***A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT THROUGH TONIGHT***
The transition from snow to a mix of sleet and freezing rain has moved into a good portion of CT. If you've seen the changeover happen at your house, you're done with the snow. If you haven't yet, you will within the next couple of hours, so a little more snow accumulation is still likely. Highest snowfall totals will be in NW CT-(Litchfield Co, and parts of northern Hartford Co.) where we could see 3-5".
Ice accumulation of between a tenth and a quarter inch of ice is likely as we go into the afternoon and evening hours, as we're still anticipating several hours of freezing rain.
SNOW IS HERE, RIGHT ON SCHEDULE...
Snow arrived in Western CT around 9am, and has continued to overspread the entire state since then. It's coming down at a pretty good clip too, greatly reducing the visibility and quickly coating the roads. Nicole has been monitoring some accidents and spin outs, so be sure to take it extra slowly if you have to travel.
Snow will then change to an icy mix of sleet, freezing rain, and rain during the afternoon as milder ocean air moves into much of the state. However, freezing rain will linger well into the afternoon and perhaps even into the early evening over northern and western portions of the state since the cold air will be hard to scour out. Some of our latest computer models are indicating we could see up to a .25" of ice accumulation in inland CT- especially in NW CT, and even around the Hartford and Waterbury areas. That's enough to bring down some weak branches, or even cause isolated power outages. That icy mix will also make for a messy and even hazardous evening commute in inland CT. Travel along the shoreline this evening won't be as bad, as the transition to plain rain will occur there.
Precipitation may briefly change back to all snow before ending around midnight tonight. 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 up to 7” of snow.
The sky will clear late tonight as temperatures drop into the upper teens and 20s. That means ice will form again on untreated surfaces.
Tomorrow 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.
A few flurries and snow showers are possible, but most of the day will be dry. Sky conditions will vary from partly to mostly cloudy. It is going to be a seasonably cold day with highs in the 30s.
Saturday won’t be a bright day with mostly cloudy skies expected. However, our weather should remain dry and temperatures will likely reach the 40s as cold air begins to retreat to the north of Connecticut.
The next storm is forecast to arrive Saturday night and Sunday. The storm will take a warm track with the center passing through Southern New England. Therefore, we expect an all rain event with periods of rain late Saturday night and Sunday. Mild air will overspread much of the region and there is the potential for highs in the 40s to near 50 degrees!
EARLY NEXT WEEK…
Rain is expected to end Monday morning, perhaps as a wintry mix. We should then see some partial clearing in the afternoon. Cold air will lag behind the departing storm and therefore temperatures are expected to top out in the 40s.
Tuesday looks good. It should be a partly sunny, comfortable day with highs in the low and middle 40s.
BLIZZARD LARRY, THE BLIZZARD OF ’78!
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of one of Southern New England’s worst snowstorms. It was a storm that shut down and paralyzed the state for many days. The blizzard produced roughly 2 feet of snow in Connecticut and powerful winds blew the snow into 10-12 foot drifts on Constitution Plaza in Hartford! Winds gusted to over 50 mph for hours on end. A gust to over 90 mph was measured on Cape Cod. Heavy snow actually came in 2 rounds and it was hard for road crews to keep up with it due to extreme blowing and drifting that occurred for many hours.
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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