Currently: Low pressure was over Lake Michigan this evening. A warm front trailed from this low, High pressure over Nova Scotia was holding cold air in place, through cold air damming processes. This is evidenced in surface analysis, as you can see the warm front goes from Erie, PA, then down to Washington DC then up to Nantucket.
There are still pockets of the state up North that are below freezing and some wintry precip going on across Northern parts of the state. The good news is that there isn't much precip right now and temps will be warming. In fact, low temperatures are probably where we are now, maybe even a degree or two warmer, if we can rise before midnight.
For tomorrow, a very nice day and maybe even some record high temperatures, in a very odd"calm before the storm". Will call for high temperatures in the mid to upper 50s. A climo section will be posted on the bottom for climo geeks.
Here is the storm disco from before.
...WINTER STORM WATCHES ARE IN EFFECT FOR THE ENTIRE STATE...
This storm will be punching into record warm temperatures. Now that would ordinarily be a problem, but there is sufficient cold air. That, combined with the dramatic rate at which the storm will strengthen should be more than enough to cool the column in the entire state, and nobody will have to worry about mixing.
Most models are now showing in excess of one inch liquid equivalent precipitation. There is even heavier precipitation just offshore. It is possible that models are too far east with that heavy precipitation. It is also possible that models underestimate how heavy the precipitation will be in the heaviest bands. This would create higher totals. It is also common that when someone is getting very heavy snow, other areas get nothing or much lighter snow for a while. Those areas could get less accumulations. In situations like this, accumulations can very greatly from one spot to another.
It is impossible right now to pick who gets the jackpot. The Northwest Hills may have higher snow to water ratios than anywhere else in the state, so they may get more snow out of less precipitation. Eastern Connecticut may be closer to the low and get heavier precipitation. There's also a small chance that the south coast has mixing issues at the beginning and they last an hour or two longer than forecast. A chance also exists that random heavy bands of snow could literally jackpot anyone in the state, so I don't want to go out on a limb and say who will jackpot.
There isn't much to add to his as of 730 PM. The 18Z GFS precip profiles are largely unchanged from 12Z. The NAMS were also similar. The SREF and RGEM continued to beef things up. So if I had a hunch, we'll probably verify near the higher end of our totals in most areas, but I don't want to go too crazy, just yet. It is quite possible that some of these totals may need to get upped a bit. But until we have 00Z data to confirm that, I am happy with what we have here as a start.
Another thing I did forget to add is the wind. We should see wind gusts to 40 MPH, or perhaps higher at times, with this system, creating at least near-blizzard conditions. If the models strengthening trend continues, it wouldn't shock me to see some areas verify blizzard conditions, or come very close to it!
Snow could start as early as midnight in the far SW. All snow should be ending in the state by the end of the evening rush hour. That's preliminary timing for now.
Now for the "after the storm" part of the discussion.
Friday should be very cold. Current guidance suggest lows ranging from the upper single digits to the upper teens. Highs would then only be in the 20s. Temperatures could actually verify lower than that, due to fresh, deep snowpack, which models don't handle well until after it falls. There is the potential for some snow showers in the afternoon, from some streamers from the lakes. As is typically the case, the potential is higher in the NW hills, where some minor accumulations would be possible, especially given the cold and snowpack. A gusty wind will also add to the chill!
The rest of the long term period will be unsettled. An Alberta Clipper type system approaches from the Northwest Saturday. The track isn't ideal for a large precipitation event, but it is an aggressive little bugger. and should bring a period of light snow, with some accumulations, maybe an inch or two, late Friday night into early Saturday morning.
Then, another system approaches later Sunday. This is more of an overrunning system, transitioning to a coastal low. My experience as an operational meteorologist tells me that with deep snowpack and high pressure to the north, plus the seasonal trend, this low will likely end up near the coast and not going into the Lakes. My experience also tells me that temperatures will be colder than progged due to still deep and fresh snowpack. Therefore, it would not surprise me if this turned into a sleet and freezing rain storm, rather than a rain event, as most modeling indicates right now. The 18Z GFS has already begun to capture this scenario, and knowing models. it could very well disappear for a few days and then return later on!
Tuesday should be fair with near normal temperatures, still undercutting guidance by a few degrees with snow on the ground.
LR disco: The long range has begun to look VERY interesting tonight, and February could very well be a "month to remember" if the long range guidance even has half a clue. Intense blocking over Canada and Greenland, which can be seen in the image I am about to attach, combined with deep troughing in the Eastern CONUS usually signals frequent snow threats and cold temperatures. The Groundhog may be right, but he should have said "winter will begin now and last six weeks", rather than winter will continue for six more weeks!