First, I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all of those who liked, shared, asked questions, and decided to follow SCW during and after the Blizzard of 2017. It was and always will be an honor to serve you and give you the information you need to make informed decisions.
Now, to business. When I wrote my two week outlook at the start of the month, I mentioned that week two could be more active but I had no idea which direction things would go. For those snow starved nutmeggers, what a turnaround!
What we know right now:
- A significant winter weather event is becoming increasingly likely for Sunday into early Monday for much of the state.
- Unlike the last storm, precipitation type issues are more likely with snow, mix, and rain for various parts of the state.
- With a rapidly developing low, I am concerned about the wind potential Sunday into Monday.
This ain’t going to be an easy one to forecast. Unlike the last setup, where things were straight forward in the larger scheme of things, we’re talking about a lot of moving pieces here. I want to break it down piece by piece.
We get an area of low pressure that forms to the west of the region. It is a very weak low at first overall, but as it gets closer it begins to strengthen, especially in the upper levels.
As the low continues its slide east, the upper level lows explode. For the second time in a few days, we’re looking at a low to experience bombogenesis, a very fast intensification that happens sometimes as lows take advantage of favorable upper level and surface conditions. These upper level lows, at 500 and 700mb respectively, cause the development of a surface low on Sunday. This low pulls in cold air, changing many back to snow before precipitation shuts off Monday morning.
With a split in the guidance, it’s best to blend and look at the overall setup. Right now, I lean toward a more impactful event for more people--especially in north and central Connecticut. Very slight shifts in the track of the low and the temperatures at and just above the surface will make the difference in how impactful this becomes.
The last thing, which shouldn’t be ignored, is wind. With rapid intensification of this low, by Sunday night and Monday we may see very strong wind gusts. Some of the guidance show the strongest winds after precipitation falls. We’ll have to watch closely to make sure that is the case.
Currently, I think snow breaks out in Connecticut early on Sunday, with snow becoming more widespread and heavy by Sunday afternoon. Depending on the track and rate of strengthening by the low, the rain/mix/snow line will creep north during the day and evening hours before changing back to snow for most as the storm passes to our south and east. Overall, this is one to watch. This could be a moderate to high impact event across much of Connecticut.
Current odds—remember that this will change. I went to low odds to blizzard with the last storm!