Our first winter weather event arrives tomorrow. It fits the mold of many of our winter weather events so far this season. The overall setup is straight forward. We have a strong low that will cut well to the west of the region, but we have cold air in place at the start which will bring the potential for a mixed bag tomorrow morning into the afternoon. Here’s what we know:
A Freezing Rain Advisory is up for northern Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, and New London Counties from 3am to 1pm.
- The first precipitation is expected to arrive in Connecticut between 4-8am.
- The earlier the precipitation begins, the more likely areas will see frozen precipitation, especially freezing rain.
- Little to no snow accumulation is expected, but there will be enough icing during the morning to cause problems.
- Widespread delays are expected tomorrow across the state, but delays and cancelations are most likely in northern Connecticut.
- By afternoon, freezing rain and mixed precipitation will transition to rain for most of the state. In the typical cold spots, frozen precipitation may hang on a bit longer.
These types of setups always make me uneasy because a degree or two of difference for an hour or two can make the difference between a significant event for commuters or a minor one. Everyone should take it easy on the roads tomorrow morning if you have to be out. The short term guidance is in agreement for a period of icing away from the shore.
Wednesday is an intervening day between winter weather events. It is also a day that we torch. With a brief period of westerly and southwesterly flow, expect highs to top out in the 50s for many locations. That’s well above normal this time of year. As the day progresses however, we start to see a snap back to winter as colder air filters in. This sets the stage for Thursday.
Thursday is really the day that I’m watching. Over the last week, the guidance has been toying with a shortwave way out over the Pacific and western US. For a while, it looked like any potential chance of even clouds was nonexistent, but the system has come back with a vengeance on much of the guidance. Just take a look at this analysis of the GFS runs over the last few days, all showing the same time period—Thursday around 7am.
There is potential for a significant winter storm on Thursday.
- Currently, I’d place the chances of a warning level (6”+) event statewide at 25%.
- I’d place the chances of a glancing (3”-6”) event at 40%.
- I’d place the chances of a whiff (coating-2”) at 35%.
- Temperatures will likely be cold enough for all snow statewide.
- The timing of the event would make delays and cancelations possible.
For Thursday, it is best to stay tuned. We may have a first call out as early as tomorrow.
Friday & the Weekend
Whatever happens Thursday is gone by Friday. In its wake, we get cold and head into another period of uncertainty. With a deep trough over the region, we could see another area of low pressure, a clipper, approach by Saturday. That could bring snow.
We may also see another low pushing toward the region from our west on Sunday or Monday. That would likely be a rain maker as it puts us in the warm sector, but with cold air around we may be staring down another mixed bag event.
Tuesday: Early mix of snow, rain, and freezing rain, transitioning to all rain by afternoon. Rain may be heavy at times. Highs in the low to mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 100%.
Wednesday: Showers early giving way to partly cloudy and breezy conditions. Highs early in the 50s dropping throughout the day. Chance of rain early 40%.
Thursday: SCW period of interest. Snow. Highs in the upper 20s to low 30s. Chance of snow 50%.
Friday: Partly cloudy, cold and breezy. Highs in the mid to upper 20s.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow. Highs in the upper 20s to low 30s. Chance of snow 30%
Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain/snow. Highs in the mid to upper 30s. Chance of precipitation 20%
Monday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. Highs in the mid to upper 30s. Chance of precipitation 20%
Overall—a busy week is ahead for SCW.
As always, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and share our discussions, and follow us on Twitter @southernctwx and retweet our posts!
Thanks for reading SCW.