Thursday night.  That means the wind will diminish and the mercury will dip into the teens in many outlying areas.


Friday will be another quiet day, although a few flurries and snow showers are possible.  Sky conditions are expected to vary from cloudy to partly sunny.  It's going to be a seasonably cold day with highs in the 30s.


High pressure will drift across Northern New England on Saturday and it should provide us with tranquil weather conditions.  We may see an increase in cloud cover, but we don’t anticipate any precipitation.  Temperatures should reach the mid to upper 30s Saturday afternoon.

The next storm is forecast to arrive Saturday night and Sunday.  Once again, the storm center will take a warmer track near or directly over Southern New England.  Therefore, we expect rain or a wintry mix changing to rain Saturday night and Sunday.  Temperatures could reach the low and middle 40s across much of the state Sunday afternoon.  Rain will come to an end Sunday night.


Monday will be a nice day with partly to mostly sunny skies with a brisk northwesterly breeze.  However, cold air will lag behind the departing storm from Sunday.  Therefore, temperatures could reach the 40s before they trend downward in the afternoon and evening.


January went into the record books as a slightly colder than normal month with above normal precipitation.  The average temperature at Bradley International Airport will come in at 25.2 degrees, which is 0.9 degrees colder than normal.  We had 3.86” of precipitation, which is 0.63” above normal.  This includes rain plus the water equivalent of snow and ice.  Snowfall for the month was 13.7”, which is 1.4” above normal.

January started out very cold with sub-freezing temperatures the first 8 days.  This was part of a lengthy deep freeze that began on Christmas Day and it lasted 2 weeks!  The temperature reached a record high of 60 degrees on the 12th, and a record tying 59 degrees on the 13th.  The record warmth came with a heavy rainstorm.  The deep freeze followed by a warm, heavy rain led to flooding and major ice jams on some of the state’s streams and rivers, like the Housatonic and Connecticut River.

The highest temperature for the month was 60 degrees on the 12th and the lowest temperature was 9 below zero on the 7th.  The mercury dipped below zero on 4 days during the first week of January.

Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest with Scot Haney

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