Gorgeous, sunny, mild today... then BIG changes late-week with a - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Gorgeous, sunny, mild today... then BIG changes late-week with a coastal storm!

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AFTERNOON UPDATE...

Our forecast is on track!  As of the Noon hour, temperatures in many towns ranged from 45 to 50.  The rest of this Tuesday will be beautiful with abundant sunshine featuring temperatures that warm to between 50 and 55 (that's a couple degrees milder than yesterday and at least 10 degrees above average).  Tomorrow will start out sunny, but clouds will be on the increase... temperatures will peak in the mid-50s.

A coastal storm still looks to develop and impact Southern New England Thursday into Friday.  As was the case yesterday:  rain/snow, damaging wind, coastal flooding – all still possibilities as model runs bounce around with different solutions for the start of March.  As of the posting of this update, the latest is a trend to wetter over wintry; but we are still far enough out and there is a lot of uncertainty that we can't get too specific yet - so stay tuned!  

Meteorologist Mark Dixon 

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THE FINAL DAYS OF FEBRUARY…

Overall, we are looking good!  Through yesterday, February is averaging about 5.0 degrees warmer than normal and temperatures will remain well above normal today and tomorrow.  Thanks to high pressure, today will be mostly sunny and the wind won’t be too strong.  Afternoon highs will be in the low and middle 50s.  The normal, or average, high for February 27th is 42 degrees.  Tonight will be clear to partly cloudy, with lows in the range of 27-35.

Tomorrow will likely be a little milder than today.  Temperatures are expected to reach the middle to perhaps upper 50s under a partly sunny sky.  A weak disturbance could produce a few rain showers tomorrow night.

THE BEGINNING OF MARCH COULD BE STORMY…

Before this week is over, we may have to deal with a powerful coastal storm.  There is the potential for heavy rain, heavy snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding.  However, high pressure to our north, associated with strongly negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) could suppress the storm to our south and keep the heaviest precipitation and the strongest winds offshore.  That would be a much better scenario for us.

Given the uncertainties, here is what we are forecasting for now.  Most of Thursday looks ok.  Partly sunny skies will give way to increasing cloudiness during the afternoon, but rain should hold off until after dark.  Temperatures are expected to rise well into the 50s before the clouds completely block the sun.

Rain will become steadier Thursday night as temperatures drop back into the 30s.  Rain will have an impact on the Friday morning commute and for most of the day.  At this time the models are backing off a bit on the potential for snow for Friday, but as you know this storm is still many days away and a lot can change between now and then, so we'll certainly keep you posted.  The precipitation will tend to taper off Friday afternoon.  North to northeasterly winds could gust to 40 mph and highs will only be near 40, give or take a few degrees.  The Full “Worm” moon will occur on Thursday.  The combination of astronomically high tides and strong northeasterly winds could result in coastal flooding Friday.  This worst coastal flooding may occur along ocean facing beaches in Massachusetts.  Again, this is all subject to change.  If the storm tracks closer to the coast, the impact on Connecticut will be greater.  If the storm takes a more offshore track, we will just get a brushing.  There is even a slight chance for a complete miss.  We will keep you updated with every model run over the coming days since it could go either way.

THE FIRST WEEKEND OF MARCH…

This part of the forecast is actually easier.  There is no doubt this weekend will be seasonably cold with highs 40-45 both Saturday and Sunday. At night, the mercury will dip into the 20s to near 30 degrees.   There will still be a brisk northerly wind on Saturday and a few flurries or snow showers can’t be ruled out.  Sunday won’t be as windy and it should be brighter with partly sunny skies.

EARLY NEXT WEEK…

The dry weather will carry over into Monday and the air will remain seasonably chilly.  We expect partly sunny skies and highs in the 40s at best.

A RECAP OF LAST WEDNESDAY’S RECORD SHATTERING WARMTH!

The temperature soared to 77 degrees at Bradley International Airport!  The record for February 21st was shattered by 14 degrees!  The previous record was 63 degrees, set 88 years ago in 1930.  It was also the all-time warmest day on record for the month of February and records date back 113 years!  The previous record was 73 degrees, set on February 24th in 1985.  Plus, it was the all-time record high for the meteorological winter (December, January, and February)!  The previous record was 76 degrees, which was set on December 7th in 1998.  In Bridgeport, the high was 67 degrees. That broke the February 21st record by 8 degrees.  The previous record was 59 degrees, set in 2002.  67 degrees was also a tie for Bridgeport’s all-time record for the month of February, which was previously set in in 1976 and in 1977.

Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest with Scot Haney

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