A coastal low looks to impact the state early Tuesday morning and leave by Tuesday night. Winter storm Watches are already in effect across the whole state! This discussion will explain the situation at hand and what parts of the state have a higher chance for some significant snowfall.
The Current Picture
An omega blocking pattern remains over the country, and will contribute to our next weather maker. The low pressure system that brought us all that wet snow last week still remains spiraling away over Maine. As this cutoff slowly translates north towards Canada, a weak ridge passes through the area Sunday into Monday, bringing some nice calm weather. This is where things begin to get interesting.
A low associated with the eastern portion of our blocking pattern will dig into the Southeastern part of the country by Monday. As it swings by the Gulf of Mexico it will juice up on moisture and begin to track up the coast. Meanwhile, an upper atmospheric energy in Canada will track southeast, and look to meet our low pressure system about halfway up the east coast. The combination of these two systems will produce rapid intensification of the storm, and a healthy storm. Models are in agreement that the center of the low will pass east of the 40/70 benchmark, and clip the coast of New England. How close will the storm come and the intensity are the questions we are still trying to answer...
The models are in agreement in the track of the storm, but the intensity of the storm is questionable. We seem to have a case of “the European model vs the World” situation at the moment, with the Euro suggesting a much tamer system. One thing the models can absolutely agree on is the timing of the event, which show snowfall entering the state just after midnight Monday night.
In terms of the track of the storm, a lot of it is influenced by the upper level energy in Canada. The stronger this system is, the more of a pulling effect it will have on the coastal low. If it is strong enough it could pull the system closer to New England, but if it is too weak the opposite could occur. The trends from the models are fairly consistent with the track, but we will continue to watch this storm since it is following a tight track.
Dynamically, the system looks like it will produce a complete snow event. But taking into consideration the time of the year, surface heating, and thermal gradients, there is a chance for a wet snow or wintry mix along the southeast coast of the state early Tuesday morning. This will most likely change to all snow by midday Tuesday, but will make for a messy morning commute. Which brings me to the timing of our wintry storm.
Snowfall moves into the state just after midnight Monday night, and looks to make a messy morning commute for Tuesday. Upper air sounding forecasts suggest a wet snow, and the snowfall rates to peak around the early afternoon Tuesday. By Tuesday night snowfall will cease in the western portion of the state, and completely leave the state by early Wednesday morning.
I’d expect to see school closings across the eastern side of the state due to the timing of the event. Winds should be in the 15-25 mph range for much of the state, with gusts in excess along the eastern side. Snow won’t be as heavy as the last storm we had, where we had widespread power outages and downed trees. But this system has potential to make a mess, so remember to drive safe for your morning commute!
Here is the SCW Impact Scale for this event.
Also, in case this forecast sounds like someone new wrote it, it’s because it’s true! My name is Luca Di Carlo, and I’m a student at Western CT State University studying meteorology. I've followed SCW on their website for quite a while, and they have been gracious enough to allow me to forecast with them! I am excited to learn as much as I can from them in hopes of achieving my degree. I hope to interact and share all I know about the weather with all of you. I love to hear feedback, and hope to get to know you all! Thank you for reading SCW and we will have more information on this storm tomorrow.