We're In the Height of Winter Storm Elsa Now... - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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We're In the Height of Winter Storm Elsa Now...

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**A WINTER STORM WARNING remains in effect for most of Connecticut**

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for most of Connecticut this morning through tomorrow morning. 

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for southern portions of Middlesex and New London Counties.    

A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY is in effect for all of Coastal Connecticut this afternoon.


Snow is piling up in central and western CT.  As of 5pm we have gotten reports of 9" in Ridgefield, Wolcott 5.5", and Oxford 5". We're in the height of the storm now, and that will last until about 10pm. Snowfall rates during this time will likely be between 1-2" per hour, so look for additional accumulation through late this evening. The towns of Haddam and Montville both reported "thundersnow" during the past hour- a sign just how strong this storm is!  The snow will wind down after midnight to scattered snow showers. The morning commute will be mainly precipitation free, with the exception of a few flurries/ snow showers. But the clean up will be lengthy for those in the state who receive over a foot of snow. Read below for more forecast details....


After a bit of snow this morning, and then a lull in the action, we are now gearing up for the main impacts of Winter Storm Elsa. The storm center is gathering strength and is moving off the mid- Atlantic coast, and then it will pass close to the south coast of Long Island this afternoon.  The center will track over Southeastern New England (Cape Cod) tonight.  Since this morning there has been a slight shift in the axis of the storm. It's going a little further to the south and east, which means the storm will come in colder and a bit snowier.  We're still expecting that rain/snow line to penetrate Connecticut as milder ocean air comes into play, but just how far inland it goes is still a bit questionable. 

Snow is beginning to fill back in on our Early Warning Pinpoint Doppler, especially in Southwest CT. The snow will become steadier this afternoon and it will become heavy at times.  Snowfall rates could reach 1-2”/hour perhaps up to 3”/hour.  There is even a chance for thunder snow.  The combination of wet snow and increasing winds (gusts 30-40 mph) could cause branches and tree limbs to snap.  That means scattered power outages are possible.  Road conditions will be quite slippery for the afternoon commute and the visibility will be poor in many parts of the state.  Temperatures will range from 30-36 during the height of the storm.

Winter Storm Elsa will continue tonight.  For now, we are forecasting 2-5” of snow in Southeastern Connecticut, 5-8" just a little bit further to the north and west of Southern New London County, 8-12” near the I-84 corridor and 12-18” in the Western Hills.  This is all subject to change depending on the position or the rain/snow line.

Another concern is coastal flooding through several high tide cycles.  There is the chance for minor to locally moderate coastal flooding during this afternoon’s high tide cycle.

For tomorrow morning's commute there will be little or no precipitation in the state.  However, there will be plenty of cleaning up to do.  The rest of Thursday will be mostly cloudy, blustery and chilly with highs 40-45.  There will be a chance for a passing snow shower or two during the afternoon.


This will be a relatively quiet period.  In the aftermath of Winter Storm Elsa, we expect a partly to mostly cloudy, breezy, chilly Friday with lows in the mid to upper 20s and highs in the low and middle 40s.  Like tomorrow, there will be a chance for a few snow showers.

The weekend looks good.  Saturday should be partly sunny, but there will be a brisk northwest wind.  Highs will range from 40-45.  Sunday will be partly to mostly sunny and the wind will be lighter.  Morning lows will be in 20s and temperatures should rise well into the 40s Sunday afternoon.

Don’t forget, this weekend we will “spring forward” to daylight Saving time!  This is when we turn our clocks ahead 1 hour when we go to bed Saturday night.  On Saturday, the sun will rise at 6:11 and it will set at 5:52.  Because of the time change, the sun will rise at 7:09 Sunday morning and it will set at 6:53 in the evening!


A coastal storm on Monday is looking less likely.  The latest model runs are keeping the storm well to the south of New England.  However, we can’t write off the storm just yet.  For now, we are forecasting partly sunny skies and highs in the 40s.

Tuesday should be blustery and colder with highs closer to 40.  The sky should be partly to mostly cloudy and a few snow showers are possible


The average temperature for February came in at 35.5 degrees, which makes this February the 5th warmest in 113 years of record keeping for the Greater Hartford Area!  The warmest February on record for the Greater Hartford Area was in 1998 when the average temperature was 36.2 degrees.  February 1954 is in 2nd place with an average temperature of 36.1.  February 2012 is in 3rd place with an average temperature of 35.7.  February 1925 is in 4th place with an average temperature of 35.6.  Currently, February 1981 is in 5th place with an average temperature of 35.3 degrees.

We had plenty of precipitation in February.  The grand total was 5.13” at Bradley International.  This includes rain and the water equivalent of snow and ice.  Normal precipitation for February is 2.89”.  That means we had a surplus of 2.24”.  Total snowfall for the month was 8.3”, which is 2.7” below normal.

Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest with Scot Haney

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