Our Easter Sunday follows the path that Saturday took. What a beautiful weekend! There should be no weather issues today, but the main story for the week ahead is tomorrow. This discussion, while covering the entire week, will focus heavily on Monday.
A big storm is taking shape in the southeast today, where a severe weather outbreak is just beginning. That storm will strengthen and move toward the Great Lakes region. For us, that means rain and windy conditions tomorrow.
A High Wind Watch has been issued for the entire state, and I expect for that watch to become a warning at some point as the guidance and overall setup illustrates real potential for a significant wind event tomorrow.
Tomorrow is an SCW Period of Interest. The overall setup is fairly straightforward. The big storm developing down south will quickly intensify and move northeastward. While the surface low will end up well to our west, we are looking at a very impressive setup for widespread wind and heavy rain. In addition to a deep low, we will see a strong low and mid level jet center itself right over our part of New England. That means that in the column of air above us, there will be exceptionally strong winds. The key question is whether those winds will "mix" down to the surface. The guidance seems to think yes, and I am inclined to agree.
The next two images are ones we don't usually share, but illustrate the potential quite well. The first, is the latest GFS depiction of winds at 925mb tomorrow afternoon. It is important to note that 925mb is usually around 2,500 feet above the ground level. That's high up, but not that far when we're talking weather.
All of this wind will not mix down to the surface. What matters here is that even if you do a reduction of the strongest wind gusts, we're looking at higher end wind gusts across much of the state and especially in southern Connecticut. But, there is a caveat.
If we have temperatures lower than expected tomorrow (50s), that would limit the amount of mixing that happens. That would reduce, but not eliminate, the wind threat. If we somehow end up much warmer however (upper 60s to low 70s), the high end wind gust potential would be realized. I think we end up somewhere in the middle, with temperatures in the lower to mid 60s.
Rain is the other threat here, but is a lower risk. We should see moderate to heavy rain at different periods during the day resulting in 1-2 inches of rain. That may cause some basement flooding issues in areas that flood frequently. The flash flooding risk is relatively low.
That was the long version, here is the short of it:
Monday has the potential to bring a moderate to high end wind gust event for Connecticut
- Rain will begin overnight and will be moderate to heavy at times statewide during the day Monday.
- 1-2 inches of rain is expected.
- Thunderstorms are possible, but severe thunderstorms are currently unlikely.
I expect widespread strong to damaging wind gusts, particularly during the afternoon hours
For all areas away from the immediate shoreline, we can expect the highest wind gusts to fall between 55-65mph.
- The highest gusts are likely to occur in elevated areas of central and eastern CT, as well as along the CT River Valley due to the southerly wind component.
- Lower wind potential exists in Litchfield County.
Along the immediate shoreline, we can expect the highest wind gusts to fall between 60-70mph.
- We cannot rule out the immediate coastline of SE CT seeing wind gusts slightly higher.
- For all areas away from the immediate shoreline, we can expect the highest wind gusts to fall between 55-65mph.
With the wind potential tomorrow, we expect scattered to widespread power outages. Two mitigating factors are that we do not have leaves on all the trees yet, and this does not seem to be a long duration event.
- Interior CT: scattered power outages.
- Immediate shoreline: scattered power outages with smaller pockets of widespread power outages, especially in SE CT.
Tuesday is looking like a nice day. The storm will depart late Monday, and things will clear out behind the cold front. Unfortunately, we see showers and cloudy conditions return by Wednesday as a disturbance approaches. A washout is not expected. Thursday looks like another clear day, and by Friday we should see more clouds approach late as we see our next storm system approach.
The weekend is looking decent, but a little unsettled at the start. Another area of low pressure will traverse the region and should bring us some rain early on Saturday. We should be able to clear out fairly quickly, and next Sunday looks nice. Let's watch next weekend a bit. There may be some mixed precipitation with that one if cold enough air advects in, but right now, I'm thinking rain.
Monday: SCW Period of Interest. Heavy rain and strong winds. Highs in the low to mid 60s. Chance of rain 100%.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 50s.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the upper 40s to low 50s. Chance of rain 30%.
Thursday: Mostly sunny early with increasing clouds and a chance of rain showers late. Highs in upper 40s to low 50s. Chance of rain 20%.
Friday: Mostly sunny early with increasing clouds and rain late. Highs in the mid to upper 40s. Chance of rain 50%.
Saturday: Rain early with clearing conditions during the day. Highs in the upper 40s to low 50s. Chance of rain 40%.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and warmer. Highs in the mid 50s.
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