As the last flakes were flying during our major winter storm earlier this week, the European model seemed locked onto a major winter storm hitting the state the on Sunday. In the following days, all the guidance "lost" the storm as it trended weaker and much further offshore.
Well, that trend reversed in a big way, and we're now less than 48 hours away from another significant winter storm impacting CT. This one is tricky, as slight shifts in the track of the system could make a big difference in snowfall accumulation. Although this system is not too far away, there's still a lot that can change. With that said, let's get to the forecast.
A southern stream wave is likely to develop off the southeast coast early on Sunday. The track has been shifting depending on the amount of northern stream interaction, and it now looks like we get enough spacing to allow the southern wave to amplify (strengthen) and come northeast. The development of the low looks pretty textbook. As the storm starts reaching the Mid-Atlantic, it begins to rapidly deepen, which creates quite a strong precipitation shield.
Cold air looks locked in with a push of cold that comes in the wake of today's storm, and with cold in place and a beautiful mid level presentation from the developing storm and nearly ideal 700mb low track and frontogenesis signal, a widespread significant snow event looks likely. The closer the storm gets to our location, the more snow is possible, but it also puts far SE CT on the line for possible mixing. This looks like a dynamic event, and we sit up when this kind of setup presents itself.
The question is how close the low gets. As I said at the start, track matters a lot here.
Because there's still a lot of uncertainty over the impacts, I am not going to go hazard by hazard here. There's still a lot that can change, however, here are my early thoughts:
Snow breaks out from SW to NE during the early morning hours of Sunday. Moderate to heavy snow develops across the SE two-thirds of CT during the late morning and early afternoon hours, making travel very difficult. This storm looks like a quick mover though, and much of the snow could be over by the time the Super Bowl kicks off around 6:30pm.
The greatest confidence in 6+" of snow is in SE CT. I expect a gradient where the lowest snow totals are in far NW CT while we see increasingly larger amounts as you travel southeast. I think that the snow type will be lighter and high ratio, keeping power outages to a minimum. It could be windy at the shore, but I don't see a big wind signal that stands out.
Overall, confidence is increasing in a significant winter weather event on Sunday, taking place from Sunday morning through early Sunday evening. As currently forecast, we're expecting a moderate impact event in NW CT with a higher impact possible in the rest of the state, especially on the roads. We will be back tomorrow with a final call.
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