Connecticut has been in a deep freeze most of the past week. The week ahead brings a gradual warm up until we have what has seemingly become our annual Christmas (or thereabouts) torch. The forecast is a touch complicated so let's dive right in.
Just briefly about today. As you can see above, some precipitation is expected to cross Connecticut today. For inland areas, temperatures remain cold enough where snow is possible. It's expected to be light. For southern areas, some snowflakes are possible, but it's also possible that far southern sections of the state only see rain showers. We're not expecting any significant accumulation (maybe a coating in spots) but be careful on the roads. It doesn't take much to cause problems.
The first part of the week is actually looking quite quiet. Tomorrow a storm system will pass well to our SE, meaning we will see clouds but nothing in terms of precipitation. The only exception may be far SE CT but even there I'm not expecting anything unless the storm tracks a bit more northwest. Tuesday looks a little better but there may be some snow flurries in the air in NW CT. Not expecting anything meaningful there. Wednesday looks quiet in advance of Christmas Eve and Christmas, where we have a strong signal for a significant storm passing through the region.
Temperatures during this period look a bit warmer than last week, but still fairly chilly with highs in the 30s and low 40s.
Christmas Eve (Thursday)-Christmas Day (Friday)
I am going to declare this a SCW Period of Interest, but not because of snow. As you can see above, the GFS wants to push through a cold front during this period. Looking deeper, this is a strong cold front associated with a strong storm that is expected to pass to our west. What does that mean? It means the White Christmas that many look for is in jeopardy.
Other guidance is much slower with the frontal passage, bringing heavy rain on Christmas Day. What all the models agree on though is that a period of heavy rain and warm temperatures for this time of year will move through Connecticut during the Thursday/Friday timeframe. Right now, it looks like the heaviest rain will happen Christmas Eve night but timing is critical and uncertain here. With so much snow on the ground, heavy rain and rapidly melting snow could cause flooding issues on Christmas.
In addition, this front is also likely to come with strong winds. We're seeing a damaging wind signal, but for now we think an inversion keeps the strongest winds from mixing down at the surface. We have to get closer to the event to better understand the wind potential, but it's a legitimate signal even at this range.
Temperatures will be warm. Expect highs in advance of the front in the 50s followed by a sharp drop in temperatures after the front passes--another reason why timing is so important. For snow lovers, the only hope is that there's some moisture left over after the front passes to allow for some snow to fall late on Christmas. There's a chance of that, but at this moment in time I wouldn't hold my breath. Cold chasing precipitation isn't a recipe for success.
Below is the latest Canadian model depiction for the period. It looks like an ugly Christmas in Connecticut.
After the front passes, we get cold and quiet again. Temperatures may struggle to reach freezing again, with some snow showers possible, especially on Saturday. At this time, I am not expecting any significant travel issues in the region.
Monday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers in far SE CT. Highs in the upper 30s to low 40s. Chance of showers 10%.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a chance of flurries in NW CT. Highs in the upper 30s to low 40s. Chance of flurries 10%.
Wednesday: Partly sunny. Highs in the upper 30s to low 40s.
Christmas Eve: SCW Period of Interest. Increasing clouds with a chance of rain late. Breezy. Highs in the low to mid 50s. Chance of rain 50%.
Christmas Day: SCW Period of Interest. Heavy rain and strong winds. Highs in the low to mid 50s followed with a sharp temperature drop after the front and a chance of snow showers. Chance of rain 60%. Chance of snow showers 10%.
Saturday: Decreasing clouds and cold. Breezy with snow showers possible. Highs in the upper 20s to low 30s. Chance of snow showers 20%.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and cold. Highs in the upper 20s to low 30s.
As always, please like, share, and interact with us on our social media--on Facebook to share our discussions, and follow us on Twitter @southernctwx to retweet our posts. Hit the buttons below to join.
Thank you for reading.