Winter Storm Elsa is on the way!



Forecast is basically on track!

Today will again be gorgeous and unseasonably warm – as of the Noon hour, temps ranged from 55-60 inland, to the lower 50s along the coastline. This, despite an increase in cloudiness. We’ll be dry through the evening commute.

The latest on the nor’easter/coastal storm: rain should start falling between 8 and 10p from west to east. Rain will be steady and at times heavy overnight and for the Friday morning commute. As the storm develops to our south and strengthens, it’s as tomorrow progresses that the column of air cools and we’ll see a transition over to wet snow, initially in the higher terrain of western and northwest CT (late morning/early afternoon), then into the hills of NE CT later in the afternoon. By Friday evening, the switch from rain to snow could work into the Hartford Metro and points farther south (especially at night). The precip should wrap up before daybreak Saturday.

Specific impacts: Rain: 1-3” still looks likely, most in eastern/southeast CT… where the heaviest rain falls, poor drainage and basement flooding will be possible. Also… along smaller streams, creeks, and rivers as they could rise to/out of their banks. Snow: greatest amount still should be in the western/northwest CT and also into the hills of NE CT. Wind: Gusts 50-60 mph are possible along the CT shoreline and in SE CT, 40+ mph across interior CT. Coastal Flooding: compliments of the wind in tandem with astronomically high tides (full moon), minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible over more than one high tide cycle. As of now, the alert is for communities along the shoreline in Fairfield and New Haven Counties. Power outages: this will be based on two things… (1) the gusty wind, (2) the heaviest snow. Combine the two, outages could become more numerous.

There is still uncertainty, mainly to the precip type and amounts… IF the storm were to track farther north, it would mean a wetter scenario. IF it were to go a little farther offshore, it could mean more snow over more of the state.Meteorologist Mark Dixon --------------------------------------- A WARM AND WET FEBRUARY…February ended on a mild note yesterday with a low of 34 and a high of 59 degrees at Bradley International Airport. The average temperature for the entire month comes 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. We had plenty of precipitation this month. The grand total is 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.A STORMY START TO MARCH…

***A FLOOD WATCH has been issued for all of Connecticut. A HIGH WIND WATCH is in effect for Fairfield, New Haven and Middlesex Counties*** A HIGH WIND WARNING is effect for New London County***

***A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for Fairfield and New Haven Counties from 10am -1 pm tomorrow****Before this week is over, we’ll have to deal with a major coastal storm. We’ve been talking about this storm since last week, but we are getting a better idea how this storm will impact Connecticut. There is still some variability among the forecast guidance models, but there are many similarities too. This is going to be a long duration storm. At least we’ll be in good shape through most of today. Partly sunny skies will give way to increasing cloudiness during the afternoon, but rain should hold off until well after dark. Temperatures will rise well into the 50s before the clouds completely block the sun.Rain will become steady and heavy tonight. Rain could mix with snow in the Northwest Hills. Temperatures will drop back into the 30s to near 40 degrees. For the Friday morning commute, most of the state will be dealing with rain and gusty winds and that will be true for most of the day. However, a heavy wet snow will fall in the hills of Northern and Western Connecticut. The entire state will see at least some snow tomorrow night and very early Saturday morning. North to northeasterly winds will gust to 40-50 mph tomorrow and tomorrow night, but gusts to over 50 mph are possible near the coast. The strong winds could cause scattered power outages. The combination of gusty winds and wet snow clinging to trees could increase the threat of power outages in the higher terrain. Total rainfall from this storm will range from 1-3” with locally higher amounts. This may cause flooding in basements, poor drainage areas, and on some small streams and rivers. Snowfall totals are expected to range from 6-10” in the Litchfield Hills, 2-5” in the Hills of Northeastern Connecticut, and slushy coating to 2” for the rest of the state. Very little snow is expected near the coast. Coastal flooding is a concern too. The Full “Worm” moon will occurs today. The combination of astronomically high tides and strong north-northeasterly winds could result in at least some coastal flooding along the Connecticut Coast through several high tide cycles. The worst coastal flooding will occur along ocean facing beaches in Massachusetts where this is expected to be a major coastal flood event!Highs tomorrow will only range from the 30s in the Litchfield Hills to the 40s along the I-95 corridor. Temperatures will fall back through the 30s statewide tomorrow night. In the Litchfield Hills, the temperature could dip into the upper 20s.THE FIRST WEEKEND OF MARCH…Any lingering precipitation will quickly end Saturday morning, and then we can expect some partial clearing. The wind won’t be quite as strong, but gusts to 40 mph are still possible. Afternoon highs will be in the 40s at best.Sunday will be better of the 2 weekend days. We are forecasting partly sunny skies, a brisk northerly breeze, and highs in the low to middle 40s. We are hoping the huge ocean storm won’t back up (retrograde) closer to the coast especially with a blocking pattern to the north and east of the storm. We will watch this closely.EARLY NEXT WEEK…As long as the storm doesn’t back up, Monday will be a nice day with partly to mostly sunny skies along with a brisk northerly breeze. Temperatures will rise a little higher into the 40s. Tuesday looks good too with partly sunny skies and highs in the mid to upper 40s. The next coastal storm could arrive on Wednesday with snow or a wintry mix. We are forecasting highs 40-45.Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest with Scot HaneyA 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.“Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved”

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