- It is increasingly likely that a major winter storm with widespread blizzard like conditions will impact the state on Tuesday.
- Right now, we expect snow to break out over the state early Tuesday morning before sunrise. The worst of the storm occurs between about 10am and 8pm, with conditions improving during the overnight hours.
- The combination of heavy snow and high winds will make many roads difficult if not nearly impossible to travel on safely.
- The high wind potential statewide has increased, and right now I expect scattered power outages for most of the state with possible widespread power outages in southeastern and coastal Connecticut.
- We see an upper end moderate coastal flooding potential, especially in the western portion of the Sound.
- We expect widespread cancellations and closings on Tuesday, with delays possible on Wednesday morning.
The synoptic setup remains the same as we discussed in our last discussion. In the south, we will soon have an area of low pressure gathering strength and moving up the coast. As that happens, another low will be diving down from the Midwest. Monday and Tuesday these areas interact, with the Midwest low phasing with the Atlantic low.
The other scenario we were watching, a south and east track, has become less of a concern today, with all the models save the GFS going with a further west and more amplified track. The GFS actually had this kind of scenario at the midday runs but we’re considering it less given the other consensus.
Snowfall--right now, we’re taking a middle of the road approach when it comes to snowfall totals. We’re in line with many, but there are others who are going with higher totals. It is entirely possible that we increase these numbers tomorrow, but beware, there are still red flags that need to be resolved. We’re not just looking at the surface track, but also the trends in the mid to upper levels. In the upper levels, we’re watching how quickly things come together and how clean a phase we see. In the mid-levels, our best storms happen when we get a good 700mb low track. Usually, we’re in the best banding when that low is nearby. Take a look at this on the CMC. The surface and midlevel track will determine what kind of banding and dry slotting we see. This isn’t resolved yet, so stay tuned.
Duration/Timing--the guidance has slowed down the storm over the last few runs, but I still think that overall, this ends up being a shorter duration storm than some of our biggest events. This should cut down on snowfall accumulation potential. This should be a one day event, with the biggest impact happening during the day and into the early evening. In terms of timing, I think onset happens in the pre-dawn hours on Tuesday and effectively ends Tuesday night before midnight, though I can’t rule out continued light snow or snow showers into the early hours of Wednesday. I expect roads to be mostly cleared by the Wednesday morning commute, but delays are possible.
What to Watch For
As we continue tracking this over next 24-36 hours, there are things we won’t quite know until game time.
- Exact track—It is important to know that the guidance is resolving issues on a global scale. 50-75 mile track shifts in our part of the globe happen. That’s why it’s important to have snowfall ranges here. Track matters and it impacts banding. We won’t know where it happens, we will, however, be able to predict the best spots by tomorrow.
- Dry slotting—as I mentioned earlier, where there is banding we have to watch for dryslotting nearby.
- Wind—wind speeds are often overmodeled during these events, I accounted for that in my forecast but if the track is close enough and the euro wind gusts come close to verifying watch out.
As we continue to track this, a little perspective. We’re not calling for historically high snowfall totals. This is likely to be a blizzard for many, and it’s important to remember that the combination of impacts makes this a potentially very high impact event. Take the storm seriously even if it isn't projected to be historic in the snowfall or duration department.
This forecast is highly volatile and dependent on many moving parts, so things can certainly change over the next 24-36 hours. Stay tuned for no hype updates. As always, thank you for continuing to make Southern Connecticut Weather your trusted source for all things Connecticut weather.
Please like, share, and interact with us on our social media--on Facebook to share our discussions, and follow us on Twitter @southernctwx to retweet our posts! Hit the buttons below to join!