Good evening from Southern Connecticut Weather!
Today we started off very early with a light accumulation of snow and progressed to a mostly sunny days with highs in the upper 30s and 40s. Tonight we drop back in the teens and single digits under mostly clear skies. Tomorrow will be much colder than today with temps barely reaching the low to mid 20s. Temps drop back into single digits statewide, under mostly clear skies. Thursday looks to be more "mild" than Wednesday with temperatures in the mid to upper 20s. At night, temps look to not drop as much with due north winds becoming southwest, promoting a not as cold as the previous day's air temperature. We move onto Friday, things look to start off fair and calm early, but a change is in the winds, both figuratively and literally.
Friday afternoon through Saturday evening are increasingly looking like inclement weather will impact things. This is where the forecast begins to get very difficult but weather modeling as of this moment are starting to come to a consensus as to what will happen in this time period. Confidence is ever
increasing for a major winter storm to impact the area, the path is narrowing as far as how the storm will evolve and track. But first, let me give you a brief overview and a couple of scenarios as to what we are looking at here.
What we have here is a classic interaction between northern and southern jet stream energy. Many moving pieces to look at , but, as previously noted models are starting to come to more of a consensus every run. Now on to some scenarios...
Scenario 1 - Southern jet stream energy dives out of the midwest, through the Gulf of Mexico, into the Atlantic, leaving behind the northern shortwave (or northern jetstream if you will) leaving us with a relatively weak piece of energy to track from west to east over the state leaving us with a relatively weak snow event, while the southern energy slips well out to sea.
Scenario 2 - Northern and southern stream energy do phase with each other, and they actually intensify rapidly creating a low pressure system that tracks well west of all current modeling bringing mainly mixed precip or rain to the state.
No model is currently showing either of those scenarios. Now on to more probable scenarios.
Scenario 3 - Northern and southern stream energy interact, phase and intensify, and track southeast of the "40/70 benchmark", moderate impact in western CT, and a high impact in eastern CT. Winter Storm Warning level snows for the entire state.
Scenario 4 - Interaction, phasing, intensification. Track just inside 40/70, slightly north and west of benchmark. Major winter storm for entire state. Wind, snow, coastal flooding all big impacts.
Now let's talk my current thoughts on timing and impact to the state. As stated earlier, Friday looks to start off mostly tranquil, but clouds will start to increase as the morning progresses. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of snow showers throughout the day on Friday as we see some of that northern stream
energy track into the region, not expecting any major accumulations from the daytime snow.
As Friday day becomes night, interaction between the 2 pieces of energy will start. During this time snow will become steadier and heavier as the evening wears on. After midnight (Saturday 12am) is when I expect to see the snow really ramp up. Snow looks to continue through the day Saturday and will be heavy at times, my current thinking is that snow will not end until later Saturday evening.
Other impacts from the storm look to be high winds and coastal flooding. Models such as the Euro are hinting at very high wind gusts on Saturday, and if it went as modeled, would create near blizzard conditions. For now I'm going with sustained winds 25-40 with gusts up to 60 mph, higher winds will be toward coast, especially in south-eastern Connecticut, power outages may be a problem, so plan accordingly.
Another impact looks to be coastal flooding. We have a "perfect storm" of an astronomical high tide and a potentially powerful low pressure system off to the east piling water into Long Island Sound. As far as snowfall totals, we aren't quite ready to put those out, just going to say warning level, plowable event for now. We should have a snowfall map out by later tomorrow night or early Thursday morning.
A brief look at the extended forecast shows that temperatures look to moderate over the next week or 2 giving us a respite from the Arctic airmass that we have been contending with.
Again, this is a very fluid situation with many moving parts and some details to iron out over the coming days, but we are getting closer to some sort of model consensus and agreement between forecasters here at SCW. As always, thank you for your continued support, stay tuned for more updates on the storm, have a great night!- TW