A major winter storm is quickly taking shape in the south, and for Connecticut, we have a mixed bag coming.
In northern Litchfield County, we have a Winter Storm Warning up for snow and sleet accumulations in excess of 6 inches. For the northern four counties, we have Winter Weather Advisories for a light accumulation of snow/sleet before a change to rain. For the southern counties, we have Coastal Flood Warnings for the coastline, a Wind Advisory for inland New London County, and a High Wind Warning for coastal New London County.
It may not be a big snow event for most, but we do expect impacts. Let's dive in.
For the first zone in Litchfield County we think most will be closer to the 6" mark than the lower end of that range. In fact, some guidance wants to bring even more snow/sleet to the highest elevations, and folks there shouldn't be surprised if they end up a few inches over our current range. We're holding with 3-6 in case we see a last minute trend warmer given the departing high that is holding cold air in place currently. That said, we're seeing observations further south of a colder than expected storm. It'll be a close call here.
For the second zone, which covers most of the state, we expect a burst of heavy snow later tonight that quickly transitions to sleet and then rain during Monday morning. If you blink you might miss it, as heavy rain will likely wash away the snow/sleet accumulation in most locations. Once again, in the higher elevations of eastern CT we could see a bit of a boom scenario, with a little more than 3" possible in isolated areas. Overall though, 1-3" should cover it.
Along the shoreline, snow and sleet isn't the concern, though there may be a brief coating as the snow comes in tonight. Coastal flooding on the order of at least 2-3 feet and wind gusts up to 60 mph, especially in coastal New London County, are the primary impacts in this zone. In SE CT, the risk of power outages is highest, though we still think outages will be scattered rather than widespread. The coastal flooding signal is quite strong, so folks in low lying areas should take note.
Note that on some of the guidance we see snow showers tomorrow afternoon and evening that could produce a coating in spots.
Expect flight delays and cancelations tonight and tomorrow, and difficult road conditions especially in northern Connecticut during the frozen portion of the storm.
One thing that helps with impacts is that the snow happens overnight, with rain tomorrow, which is a holiday. Overall, we anticipate a moderate impact event with this mixed bag storm, with the highest risk of higher impact in the hills of NW CT and the coast of SE CT.
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