<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Connecticut Weather News and Coverage]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/weather/stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usSun, 04 Dec 2016 09:25:53 -0500Sun, 04 Dec 2016 09:25:53 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Today's Forecast]]> http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/first+alert_weather+1200.jpg

Today: Mostly sunny, less wind. Chilly. High: 41.

Tonight:  Becoming cloudy, light snow (mixed with rain at the shore) arrives between 4 and 6 AM.  Some light accumulation (generally under a 1/2") is possible for the Monday morning commute. Lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Monday: Any light snow changes to light rain and drizzle and ends.   High: 42.

Tuesday: Increasing clouds, chance of a light wintry mix developing at night. High: 40.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with an early wintry mix changing to rain and ending. High: 42 (mildest at the shore).

Thursday: Partly cloudy early, then increasing clouds.  Chance of rain or snow showers developing at night. High: 38.

Friday: Morning rain or snow shower, beccoming partly cloudy and windy (and cold). High: 36.

Saturday: Partly cloudy windy and cold. High: 34.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High: 38.

Monday:  Mostly cloudy, chance of snow or rain.  High: 35.


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<![CDATA[Get Closing Alerts]]> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 15:23:20 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/closing+central+first+alert.jpg
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<![CDATA[Download the NBC Connecticut Weather App]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:38:29 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NBCCTWEATHERAPP043013.jpg


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<![CDATA[Light Snow Expected During Monday's Morning Commute]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 08:25:26 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Forecast+Snow+Total+Dec+5.png

Snow is expected to make for a messy morning commute on Monday as the workweek begins. The NBC Connecticut First Alert team of meteorologists is issuing a First Alert for Monday morning.

The snow is expected to start falling between 4 and 6 a.m. The snow is expected to fall statewide. It will fall in the form of light snow that will quickly turn to rain by midday.

A quick change to rain will happen at the shore but a light accumulation coating of between 1 and 2 inches is possible in the rest of the state.  A slushy accumulation is possible along the shore.

The evening commute will feature clearing skies.

There is the chance for another possible light wintry mix on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.

Here's a look at your forecast for the next several days:

Today, the high pressure area will build over New England providing mostly sunny skies but colder temperatures. Afternoon highs will only rise into the mid 30s to low 40s while northerly winds blow 5 to 15 mph.

The high will move east of our region Sunday night. Clouds will be on the increase while temperatures fall back into the 20s and low 30s.

By Monday morning, an upper level disturbance will aid in bringing a chance of snow to our region. Afternoon temperatures will rebound into the mid 30s to low 40s, changing any snow to the chance for rain.

High pressure returns to New England Monday night and Tuesday providing dry conditions. Lows Monday night will average in the 20s, while highs on Tuesday top out in the mid 30s to low 40s.

Looking ahead, low pressure moving off the mid Atlantic coast may wrap some mixed light rain and snow across Southern New England late Tuesday night into Wednesday night, though timing and track remain uncertain. An arctic front crosses the region late next week resulting in colder temperatures arriving next weekend.

<![CDATA[Turning Chilly by Sunday]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 18:24:03 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Temp+CT+%282%29.png

High pressure will build in this weekend, providing dry weather but cooler air.

A mix of sunshine and clouds is expected Saturday, and it will be breezy.

Highs will be in the middle 40s.

By Sunday, more sunshine is expected. However, highs will only be in the lower 40s.

Monday looks dry before a storm approaches later Tuesday.

High pressure will initially be in a prime spot to lock cold air in place at the surface.

That means some wintry mix is anticipated a the onset of the precipitation later Tuesday, lasting into Wednesday.

Eventually, the wintry mix will go over to all rain.

Late next week, much colder air arrives – it could even be below average for a time.

<![CDATA[Signs of Winter]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:55:12 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gefs_t850a_5d_noram_55.png

Today marks the beginning of meteorological winter. November wasn't particularly warm - but it was above average with Bradley Airport coming in 1.4 degrees above normal and (of course) 0.83" below normal in terms of precipitation. That is a bit misleading, however, as most of the state received substantially more rain than BDL.

Looking forward things get a bit more interesting for those of us who like the threat for wintry weather. The 8-14 day temperature outlook from the National Weather Service got a lot of attention yesterday as it shows almost the entire country (including Alaska) below normal for the second week of December. 

The reason for the cold is that the weather pattern across the Northern Hemisphere is going to go through a major change. Both the GFS and European models develop an anomalous ridge over Alaska and eastern Russia that pokes up toward the North Pole. This should send a sizable chunk of Arctic air south into North America with a "cross polar flow".

Of course what we really care about is what happens in our backyard in Connecticut - and at this time range it's impossible to start talking specifics. That said, it's a pretty good bet that we'll be dealing with a stretch of colder than normal winter weather before long with the coldest air across central and western North America. Whether we can get a favorable storm track for snow remains to be seen. 

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<![CDATA[Round 2 of Rain is Here]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:22:23 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cyh5CIWWEAAXkOp.jpg

Yesterday's rain was awesome. A much needed and steady soaking that dropped anywhere between 2/3" and 2 1/2" of rain across Connecticut. As expected the heaviest rain set up just inland from Long Island Sound where a narrow band of rain around or just over 2 inches occured. 

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The setup for today's rain isn't too dissimilar from yesterday. An upper level disturbance swinging around a large cut-off low to our west will force a surface low to develop near Southern New England. A strong low level jet will transport moisture north and promote strong long level convergence (resulting in rising air) across Connecticut.

Our models show an additional inch of rainfall is very likely - with pockets of up to 2 inches possible in some locations. This plume diagram of the NCAR ensembles (which I am a huge fan of) shows a range of possible rainfall totals for Windsor Locks - 1.5" of rain for the mean isn't bad!

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It appears that the rain will come in two waves. The first wave will be this afternoon and evening with a warm front over Long Island Sound and a surge in the aforementioned Low Level Jet. This should be a soaking for the evening commute in some areas. You can see the enhanced reflectivity/precip rates on the HRRR model just north of that front valid at 5 p.m. today.

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The second batch of rain scoots through after midnight - and before dawn - as a cold front swings in from the west. Behind this - drier air and better weather moves in for Thursday.

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<![CDATA[Another Inch of Rain Possible Wednesday]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 16:34:05 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2820%29.png

A hefty soaking of one to three inches of rain will fall across Connecticut through late Wednesday.

On Tuesday, many areas saw close to one inch of rain.

The rain will pick back up again Wednesday afternoon.

By Thursday morning, rain totals overall will be between one and three inches of rain – and it's badly needed.

While this rain will help reservoir levels, it won't end the drought or completely erase that state's water problems.

Temperatures will be in the 50s on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

A glance at the weekend shows a blend of clouds and sunshine with highs in the middle 40s.

Another chance for substantial rain comes next week, on Thursday.

<![CDATA[Much Needed Tuesday Rain]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 20:08:43 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/radarmorning112916.jpg

Evening Update: The rain is pretty much done across the state and now we wait for round 2 to move into Connecticut tomorrow. The rain pretty much met our expectations with a band of heavier totals near the Connecticut shoreline (most of our high resolution models have been showing this) and slightly less rain around and northeast of Hartford. Here's some selected rainfall totals from our automated stations as of 8 p.m. across Connecticut.

  • Bridgeport - 1.69"
  • Groton - 1.65" 
  • New Haven - 1.21"
  • Windsor Locks - 1.11"
  • Meriden - 1.08"
  • Danbury - 1.07" 
  • Willimantic - 0.92"
  • Hartford - 0.65"

Our next rain event is already taking shape in the Deep South with a severe weather and tornado outbreak across portions of Mississippi. Most models show 0.5"-1.0" tomorrow across Connecticut - it will come in waves (won't rain the whole time) and it could be locally heavy. Our Short Range Ensemble Forecast shows about an additional 3/4" of rain at Bradley Airport which seems reasonable.

More rain - let's fill up those reservoirs! 

Afternoon Update: Let me geek out for a second about the warm front that's moving through the Hartford area right now. There's a very, very shallow wedge of cold air stuck in the Connecticut River Valley north of Hartford. This is nothing unusual and it happens almost all the time we get a storm like this in the cold season. Warmer air is surging north and causing this shallow wedge of cold to mix out - and the temperature jump behind the warm front is substantial. These are mesonet obs across the Hartford area and you can see the difference. It's currently 55F at Brainard Airport but only 44F downtown. Along Rt 44 in the North End it's only 42F! In West Hartford and Newington the difference is dramatic as the temperature goes from 55F in Newington Center to 45F in Elmwood up Rt 173. Always cool to see these really small-scale features evolve. One other update is the back edge of the rain is moving in a bit earlier than forecast - the heavy rain will likely end from west to east across the state between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. This may limit totals a bit in some areas though a widespread 1"+ is still expected. I'm no longer expecting a band of >2" of rain.

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Midday Update: So far the rain has been light to moderate across the state though it is expected to increase in intensity this afternoon. The latest High Resolution Rapid Refresh model or HRRR brings in pockets of very heavy rain (hourly totals of 0.3" to 0.5") right during the evening commute between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Our current forecast of 1"-2" of rain with localized amounts of 2"-3" seems on track. One trend we've also noticed is that tomorrow's rain may wind up less impressive - but still beneficial. More on that soon.

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Morning Update: No change to our morning computer guidance with respect to today's rain. Our high resolution computer models continue to highlight southern Connecticut as the area most susceptible to the heaviest rain (>2") today.

What's amazing is the amount of agreement there is between our high-resolution computer models. The SUNY Stony Brook WRF, the 4km NMM & ARW, and the NCAR WRF Ensemble all show that band of 2" just inland from Long Island Sound across the southern half of the state.

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What is the cause of this? Like I discussed yesterday the biggest forcing mechanism for today's rain will be low level convergence at the nose of a powerful low level jet a few thousand feet above our heads. Additionally, low level frictional convergence in the Boundary Layer (strong winds over the ocean and Sound decelerate over land) will aid in this low level forcing coupled with a warm front that sets up right over the coastal plain. This is a classic setup for heavy rain in Connecticut. 

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Putting it all together we're still on track for 1"-2" of rain with the rain picking up across the state through the day. There will be a narrow band of heavier rain (2"-3") - which appears most likely to happen in the southern half of the state. The HRRR time lagged ensemble shows good probabilities of over an inch of rain in 6 hours statewide.

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Even with all this rain - flooding is unlikely given the very low river levels and streamflows. While the rain will be heavy this is all good news for the state due to our ongoing drought.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Heavy Rain Tuesday Afternoon]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:15:27 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2819%29.png

Two batches of rain will move through Connecticut between Tuesday and Thursday.

Some light rain is possble Tuesday morning, but it won't be until the afternoon that the heaviest falls.

A lull is expected Wednesday morning, when it will be dry with temperatures in the 50s.

By Wednesday afternoon, the rain moves back in and falls hard Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Rain totals will be between one and three inches of rain – and it's badly needed.

While this rain will help reservoir levels, it won't end the drought or completely erase that state's water problems.

<![CDATA[On Ryan's Radar: A Soaker This Week!]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 13:58:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_tprecip_boston_20.png

Is anyone else as excited as I am for some heavy rain!? This has all the makings of a soaker here in Connecticut. The GFS model (pictured above) is most impressive with over 4" of rain in spots! The European model (not shown) shows 1"-3" across the state - not quite as wet as the GFS but still quite a bit of water.

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Two bursts of heavy rain - one tomorrow and another Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night - will be very, very welcome across our dry state. So why are we looking at all this rain? We have two upper level disturbances that will swing through and each force a response with developing low pressure near southern New England.

One way to visualize this is to look at what we call the low level jet (LLJ) which is approximately 5,000 feet above our heads tomorrow. While the winds will be quite light here on earth just a few thousand feet up with wind will be whipping over hurricane force! The nose of that LLJ will tickle the coast of southern New England putting Connecticut in a favorable area for heavy rain. Think of it like this - strong winds blowing 60-80 mph are forced to rapidly decelerate over New England (to 30 or 40 mph). That forces air to converge and pile up forcing the air to rise. This convergent signature is a great signal for heavy rain.

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So how much rain are we looking at? A fair forecast is 1"-3" of rain coming in two waves - one tomorrow and another later Wednesday. It's possible that some areas could receive 4" or 5" of rain where thunderstorms or banding develops. The 1"-3" range fits in well with the spread shown on the SREF models. This plume diagram shows the 21 members of the Short Range Ensembles for Hartford with most in that 1"-3" camp.

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This is pretty much all good news with 1-hour flash flood guidance (how much rain needs to fall to produce flash flooding) values of around 2" across the state and 6-hour values between 2.5" and 3.0". We should generally be below these thresholds.

In case you're wondering how much rain we need to extricate ourselves from this drought? The National Weather Service estimates we'd be eliminated from any drought outlook if we picked up somewhere between 6" and 12" of rain. While we don't need it all at once we'll take what we can get!

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<![CDATA[Thick Morning Frost: What's Behind It?]]> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:29:32 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/Photo+Nov+28+8+33+17+AM.jpg

One sign that winter is approaching is thick morning frost.

Frost is simply the result of saturated air.

First Alert meteorologists always emphasize that dew point is important.

In the summer, dew point reaches its highest levels of the year, and that's when people can feel moisture in the air.

But dew point is also a direct measure of the amount of moisture in the air, year-round.

At night, with a clear view of the stars, energy escapes from earth and the temperature falls.


Often times, dew point doesn't change that much while the temperatures is plummeting at night.

Since the temperature cannot fall below the dew point, water vapor in the air condenses out into liquid when the two meet.

This time of year, that occurs frequently when the air is below freezing.

Thus, instead of liquid dew, frost forms on exposed surfaces. The water vapor in the air goes directly into the solid phase, which is called deposition.

Many things can disrupt the process that leads to frost, including wind, clouds and a changing dew point.

Photo Credit: Ben Dobson
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<![CDATA[Much Needed Soaking Rain on the Way]]> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 11:37:41 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/wpc_total_precip_neng_18.png

Finally - a solid chance at a heavy rainstorm across most of the state. We've needed this for a while! This won't end the drought but it may very well put a dent in it. The WPC forecast has a bullseye of 3" over parts of Connecticut - that would be sweet!

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The weather setup remains the same as it has looked for the last few days of computer model runs. A giant cut-off low over Minnesota with different spokes of energy rotating around the low. We get two such spokes to deal with - one on Tuesday and another later Wednesday into Thursday. 

Initially I was concerned about a bit of icing at the onset on Tuesday but that seems like it will be a very minor deal. Can't rule it out but I'm not expecting any major issues.

How much rain we get still is a bit of an open question. Odds are very, very high of more than an inch or rain across the state. The European Ensemble is not as bullish with excessive 2"+ rainfall amounts (in fact has a <10% chance of seeing that in the Hartford area) but the GFS ensembles are.

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The difference between the European and GFS solutions appears to be with whether or not a secondary low develops near the coast and how far north the warm front/triple point gets. Still a lot of time to work out the details but at this point it's fair to say 1"-2" of rain is a very good bet across the state with a lower risk for 2"+. It should all wind down around midday Thursday. 

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<![CDATA[A Rainy Storm - Finally!]]> Fri, 25 Nov 2016 21:33:22 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*123/ecmwf_apcp_f144_ne.png

With our ongoing drought it's easy to get excited about a rainstorm. A two-part rain event is on its way to the state with decent odds of more than an inch of rain. Here's the setup for next week. There will be a big upper level low cut off from the jet stream over the upper Midwest that will dominate the lower 48's weather.

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Two disturbances spinning around the larger low in Minnesota (think of spokes in a bicycle tire) will bring us rain. The first one is on Tuesday. The upper level energy moves over the northeast and forces surface low to form nearby. The same thing will happen on Wednesday and Thursday as that piece of energy over Arizona and New Mexico ejects northeast toward us.

So what does it mean? Our medium range computer models are in pretty good agreement for two rounds of rain. The GFS ensembles show the 2-part rain event with most of the 21 members printing out between 1" and 3" by the time it all winds down. The European Ensemble shows odds of >1" of rain in the 2nd part of the storm Wednesday/Thursday of about 1 in 3 - good odds!

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These two rounds of rain won't be blockbusters but they'll do a bit to help the ongoing drought. Every little bit helps before the winter snow comes. With such dry conditions right now no flooding is anticipated besides the typical leaf-clogged storm drain or low-lying railroad underpass.

As I mentioned yesterday, the onset of the rain on Tuesday could be a bit icy in some of the hilltowns with a bit of lingering low level cold, but at this point it doesn't seem like a huge deal. Additionally, depending on the track and eventual strength of this storm there is the potential for strong gusty winds but at this point the confidence in that is quite low. 

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<![CDATA[Dry Weekend Ahead]]> Fri, 25 Nov 2016 16:45:05 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT%281%293.png

High pressure will build in this weekend and make for dry weather.

High temperatures will be near 50 Saturday, then slightly cooler, in the 40s comes Sunday.

One minor exception to the dry weather comes Saturday as an area of low pressure forms offshore – it could bring a shower to southeastern Connecticut.

Monday will be the nicest day of the next seven, at least for outdoor activities.

Complete sunshine is anticipated, with temperatures in the middle 40s.

Several storm systems bring a substantial chance for rain by the middle of next week.

Rain begins Tuesday, likely in the morning, and doesn't completely exit the region until Thursday morning.

Freezing rain is possible at the onset of the precipitation Tuesday, given that temperatures will start out in the 20s.

This rain would be great news for the drought situation across the state, as the rainfall deficit is now up near 20 inches.

<![CDATA[On Ryan's Radar: Midweek Storm?]]> Thu, 24 Nov 2016 23:14:57 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/GFSNE_prec_prec_162.png

Happy Thanksgiving! It's a quiet night in the weather office after a rainy evening and an amazing Thanksgiving feast at my coworkers Kate Rayner's house. As I fight off the tryptophan and try to stay awake the forecast next week appears to be getting more and more interesting.

There's good model agreement that there will be a sizable storm next week. The specifics are very much up in the air. Tuesday is a good example of the model discrepancy. The GFS computer model keeps Tuesday dry with a storm cutting to our west - with most of the lift and moisture well west. The European model, on the other hand, brings in a good slug of lift and moisture with a warm front holding south of New England. 

The European model solution is a bit interesting as it does keep a relatively cold and dry high pressure anchored to our north over Quebec which could support a period of mixed precipitation. In fact, temperatures near the ground are right around 32 degrees on the European model which makes sense given the location and strength of the high to the north.

Could this turn more wintry? Possibly but not much more. The atmosphere out ahead of this system is awfully mild - there's not much Arctic air around. The European ensembles (a version of the European model run 51 different times to produce a reasonable spread of possible solutions) shows a 10-20 percent chance of >1" of snow - with the highest odds in Litchfield County This seems reasonable to me.

In order for this to turn into a period of ice and snow a few things need to happen. The evolution has to be closer to the ECMWF than the GFS - the storm needs to make it in here on Tuesday! The second requirement is that the high pressure to the north needs to trend stronger and colder. This can happen and is why I'll be watching it closely. I'd say there's about a 1 in 4 shot of some wintry weather on Tuesday especially in the hills. 

Regardless of what happens Tuesday - this storm has the potential to produce heavy rain which is something we desparately need. The 18z GFS has nearly 4" of rain in Hartford!!!! This is likely quite overdone but many of the GFS ensemble members show between 1" and 3" across the state which is a good signal for a storm 5 days out. 

Let's hope for rain and I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving!

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<![CDATA[Drought Causing Wells to Run Dry in Connecticut]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 13:36:21 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dry+wells+connecticut_1200.jpg

Imagine going 113 days without running water in your home. That’s been life for Laura Halloran, of Morris, and her two daughters. Their well ran dry on July 27, leaving them without water.

"Every day since then has been so stressful,” Halloran said.

For more than 3 months, the only water Laura and her family have been able to use come from 55 gallon drums outside of their home, where their once full well, ran out.

“You're constantly wondering how much water is left in that barrel,” says Halloran. “And trying to figure out what meals you can cook without using too much water. And I will be glad not to carry buckets anymore."

After months of hoping for rain and hauling water into their home, the Halloran’s decided to replace their 60 year old, 22ft. deep shallow well.

"The well we have now is 360 ft. deep it's a drilled well,” said Larry Grela, president of Grela Well Drilling. “And the waters coming out of bed rock which will be more stable."

"They struck water and I couldn't have been any happier if they hit oil,” Halloran said.

"I'm going to shower. I'm going to take a bath. All those things that you take for granted and laundry at home, I can't imagine," Halloran said.

"I mean I'm still going to be frugal with my water because now I really appreciate it. But you don't understand until you you've been, just short of 4 months we've been without water."

The Hallorans are not alone with this struggle. More than 800,000 residents in Connecticut rely on well water.

"The current trend is showing that the November data that we're collecting right now is the lowest that we've seen in anywhere from 15 to 30 years depending on the site," said Andrew Waite, a hydrologist at the United States Geologic Survey.

With the drought worsening, the USGS has kicked their ground water data collecting into high gear.

"We live and die by the weather,” Waite said. “So if it's a flood we're out there making extra measurements, and it it's a drought we do the same thing on the other end."

That government data, available for free on the USGS web site, helps people like Grela when it comes to well drilling.

"I do monitor it,” Grela said. “Because you know when people ask me you know do you think this is going to fix itself in the next few weeks all I can say is the long term forecast says no."

"It's been tough, but it's amazing what you can do when you have to," Halloran said.

Drilling a new well can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000 and the wait list is weeks long. With the winter months coming, drilling in a frozen ground will increase the cost to have a new well drilled.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Rain Moves in On Thanksgiving Day]]> Thu, 24 Nov 2016 08:53:21 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cx90a6NXAAgEI4D.jpg

A bit of good news for people who need to travel on Thanksgiving. Yesterday, it appeared that we'd have a bit of snow first thing Thanksgiving morning across the state. That chance for snow has evaporated (or sublimated in this case) thanks to a weaker storm and a tenacious bubble of dry air near the ground.

This sounding off the NAM model (previously the most bullish with the snow chance) shows why. There's a decent bit of moisture in the mid levels of the atmosphere (where the green and red lines are close to one another implies humidity near 100%) but in the lowest 5,000 feet of the atmosphere it's a different story. There's a pronounced layer of dry air around 875mb and that will be enough to prevent any snow of consequence.

Still, we're not necessarily out of the woods for all of Thanksgiving. Up in the hills of Litchfield County temperatures will be very close to freezing as a wave of moisture moves in during the late afternoon and early evening. 

Most of our computer models are on the line between rain and snow/mix above 1,000 feet in the Northwest Hills. The RGEM shows a little burst of precipitation between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the hills and temperatures awfully close to freezing (the blue line is 35F). This is pretty similar to most of our computer models. Farther north, in the Berkshires and southern Green Mountains, an inch or two of snow is likely to accumulate. 

The bottom line is that most of the state isn't going to see much at all. A bit of rain in the afternoon and evening. In a few of the hilltowns we're very close to seeing a brief period of wintry mix so we'll be watching that closely.

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<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Issues?]]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 13:27:31 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cx4t72eWIAACB8h.jpg

A weak weather system (about as weak as it gets) is going to scoot into New England on Thanksgiving. This is an incredibly minor system but its timing could cause some issues. 

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Several of our computer models are showing some light precipitation around daybreak Thanksgiving and it looks cold enough for snow in many areas. This sounding from the NAM valid at 8 a.m. Thursday at BDL shows temperatures below 32F from the ground up through the clouds. Plenty of moisture is seen on this sounding as well. The GFS model is drier and would indicate mainly flurries or a period of non-accumulating light snow. 

The most likely scenario is a coating of snow in some towns and maybe a bit of slick travel around daybreak through noon or so. The worst case scenario would be about an inch or so of snow. The best case scenario (which is certainly possible) is little if any snow because the lowest levels of the atmosphere are too dry or if the "storm" manages to weaken anymore. 

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Lots of clouds stick around through the day on Thursday with the potential for some light rain showers during the afternoon and evening. There is one exception to this and that's in the Litchfield Hills where temperatures will be around 32 degrees (the 4km NAM-WRF from SUNY Stony Brook is shown above). It's conceivable a period of light freezing rain or drizzle could occur in some of the elevated towns Thanksgiving afternoon and evening and require some treatment of roads.

Overall this isn't something to be concerned about - just something to keep an eye out for on Thursday.

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<![CDATA[Quick Bout of Wintry Mix Thanksgiving Morning]]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 17:18:05 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2818%29.png

Warmer air moving in aloft will trigger a bout of wintry mix Thanksgiving morning.

While very little, if any snow, accumulation is expected, it will come at a time when many people are traveling for Thanksgiving.

And it doesn't take much to make the back roads slick, especially with temperatures starting out in the 20s.

So, plan on slippery travel in some towns. It shouldn't be a widespread event, at least in the morning.

Later in the day, more widespread rain will move in. In the highest terrain, the rain may be freezing rain for a time.

Highs on Thanksgiving will only be in the lower 40s.

Showers stick around Friday, and a period of heavy rain is possible before sunrise Saturday.

The rest of the weekend appears mostly cloudy, with temperatues in the middle 40s.

<![CDATA[Unusual Snowstorm Clobbers Litchfield County]]> Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:37:50 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cxy9R2OVEAIG72u.jpg

To say this storm was a surprise for a few towns in Litchfield County would be an understatement. The hill towns got clobbered! This was an unusual storm in many respects and turned out to be a shockingly prolific snow producer.

Large snowfall differences between the valleys andhills aren't unusual. How many storms produce a foot of snow in Norfolk and barely anything in Winsted? A lot! What was different was the mechanism that produced this snow. 

Besides the few inches of snow that fell Sunday morning this storm was almost exclusively due to "upslope" - or snow that developed due to air being forced up and over the hills in Litchfield County. This phenomenon is why the ski areas in Vermont get so much snow but rarely produces big totals here. The reason is that the hills in Connecticut just aren't that high - about 1,500 feet from Norfolk to Warren compared to 4,000 feet in northern Vermont!

What made this storm so prolific when most setups like this aren't? I believe there are several reasons. One, is that this upper level low had an unusual moisture connection from the subtropics. On the water vapor loop you can see moisture streaming north from Bermuda into southeast Canada and back to the south into southern New England. The more moisture in the lowest levels of the atmosphere the less it needs to be lifted for clouds and precipitation to form.

The second reason is likely the unusually warm Great Lakes. Northwesterly winds blowing from Lake Ontario were able to effectively "pick up" more moisture than they ordinarily would be able to. 

The third reason is that the upper level low stalled just to our north - producing a persistent band of snow for nearly an entire day. That persistent flow kept the snow machine cranking.

In retrospect I should have picked up on some of these signals. Our most bullish model (the high res NAM) started showing 6"-8" of snow for the higher elevations in Litchfield County by Friday night but more often than not the high resolution NAM is quite overdone with these setup. 

After talking with Bob Maxon in the weather office this morning - neither of us can another upslope event quite like this!

What was forecast well was the snow showers across the valley and shoreline locations this morning. New London picked up a half inch and Southington picked up a little over an inch. As early of Thursday I was talking about scattered snow showers Sunday night and Monday morning that could put down a quick coating of snow on the roads.  That happened right on schedule and unfortunately resulted in a number of accidents. 

Snow totals so far...


  • Goshen - 16.0"
  • Norfolk - 14.2" (official)
  • Warren - 12.3"
  • Colebrook - 9.0"
  • Colebrook - 5.7"
  • New Hartford - 1.7"
  • Bristol - 1.3"
  • Prospect - 1.2"
  • Southington - 1.0"
  • New London - 0.5"
  • Collinsville - 0.5"
  • Staffordville - 0.5" (official)
  • Mystic - 0.4"
  • No. Granby - 0.1"
  • Moosup - 0.1"
  • West Hartford - Trace
  • Windsor Locks - Trace (official)
  • Bridgeport - Trace (official)

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<![CDATA[Dry for Thanksgiving Travel Wednesday]]> Mon, 21 Nov 2016 16:54:55 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2817%29.png

After more than a foot of snow in Norfolk and other parts of northwest Connecticut, improving weather is expected over the next two days.

While some snow showers will linger this evening, they will end overnight.

There's still a good amount of clouds on Tuesday with a northwest flow, but sunshine will take on a greater role tomorrow. Temperatures will rise to near 40 degrees.

Wednesday should be the brightest of the week, as a sliver of high pressure will be overhead. Temperatures will be in the middle 40s.

Rain and snow showers are expected on Thanksgiving morning, so a few slippery spots are possible.

Friday will be mostly cloudy, and rain showers are possible by Saturday as temperatures rise into the upper 40s.

The pick of the weekend appears to be Sunday, with mostly sunny skies. Highs will be in the upper 40s.

<![CDATA[Snow Delayed School, Led to Several Crashes]]> Mon, 21 Nov 2016 14:45:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Theodore+O%27Neill+Lakeville.jpg

Several schools were delayed or closed Monday after snow coated parts of Connecticut with more than a foot of snow between Sunday and Monday and icy conditions caused a mess on the roads during the morning commute.

Residents of Northwestern Connecticut woke up to several inches of snow Sunday morning and the flurries continued on and off into today, dropping over a foot of snow in some towns.

Higher elevations in Northwestern Connecticut saw anywhere between seven and 16 inches. 

“Oh, I love it. I love winter, that’s why I live here," Andy Smith, of Colebrook, said. This is the icebox of Connecticut. We get the most snow and it’s wonderful.” 

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The Gold Star Bridge in New London was closed for nearly an hour Monday morning because it was icy and there have been several other issues on the roads. There were also at least six crashes on Route 9 in Middletown, which led to heavy traffic delays. 

However, some drivers said they did not have any issues. 

"The roads aren't too bad," Noah Marcus, of New Hartford, said. "They're a little slippery on the sides, but it's been worse." 

The snow paired with strong winds knocked out power to around 800 customers. Eversource worked quickly to restore service. As of 10:30 a.m. Monday only 318 remain in the dark.


And some residents enjoyed the covering of snow.

Eileen Fitzgibbons, of Norfolk, went for a three-mile hike with three friends.

"It was a little windy, but it was really beautiful," she said.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. Monday for northern Litchfield county as a steady light snow continues to fall. That area may see additional snowfall of one to three inches. Snow showers may cause dangerous conditions on the roads and poor visibility.

The NBC Connecticut meteorologists issued a First Alert for snow in the Northwest Hills Sunday through today. Wind gusts are expected to reach between 20 and 30 miles per hour throughout the state

Blustery and cool weather continues Tuesday then high pressure builds briefly for Wednesday. Another storm approaches on Thanksgiving with rain, but there is a chance for sleet or freezing rain in the northern and western sections of the state.

Photo Credit: Theodore O'Neill
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<![CDATA[On Ryan's Radar: Snowstorm in the Hills]]> Sun, 20 Nov 2016 20:43:43 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/CxtFvTWUQAAUG0A.jpg

Evening Update

Wow! What a storm this has been in the Litchfield Hills. This morning's 3"-5" in some of the higher elevations has continued with a remarkable "upslope" snowstorm into this evening. Basically, cold and moist air is being forced up over the ridges/hills in Litchfield County and dumping an additional 3"-5"+ in towns like Warren, Goshen, and Norfolk. There is also a second maxima right along the New York border in Lakeville and Sharon with a local minima in places like Cornwall and Falls Village. 

[[402177385, C, 360, 480]]

There were some signals for bursts of moderate snow through the day and evening but I did not expect this! This is the most impressive "upslope" storm I can remember in Connecticut - it's generally really hard to get more than an inch or two around here on the backside of a low. 

There's a HUGE gradient here. Less than an inch of snow has fallen in Torrington and Winsted and just a few miles away on the ridge in Goshen and Norfolk there's been 10". While "upslope" helps the hill towns the opposite effect - downsloping - forces air to sink and result in little precipitation along the Route 8 corridor in the Valley.

As always these storms are fascinating as a weather geek to witness, frustrating as a weather geek (I barely got a flake), and humbling as a meteorologist. 

Earlier Update

As expected, snow is accumulating in the Northwest Hills this morning from a dynamic little storm and colder air filtering in from the west. We've seen reports of 1"-3" of snow this morning in the higher elevations and the heavier snow is beginning to wind down. 

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In Norfolk cooperative observer Russell Russ reported 4.8" of snow at 1,600 feet at the Great Mountain Forest! It appears that there's a zone of 3"-5" of accumulation on the ridge in Norfolk and Goshen. In the valley around Winsted only 1" of snow accumulated and even eastern Colebrook only reported 1.3" this morning at 7 a.m. 

While I'm not shocked that Norfolk managed nearly 5" of snow (there were some hints of this heavy burst on the models) it definitely managed to overperform a bit. 

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This mornings snow over the Hills came as an upper level low closed off and drifted over Litchfield County. You can see that here on the 6-hour GFS forecast valid at 7 a.m.. As the low drifts north into Berkshire County, Massachusetts through the day today the snow will shift north as the best lift in the atmosphere is featured along and north of the upper level low. Generally, you want to be under or just on the left side of one of these strengthening upper level lows to get significant precipitation. 

[[402127065, C]]

That said, snow showers will continue off and on through the day and tonight in the Northwest Hills due to upsloping. What's upsloping? Northwesterly wind over the Hudson Valley in New York will be forced to rise over the Litchfield Hills. As the air is forced up and over the change in elevation clouds form and precipitation can fall. Think of it this way - as air blows toward a mountain it can't blow into the ground - it has nowhere to go but up! 

It's unusual for this to produce heavy snow in Connecticut - but it appears there's just enough moisture for this upslope snow to continue in the hills. I wouldn't be surprised to see an additional 1"-3" in some towns above 1,000 feet through Monday morning. Farther north, upsloping is how the spine of the Green Mountains in Vermont gets the majority of their snow - cold, moist air being forced up and over the 4,000 foot peaks. 

While Litchfield County gets their own personal snowstorm the rest of the state is not looking at much snow at all. Occasional snow showers are possible tonight and into tomorrow morning.

The one thing the I'm concerned about, however, is lake effect snow coming off Lake Ontario. Once in a while these plumes can make it all the way into Hartford or New Haven and can cause some brief accumulation. It's almost impossible to forecast this ahead of time but it's something I'm watching for. 

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Wind will become an issue later today, tonight, and Monday. Model soundings indicate gusts of 40-50 mph will be widespread. This may result in scattered tree damage and power outages. The above model sounding for New Haven valid tomorrow afternoon shows winds of 55mph at 5,000 feet above our heads. With a well mixed atmosphere a large chunk of this will be able to be mixed to the ground. 

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<![CDATA[Cold, Wind, and Snow]]> Sat, 19 Nov 2016 07:13:10 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cxj85aGVQAAVz3y.jpg

Saturday morning update: Good morning! No real change to note in our overnight computer models. We're still on track for a bit of accumulating snow in the high elevations of Litchfield County tomorrow morning (maybe 1" or 2"?) and occasional rain/snow showers through the day and into Sunday night and Monday. The biggest question is how widespread the snow showers will be across the rest of the state Sunday night and Monday - I'm thinking the coverage is relatively scattered - but still can't rule out a few heavier bands resulting in a burst or two of snow even around Hartford and New Haven.

Previous Friday update: Sunday will be unpleasant. Cold, windy, and showery with snowflakes across parts of Connecticut. In fact, it looks cold enough that there will be some snow accumulation across the Litchfield Hills on Sunday - talk about a change from the 60s today!

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Here's the weather setup across the region. A strengthening low pressure will "close off" in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Effectively, it will get cut itself off from the jet stream. This happens with a fair amount of regularity this time of year with varying impacts across the region. There are a number of possible impacts to watch.

Daybreak Sunday - A flip to snow in the hills

A powerful cold front will sweep east causing temperatures to drop from near 50 at midnight Sunday morning into the 30s by daybreak in the hills. Strong lift in the atmosphere will produce a quick period of downpours statewide between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. and in Litchfield County it looks like the cold air will arrive in time for a change to snow and even a bit of accumulation.

Below is a sounding showing temperature and dew point through the atmosphere valid 4 a.m. Sunday in Canaan up at about 1,000 feet. You can see plenty of moisture in the low levels of the atmosphere (temperature and dew point...red line/green line...next to each other implying relative humidity near 100%) and lift in the atmosphere (the farther the thin white line juts to the left the stronger the upward motion of air is). 

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This setup could produce a quick inch of snow in some of the hilltowns right around daybreak and is something to watch closely. In the valley locations and along the shoreline it should be a bit too mild for a much in the way of accumulation though a few stray wet snow flakes around daybreak are still possible. While temperatures in the hills will drop to around freezing it will be milder in the valley. You can see this at 1 p.m. in Hartford on Sunday with temperatures near the ground in the low 40s. This is not a snow sounding.

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A few rain or snow showers are possible during the day Sunday across the state - especially in Litchfield County. Minor additional accumulation is possible in the hills.

Sunday Night & Monday Morning - Snow even in the valleys

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By Sunday evening temperatures will be cold enough to support snow even down to the valley floors and along the shoreline. Cold air from the northwest will advect (be pushed by the wind) in all day. Most of our computer models show 850mb (around 5,000 feet up) dropping to -8C by 7 p.m. Sunday - definitely cold enough for snow.

The question always is with these setups will there be enough moisture to support precipitation? Frequently the answer is no - but in this case it may be different. Remnant streamers of lake effect snow may make their way south from Lake Ontario. A strong northwesterly wind and low level moisture will aid in producing some "upslope" in the hills - basically the wind forces air up and over the ridges which can result in an enhancement of clouds and sometimes precipitation. Also, on the backside of this upper level low there appears to be an unusually high amount of low level moisture in southern New England - we're not drying out as quickly as we normally do.

[[401915056, C]]

You can see that robust moisture with relative humidity of near 100% about 5,000 feet up across the state. While it won't snow the whole time periods of snow showers appear likely. In the hills - where there is a bit of an assist from that "upslope" effect I can't rule out some additional accumulation. Elsewhere, patches of accumulation are possible under heavier bands. This is very much like a summer thunderstorm where some towns get it and others don't.

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This continues through Monday morning. This sounding for Canaan valid at 10 a.m. Monday shows a favorable setup for snow with a deep layer of moisture (high relative humidity around -15C which supports dendrite production) and temperatures well below freezing from the clouds to the ground. Of course, it is not as favorable in the valley and along the shoreline but you get the idea.

Strong, gusty winds

Every town will have to deal with strong gusty winds. Computer models support wind gusts of 40-50 mph which, when coupled with temperatures in the 30s, will result in unusually cold wind chill values. A few isolated tree and power line issues are possible.

The bottom line

Most of the state along the I-91 and I-95 corridors can expect to see cold, wind, and scattered snow showers Sunday night and Monday morning. A few towns may even pick up some accumulation - though it won't be everywhere. 

In the hills, particularly in Litchfield County, enough pieces are coming together where 1"-3" of snow is possible in the higher elevations. There will likely be a few different times of snow - one around daybreak Sunday morning and another window Sunday evening through Monday morning. Expect some areas of slippery travel.

It's definitely not a big storm but a good reminder that the calendar says it is mid November and it will finally feel like it!

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<![CDATA[Snow Showers Expected Sunday and Monday]]> Sat, 19 Nov 2016 18:28:06 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2816%29.png

High pressure was in control of Connecticut's weather through Saturday, meaning dry, sunny weather. But big changes are in sight.

High temperatures were up above 60 degrees Saturday with lots of sunshine.

A cold front began to move in Saturday night, leading to rain and snow showers on Sunday. It will be much cooler with a gusty wind. Temperatures won't get out of the 40s on Sunday.

Minor snow accumulations are possible in the higher elevations of northwestern Connecticut, starting around daybreak Sunday and on and off through Monday.

By Monday, it will be chilly again with temperatures in the 30s most of the day. More snow showers are expected.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be dry, but it won't last.

A chance for rain is in the forecast for both Thanksgiving Day and Friday.

Temperatures will be far more seasonable by then, only peaking in the upper 40s.

<![CDATA[Perspective on the Drought]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 13:37:52 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/nepaug1.JPG

This morning about 40 percent of the state was upgraded from severe drought to extreme drought. With rainfall deficits of nearly 20 inches since January 1, 2015 across parts of north central Connecticut this classification is not a surprise. 

Extreme drought has all sorts of problems associated with it. People with shallow wells are without water, cities and towns with small reservoir systems are beginning to run low on water, farmers are dealing with crop losses due to the unusually dry soil conditions.

While it's fair to say this is the worst drought in decades it pales in comparison to the big drought of 1962-1966. The drought in the mid-1960s remains the most significant on record. Take the Metropolitan District Commission reservoir system that serves greater Hartford as an example. The Barkhamsted and Nepaug Reservoirs are currently at 76.2% but in 1965 they dipped to 46%. For a reservoir system with a capacity of 40 billion gallons this is a big difference!

Another way tolook at this in a quantitative way is to use the Palmer Drought Severity Index. Currently the PDSI is <-4.00 across the state which puts our three climate divisions in extreme drought.. 

The current -4.15 PDSI in Litchfield County is a bit worse than the 2002 drought which spiked at -3.82 in 2002. But between 1964 and 1966 the PDSI was <4.00 (extreme drought) for an extended period of time. From March 1965 through August 1966 we were in extreme drought continuously- with values approaching -5 several months (it did reach -5 in other parts of northern Connecticut which is considered exceptional drought). We've had 1 month of extreme drought - the 1960s extreme drought lasted for 17 months!

Of course, there's nothing to say that this drought won't continue to get worse. The estimate is that we would need approximately 10" of rain to get out of any kind of drought classification. It's hard to make up a lot of ground in the winter (our climatologically driest season) but you never know. Hope for rain and help conserve water!

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<![CDATA[Sunny, Dry and Mild Through Saturday]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 16:45:05 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Temp+CT+%281%29.png

High pressure is in control of Connecticut's weather through Saturday, meaning dry, sunny weather will stick around.

High temperatures will be up near 60 through Friday, then perhaps middle 60s on Saturday!

A cold front blows through Saturday night, leading to rain and snow showers on Sunday. It will be much cooler with a gusty wind. Temperatures won't get out of the 40s.

By Monday, highs will again be stuck in the 40s and some wet snowflakes may mix in with the rain showers.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be dry, but it won't last.

A chance for rain is in the forecast for both Thanksgiving Day and Friday, which is Thanksgiving Day.

Temperatures will be far more seasonable by then, only peaking around 50.

<![CDATA[Unseasonable Warmth (For Now)]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 09:53:50 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*123/ecmwf_apcp_f108_ne.png

November is always a big transition month in southern New England as we close out meteorological fall and usher in meteorological winter on December 1st. Unsurprisingly, the evolving weather pattern shows quite a bit more winter than we've seen lately.

Through Saturday we're looking at a truly gorgeous stretch of weather. Plenty of sunshine and above normal temperatures will be the rule for today, tomorrow, and Saturday. Highs around 60 - and possibly into the middle 60s by Saturday - will be a full 10 degrees above normal. Not bad for November!

But it's not going to last. A developing low over New England and eastern Canada on Sunday will send a blast of sharply colder air southeast into Connecticut. This storm becomes a large and powerful cut-off low with unseasonably cold air over our part of the country. 

So what can we expect? Rain showers are likely Sunday morning as the strengthening low passes over us. Clouds linger on Sunday with a few scattered showers and temperatures that slowly drop through the 40s. 

Monday will be quite cold for the time of years with temperatures struggling out of the 30s. It's possible a few towns could see flurries but the bigger story will be the cold and the wind - wind chills will be stuck in the 20s all day.

From 10 to 15 degrees above normal to 10 to 15 degrees below normal will be a pretty sizable drop. 

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<![CDATA[On Ryan's Radar]]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 14:04:52 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Ryan+Hanrahan+2014.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Little Drought Relief but a Stormier Pattern Ahead]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:55:37 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CxZklwCWgAE6RNJ.jpg

Between 1/2 and 1 1/2 inches of rain yesterday was a welcome sight after a nearly 2 year stretch of dry weather - but we haven't kicked this drought yet. The rainfall deficit since January 1, 2015 in Windsor Locks is still a staggering 19"!

There are some signs of hope looking forward. The weather pattern is evolving and does look a bit stormier in the long term. Nothing epic - but looking a bit more interesting with several chances for rain (and maybe some mixed precipitation). The 8 to 14 day outlook from NOAA shows this with below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation. A big change from weeks of above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall.

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Of course, the winter lovers who are desperate for any flake of snow this time of year, really care about whether or not we have any snow in our future. In the near future the answer is maybe a few flakes but don't get too excited. A strong storm is expected to develop overhead and behind it gusty northwesterly winds will bring in colder air. With an upper level low overhead a few rain or snow showers seem possible on Monday but that's the extent of it.

[[401512806, C]]

In the more distant future one can envision a more interesting pattern after Thanksgiving. The GFS ensembles (the GFS model run 20 different times with slightly different tweaks to represent a reasonable spread of possible solutions) show a substantially negative North Atlantic Oscillation developing (-NAO). See all the orange and red over Greenland? That's a strong signal for jet stream blocking upstream of us.

[[401512056, C]]

A -NAO helps keeps storms underneath southern New England and can promote wintry solutions. We'll see what happens - nothing to get excited about now but it's the first "interesting" window we've seen in a few weeks.

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<![CDATA[Mild Weather Lasts Through the End of the Week]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2016 16:54:41 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Temp+CT.png

Most of the state picked up between a half inch and one and a half inches of rain on Tuesday.

Dry, mild weather has taken hold and will last through the end of the week.

Lots of sunshine will be combined with high temperatures near 60 degrees.

A cold front blows through Saturday night, leading to showers on Sunday. It will be much cooler with a gusty wind. Temperatures won't get out of the 40s.

By Monday, highs will again be stuck in the 40s and some wet snowflakes may mix in with the rain showers.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be dry.

Thanksgiving Day, while a long ways out, doesn't look completely dry at this early stage. A few showers are possible, with seasonable temperatures near 50 degrees.

<![CDATA[Mild Weather Returns Wednesday]]> Tue, 15 Nov 2016 16:34:14 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2815%29.png

Rain will end tonight across Connecticut.

The heaviest rain has missed Connecticut to the west, but more than a half inch of rain has fallen across much of the state.

Clouds will dominate on Wednesday, but some sunshine will show through. Temperatures will be up near 60 degrees!

That mild weather will continue through Saturday, with lots of sunshine.

A front blows through Saturday night, leading to showers on Sunday. It will be much cooler with a gusty wind.

By Monday, highs will be stuck in the 40s and some wet snowflakes may mix in with the rain showers.

<![CDATA[Bristol Reservoirs Hit 42 Percent]]> Mon, 14 Nov 2016 16:19:26 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/BristolReservoir7.jpg

Bristol's water department superintendent says the city's reservoir levels have dropped to 42 percent.

The lack of rain continues to make the situation worse, though a mandatory water restriction issued last month has slowed the drop in reservoir levels.

"We have seen over 30 percent conservation since we first issued voluntary restrictions in late August," said Robert Longo, superintendent of the Bristol Water Department.

"Our customers have helped so much by conserving, but without some rain, we just continue to drop."

There's a good chance for at least a half inch of rain Tuesday, and that will help slow the drop in water supply. But it won't erase the drought.

Less than four weeks have past since the Bristol reservoir levels dropped to 50 percent.

Since January 1, 2015, the rainfall deficit in the Hartford area sits at 19.98 inches.

The latest drought monitor, released last Thursday, has central and western Connecticut in a severe drought.

"We need Mother Nature's help now," Longo said.

Photo Credit: Tyler Jankoski
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<![CDATA[On Ryan's Radar: The King Tide]]> Mon, 14 Nov 2016 15:46:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/14991835_1349837131716580_2033566142400568014_n.jpg

Last night's supermoon was hard to miss. The brightest and biggest full moon since 1948 lit up the night sky across Connecticut. Today and tomorrow we'll see the supermoon's impact in a different way - the King Tide.

The height of high tide varies through the year because of differences in the gravitational pull of the moon and sun. When the earth, sun and moon line up the amplitude of the tides is greatest - we call this a spring tide. The gravitational pull of the moon and sun act together to create higher high tides and lower low tides.

When the moon is at first quarter or third quarter the sun and moon are at 90 degrees. This results in lower high tides and higher low tides as the gravitational pull of the sun and earth are not working in tandem -  we call this a neap tide.

In New Haven the difference between a neap tide and spring tide is big! On November 7th when we had a one quarter moon the highest tide was 6.0ft MLLW. Today's high tide following the supermoon was 8.0ft MLLW - that's a difference of 2 feet! 

But what the heck is a king tide? The moon's orbit around the earth is elliptical and the distance between the earth and the moon changes through its orbit. When the moon is farthest from the earth it is at apogee and when it is closest to the earth it is at perigee. The closer the moon is to the earth the stronger the gravitational pull will be.

When the spring tide aligns with perigee you get a perigean spring tide or what we like to call the King Tide. When there's a supermoon you can expect the tide to be higher than normal!

That's exactly what we'll have today and tomorrow. Here in Connecticut this will be the second highest tide of the year. The high astronomical tide combined with an onshore wind ahead of a storm will result in widespread minor to locally moderate flooding. This won't be a big deal but it will be nuisance flooding in the typically vulnerable towns on the Sound. 

Flooding from King Tides is becoming more and more common these days thanks the sea level rise. What is known as "sunny day" flooding has increased substantially over the last 10 years as ocean levels climb. The latest research indicates more than 50% of nuisance flood days can be attributed to human caused sea level rise in New London. When these king tides occur during a storm serious coastal flooding can be the result.

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Photo Credit: Eweather
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<![CDATA[Rainy Tuesday]]> Mon, 14 Nov 2016 16:48:27 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2813%29.png

Finally, a steady rainfall is likely in Connecticut.

The rain will begin Tuesday morning and last through the afternoon. One half inch of rain is a good bet across much of the state.

Some areas, especially if a thunderstorm occurs, could end up with closer to one inch of rainfall.

But, the rest of the week is dry.

So, while the rain will be beneficial, the week as a whole will still end up below average – since on average, one inch of rain falls each week.

High tides over the next few cycles will cause minor splashover because of the full moon.

Sunshine returns Wednesday and lasts through at least the end of the workweek, with temperatures remaining above average, up near 60 degrees!

<![CDATA[Cooler Air Blows in For Saturday, Warmer Sunday]]> Fri, 11 Nov 2016 16:36:40 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GIF+%284%29.gif

Dry, mostly sunny weather has set in and it will last through the weekend.

It will be breezy and chilly on Saturday, though with more sunshine, as temperatures rise to near 50 degrees.

Sunday should be completely sunny, with temperatures in the upper 50s.

Early next week, Monday looks to be dry with highs near 60.

The rainfall deficit (since 2015) will near 20 inches in the Hartford area on Tuesday.

It's possible that some rain is nearby on Tuesday, but there's a great deal of uncertainty.

The rain potential comes from a storm that will be offshore.

Minor coastal flooding is also possible early next week as a result of a full moon, one that will be closer to earth than most other full moons.

The storm could enhance the coastal flooding during high tide by a small amount.

Dry weather likely returns later Wednesday into Thursday.

<![CDATA[Drought Remains Severe in Much of Connecticut]]> Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:23:37 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*124/20161108_CT_trd.png

Each Thursday, the National Drought Mitigation Center releases its updated Drought Monitor.

This week's update shows no change from last week.

Currently, most of the state is considered to be in a "severe drought," while eastern Connecticut is in a lesser, "moderate drought."

This is the worst drought since 2002.

The forecast into next week is quite dry, so the drought will likely get worse by the time next Thursday's update is released.

In fact, the rainfall deficit (since 2015) will be over 20 inches in the Hartford area come Tuesday.

<![CDATA[Dry, Chilly Start to Weekend Expected]]> Thu, 10 Nov 2016 16:26:08 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Custom+Map+221.png

A dry weekend is expected, and Saturday will be chilly and breezy.

Friday will be windy with a mix of sunshine and clouds. There's a chance for a sprinkle. Temperatures will be in the upper 50s.

It will be breezy and chilly on Saturday, though with more sunshine, as temperatures rise to near 50 degrees.

Sunday should be completely sunny, with temperatures in the upper 50s.

Early next week, Monday looks to be dry with highs near 60.

The rainfall deficit (since 2015) will hit 20 inches in the Hartford area on Tuesday.

It's possible that some rain is nearby Tuesday into Wednesday, but there's a great deal of uncertainty.

The rain potential comes from a storm that will be offshore.

Dry weather likely returns Thursday.

<![CDATA[Little Chance for Beneficial Rain in Next Seven Days]]> Wed, 09 Nov 2016 14:06:43 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/eps_qpf_0.1_neng_29.png

Multiple areas of high pressure will dominate Connecticut's weather over the next several days.

First Alert forecasters study ensemble forecasts to gauge the probability of certain weather events.

The European model is run 51 different times, and clearly depicts the slim chance for rain through early next week.

The image above shows the chance for at least a tenth of an inch of rainfall between today and next Tuesday, when you average the 51 different iterations of the model.

Notice the very low probability over a large portion of southern New England, between zero and 10 percent.

By next Tuesday, the rainfall deficit in the Hartford area will be over 20 inches since January 1, 2015.

<![CDATA[Another Dry Period Begins Thursday]]> Wed, 09 Nov 2016 16:56:23 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT%282%293.png

Very little rain is in the extended forecast.

Thursday and Friday both look dry with abundant sunshine. Temperatures will be seasonable, in the middle 50s.

Later Friday, it will turn windy.

It will be breezy and chilly on Saturday with a blend of clouds and sunshine. Highs will only be in the 40s.

More sunshine is expected Sunday, when it will be warmer, with temperatures in the middle 50s.

Early next week, Monday and Tuesday should be dry with highs in the middle and upper 50s.

The rainfall deficit (since 2015) will hit 20 inches in the Hartford area on Tuesday.

It's possible that some rain is nearby on Wednesday.

<![CDATA[Despite Showers Tomorrow, Forecast Still Quite Dry]]> Tue, 08 Nov 2016 16:16:10 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2811%29.png

High pressure will be quite dominate over Connecticut over the next week, with only a few exceptions.

A cold front sweeps through on Wednesday and with it will come a few showers.

Recent trends have been for less rain. Most areas won't even pick up a quarter inch of new rain.

Temperatures will rise into the middle 50s.

Thursday and Friday both look dry with abundant sunshine. Temperatures will be seasonable, in the middle 50s.

It will be breezy and chilly on Saturday with a blend of clouds and sunshine. Highs will only be in the 40s.

The Great Lakes are still quite warm, so even the smallest amount of relative cold over the lakes results in lake-effect clouds.

More sunshine is expected Sunday, when it will be warmer, with temperatures in the middle 50s.

Early next week, Monday and Tuesday should be dry with highs in the middle and upper 50s.

<![CDATA[Ryan's Take: Election Day Weather]]> Tue, 08 Nov 2016 09:54:32 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/14991145_1342905402409753_8163065421063432813_o.jpg

Every 4 years we elect a president on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. As you'd expect there's always been a range of weather across Connecticut but surprisingly it has never snowed on election day dating back to 1904!

The coldest election day was in 1960 when John F Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon to become president. The low that morning at Bradley Airport was a chilly 15 degrees! The winter that followed Kennedy's win was a brutal one in Connecticut with incredible amounts of snow and exceptionally cold weather (the temperature reached -26F at Bradley on January 22, 1961). 

The warmest election day was in 1936 when the mercury reached 72 degrees in Hartford. Connecticut's 8 electoral votes went to Franklin Roosevelt on that unseasonably warm day.

The wettest election day was in 1920 when 1.06" of rain fell in Hartford. Warren G. Harding cruised to victory on that day with 404 electoral votes. 

As for the snowiest? Believe it or not since 1904 it hasn't snowed on a presidential election day in Connecticut. But it's come close! The day after election day 2012 we had an unusual early season snowfall that dropped a record 8.3" of snow in Bridgeport. That snowstorm wasn't particularly well forecast (I busted pretty spectacularly) and the storm occured only a few days after Hurricane Sandy hit Connecticut.

As for today? The weather couldn't be any nicer! Plenty of sunshine and highs in the 60s. Get out and vote!

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<![CDATA[Rainfall Deficit Worsens Across Connecticut]]> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 16:39:51 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Almanac+Deficit+Surplus1.png

The rainfall deficit since the beginning of 2015 is now over 19 inches in the Hartford area.

Most of the state is in a severe drought, though eastern Connecticut is now considered to be in a lesser, moderate drought.

In the Bridgeport area, the rainfall deficit since January 1, 2015 is 12.72 inches.

The winter months in the Hartford area are historically the driest, with December, January and February each averaging less than 3.5 inches of rainfall.

That, coupled with a predominately dry forecast over the next week, means the drought is likely to get worse.

<![CDATA[Mainly Dry Week Ahead, Showers Wednesday]]> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 16:43:39 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM12+Precip+Cloud+Floater+%281%29.png

High pressure will be quite dominate over Connecticut over the next week, with only a few exceptions.

Another sunny day is on tap for Tuesday, when it will be warmer, with temperatures in the 60s.

A cold front sweeps through on Wednesday and a weak area of low pressure will likely form along it.

That means clouds and a few showers are expected, with temperatures in the 50s.

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Thursday and Friday both look dry with abundant sunshine. Temperatures will be seasonable, in the middle 50s.

Over the weekend, high pressure will be nearby, but an injection of cloud air could result in a respectable amount of clouds on one of the weekend days.

The Great Lakes are still quite warm, so even the smallest amount of relative cold over the lakes results in lake-effect clouds.

<![CDATA[Ryan's Radar: Drought Conditions Continue]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2016 17:16:55 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Almanac+Deficit+Surplus_11_2_16.png

Another day with another mainly dry extended forecast - no surprise here! Sure we'll get a little rain Thursday afternoon but certainly not a drought buster! Through yesterday the Hartford area is 18.33" below average since January 1st, 2015! That is a sizable rainfall deficit and something we only see every 10 or 20 years.

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That said, Over the last month drought conditions improved significantly in eastern Connecticut with over 8 inches of rain in some towns! The rest of the state the story was more of the same with well below normal precipitation. I expect the updated drought monitor tomorrow to reflect that with a downgrade of the drought conditions along the I-395 corridor.

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The updated 8-14 day precipitation forecast from the National Weather Service shows decent odds of below normal precipitation across the northeast in week 2. The GFS Ensembles (An snsemble is a somewhat lower resolution of a typical model that is run multipletimes with slightly different initial conditions and model physics to represent a reasonable spread of possible outcomes) show the dry pattern quite well. Of the 21 ensemble members only about 30 percent show over 1" of rain in the next 16 days!

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My concern going forward is that we've wasted what is typically our wettest period of the year - October - without solid rains over a good chunk of the region. These things can change quickly but right now through there's no signal for big rains through the middle of the month.

[[399679901, C]]

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<![CDATA[Isolated Showers This Afternoon and Evening]]> Thu, 03 Nov 2016 08:33:08 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2810%29.png

The next chance for rain comes this afternoon as a cold front comes through late.

Believe it or not, near 70-degree warmth returns today ahead of the cold front. A few showers will move through in the afternoon and evening.

Given the warm air that will be in place over the state, thunder cannot be ruled out.

Behind the front, dry weather returns Friday with a breeze. It will be much cooler, only in the middle 50s.

First Alert forecasters are watching a weak disturbance that will dive out of Canada over the weekend.

The most likely result is mostly sunny skies Saturday, with more clouds by Sunday.

Early next week, temperatures return to seasonable levels in the middle and upper 50s with lots of sunshine.

<![CDATA[Ryan's Take: Unseasonable November Warmth Moves In]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2016 17:17:21 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CwNKGxVVYAEXBGw.jpg

From a hard freeze to near 70 degrees. That's November in New England for you! Even though temperatures will warm we will be well short of a record for Wednesday and Thursday with records of 83 and 78, respectively. It will be mild but definitely not unprecedented for November. 

The mild air doesn't last too long. An upper level disturbance swings through bringing with it a period of rain and a cold front. Behind it temperatures will drop in a hurry with highs struggling above 50F on Friday.

What's really a bummer as we look forward through day 10 is that there's really no sign of a prolonged wet weather pattern. Let's look at the European Ensembles through November 10th. The European Ensemble is a somewhat lower resolution of the vaunted European model that is run 51 separate times with slightly different initial conditions and model physics to represent a reasonable spread of possible outcomes.  The more ensemble members that show any given solution the more likely it is to occur. 

Through November 10th there's less than a 10 percent chance of more than 0.5" of precipitation in Connecticut! Put another way, less than 5 of those 51 ensemble members show more than 1/2 inch of rain. Those are bad odds.

While temperatures here in New England don't appear to be too warm past Thursday the weather pattern across most of North America looks incredibly warm. A +EPO (East Pacific Oscillation) should flood the United States and Canada with maritime Pacific air over the next week or so but most of that warmth should remain to the west. 

The bottom line is that while we have some warmer on the way through Thursday the weather through day 10 looks mainly dry with temperatures relatively close to normal - especially compared to extreme warmth from the Great Lakes to the west coast.

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<![CDATA[Period of Rain Later Thursday]]> Tue, 01 Nov 2016 16:00:06 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM12+Precip+Cloud+Floater2.png

The next chance for rain comes Thursday as a cold front comes through late.

Until then, it will be dry and quite warm for the time of year.

More clouds will be in the mix Wednesday, though temperatures will reach the upper 60s.

Believe it or not, near 70-degree warmth returns on Thursday ahead of the cold front. The period of rain will begin in the afternoon and last through the evening.

Behind the front, dry weather returns Friday with a breeze. It will be much cooler, only near 50 degrees.

First Alert forecasters are watching a weak disturbance that will dive out of Canada over the weekend.

The most likely result is mostly sunny skies Saturday, with perhaps a sprinkle by Sunday.

<![CDATA[Ryan's Take: An October Soaker (For Some)]]> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 12:07:29 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/nws_precip_boston_30.png

You could call this month's rain feast or famine across Connecticut. Some towns managed an absolute soaker of a month (New London County) while other towns suffered through another month with below normal precipitation. 

The monthly rainfall reports from cooperative weather stations and airports across Connecticut show anywhere from a bit over 2" in Windsor Locks to nearly 7" at the Norwich Public Utility coop station. 

Having a dry October for a large chunk of the state (outside of Windham/New London Counties) is bad news. October is, on average, thew wettest month of the year. The 30-year average at Bradley Airport is 4.37" for the month of October. This October we managed less than half of that with 2.17" of rain for the month. 

But for the areas where it poured - it really poured! The monthly CoCoRaHS reports from volunter weather observers across the state reveal two locations in New London County with over 8" for the month - 8.61" in Waterford and 8.19" in New London. That is a very impressive month of rain!

So how do things look going forward? More drought? More rain? The 8 to 14 day outlook from the National Weather Service shows warmer than normal temperatures and drier than normal precipitation next week. Not exactly a welcome sign for the areas that missed out on October's heavy rain. At least right now no change in the overall dry pattern that's been plaguing the state for months.

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