In this update, I am going to briefly discuss the next few days, and the possibility of Connecticut seeing its first legitimate winter weather event early next week…
After a foggy start, rain is currently to the southwest of Connecticut and is making its approach. Today is going to be a soggy and warm day. As mentioned in our last discussion, and my last two week outlook, this is an active week in terms of precipitation chances. This is one of a series of systems that will move through our area over the next few days and bring precipitation.
Expect rain showers in the next few hours and then steadier rain to overtake the state in the evening as a warm front punches north of us. Rain will be heavy at times tonight, and there may even be a rumble of thunder. The rain is expected to taper off to showers and drizzle by the early morning hours. Fog will likely develop this evening as well. Southerly flow will likely keep temperatures for most in the 50s tonight. Certainly not winter like.
Christmas Eve (Thursday)
After a foggy and damp start, the story of Christmas Eve will be the warmth. Record high temperatures at Bradley Airport and Bridgeport are 59 and 57 respectively. There is high confidence that those records will be shattered, as strong southwesterly flow sends our temperatures soaring into the mid to upper 60s. I think an isolated 70 is possible! Although there may be the chance of showers in advance of a cold front, conditions are likely to be cloudy, with maybe some breaks of sun if we’re lucky.
The cold front will move through our region by the evening, and that will set us up for (slightly) cooler and drier conditions as Santa drops off the presents.
With the cold front passed, and an area of high pressure building in from the west, Christmas looks like an unseasonably warm, but nice, day. The cooler air will lag, meaning temperatures will likely remain in the upper 50s to lower 60s. The day should be mostly sunny, with good driving conditions all around!
By Saturday, cooler air filters in. Temperatures will remain in the 40s during the day—still above normal but more seasonable than the preceding days. High pressure to our north should begin moving offshore, allowing for showers to develop as a warm front moves north.
With the warm front likely to our north, Sunday looks warm, again. Highs will range in the upper 50s to low 60s, with showers possible during the day. A stronger cold front will push through the region on Sunday and drop our temperatures to more seasonable temperatures by the nighttime hours. This will set the stage for our period of interest.
Whatever happens on Monday and Tuesday will depend greatly on the strength and location of an area of high pressure to our north. This area of high pressure, depending on where it is, would act as a mechanism to hold colder air in place early next week. Right now, the guidance is advertising that a strong area of high pressure builds into our region from the north on Monday. For Monday, this will serve to hold temperatures near normal, which if you can recall, are the upper 30s to near 40 this time of year. There may be a “midnight high” in the 50s coming off of Sunday’s warmth, but Monday will likely feel like a wintry day.
By late Monday, we are all watching the precipitation heading from the southwest.
Currently, Tuesday is our period of interest. Computer guidance has been hinting at the potential for our first legitimate wintry weather event in this time frame, as a storm heads to our west and cold high pressure to our north keeps cold air in pace for frozen precipitation to fall.
This is at the end of the forecast range, which means a lot can and likely will change between now and then. At this time, cold air looks to be in place at the onset of precipitation, with snow falling early before a change to mixed precipitation and then rain. The greatest threat with this potential event looks to be sleet and freezing rain on Tuesday morning. How long cold air lingers will determine how significant an event this could be. Sometimes, computer guidance understates the resilience of the cold air, and so any small shifts in the placement of the high pressure and timing of the precipitation could have substantial implications for our sensible weather one way or the other.
- There is potential for Connecticut to see its first legitimate winter weather event late Monday into Tuesday
- This potential threat that is at the end of our forecasting range—a lot can and will change over the next few days
- The main threat at this time is not snow, but rather mixed precipitation and icing
- SCW will continue to monitor this potential and provide updates as necessary—do not worry about shifts that happen from model run to model run
Given how far out, this is just an overview of the threat. As we get closer, there will be much more detail about the potential. For starters though, here's a look at the GFS and GGEM models showing precipitation type at 1 AM Tuesday morning. The GFS has a colder high pressure and ejects the system earlier, allowing it to catch the meat of the cold air and as a result has a snowier solution, while the GGEM delays ejection of the system and the result is a slower arrival of precipitation. This allows mid-level warmth to intrude, and the end result is more sleet and freezing rain, as you can see by the mix line being substantially further north(Look to our west for a better perspective) compared to the GFS at the same time-frame. These are just two of the many model depictions that we have seen and they are constantly changing, but it gives you a good perspective as to the factors which impact the eventual solution to this storm. We'll have many more model solutions and possible outcomes in the days to come should this system remain active on modeling!
Wednesday: Showers in the afternoon, rain in the evening and overnight hours, gradually tapering off. Highs in the mid to upper 50s. Chance of rain 90%
Thursday: Showers likely early, otherwise cloudy, with highs in the mid to upper 60s. An isolated 70 is possible. Chance of rain 50% early.
Friday: Partly sunny, with highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s.
Saturday: Cooler with a chance of rain showers in the afternoon and evening, otherwise, partly cloudy, with highs in the upper 40s. Chance of rain is 60%
Sunday: A chance of showers during the day, otherwise, partly cloudy with highs in the upper 50s to low 60s. Chance of rain is 50%
Monday: Temperatures dropping during the day to more seasonable levels. Daytime highs in the upper 30s to lower 40s. Partly sunny turning cloudy by the evening.
Tuesday: SCW period of interest. A chance of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain. Lows in the upper 20s and highs in the low to mid 30s.
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