As yesterdays discussion was, tonight’s will be broken down into three parts: Trends/Models, the forecast, and impacts. Let’s get right into it!
Since yesterdays forecast, we’ve seen a couple of major trends in the modeling. The first has been for a stronger and juicer system, which as a result, provides more liquid for the front end of the storm and hence a larger front end snowfall before the warmer air is able to work in. This is something we expected yesterday and included in our map, so we’re glad to see that verifying on the models. What we somewhat hinted at but did not forecast due to low confidence was an expansion to the NW of the heavier precipitation, and we have seen that on todays model runs as well. That increases snow totals for our NW zones as a result, and therefore we have eliminated the 1-3” area on the forecast map. The final trend we have seen is for the system to be sped up, allowing snow to work it’s way into the state overnight tonight, mixing to move NW over the course of the morning, and the flip back to snow to be in the afternoon and early evening hours, ending the whole event by Saturday night.
In terms of model spread and consensus, it’s generally the GFS vs. the world. The GFS is much drier and warmer than the other models, and considering the trend has been colder and wetter and the GFS is generally a poor model, we are tossing it for the purposes of this forecast, and took a essentially straight blend of all other guidance.
Below is our final call snowmap for this system.
In total, we’re expecting four to eight inches of snow in the NW hills, which look to remain all or mostly snow for the duration of the event. We’re expecting three to six inches of snow for the majority of the state with isolated amounts of up to eight inches possible, split by a period of sleet, freezing rain, and rain. Ice accretions of up to two tenths of an inch are possible away from the immediate coastline. In SE areas, we are expecting only two to five inches of snow due to the midlevel warmth working there first and taking the longest to move out, and the northeast corner of the state, we are expecting five to nine inches of snow due to being slightly closer to the best QPF and also mixing for less time than the areas closer to the coast.
As far as bust potential goes, there’s plenty of it on both sides mainly due to the fact that when dealing with a setup with heavy rates and marginal temperatures, even a slight difference in timing compared to forecast makes a major difference in the net result. We have a forecaster scheduled to be on duty at all times from midnight tonight until the storm is over, and if we see that our map is busting in one area or another, will release an update ASAP with a revised forecast. We’ll also be updating every couple hours throughout the storm as needed.
· Difficult travel through much of the state on Saturday
A combination of snow and ice will result in difficult and potentially dangerous travel conditions across the state on Saturday. Your best window to travel is probably during the middle of the day if you must go out, but it is not recommended. If you do decide to travel, bring food, water, warm clothing, and a way to contact someone in the event of an emergency.
· Scattered power outages as a result of heavy wet snow plus ice accretions.
Heavy wet snow will be the main precipitation type for this event, and combined with possible ice accretion, will be enough to cause downed power lines and scattered outages. If you see a downed power line, do not approach it and call 911 to report it!
· Difficult shoveling conditions:
This storm will be very difficult to shovel given that it is a heavy wet snow that will be saturated with ice and rain. If you have health issues that may result in difficulty shoveling, better to spend the money and hire someone than risk a heart attack or worse. Shoveling every couple inches will make it easier for you in the long run.
As always, please send us your observations via Facebook, email (spencer at southernconnecticutweather dot com), or Twitter @SouthernCTWX. Stay tuned for updates on Facebook tomorrow throughout the event, share it with you friends and family, and thanks for reading SCW!
-Spencer (Map by Tim).