After a quiet start to the week, Winter Storm Ferris arrives... - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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After a quiet start to the week, Winter Storm Ferris arrives...

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Today will be a quiet weather day, the ‘calm before the storm’… with increasing cloudiness, temps will top out in the lower to mid 40s.  This evening, there could be an isolated rain or snow shower --- this is NOT the main event, that comes later tonight.

  • Snow overspreads the state after midnight, ramping up toward daybreak.  As of now, the peak/worst will be from 4am – 2pm Tuesday. Snowfall rates at the height of the storm will be 1-3”/hr (especially if there is thundersnow).  While it will be a wet snow, it will be a bit fluffier than last week.  Poor visibility will be an issue (with the heaviest bands of snow, down to a quarter mile or less, could be near whiteout conditions).  The storm begins winding down late Tuesday afternoon, into the evening hours.  The heaviest snow still appears to fall in eastern/northeast CT with 8-12” (perhaps more in spots), then 4-8” heading west from there (including Hartford and New Haven), with the least falling west of the Rt 8 corridor.  There likely will be a SHARP cut-off, somewhere over the western half of the state – this is very dependent on the track the storm takes.  The ECMWF (European) model has been a bit of an outlier with a storm track farther east, until the most recent run... shifting back to the west, supporting our going forecast totals!
  • Wind gusts: could go to 40 mph or higher, especially along the SE coastline.  This, in tandem with the snow, could lead to another round of power outages (perhaps not *as* bad if the snow is not *as* heavy). 

Meteorologist Mark Dixon 




We’ll kick-off the week on a fairly tranquil note, but conditions will then change dramatically.  For your Monday, after a chilly and bright start, clouds will be on the increase as a 3rd nor’easter in less than a 2-week period develops to our south.  Scattered rain and snow showers will be possible by the this evening, but Winter Storm Ferris doesn’t really get going until nighttime.  Yes, we’ve named this one as much of the state will receive well over 6 inches of snow (our criteria for a storm to get a name).  The peak or worst of the storm will come late tonight and continue into the first half of Tuesday, that’s when snowfall rates will go 1-3”/hour, greatly reducing visibility (could be near whiteout at times).  This storm will be large and intense, rapidly developing to our southeast and like Winter Storm Elsa, thundersnow is a distinct possibility.  Furthermore, the wind could gust over 40mph, especially along the coastline of southeastern Connecticut.  This, combined with the heavy/wet nature of the snow could lead to a renewed concern for power outages.  With regard to snowfall totals, the greatest amount appears to fall in eastern/northeastern CT (6-12 inches, maybe more!), with lesser amounts heading west (4-8 inches along the I-91 corridor, including the Hartford and New Haven Metro areas).  We’re forecast 3-6 inches west of Rt 8.  The storm, wraps up and exits late tomorrow afternoon.  While this will be a high impact event and most models agree on how this storm plays out, a slight shift in track could mean less or more snow in parts of the state.


An area of low pressure aloft lingers through at least Wednesday, so due to this, scattered snow showers will be possible.  Also, the wind will remain up out of the west and northwest.  The mercury will peak near 40 on Wednesday and in the lower 40s on Thursday (we expect a mix of sun and clouds by then, with perhaps some lingering snow flurries).  Friday, expect a dry end to the week with a partly to mostly sunny sky.  Temperatures will be seasonably cool, reaching the mid-40s.


Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, we trend milder but not without a chance for some rain (during the afternoon).  Otherwise, we anticipate a partly to mostly cloudy day with highs in the lower 50s.  Then Sunday, as of now, looks to be dry and comfortable with highs in the 50s.

Meteorologist Mark Dixon with Scot Haney


The combination of heavy, wet snow and a gusty wind caused plenty of trouble in Connecticut when it comes to power outages.  At one point, more than 160,000 customers were left in the dark Wednesday night and power may not be completely restored for several more days.  Snowfall ranged from 3.6” in New London to 28” in Warren!  For a list of snowfall totals in or near your town, check out the following link:

Winds gusted to over 40 mph in many parts of the state during the height of the storm and the temperature was near or above freezing when the heavy snow was falling.  That’s why the snow clung to trees, branches, and power lines.  The wet snow was very greasy and it made for treacherous driving conditions. 


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.

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