The snow has moved on, but the cold has remained. It’s been a chilly past few days across Connecticut, and that looks to continue throughout most of the upcoming forecast period. There is also another chance for snow this weekend from a clipper system that will potentially develop a NORLUN trough over our area, but this is a low confidence scenario that has a relatively low ceiling.
Friday will be another clear and cold day across the state as high pressure persists for one more day. Highs should be 10-15 degrees below normal, with temps in the upper 20s to lower 30s. We will see a good deal of sunshine throughout the day, so as long as you’ve got a few layers it should be a nice late winter day to be out and about.
The tricky part of this forecast comes this weekend. All guidance is in good agreement on tracking a clipper system across the great lakes into the northeast, bringing some light snow to PA and western NY, but what happens next is still in question. Some guidance tracks the midlevel low well to our south, and keeps any precipitation that develops offshore, while other models track the low far enough north to get portions of our forecast area into the precipitation. Further complicating matters is an inverted trough that is forecast to develop. An inverted trough brings a wind axis to the northwest of a coastal low, developing a narrow but strong band of precipitation far away from the center of the low and the rest of the precipitation associated with the storm. These are notoriously difficult to model, and hence are always low confidence forecasts due to their localized impact and difficulty to pin down.
The guidance offers a range of forecast possibilities. The Euro and GGEM are minor events for the state, with just some snow showers or light snow amounting to an inch or two, while the GFS, RGEM and NAM bring accumulating snow to the state, with several inches possible wherever the NORLUN sets up. For now, I am leaning towards the lower impact scenario. We have not seen the consistency on guidance needed to feel confident in a trough even developing, and then once it does develop, it has to come far enough NW to make it into the state. I am also concerned about marginal temperatures limiting accumulations outside the elevations; surface temps will be around freezing on Saturday and in the mid 30s on Sunday. With a March sun angle and light rates, efficient accumulation will be difficult.
For now, I’ll forecast a chance of snow for both Saturday and Sunday, but keep pops relatively low. I would say that the absolute ceiling for this event as modeled is probably a stripe of low end warning snows (~6”) in parts of the state, with eastern areas the most likely to benefit, but unless we see more consistency on the models and the Euro/GGEM coming onboard, I am inclined to say that scenario will not occur. We’ll keep an eye on the system over the next few model cycles and see what happens, and if needed will issue a first call map tomorrow night, but I am not super concerned for anything more than a bit of light snow from this one just yet.
Otherwise, expect mostly cloudy conditions this weekend, with temps around freezing on Saturday and in the mid 30s on Sunday.
Here’s a look at the system on Saturday evening from the GGEM(drier solution) and the GFS(snowier solution)
Sunshine returns for Monday along with slightly warmer temps – highs will be in the mid to upper 30s, but still well below normal for the date. Tuesday will bring more scattered showers as a weak front moves through – as of now, those look like mainly rain showers as we’ll see our warmest day of the week on Tuesday ahead of that cold front. Highs will make it into the upper 40s to near 50, which is about 5 degrees above normal. The warmth will be brief, however, as the previously mentioned cold front crosses the area Tuesday night and sends us back into the freezer for the back half of the week – highs looks to be in the mid to upper 20s on both Wednesday and Thursday. Winter is certainly making up for lost time so far this month!
Here’s a look at the departure from normal for next Wednesday on the GFS, as well as forecast high temps. Burr!
Friday: Partly sunny, with highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s.
Saturday: A chance of snow, otherwise, mostly cloudy, with highs in the low 30s. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Sunday: A chance of snow, otherwise, partly cloudy, with highs in the low to mid 30s. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Monday: Mostly sunny, with highs in the mid to upper 30s.
Tuesday: A chance of showers, otherwise, mostly cloudy, with highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s.
Wednesday: A slight chance of snow showers, otherwise, partly sunny, with highs in the upper 20s. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, with highs in the mid to upper 20s.
Finally, we know many of you are interested in seeing post-mortem from our storm earlier this week. We are working on putting together a totals map and post-mortem discussion – we should have that out for you sometime this weekend or early next week. Stay tuned for updates on the potential snow this weekend and thank you for reading SCW!