Nor'easter to dump several inches of snow Wednesday - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Nor'easter to dump several inches of snow Wednesday

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A nor'easter Channel 3 named Winter Storm Elsa could dump more than a foot of snow in parts of Connecticut.

A winter storm warning was issued for nearly all of the state with the exception of New London County, where it's a winter storm watch. Both run from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning.

Snowfall totals could range from 10 to 18 inches for northwestern Connecticut. In the middle of the state, we're expecting between 5 and 10 inches, and for eastern CT, between 2 and 5 inches could fall.

"Since the storm is tracking close to the coast, we expect the rain/snow line to penetrate Connecticut as milder ocean air comes into play. The big question is how far inland will it go," Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest said.

Channel 3 will begin its morning show broadcast at 4 a.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Some schools and businesses began posted closings on Tuesday. See the updated list here.

Gov. Malloy announced that he will partially active the state's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. 

"We continue to monitor this weather pattern very closely and will have essential personnel at the state's Emergency Operations Center to better coordinate rapid response to any problems that may arise," Malloy said. 

The storm will form to the south, off the coast of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia on Wednesday morning. The center will move near Cape Cod by early Thursday.

For the morning commute, there could be a dusting to an inch of snow in some parts of the state, but the snow doesn't become steadier until later in the morning.

The snow is expected to be heavy at times with snowfall rates that could reach between 1 and 2 inches per hour. It may be heavier if there's thundersnow. 

"Snow will mix with or change to sleet and rain especially south of the I-84 corridor," DePrest said.

A coastal flood advisory was issued for the shoreline ahead of the storm.

Lows will be in the upper 20s and low-30s.

"Road conditions will be quite slippery for the afternoon commute and the visibility will be poor in many parts of the state," DePrest said.

The wind won't be a strong as Friday's storm; however, it could still gust to between 30 and 40 mph. This means there could be scattered power outages.

"Winter Storm Elsa will continue tomorrow night. However, some guidance models are forecasting a dry slot," DePrest said.

The steady precipitation could taper off to snow and rain showers Wednesday night.

The snow will be done by Thursday morning and the rest of the day will be mostly cloudy with highs between 40 and 45.

Friday and the weekend appear to be quiet but chilly with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s.

Then, another potential major winter storm is being tracked for Monday. Though, as of Tuesday evening's forecast, the bulk of the storm will be off of the New England Coast. 

"However, we can’t write off the storm just yet. For now, we are forecasting partly sunny skies and highs in the 40s," DePrest said.

Channel 3 has named Wednesday's storm "Elsa" since the forecast met one of the station's criteria, at least 6 inches of snow for most of the state. The station has been naming storms since 1971. For more on this season's names, read here.

Read the complete technical discussion here.

For weather updates on smartphones and tablets, head here or text "WFSB" to 23765 to download the Channel 3 app.

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