In the last decade, the 2010s, we saw a string of historic winter storms and historic winter stretches. The decade brought the stretch of winter storms in western/SW CT in January 2011, the October 2011 Blizzard, the Great Blizzard of 2013, February 2014 snowy month, all-time historic cold and top three snow in February 2015, and the blizzards of 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Since then however, winter has been all but absent, with an equally impressive period of historic warmth and low snow seasons. Unfortunately for those that like four seasons, winter 2023-24, while better than last "winter", will also end historically warm and almost certainly well below normal in snowfall, despite an exceptionally wet start to the season with big storms.
Each year I write about the "March toward Spring" when the worst of winter is likely over. First, our days are quickly getting longer. Today the sun set at 5:35pm in Hartford. We are gaining nearly three minutes of daylight each day. By March 9th, just before we spring ahead on the clocks, the sun will set at 5:51--going to 6:52pm the very next day with the time change. With the increase in sun angle, we know that even cool days won't feel as bad as they do in January.
That doesn't mean snow or cold can't happen--in fact snow may come this week and colder temperatures may reappear mid-March--but it means that the expectation is for more spring-like days than wintry days as the annual progression into what we usually think and see of as spring accelerates.
The first stage of this march is usually the seesawing between a more spring-like pattern bringing sustained high temperatures in the 50s or greater and brief shots of colder than normal temperatures and perhaps even snow. Keep in mind that March has been more of a winter month than November (or December) in recent years so to begin the march toward Spring now is a big deal.
Let's talk about the week ahead.
Ironically, while we're declaring the start of the march toward spring there is the potential for a tricky commute tomorrow because of snow/freezing rain. The signal has waned today, but with a weak front moving into the area during the early morning hours we could see light snow and/or freezing rain. It won't amount to much, if anything, but it does not take much to cause a lot of issues. With temperatures near to below freezing tomorrow morning just be cautious if you walk out the door and find precipitation falling.
Tomorrow will feel like quintessential spring however, because after whatever happens in the morning we will clear out and warm up. Our pattern of colder than normal temperatures arrived two weeks ago with our one big storm of the season, but it will break without any other significant snowfall. Highs tomorrow should reach the low to mid 50s around the state.
Tuesday looks dry, partly sunny, and seasonably warm with highs in the low to mid 50s. Keep in mind that average high temperatures this time of year are in the low 40s and rising. Tuesday is mostly dry, but we will see increasing clouds and shower chances late.
A more potent frontal passage comes late Wednesday into early Thursday. In advance of the front, we will see warmer temperatures and rain showers, along with breezy conditions that shouldn't cause too much trouble. Wednesday will be an umbrella day.
Although the model above shows a quick change from rain to snow in the wake of the front, you should be cautioned that cold chasing precipitation doesn't usually work out around here. As such, while the rainfall is highly likely, I do not think we see any meaningful snowfall with this frontal passage this week.
Thursday will be sunny, dry, and breezy and in the wake of the front it'll also be colder with temperatures closer to normal with highs in the low to mid 40s.
The end of the week and weekend look uncertain currently, but overall I think we will be fine. Friday looks nice but seasonable with the temperature regime brought in by the front still being in place, but by the weekend, we warm right back up and likely have nice conditions with high pressure taking over.
The potential fly in the ointment is a trough that could bring some clouds and rain showers, but for now I think that's a low probability. If I'm right, the coming weekend will be the first spring-like weekend we see in 2024.
Monday: Light snow/freezing rain possible early, followed by clearing and warming temperatures. Highs in the low to mid 50s. Chance of precipitation 30%.
Tuesday: Partly sunny with increasing clouds and showers late. Highs in the low to mid 50s.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with rain showers and breezy conditions. Highs in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 80%.
Thursday: Mostly sunny and breezy. Highs in the low 40s. Chance of snow early 20%.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the low to mid 40s.
Saturday: Partly sunny and warmer. Highs in the low to mid 50s. Chance of rain 20%.
Sunday: Partly sunny. Highs in the mid to upper 50s. Chance of rain 20%.
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