December has been off to a fast start. The state is running below normal in overall temperature, and above normal on snowfall. This is about as wintry as Connecticut can get during early December. The second half of December looks to continue the trend, with a significant winter storm looking increasingly likely and an Arctic blast afterward that will bring the coldest air of the season so far.
This forecast looks at the week ahead, with a focus on Tuesday's storm. I am doing this to give everyone a heads up on this week's forecast. Tomorrow we will have a dedicated forecast and final call for the storm.
Let's jump in.
The warmer weekend that we experienced will be a distant memory tomorrow, as we see colder air filter in tonight and give us a chilly start tomorrow. Overall, tomorrow isn't a bad day, as we see increasing clouds and chilly conditions in advance of the storm. It is possible that parts of southern CT see some flakes begin to fly very late tomorrow, but the consensus is that snow begins in earnest very early on Tuesday.
This is the stormy day. As a weak area of low pressure develops over the eastern US and tracks toward the coast, an area of high pressure will have established itself over the region. This will create a clash that will bring a mixed bag of precipitation to the state. Here are our thoughts right now:
- A moderate to high impact winter storm is increasingly likely to impact the state on Tuesday. Widespread delays are likely, and widespread cancellations are possible.
- Currently, I expect 1-3 inches of snow and sleet along the shoreline. The icing looks to be relatively low here, but at this time we need to closely watch temperature trends in case this changes. I think a colder trend is more likely than a warmer one.
- For inland areas, I expect 2-4 inches of snow and sleet and at least a glaze of freezing rain. I am intentionally hedging conservative here. The icing risk here is moderate. Again, we need to watch closely for temperature trends.
- Snow is likely to overspread the state in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday. Along the shoreline, snow will quickly change to sleet, freezing rain, and eventually rain. Even with this change, accumulating snow and some icing is possible.
- For inland areas, the snow will hang on longer, but it is also likely that much of interior Connecticut will change over to sleet and freezing rain. With cold air damming (CAD) taking place, there may not be a changeover to rain, which increases icing chances through freezing rain.
- Mixed precipitation and rain is expected to end Tuesday night.
There are still a number of things that need to be resolved, but even with a relatively small snowfall there is higher confidence in a significant winter weather event for most of Connecticut due to the icing potential.
Stay tuned for updates tomorrow.
The storm departs late on Tuesday, but we're not done with feeling the winter hammer. On Wednesday, an Arctic front will cross the state, bringing the chance of snow showers, snow squalls that could drop a quick coating, and gusty conditions. The front is expected to pass during the evening hours so we have to watch out for the latter part of the evening commute.
Although it'll be cold on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are looking frigid, with the brunt of the cold occurring on Thursday and early Friday. Temperatures will struggle to reach the 20s on Thursday, with nighttime lows in the single digits to teens and wind chills below zero. This is big cold for this time of year.
You may have heard some rumblings on social media about a big storm, but for now, I'm not biting. This will be a period for us to casually watch during the week, as I do see a signal for continued stormy conditions, but there is nothing worth wasting writing space over yet.
Monday: Increasing clouds and colder. Highs in the mid to upper 30s.
Tuesday: Snow starting early, changing to mixed precipitation inland and rain at the shoreline. Highs in the low to mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 90%.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a chance of snow. Breezy. Highs in the mid 30s. Chance of snow 30%.
Thursday: Cold and breezy. Lows in the single digits to teens with highs in the upper teens to low 20s.
Friday: Cold. Lows in the single digits to teens with highs in the mid to upper 20s.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain or snow. Highs in the mid to upper 30s. Chance of precipitation 20%.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid to upper 30s.
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