<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Connecticut Weather News and Coverage]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/weather/stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usTue, 28 Mar 2017 17:51:09 -0400Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:51:09 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Today's Forecast]]> http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/first+alert_weather+1200.jpg


Today: Mostly cloudy skies, areas of fog and showers, chance of a thunderstorm during the evening. Highs in the 50s.

Tonight:  Rain ending. Areas of fog possibile toward morning along with partial clearing. Lows in the

Wednesday: Partly sunny skies. Highs in the middle 50s.

Thursday: Mostly sunny skies. Highs in the middle 50s.

Friday: Mostly cloudy with rain developing. Chance for some wet snow to mix in at the start. Highs in the low 40s.

Saturday: Early rain, otherwise clearing skies during the afternoon, breezy. Highs in the middle 50s.

Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the middle 50s.

Monday: Partly sunny. Highs in the 50s.

Tuesday: Rain likely. Highs in the upper 50s. 

Wednesday: Rain likely. Highs in the upper 50s.

Thursday: Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s.

Get your detailed precision First Alert 10-day forecast plus hour-by-hour weather and interactive radar by downloading the NBC Connecticut app.


Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Get Closing Alerts]]> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:23:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/closing+central+first+alert.jpg
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Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Unsettled Weather Moving in Today and This Weekend]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 20:26:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM12+Precip+Cloud+Floater+%282%291.png

Unsettled weather is moving in for today and the weekend. While the weekend won't be a complete washout, we are forecasting several chances for showers and even a wintry mix from Friday right through Monday. 

The first piece of precipitation moves into the state later this morning. We're forecasting rain showers, which could start as a little bit of snow or sleet.

Temperatures right at the ground will be above freezing, therefore we're not concerned about the snow sticking. 

Here's a look at First Alert Future Radar Friday at 2 p.m.

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The rain shower activity will move out just in time for any Friday evening plans. Temperatures Friday evening will near 40 degrees. 

The next chance for rain heads our way on Saturday. Rain showers will develop during the afternoon hours and continue through Saturday evening. 

Check out First Alert Future Radar on Saturday at 4 p.m.

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The unsettled weather will continue into the day on Sunday with a cold rain. Temperatures Sunday will be in the upper-30s and low-40s. 

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We're also forecasting isolated showers on Monday and Tuesday. The shower activity will finally come to an end as we head into the middle of next week. It also looks like some milder air will work in to the state. We're forecasting high temperatures in the middle-50s by this time next week. 

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<![CDATA[Winter Strikes Back]]> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 20:54:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gefs_t850a_conus_5.png

After a gorgeous 2 days of weather we're going to see a dramatic change by tomorrow, Thursday and the weekend. The first item of interest in unseasonably cold weather for the next 48 hours. 

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Temperatures will be nearly 20 degrees colder than average with a dramatic shot of Arctic air. 850mb temperatures (about 5,000 feet above our heads) will be between 15c and 20c colder than average! That's a big negative anomaly. While there is a surge of more typical March air on the way for Friday and Saturday the weekend forecast remains intriguing.

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A storm to our west will send moisture streaming into New England Sunday and Monday. This is a classic "overrunning" setup with warm air advecting north into New England BUT near the ground it's a much different story. The big key to the forecast is a large high pressure over northern Quebec that will nose south into New England. This will lead to a wedge of low level cold air with warmer air aloft and as a result the possibility for ice.

Let's take a look at the ECMWF (euro) and GFS temperature forecast. The Euro forecast shows a layer of mild air about 7 or 8,000 feet above us with colder air below it. This is an inversion. Snow will melt into rain drops in the warm layer and then either refreeze into an ice pellet or reach the ground as freezing rain. The GFS temperature forecast (shown here as a SKEW-T) shows a similar setup for later Sunday with an area of above freezing air above a shallow but notable subfreezing layer of air close to the ground.

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At this point it's unlikely we'll get a major winter storm (i.e. excessive amounts of ice) but this is looking like it could be a nasty and unpleasant mix with some icy travel and chilly temperatures - especially for the time of year. Obviously lots can change over the next few days but this is something we're going to be watching closely. 

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<![CDATA[Snow Squalls, Downed Trees, Cold Air Hit State ]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:30:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/BARKHAMSTED-SNOW.JPG

A strong cold front moved in late Tuesday, delivering some very cold air for the day Wednesday and into Thursday, and some Connecticut residents were greeted by snow squalls Wednesday morning and gusty brings have brought down trees in several communities.

Trees have come down in Farmington and Middletown. The most tragic incident happened in Avon. A school bus driver was killed when a wind brought a tree down on a school bus and the bus hit a pole.  

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We're forecasting temperatures in the low 30s this afternoon.

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It will feel much colder than it actually is today. Winds will be out of the northwest at 15 to 25 miles per hour leading to single digit wind chill values. 

Temperatures will be even colder by Thursday morning. We're forecasting temperatures between 7 and 15 degrees. The record low temperature in the Hartford area is 9 degrees set back in 1934. 

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The cold air recedes as we head into Friday, we're forecasting high temperatures in the low to middle 40s with afternoon rain showers. 

We're also keeping our eyes a wintry mix threat for Sunday and Monday. 

Photo Credit: Mark Granquist
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<![CDATA[Mild Weather Replaced by a Mid-Week Arctic Blast]]> Mon, 20 Mar 2017 18:00:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Launch+Custom+Map+1+%281%29.png

Mild weather is forecasted again for Tuesday however big changes are on the way as we head into the middle of the week.

We're forecasting high temperatures tomorrow in the upper 40s and low 50s. Skies will be partly cloudy early with clouds increasing throughout the afternoon. 

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A strong cold front pushes through the state late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. With it comes strong winds and below normal temperatures. 

High temperatures are only forecasted to reach the low to middle 30s Wednesday and Thursday. Those temperatures are 15 degrees below where they should be this time of year. 

Temperatures moderate a bit for the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. 

We're watching the threat of a wintry mix for Sunday into next Monday. 

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<![CDATA[Milder Air Moves in for the First Day of Spring]]> Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:25:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/spring+first+day+sun.jpg

Milder air is moving into the state for the first day of spring, but unfortunately the more seasonable air only sticks around through Tuesday.

Spring officially started at 6:29 a.m. today.

We're forecasting high temperatures to reach the upper 40s throughout the state. Skies will be mostly sunny for most of the day with a few clouds moving in during the afternoon and evening.

Temperatures will be a degree or two warmer for Wednesday with some locations reaching 50 degrees. 

The mild air recedes by Wednesday and much cooler air is expected to work into the state. 

We're forecasting temperatures Wednesday afternoon to only reach the middle 30s. Very cold air arrive by Thursday morning with many locations in the single digits. 

The forecast over the next seven days is a bit of a roller coaster. Here's a look at the temperature trend.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Small Threat for Afternoon and Evening Snow Showers]]> Sat, 18 Mar 2017 09:58:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM12+Precip+Cloud+Floater4.png

NBC Connecticut meteorologists have issued a 'First Alert' for snow showers that could slicken up roads tonight and tomorrow morning.

A few snow showers will move into western Connecticut this afternoon. A second piece of moisture will move into the state tonight providing scattered snow showers to the eastern half of the state.

As the storm track shifts the threat for accumulating snow has diminished.

The snow showers could be just enough to slicken up the roads tonight and tomorrow morning. If there are any cancellations you can find them by clicking here.

Get the full forecast anytime here.

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<![CDATA[The Big Dig: No Easy Task]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 22:42:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/digging+out+in+new+britain.jpg

Areas of Connecticut were digging out from anywhere from 1-2 feet of snow on Wednesday, and some announced school delays for Thursday when it became clear that icy conditions it would be a multi-day effort.

Temperatures struggled through the 20s on Wednesday, meaning the snow, covered with a layer of sleet or rain, had turned to ice in most places.

"It's a little rough because it's ice," Tonie Carr, of Manchester said. "I got my snowplow worked for everything else, but come out this morning and the plow trucks stacked up the ice."

Ice coated cars and clogged up driveways and sidewalks. The heavy, slushy mess made it nearly impossible for some to clear it.

David Santiago of Manchester said "It’s bad...bad for the back, bad for the chest, and if you’re overweight you’re in a heap of trouble.”

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So were a lot of people who had to "buck" their snowblowers just to get them to throw the snow. Many showed up at Capitol Equipment in Manchester because the heavy snow sleet rain mix wreaked havoc with their gear.

Capitol Equipment says the biggest thing going off its shelves was the littlest thing...sheer pins. Sheer pins are designed to break, and stop your snowblower from turning when something like a log, newspaper, or heavy ice and snow get snarled in it.

Temperatures won't climb much above freezing through the weekend, so the snow and ice will be in no hurry to melt.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Photos: Connecticut Digs Out After Blizzard]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 15:26:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/we7.JPG

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Viewer Video: NH Mom Dresses as T-Rex During Storm]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 15:40:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000004852038_1200x675_898392643787.jpg

Leslie Henson Ratay dressed up as a T-Rex to entertain her 5 daughters during yesterday's snow storm in Milton, New Hampshire.

<![CDATA[Blizzard Delivers for Some and Falls Short for Others]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 11:34:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/C65cHUVWsAA-v4v.jpg

Snowfall totals ranged from 1" to 24" across the state from yesterday's blizzard that peaked during a remarkably impressive 2-3 hour snow blitz around midday. I've heard a number of complaints and compliments from our viewers on the forecast. Along the shoreline there's no question the storm was a bust - across the interior there's not question the storm lived up to expectations.

The biggest reason the forecast missed along the shoreline was the fact the storm passed approximately 75 miles west of where I thought it would. This analysis from the Storm Prediction Center shows the low tracking inside or west of Block Island. This is a low pressure track that is sure to bring warm air into a large chunk of the state. 

In West Hartford I measured 12.9" of snow (it likely would have been a bit higher had a been able to measure more frequently and earlier) and it melted to 2.02" of liquid! That is an extremely dense snowfall with a snow:liquid ratio of 6.4:1 which is well short of a typical 10:1 ratio.

The snow flakes grew at temperatures that were between -5C and -10C while the favored region for snow flakes (-12c to -18c) was dealing with a dry slot. Basically, only small snow flakes were able to develop during the day. As warmer air moved in we saw sleet and in southern Connecticut some rain.

An old rule of thumb for figuring out who will get the heaviest snow is to look at the mid level low pressure (around 10,000 feet). Lows are tilted back to the west with height and this low is typically well west of the surface low. In yesterday's storm was over Philadelphia. We saw a band of intense lift out ahead of the low (see that purple over Connecticut) associated with something we call frontogenesis (basically forces a vertical circulation to form resulting in areas of rising and sinking air). But - the areas that really cashed in were located along and west of that low track. In fact some areas in the Catskills saw almost 40" of snow!

Some of our computer models had that low much farther west (over Connecticut or even just east of us) up to 24 hours prior to the storm. Had that tracked a bit farther east we would have seen huge totals - even down to the coast.  

So what did we learn? Our computer models struggled with the western trend right up until Tuesday morning. Credit where credit is due to the NAM and RGEM models for keying in on a warmer and western solution. This was on the far western solution of the European Ensembles (80 or 90% of them were east of where the storm tracked). Additionally, always respect the mid level dry punch. The drier air that moved in effectively shut off good snow growth and resulted in substantially lower snowfall rates than one would typically expect. That said, our forecast for almost the entire I-84 corridor worked out great with a record March snowstorm at Bradley Airport - 15.8".

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<![CDATA[Blowing Snow and Cold Temperatures for Wednesday's Cleanup]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 22:30:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Capture171.jpg

NBC Connecticut meteorologists are forecasting frigid temperatures throughout the day on Wednesday. 

The cleanup continues for much of Connecticut, especially the northwest corner where some locations saw two feet of snow. Click here to check out snowfall accumulations throughout the state.

There are several schools that have decided to cancel or delay classes for Wednesday. Click here to check out an up to the minute list of cancellations.

Make sure to check ahead with your carrier if you traveling in the air tomorrow. Hundreds of flights at Bradley International Airport were cancelled yesterday.

We're forecasting mostly cloudy skies Wednesday with blowing snow and temperatures well below normal. Winds will be out of the west tomorrow at 10 to 20 mph. Temperatures for inland Connecticut will only rise into the middle to upper 20s. Temperatures along the shore will also be on the chilly side with highs near 30 degrees. The average high temperature for this time of the year is 47 degrees for inland Connecticut.

The rest of the work week will remain relatively quite with partly cloudy skies Thursday and mostly sunny skies on Friday.

We're also keeping our eyes on some wintry weather for the weekend. Light snow is expected Saturday morning which will transition to rain showers by the afternoon. Another round of snow showers are expected on Sunday.

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<![CDATA[How to Walk on Ice]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 06:36:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DIT_WEA_WALKONICE2_031417-148952203139000001.jpg

The trick to walking safely on ice is to walk like a penguin. Infographic by Tablet Infographics  


<![CDATA[March Nor'easter Grounds Flights, Closes Schools]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:31:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_170735913308681.jpg A powerful March nor'easter dumped more than a foot of snow in cities along the East Coast, shuttering schools, knocking out power and grounding thousands of flights from Washington, D.C., to Boston. See the photos.

Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rain, Sleet Keep Snow Amounts Down in Southeastern Connecticut]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:57:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/niantic+snow+rain+mix.jpg

While most of the state is being buried in snow, snow amounts in southeastern Connecticut have been kept down, thanks to some sleet and rain.

Southern New London and Middlesex counties transitioned over to a mixture of rain and sleet late Tuesday morning while the northern areas of New London and Middlesex Counties had more of a change to sleet and snow.

Sleet is now mixing in to areas as far north as Hartford and Willimantic.

The mixed precipitation was expected to continue into early evening.

NBC Connecticut meteorologists are forecasting the mix of rain, sleet, and snow to transition back over to plain snow by the end.

We’re expecting the snow to taper off late this evening between 8 and 10 p.m.

Photo Credit: Submitted Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Snow Removal Safety Tips]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:22:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/snowblowers.jpg

Follow these safety tips while shoveling or using a snowblower outside your home after a snowstorm.

<![CDATA[Photos: NBC CT Crews Around the State During Nor'easter]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:06:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/Hartford+Snowbank.JPG

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Watch Live: Snow Falls in Hartford]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:19:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Pole+Control+Studios+1200+.jpg

Take a look at snow coming down in Hartford as a blizzard warning continues for parts of Connecticut.

Photo Credit: Pole Control Studios]]>
<![CDATA[6 Tips to Keep You Safe in a Snowstorm]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 06:45:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Thumb_Snow-Safety.png

Here are six things that may help keep you and your loved ones safe in a snowstorm.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Here's What to Expect from the Blizzard]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 08:11:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/blizzarddowngrade.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[On Ryan's Radar: March Blizzard Moves Closer]]> Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:07:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/nam_total_precip_neng_16.png

There has been a jump to the west with the forecast track of tomorrow's blizzard. This introduces a few issues including a mix with rain and sleet south and east of Hartford and may push the heaviest snow band a bit farther to the north and west. 

This morning I updated the snow forecast to illustrate where we expect the heaviest snow bands to set up. I wouldn't be surprised if these bands moved 20 to 30 miles either west or east by tonight. 

The numbers that our models are showing are eyepopping. A band of tremendous lift will move through tomorrow morning and midday with a ferocious period of snow. I expect the heaviest snow to fall between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

At the peak of the storm a surge of warmer air will move in to the shoreline east of New Haven and a period of rain and sleet now appears likely. 8"-12" of snow is expect in parts of southeastern Connecticut with heavier totals farther north and west where it stays all snow.

There are a few things to keep in mind. This map of the European model shows possible location of low pressure tomorrow afternoon. If one of the western-most solutions verifies (over Rhode Island) we will deal with mixing all the way back to I-91 and a dry slot that would shut the snow and mix off early. If it's a bit farther east (say east of Nantucket) the heaviest snow band of 18"+ has the potential to wind up over Hartford and New Haven.

Still, the most likely scenario is a foot of snow for Hartford and New Haven and over 18" of snow in the Litchfield Hills. This is also the area that's being highlighted by the European model with the highest probability of over 18" of snow.

Additionally, at the peak of the storm we are expecting winds to gust between 40 and 60 mph. Sporadic tree and powerline issues may develop especially where the snow is of a wetter consistency. 

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<![CDATA[On Ryan's Radar: March Blizzard On The Way]]> Sun, 12 Mar 2017 17:30:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C6vP2tbWoAAvDTc.jpg

This has all the makings of a classic. A powerful nor'easter will move up the coast producing a heavy burst of snow throughout southern New England. Of course - there are still some questions that I'll dive into in just a bit. First, what we know.

  • Over 6" of snow is extremely likely with over 12" of snow now a good bet.
  • Current forecast is 12"-18" of snow statewide with locally higher amounts to 24" - especially in the hills. 
  • Snow begins around daybreak with the heaviest snow between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. This time table may change a couple hours in either direction.
  • Wind gusts over 40 mph at the shoreline may result in blizzard conditions. 
Now, what we don't know.
  • Where exactly does the storm track - too far east and it's more of a glancing blow (still 6-12" of snow) or too far west and we introduce some mixing issues at the coast and dry slot issues everywhere (still 6-12" of snow). Something in between (which is what we're expecting) and we get more than a foot. 
  • If the storm takes the "perfect track" and winds up near Cape Cod we will get crushed. Where the heaviest snow band sets up (we're talking 18"-24" totals here) is unknown... is it eastern Connecticut or the Northwest Hills. We won't even begin to have an idea until tomorrow morning.
  • How strong will the winds be on the coast - this will be determined based on the strength and exact track of the storm. 50 or 60 mph winds are possible with a stronger storm tracking near the Cape.
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We pretty much have two camps of models - some east (GFS) and some west (Euro, NAM, UKMet, etc). The model differences are due to how the computer models interact two pieces of energy in the jet stream. There's one disturbance over the Great Lakes that is effectively capture a juicy, moisture-laden disturbance swinging northeast from the Gulf of Mexico. 

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The GFS suite (including the ensembles) take the system a bit more seaward - with a late capture. Basically the system isn't absorbed quickly and we wind up with a slightly weaker and a slightly farther east solution. Incidentally, the GFS ensemble members that are stronger are much farther west. Still, even with the eastward jog there's a sizable signal for excessive snow. 0.7" to 1.0" of liquid on average would be a 6"-12" snowstorm across the state. Big but not epic.

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A track farther west like most of our models have would mean a beast of a storm. The question will then become how far west and whether or not any dry slot issues develop. Generally you want to be undernearth or just northwest of the mid level low pressure about 10,000 feet up - where this tracks is critical to figuring out where the heaviest snow band will be. For example the NAM, pictured above, keeps the 700mb low to our west and then sort of develops it overhead Tuesday afternoon. This would favor heaviest snow totals in the Northwest Hills and Berkshires, effectively shut off the heavy snow quickly after 3 p.m. as dry air races in aloft, and introduce mixing/precipitation type issues in southeastern Connecticut. 

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The midday European model, however, has a classic mid level low track which would ensure epic snow totals over 20" in many areas. Additionally, powerful winds would develop Tuesday afternoon as the low strengthens extremely rapidly just southeast of us. At this point, based on the pattern and a lot of the guidance, we're leaning toward the Euro with some consideration for the lesser models. 

I'm very confident we're going to have a big storm - the question right now is how big. Are 10"-14" common or are we closer to the upper bounds? This has the potential to be extremely impressive so stay tuned!

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<![CDATA[Major Winter Storm Likely Tuesday]]> Sat, 11 Mar 2017 12:03:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_pr6_slp_t850_neng_15.png

It's about as strong of a signal I've seen for a major winter storm 4 days ahead of time. A powerful nor'easter will develop after emerging from the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. At this point it's fair to say a significant storm is likely and I would be surprised if at least a portion of Connecticut didn't get a foot of snow.

The storm has all the makings of a blockbuster.

  • A deep and cold antecedent airmass with a sprawling large high pressure to the north. 
  • A bit of downstream blocking of the jet stream near Greenland.
  • A potent and moisture laden disturbance exiting the Gulf of Mexico with a second disturbance diving south from the Great Lakes. How these interact will be the key to where the storm tracks.

Let's look at our overnight computer guidance for example. The European Ensembles (the European model run 51 different times at slightly lower resolution with a few tweaks) shows a 50-70 percet probability of more than a foot of snow across Connecticut. The odds of 18" of snow are between 5% and 20%. For a 96 hour forecast these are huge probabilities!

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Of course things can change a bit. The key is going to be the storm's strength at our latitude and how close to the coast does it track. Is the storm near Block Island or near Nantucket? If the storm tracks too far west we would introduce sleet and rain issues - if it's too far east the heaviest snow would miss us to the east (i.e. Boston and Cape Cod get clobbered while we get a lesser storm). This map shows all the different locations of the low from those 51 different European Ensemble members.

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Here's what we can say right now:

  • A major coastal storm/nor'easter is likely on Tuesday and Tuesday night
  • The most likely start time is Tuesday morning with the peak of the storm Tuesday afternoon and evening. Let's say 3 p.m.-midnight as a first approximation.
  • 1 to 2 feet of snow is a good possibility just northwest of where this storm tracks. Whether that is in eastern New York, eastern Massachusetts, or Connecticut it's too soon to say. 
  • A jog to the west of the storm that introduces precipitation type issues (sleet and rain) is still a possibility.
  • Blizzard conditions and strong or even damaging winds are possible with this storm.
  • By later tonight and tomorrow we can start throwing out some preliminary numbers. I have a feeling they'll be big. 

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<![CDATA[Friday Snow and a Bigger Tuesday Threat]]> Thu, 09 Mar 2017 19:46:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C6gjAEVWYAA_mXE.jpg

Snow will be flying across most of Connecticut Friday morning. The morning commute looks sloppy. We're not talking about a major storm but I am expecting some issues.

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The biggest question I have is how much dry air hanging out over western Massachusetts will sink south into far northern Connecticut? Will dry air eat up the snow in the lowest levels of the atmosphere in the Connecticut River Valley north of Hartford? This is definitely a possibility.

At this point a model blend/consensus indicates 2"-4" is a likely outcome in most locations with a bit more possible in a few spots near the shoreline and a bit less possible along the Massachusetts border. A few of our high resolution models have little, if any, accumulation near Windsor Locks and Enfield - this is a possibility if the dry air comes in a bit more impressive than currently modeled. 

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What is looking more interesting is the potential for a major nor'easter on Tuesday. Many of our computer models now show a substantial snowstorm - capable of double digit snowfall totals. In fact, the European Ensemble has more than 60% probabilities of over 6" of snow on Tuesday across Connecticut - that's a really, really big probability for a storm 5 days out! This storm could be a big deal so stay tuned!

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<![CDATA[Winter's Back With 2 Snow Threats]]> Thu, 09 Mar 2017 18:50:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Launch+Custom+Map+4.png

A blast of Arctic cold bookended by two storm chances - winter is definitely back! The first threat for snow is Friday and at this point I'm becoming more bullish about the snow potential and I think my accumulation forecast from this evening needs to be increased.

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This storm will feature a narrow band of heavy snow around daybreak Friday and the issue is going to be where exactly that narrow band sets up. There's a growing model consensus that a 20-30 mile wide band of up to 5" or 6" of snow is possible - but whether that's over Hartford or over New Jersey it is hard to say. The 18z GFS model has trended in a bullish direction with more than 0.5" of liquid (~5" of snow especially away from the coast where it is all snow) in the southern half of the state. 

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While this GFS model is one possible - and snowy - solution other models such as the 18z NAM are much less impressive with less than 2" of snow across the state. So where do we go from here? The probabilities on our European Ensembles of more than 1" and 3" of snow seem reasonable - and they show the best probabilities (a 30% chance) of over 3" of snow right over the southern half of Connecticut. 

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Putting this all together I think a solid argument can be made for statewide 2"-4" of snow with locally higher amounts. We'll wait for one more round of computer guidance before changing the numbers "officially". 

Snow may begin as a bit of right at the onset along the shoreline Thursday night and Friday morning before flipping over to snow. The snow should accumulate readily through daybreak and then gradually taper off. After mid-morning, even with flakes in the air, accumulation should be tough to accomplish on paved surfaces with warming temperatures and time to treat the roads. I do think that whoever gets under that heavy band could see an impressive 1-3 hour snowfall. This sounding off the NAM in Hartford reveals a classic signature for efficient snowflake growth with lift maximized at a temperature of -15C. Big, fluffy snowflakes. 

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After temperatures in the 20s Saturday and Sunday - extremely cold for the time of year- storm 2 approaches on Tuesday. The pattern appears favorable for a nor'easter and the midday European ensembles show a 40% of >3" of snow on Tuesday which is a very high probability at 6 days out! 

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A busy stretch of weather after a few weeks of early spring!

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<![CDATA[Snow and Sleet Begin to Move Out]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 21:57:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/snow+piles+up+in+Hartford.JPG

A blizzard warning is in effect for most of Connecticut, excluding the shoreline, as a nor'easter dumps snow across the state and officials continue to warn motorists to stay off the roads.

NBC Connecticut meteorologists are predicting anywhere from 18 inches to two feet of snow in the northwestern hills, a foot to 18 inches in central and southwestern Connecticut and 8 to 12 inches in southeastern Connecticut. The southeastern shoreline could see less, around 4 to 8 inches.

All schools are closed and businesses across the state ceased operations because of the storm.

Gov. Daniel Malloy declared a civil preparedness state of emergency, announced a statewide travel ban from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and asked all non-essential state employees to stay home. On Monday, he made the announcement that fire- and second-shift non-essential employees should stay home. On Tuesday afternoon, he added that third-shift non-essential employees should also stay home. 

"It is my expectation that we can be back to normal tomorrow, but we will keep you posted," Malloy said Tuesday afternoon.

Eversource has announced thousands of power outages

During a news conference Tuesday morning, Malloy said residents have been complying with the ban, which will allow state crews to get ahead of the snow and prevent cars from getting trapped on the highway.

"It's important that only essential travel be engaged in, so please continue to stay off the roads," Malloy urged. "We understand that there are some essential staff that must travel, like doctors, nurses and public safety personnel. But we remind everyone to take your time and be very careful. Let's make sure that if you are on the roads because your job requires it that you arrive safely." 

A blizzard warning for the shoreline was downgraded Tuesday morning as a wintry mix moved in to the area. 

To help doctors, nurses, emergency personnel and other essential employees who have to get to work, Putnam police are offering Humvee transportation.

From 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., state police have responded to 14 no-injury crashes, 34 motorist assists and 342 calls for service.   

From 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., state police have responded to 28 minor crashes, 86 motorist assists and hundreds of calls for service.   

"I think that's a demonstration of what happens when people stay off the roads and we're very thankful for that," Malloy said.  

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The heaviest of the snow will fall between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to NBC Connecticut meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan.

The Department of Transportation will have 634 plow trucks on the roads and another 250 private contract plow operators on standby through the storm, according to Malloy.

The governor warned that with heavy snow falling throughout the day, the plows might have trouble keeping up with the amounts until the snow begins to taper off later in the evening.

In the event of a power outage, Malloy urged residents to ensure that vents in the home are clear and warned against using grills indoors.

University of Hartford has canceled all day and evening classes for Tuesday, but said some professors might conduct classes online. The University of Connecticut announced all campuses would be closed and only essential employees were required to report to work. Many students already left campus for spring break.

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The state Department of Motor Vehicles has canceled all road skills tests through noon Wednesday. Written tests are also canceled on Tuesday.

Anyone with a license, registration or other document expiring on Tuesday will have through Wednesday to renew without incurring a late fee.

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In addition to heavy snow, strong winds will develop across the state as the storm passes south of Connecticut. Gusts could reach up to 40 to 50 miles per hour. Conditions will almost certainly make travel difficult at times Tuesday.

The storm will wind down Tuesday night across the state. 

Malloy also enacted the state severe cold weather protocol for frigid temperatures at the end of last week. On Monday, he announced the protocol is being extended through Thursday at 8 a.m.

Shelters and warming centers will be available across the state. For detailed information residents can call 211 or visit the website here.

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Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Cold Arrives But What About Snow?]]> Tue, 07 Mar 2017 19:59:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_t850a_conus_17.png

An exceptionally impressive blast of cold air will settle over southern New England for a second weekend in a row. Temperatures at 850mb (about 5,000 feet above the ground) are expected to drop below -20C which is near record levels for March. The record based on weather balloon launches at Chatham, MA dating back to 1948 is -23C!

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So yeah, it's going to be cold! The question is what about our snow threats. At this point it appears there are two distinct chances for snow - one on Friday and another on Tuesday. The earlier threat on Sunday appears to have disappeared with the storm track being shunted well south by this big blast of cold air. 

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It's worthless to try and pin down details or go through every individual model run because as one would expect there's a lot of spread and uncertainty in the suite of models at this time range. The best way to assess the likeliehood of snow is not by freaking out over each model run 4 times a day but rather use "ensemble forecasting" which ideally represents a spread of likely solutions for any given storm.

Take the European ensembles for example. The Euro Ensembles are basically the European computer model run at a somewhat degraded resolution with 51 small tweaks 51 different times. For the Friday storm about 4 out of 10 European ensemble members have over 1" of snow here in Connecticut. 

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This has been a relatively consisent signature over the last couple days. While a shift to the south could occur at this point I think at least some accumulation is a reasonable bet in a portion of the state. 

The more impressive storm potential is Tuesday of next week. At this point nearly 1 in 4 European ensemble members show more than a half foot of snow. This is a really strong signal for 7 days out and an indication that we'll need to watch this closely. 

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Where we go beyond Tuesday is anyone's guess. Will the cold pattern relax and our early spring resume? We'll see. At this point we're forecasting a return to near normal temperatures by St. Patrick's Day. 

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<![CDATA[Pockets of Freezing Drizzle Tonight, Rain Showers Tomorrow]]> Mon, 06 Mar 2017 17:54:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+Temp+CT_Rain1.png

Rain showers will overspread Connecticut late tonight and could start as a bit of freezing drizzle for the northern areas of the state.

Here's a look at future radar at 5 a.m. which shows a pocket of freezing rain in the northwest corner of the state. We're not anticipating this to be a big problem however it could make untreated walkways a bit slippery Tuesday morning.

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Temperatures will rise into the upper 30s and low 40s by Tuesday morning. Widespread rain showers are expected for the morning and afternoon hours.

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Springlike weather returns on Wednesday with partly cloudy and mild conditions. We're forecasting inland high temperatures to reach 60 degrees. High temperatures along the shoreline will rise into the upper 50s.

The weather turns a bit more interesting towards the end of the week and especially early next week. We have a few chances for some snow in the 'Exclusive 10 Day Forecast'. 

The first chance for snow heads our way on Friday. There is a slight chance that Connecticut could experience a light accumulation. 

Another round of snow is possible on Sunday and again on Tuesday.

Make sure to check back for update as the weather pattern becomes a little more active. Click here to download the NBC Connecticut app for weather updates and more.

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<![CDATA[Weather Pattern Turns Stormy]]> Mon, 06 Mar 2017 17:54:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gefs_t850a_conus_21.png

It seemed too good to be true for winter haters. Our remarkable stretch of 60s and 70s in the end of February has come to an end and now we may see on heck of a flip not just to a colder pattern but also to a snowier pattern.

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One thing that has been missing all winter has been the infamous "Greenland block" or a "-NAO". The negative North Atlantic Oscillation features anomalous warmth and high pressure over Greenland and forces a storm track south of New England and frequently is a precursor to east coast snowstorms. All of our computer models show this feature developing by the weekend and early next week.

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The first system we're watching is a weak clipper system on Friday which is by no means a certain snow-maker. The 51-member European Ensemble suite of computer models has a 30 to 40 percent chance of seeing more than an inch of snow Friday. One note of caution is that light snow in the afternoon during March can prevent snow from readily sticking to the pavement - that wouldn't be reflected in the 30 to 40 percent probability.

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What appears to be a more significant storm approaches on Sunday. There's a large amount of model spread right now that includes a Connecticut snowstorm on some of the enesemble members to a glancing blow on the GFS computer model to a complete whiff on the Euro. At this point all three are possible. What's not likely is a storm that cuts to the west and brings warm air in as the -NAO block should do its job and keep the storm south of us with the cold locked in as well.

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Whether or not any of these snow threats (including a third threat around Tuesday of next week) comes to fruition what does seem likely is another shot of very cold air over the weekend. Right now we're forecasting highs in the 20s for both Saturday and Sunday at Bradley Airport.

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<![CDATA[Warmer Temperatures Move in to Start Week]]> Sun, 05 Mar 2017 17:26:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/10_day_inland.png

After a bitterly cold weekend the mercury will move up to start the work week. 

Wind chills made temperatures feel like single digits or below zero in some places Saturday and the cold air stuck around Sunday morning as well. High temperatures Sunday rose into the middle 30s, though the wind chill continued to make temperature feel below freezing.

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The cold air quickly exits by Monday afternoon. We're expecting temperatures to go from the single digits Monday morning to the middle to upper 40s by the afternoon hours, paired with sunny skies.

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Tuesday welcomes temperatures in the 50s but also the possibility of showers later in the day. Wednesday continues the warming trend with temperatures reaching the high 50s.

For the detailed forecast click here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Wind Chill Values Expected to Be in Single Digits]]> Sat, 04 Mar 2017 13:24:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/WIND-CHILLS-3P.jpg

The NBC Connecticut meteorologists are forecasting wind chill values in the single digits above and below zero this weekend and the governor has activated severe weather protocol.

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The cold air sticks around for Sunday as well. Temperatures Sunday morning will be in the single digits statewide. High temperatures Sunday will rise into the middle 30s. 

The state severe weather protocol is in place from 5 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Sunday.

To find shelters and warming centers across Connecticut, call 211 or visit the website.

The cold air quickly exits by Monday afternoon. We're expecting temperatures to go from the single digits Monday morning to the middle to upper 40s by the afternoon hours.

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Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Snow Squalls Tomorrow Followed by an Arctic Blast]]> Thu, 02 Mar 2017 18:43:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Launch+10+Day+2.png

A cold front will move through the state tomorrow resulting in afternoon snow squalls and frigid temperatures this weekend. 

Snow squalls will arrive tomorrow afternoon ahead of the cold front. The squalls could put down a quick coating of snow and briefly decrease visibility.

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In addition to the snow squalls the winds will also be gusty. Wind gusts to 40 mph are possible.

A cold front will move through tomorrow evening resulting in a cold blast of air for this weekend. 

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If you're planning outdoor activities on Saturday make sure to bundle up. Wind chill values Saturday morning will be at or below zero for much of the state.

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High temperatures on Saturday will only rise into the upper 20s. Air temperatures Sunday morning will fall into the single digits for most of the state with a few locations falling below zero.

The good news is the cold air doesn't stick around for long. Temperatures quickly warm-up by Monday afternoon with high temperatures in the middle 40s throughout the state. 

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<![CDATA[First Alert: Strong Winds & Falling Temperatures]]> Wed, 01 Mar 2017 18:31:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Weather+Alerts+1+%281%29.png

NBC Connecticut Meteorologists have issued a First Alert for high winds throughout the day on Thursday.

A cold front will move through the state tonight. Behind the cold front are some cooler temperatures and strong winds. 

Winds will be sustained out of the northwest at 15 to 30 mph. Wind gusts to 50 mph are possible with the highest winds between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Here's a look at projected wind gusts for 10 a.m. on Thursday. 

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A high wind warning is in effect for the northern counties and a wind advisory is in effect for the southern counties.

A shift in the jet stream will allow for some much cooler air to move into the state for Friday and the weekend.

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Temperatures will fall throughout the day tomorrow with afternoon highs near 40. Temperatures Friday will be a bit cooler ranging from the middle to upper 30s inland and near 40 at the shore.

Saturday will be quite cold with high temperatures only reaching the middle to upper 20s inland and low 30s near the shore.

Temperatures by Sunday morning will fall into the single digits before rising in the middle to upper 30s by the afternoon.

The cold air won't stick around for long as mild air surges back into the state for next week. 

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<![CDATA[Weekend Cold]]> Wed, 01 Mar 2017 20:25:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gefs_t850a_5d_conus_231.png

The last couple weeks of spring couldn't last forever. An impressive blast of cold will move in for the weekend with temperatures struggling out of the 20s in most towns on Saturday. With some wind and after our recent stretch of warmth it's going to be a rude awakening!

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A big dip in the jet stream will allow the cold to sink south. You can see a sharp and somewhat impressive trough of low pressure over the northeastern U.S. 

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The real chill moves in Friday night as temperatures drop into the teens with strong winds. 

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While this surge of chill will seem impressive it's not going to last too long. A surge of milder than normal air lurks to the southwest of southern New England for Tuesday and Wednesday. 

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<![CDATA[Scattered Showers Through this Evening]]> Wed, 01 Mar 2017 17:45:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%284%293.png

Showers and thunderstorms moved through the state this morning. A few towns along the shoreline from New Haven to Stonington experienced heavy downpours and a decent amount of lightning.

Scattered rain showers and an isolated thunderstorm is possible as we head into the evening hours. The threat for severe weather has diminished as the majority of the severe weather will stay south of Connecticut.

A cold front will move through the state later this evening bringing in more seasonable air.

The cold front will also bring with it some strong winds. Wind gusts to 50 mph are possible throughout the day tomorrow which could lead to some isolated power outages. 

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<![CDATA[Convoluted Severe Weather Threat Wednesday]]> Tue, 28 Feb 2017 22:06:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/mgWeb_WRF_20170228-210000_ANE_ECONUS_F00243000_PwinterThickness_R4km.png

Right off the bat it seems important to say that the fact we're even discussing severe weather on February 28th is pretty wild. The setup is very very complex and very convoluted - this is a tough forecast!

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There's no question that there is an elevated severe weather threat tomorrow. We have a very unusual (for the time of year) combination of shear and instability. These are the two pieces that are necessary for severe thunderstorms to develop. These graphs off the short range ensembles (SREF) show very impressive shear and enough instability for some really intriguing storms - including supercells!

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But there are some big cavaets here. For one, it's unclear how the severe storms over the midwest and Great Lakes will evolve tonight. Secondly, there's not much of a trigger tomorrow afternoon and evening during the maximum shear/instability combo. What do I mean by that? The best forcing (i.e. cold front) is displaced well to the west. Just becayse we have a combination of shear and instability large enough for severe storms it doesn't necessarily mean storms will form but rather indicates that if storms form they have the potential to become severe.

Our in-house WRF model - the RPM - has been all over the place with where and when thunderstorms will develop. Other high resolution models (including the 3, 4, and 12km NAM) have been equally jumpy with location and timing of storm development. This adds to the uncertainty. 

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The bottom line is that there is most certainly a severe weather threat tomorrow - including damaging winds and tornadoes. That threat, however, is conditional on thunderstorms developing in the first place during the late afternoon and early evening. For now we'll leave the severe weather impact at low/medium. If it becomes clear storms will develop and be coincident with maximum instability and shear in the early evening then the numbers will need to be boosted. 

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<![CDATA[First Alert: Strong Thunderstorms on Wednesday]]> Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:51:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Launch+Custom+Map+22.png

NBC Connecticut meteorologists have issued a First Alert for strong thunderstorms forecasted on Wednesday.

An area of low pressure associated will track through the state on Wednesday. We're forecasting scattered rain showers with thunderstorms throughout the day followed by a cold front. Most of the thunderstorm activity will take place during the afternoon and evening hours.

Some thunderstorms could include damaging winds, frequent lightning, and heavy downpours. 

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The cold front moves through the state late Wednesday night and will be followed by cool and windy conditions throughout the day on Thursday. 

The cooler air sticks around for Friday and Saturday with high temperatures in the middle to upper 30s statewide. The average high temperature for this time of year is 41 degrees. 

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<![CDATA[Tornado Touches Down in Conway, Massachusetts]]> Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:44:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/conway10.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Winter Severe Thunderstorms]]> Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:31:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*123/COVER+PHOTO.jpg

Severe thunderstorms in the winter are rare in southern New England. Saturday night's EF-1 tornado in Goshen and Conway, MA ranks up there as one of the most unusual.  

The radar signature for the Goshen/Conway tornado was one of the more impressive signatures you'll see around here. The amount of rotation was well in excess of the typical thresholds we have for tornadic storms. Not surprisingly, the tornado was on the ground for 5 miles and peaked in strength in the town of Conway (one town north of where my mom grew up, incidentally) with winds of 110 mph. To see something like this in June would be impressive - to do it in February is unheard of. Or is it?

Looking back through the weather archives there are several storms that have produced exceptionally unusual weather in the cold season. The first one I stumbled across I thought was a mistake - an F2 tornado on Martha's Vineyard on December 18, 1951. I was sure it was an error in the database but it wasn't. The description in a 1951 climate report sure makes it sound like a tornado. 

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On December 18, 1951 snow fell from Washington, D.C. north to New England. A warm front appeared to be draped along the coast and south of the warm front temperatures made it into the 50s (I see a high temperature of 52F at the Edgartown, MA coop station). Apparently this warm sector was unstable enough to produce a significant tornado. 

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While the 1951 December tornado on the Vineyard may have been the oddest winter severe weather event there have been others in the cold season of note. The March 29, 1984 nor'easter produced heavy snow, violent winds, and coastal flooding. In Southborough, MA a strange "downburst", as it was described flattened several acres of trees.

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While this may have been more related to a gravity wave allowing powerful wind just off the surface to mix down to the ground (Blue Hill Observatory had a 108 mph wind gust about 600 feet above sea level) there may have been some convective element to this as well. Bizarre.

The Thanksgiving 2005 tornadoes in Maine on the warm side of a warm front occurred while areas just inland were getting snow (including Portland). Several homes were swept off their foundations.

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Of course there was also last February's widespread damaging wind event from powerful thunderstorms during the overnight hours. That produced winds in excess of 60 mph and knocked out power to tens of thousands across the state.

While severe weather in the winter is unusual it's not completely unprecedented. As our climate continues to warm, and more atypical weather patterns develop over the northeast, it wouldn't surprise me if our "severe weather" season becomes more year-round but history shows us even over the past several decades there are cases of severe storms in the cold months over New England. 

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<![CDATA[Rare Winter Tornado Rips Through Western Massachusetts]]> Sun, 26 Feb 2017 19:32:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*160/annefarrell.PNG

A violent thunderstorm tore through western Massachusetts around 7 p.m. last night spawning a tornado in the towns or Conway and Goshen just to the west of Northampton and Deerfield.

The tornado has been given a rating of EF1 with winds up to 110 mph according to the National Weather Service.

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The radar imagery was extremely impressive when the storm was over the Berkshire foothills. This radar grab from 7:10 p.m. shows very strong rotation about 4,500 feet above the ground - about 100 knots of gate-to-gate shear. This is well beyond typical thresholds for tornadoes in southern New England (the median value for New England tornadoes is closer to 50 knots). 

The environment in Massachusetts did not appear particularly favorable for severe weather. While there was very strong low level shear there was limited instability. In fact, nearby soundings off our high resolution computer models showed <100 j/kg of CAPE which is very meager. That said, it is possible the actual environment was more favorable than our computer models indicated. 

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Farther west, in Pennsylvania where severe weather yesterday was more widespread, values of CAPE were between 500 j/kg and 1,000 j/kg. In fact, a tornado was confirmed in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania near Wilkes-Barre along with golf ball size hail. 

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This is the first tornado ever recorded in February in Massachusetts. What is so bizarre is that this severe weather event occured exactly one year after the epic overnight severe weather event in February that was so incredibly unusual. Look out on February 25, 2018 - we have quite the unlucky streak going here.

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<![CDATA[Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued for Part of State Saturday]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 16:12:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/THUNDERSTORMS-FUTURE-RADAR.jpg

Some thunderstorms will move through the state Saturday night and a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for Litchfield County.

The NBC Connecticut meteorologists said some areas could see gusty winds and heavy rain. A severe thunderstorm watch was issued until 9 p.m. for Litchfield County.

Saturday will be cloudy and humid with highs in the low 60s inland and upper 50s along the shoreline. A line of showers will move into the western part of the state between 6 and 7 p.m. and last until between 9 to 10 p.m. as they move from west to east.

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After the storms come a drop in temperature, with lows in the 30s. Sunday will be much cooler, with highs in the low to middle 40s.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Experts: Warm February Doesn't Guarantee a Sweaty Summer]]> Sun, 26 Feb 2017 08:38:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-644351372-weather.jpg

This week's warmer weather has been picnic-perfect across much of the East Coast, the Midwest and the South.

But, experts point out, an unseasonably temperate February does not necessarily lead to an exceptionally smoldering summer.

“There’s no strong statistical link between a warm February and what the summer will be like,” said Jon Nese, associate head of Pennsylvania State University’s undergraduate program in meteorology and host of the school's "Weather World" broadcast.

The U.S. has seen 3,146 record high temperatures in February as of Thursday, according to nonprofit climate news organization Climate Central. With only 27 record lows, that makes it the “most lopsided monthly ratio” in recorded history, the site said.

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American cities that are typically snow-dusted in mid-February felt mild on Thursday and Friday. The sun is shining and spring has seemingly arrived early in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York. In Boston, thermometers recorded 71 degrees Friday, making it the city's warmest documented February day ever. 

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Chicago hit the upper 60s for most of this week, and residents played volleyball on North Avenue Beach Wednesday. The Windy City doesn’t usually warm up this much until mid-May, according to WGN’s weather blog.

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But there's a good reason for all the nice weather: storms on the west coast, not a larger trend, according to Nese and other meteorologists.

“You do not want to draw a line between the unusual warmth that we’re seeing this week and climate change. Instead, you need to take a much broader look at trends over a period of years and decades,” Nese said.

The south also got some heat. Dallas and Houston enjoyed steamy temperatures in the 80s, and Austin and San Antonio were a smoldering 90 degrees long before university kids head to nearby beaches for spring break.

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth meteorologist Brian James crunched the numbers on what a warm winter means when summer comes around — plenty of people have been asking him if "we'll be baking our butts off in the summer," he said.

Turns out there's not much of a correlation at all.

This is North Texas's warmest average winter so far. But the next warmest winter only led to the area's 14th warmest summer, back in 1999-2000, James found. The third warmest winter was 100 years ago, and that turned into the 86th warmest summer on record.

"You don't even correlate a top eight, or even a top 10 for that matter," James said.

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Thomas E. Downs, a meteorologist for WeatherBELL Analytics, said that drawing correlations between seasonal weather patterns can prove misleading.

Winter weather is mostly influenced by El Niño and La Niña cycles in the Pacific Ocean that cause movements in the jet stream, he said, whereas high pressure and warm, calm winds are more of a factor in summertime.

This temperate spell on the East Coast has been a product of an extreme storm that’s now bombarding the West, not evidence of global warming, he explained. 

“This is really just a sign of one storm,” Downs said.

In the past few years, people have mistakenly associated radical but temporary temperature shifts with climate change. Those have instead been due to dramatic El Niño and La Niña cycles, Downs added, while climate change tracks persisting trends over longer chunks of time. These small but significant alterations are much subtler and more difficult to perceive and conceptualize.

“In the short-term, it’s hard for people to relate to things that happen over the course of their lifetimes,” Downs said.

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Meteorologists sometimes use analogue forecasts, which compare current weather to similar situations in the past, to predict future months. Nese said that “sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t,” and he and his colleagues have other tools in their toolkit.

That’s not to say that it won’t be hot in a few months — WeatherBELL is predicting an early warm summer that may taper into cooler days after July. But that depends on El Niño, not the storm passing through this week.

Neverthelss, given recent events, it may be time to fire furry favorite Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog that predicted another six weeks of winter earlier this month. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center forecasts above-average temperatures for the bottom of half of the Lower 48 through March.

Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Don't Get Used to the Record Warmth]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:40:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Custom+List+6+%282%291.png

Today was the second warmest February day on record for inland Connecticut. Absolutely remarkable warmth today! The question so many are asking is whether or not we're done with winter. 

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Today's warmth is being driven by an unusually powerful "Bermuda High" type pattern - pumping unseasonable warmth to the north. Full sunshine managed allowed temperatures to soar across the state - and even the shoreline managed to see temperatures around or just over 60F. With an onshore wind and water temperatures in the 30s this is a real testament to how anomalous the airmass was.

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But - don't be fooled. The calendar is still in February and the long range computer model projections do not look particularly warm beyond day 7. Is it possible we won't get another inch of snow? Sure, but I wouldn't count on it.

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Both the GFS and European computer models show a virtual flip to the jet stream pattern over North America. The persistent trough over the western U.S. responsible for the record snow and rain in California will be replaced by a ridge of high pressure. That teleconnects to a trough over the eastern half of the U.S. which will allow some Canadian cold to move south into New England. While the pattern doesn't look particularly cold - even a seasonable pattern is cold enough to produce snow in early March. 

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With cold air nearby and a relatively active storm track some of our computer models are starting to show a few snow threats starting Friday of next week and lasting through March 10 or so. While we can't lock any of these in just yet I wouldn't put the shovels away for good.

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<![CDATA[Record Breaking Warmth Today]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:33:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Current+Temp+CT.png

Temperatures have surged into the upper 60s and low 70s through areas of inland Connecticut.

The high temperature record for inland Connecticut stands at 73 degrees which was set in 1985. Records for interior Connecticut are recorded at Bradley International Airport. 

Temperatures are also mild along the shoreline where records have already been broken. A record high temperature of 61 degrees was recorded just prior to noon. The official records for the shoreline are recorded in Bridgeport. 

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Warm weather is forecasted again for tomorrow with high temperatures in the upper 50s at the shore and low to middle 60s inland. 

The unseasonably warm weather will come to an end tomorrow evening as a cold front moves through the area. The front will bring with it rain showers with scattered thunderstorms.

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<![CDATA[Warm for Some, Cool and Dreary for Others]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:22:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/CODNEXLAB-1km-LongIsland-vis-ani24-201702231845-100-100-raw.gif

If you love warm weather, living along the shoreline can be frustrating in the end of winter and beginning of spring. The reason? Long Island Sound's cold water. 

Today the mercury climbed to 65F at Bradley Airport - just shy of the daily record of 68F set back in 1990. Along the shoreline temperatures were stuck in the 40s for the better part of the day with a southerly wind blowing right in off the Sound.

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Cooler temperatures are fine when the sun is out but today was grey and foggy at the beaches. Warmer air blowing over the cold Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean resulted in a persistent but shallow layer of stratus clouds that got about as far north as Wallingford and Middletown.

This is known as "advection fog" and it isn't terribly unusual for coastal Connecticut. Several warm and sunny spring days are ruined every year around New Haven as this fog rolls in. Another way to look at this is through the atmospheric temperature profile. 

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This sounding from New Haven at 8 a.m. this morning shows how temperatures change with height. About 1,500 feet above the ground temperatures were in the mid-50s while temperatures near the surface were in the mid-40s. This temperature inversion allows low clouds and moisture to be trapped and can result in clouds and thick fog like we had today. Across inland Connecticut the inversion was mixed out resulting in almost complete sunshine and warm temperatures.

Today's cooler temperature and fog along the Sound was actually well forecast. Our computer models have improved immensely over the years and generally do a good job sniffing out foggy days like this. If you're in New Haven or Branford or Old Saybrook and want some sunshine - drive north for about 15 miles and you'll have plenty of it.

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<![CDATA[Near Record Breaking Warmth for Parts of Connecticut]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:35:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Temp+CT+PM.png

Spring-like weather has arrived for most of the state. Temperatures will approach record breaking highs by this afternoon. 

We're forecasting a high temperature of 64 degrees for inland Connecticut. The inland high temperature record for today is 68 degrees, which was set back in 1990.

Records for inland Connecticut are kept at Bradley International Airport, weather statistics have been recorded in the Hartord area since 1905.  

Cloud cover along the shoreline will keep temperatures a bit cooler today. We're forecasting highs in the low 50s tomorrow along the shoreline. Areas that don't experience as much cloud cover will see temperatures rise into the upper 50s.

The high temperature record for the shoreline is 60 degrees which was set in 2012. Records for the shoreline are recorded at Sikorsky Memorial Airport.

Here's a look at our high temperature forecast for today.

The warm weather continues into Friday and Saturday prior to a cold front moving through the state Saturday night.

Here's a look at the 'Exclusive 10 Day Forecast' for inland Connecticut which shows a prolonged period of mild weather:

Here's a look at the 'Exclusive 10 Day Forecast' for the shoreline:

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<![CDATA[Weather's Impact on Connecticut's Worst Air Disaster ]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 16:53:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/190*120/hvn.jpg

Just short of runway two at Tweed-New Haven Airport, Connecticut's worst aviation disaster occurred on June 7, 1971. Allegheny Airlines Flight 485 crashed into a row of East Haven beach cottages on final approach to Tweed, killing 28 people in a horrifying fireball.

Wednesday morning's plane crash was only a few hundred feet north of where Allegheny Airlines Flight 485 crashed. However, this most recent crash was likely not related to weather.

Visibility at 10 a.m. today was more than 10 miles, wind was light out of the southwest and the ceiling, or cloud base, was 7,500 feet above the ground.

The Allegheny disaster in East Haven more than 40 years ago was blamed on pilot error but weather played a large role in the accident. Fog and very low cloud ceilings obstructed visibility across the Connecticut shoreline on the morning of June 7, 1971, according to the National Transportation Safety Board report.

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The conversation recorded by a cockpit voice recorder between Captain David Eastridge and First Officer James Walker indicated the extremely limited visibility on final approach for the flight that had left Trumbull Airport in Groton on its way to Tweed-New Haven Airport, just before impact. 

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Three people survived the crash, but 28 passengers and crew members died.

According to the NTSB report, the deaths were due to asphyixiation or burns after the initial impact. The report concluded the probable cause of the accident was, "the captain's intentional descent below the prescribed minimum descent under adverse weather conditions, without adequate forward visibility or the crew's sighting of the runway environment."

Photo Credit: New Haven Register
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<![CDATA[Ski Report: Despite Warmer Temps, Snow Still Enjoyable]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:01:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Ski-Sundown1.jpg

The snow may have melted from Connecticut backyards, but there's still plenty on the slopes.

"We do not depend on Mother Nature," explains Jarrod Moss, who is part of the mountain operations at Ski Sundown in New Hartford. "Two feet of snow a couple weeks ago is a great shot in the arm and it's making conditions fantastic. The fact is there's a snow making base out there that was laid in place long before that ever happened and the base depths are deep."

It's about 5 to 10 feet deep.

While temperatures will sky rocket into the 60s later this week, the snow pack covering the 65 acres of Sundown insulates itself-- meaning it's not going anywhere, anytime soon.

"If you come out in the morning, you're going to find good, firm, edgeable snow," Moss said. "Just like you would any day of the year and then you're greeted with an afternoon or pleasure and bliss as far as I'm concerned." 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>