Temperatures are currently falling off a cliff in the state, with most areas down into the single digits and plummeting towards below zero by morning. To make it feel even colder, we’ve wind gusts of 15-25 miles per hour across the state, resulting in wind chills in the negative single digits to low double digits statewide. These values will continue to drop, with temperatures bottoming out in the negative single digits and wind chills in the negative teens, and therefore the National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for the entire state that is valid until mid-morning tomorrow(Friday).
As far as impacts go, snow amounts should be relatively manageable, but still high enough to require the plows to come out, so that’s a strain on towns that have already had their snow budgets pushed to the max. One thing that we are concerned about is the potential for infrastructure issues depending on how much rain we do get after the initial snowfall. Unlike our last several storms, this will be a heavy wet snow, which combined with the weight of the current snowpack and additional water weight from rain may be enough to cause potential roof collapses and ice jams, especially if we do see some melting from this system. I’m not an expert on roofs by any means, but if you have a roof with a lot of snow on it, taking action of some sort is probably a good idea (If you aren’t 100% sure that you can remove snow from your room safely yourself, it’s best to contact a professional and avoid needless accidents).
Behind the storm, colder air moves back in for Sunday, likely sparking a flash freeze of any rain that did fall. That could make things very slippery, so use caution when you’re heading out! More frigid temperatures are expected to start next week(Highs in the teens are again possible for Monday and Tuesday) before a possible storm system approaches for the middle of next week. We’re a long way out on that one though, so we’ll leave it at a mention for now and touch on it a bit more as we get closer in if it’s still a legitimate threat.
Stay tuned for a snowmap to be issued tomorrow(Friday) along with an updated discussion. Until then, have a great night and thank you for reading Southern Connecticut Weather!
All eyes then turn to Saturday as a system passes to our northwest and brings a mixed bag of precipitation to the state. Unlike our last several events, there is no block in place or high pressure to our north to keep warm air from being pulled north with the system, and as a result we have precipitation type issues to worry about. The first part of the day will be dry, with clouds building throughout the morning, but by the early afternoon, precipitation will begin to break out from southwest to northeast. All areas will initially start as snow, with a quick inch or two being seen in most spots by sunset.
What happens next depends on the timing of the system vs. the push of the warm air. As the system passes our latitude, we will be pushed into the warm sector of it, and the state will begin to change over to rain from SE to NW over the course of the evening and early overnight hours. At the same time however, precipitation intensity will begin to increase, and snowfall rates will pick up for those areas that remain all snow. Therefore, if the timing of the changeover is off by a relatively small margin, it can have a significant impact on the total snowfall amounts. In general, we’re expecting the lighest totals to be in the SE corner of the state, with the heaviest in the NW corner of the state, but the vast majority of areas should remain below that 6” threshold that would be required for a Winter Storm Warning to be issued. It’s possible that we could see some isolated totals of over 6”, especially if the system continues to trend colder and wetter, but I don’t think widespread warning criteria snows are likely.
All areas except for possibly the NW hills eventually change to rain overnight before precipitation moves out Sunday morning. I expect that by 7-10 AM on Sunday, the state is dry except for some isolated showers along the coastline, so really this system will have a relatively minor impact on your weekend plans.
Here’s a look at the timeline of the system on the NAM model, which is the model that I think has the best handle on the system right now. At 4 PM(The first panel), we’ve got light snow overspreading the state with a bit more moderate snow working into western areas. At 7 PM, we’ve got moderate snow across the state, but by 1 AM, the rain/snow line has shot up to encompass the entire state on the warm side except for the far northern tier, which is still mix or snow. By 7 AM, all the precipitation has moved out except for some lingering showers along the coastline, and we’re set up for a dry Sunday.