Let’s get right down to business. After a strong system which impacted the state this weekend with rain, wind, and some snowflakes in the higher elevations of northwest Connecticut, things are turning chilly and quiet for the next few days. In the meantime, we’re starting to watch our first potential (minor) winter weather event for Thursday and a potential moderate to heavy rain event on Friday.
Tomorrow is a clear day with gusty conditions as we see strong northwest flow working in chilly conditions. Maximum temperatures are likely to be around ten degrees below normal, which is around 60 degrees in Hartford this time of year!
Tuesday night is also breezy, but temperatures are expected to reach the upper 20s in the cold spots and lower 30s elsewhere away from the shore. A Freeze Watch will be in effect tomorrow night into Wednesday morning in Tolland County and all four southern Connecticut counties. This is where the growing season hasn’t ended yet, but the entire state outside of the shore will likely see temperatures cold enough to end the growing season…again in spots.
From Thursday on, we see a more active period in the weather department, but Thursday in particular is our period of interest. Below you’ll see why.
Simply put, we’re looking at an early season southwest flow event (SWFE), where you get an area of low pressure passing to our west or north that brings southwesterly flow aloft that overruns colder air, bringing wintry precipitation on the front end before (often) changing over.
Much of the guidance has shown a period of mixed precipitation and snow for northern and western Connecticut, especially in Litchfield County. But tossing models aside, there are some red flags that make this a lower confidence forecast and minor event at this time.
Even though we’re not terribly far out, there’s uncertainty that exists with regard to temperatures both at the surface, which would impact whether there would be any accumulation, and temperatures in the column just above the surface, which could be warm enough to make this a very brief period of wintry precipitation or a less widespread extent of wintry precip. Remember that this isn’t even close to our peak climatology period for wintry precipitation—that means a lot more generally has to go right for anything meaningful to fall, because it’s just less common for cold enough air to be in place.
That said, these events sometimes have cold air that is harder to scour out, especially in the valleys, so that’s something we’ll be watching closely.
This is something we’ll continue to watch and hone in on as we get closer, but right now, I lean toward the northern sections of Litchfield County being most likely to get a minor accumulation with much of northern and western Connecticut seeing a rain/sleet/snow mix Thursday morning with no accumulation before a transition to all rain by later in the morning in most spots and early afternoon in Litchfield County at the elevation spots.
With a strong area of high pressure in place, I wouldn't be surprised to see a late trend toward colder conditions Thursday morning. That is something to watch closely. For those tracking, be wary of GFS surface temps.
The rest of Thursday and much of Friday look wet, as this deepening area of low pressure rolls its way through our region. In fact, this looks like it may be a very nice widespread rain producer, helping areas that have endured drought conditions this year. Right now, I’m thinking of total accumulations between .75-1.5 inches of rain. Not bad!
By midday to late Saturday, we’re back at it again as another system likely passes to our north and brings rain showers to the state. This doesn’t look as potent as the preceding system, but it should provide more precip to the state.
Things quiet down by Sunday and Monday, and I currently anticipate fair conditions. There looks to be a spit on how cool we get, but I expect this period of colder than normal temperatures to remain for the forecast period.
Tuesday: Sunny, cold, and windy. Highs in the upper 40s to low 50s. Nighttime temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s inland, with lows in the mid 30s at the shore.
Wednesday: Sunny, cold, and breezy. Highs in the upper 40s to low 50s. Nighttime lows in the upper 20s to low 30s away from the shore.
Thursday: SCW period of interest. Mixed precipitation early in northern and western Connecticut, especially the northwest hills, with rain elsewhere. Rain everywhere by afternoon. Highs in the low to mid 40s.
Friday: Rain. Highs in the low to mid 50s. Chance of rain 70%.
Saturday: Cloudy with a chance of rain. Highs in the mid to upper 50s. Chance of rain 40%.
Sunday: Sunny. Highs in the upper 50s.
Monday: Sunny and seasonably cool. Highs in the low 50s.
Thanks for reading! This is something we'll be watching closely and we'll be sure to keep you updated as we track the first potential widespread wintry event this season.
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