<![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-usThu, 25 May 2017 10:33:33 -0400Thu, 25 May 2017 10:33:33 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Today's Forecast]]> http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/first+alert_weather+1200.jpg

EXCLUSIVE FIRST ALERT 10-DAY FORECAST

Today: Mostly cloudy with periods of rain likely. High temperatures in the upper 60s.

Friday: Mostly cloudy skies with scattered showers possible, especially early. Highs near 70.

Saturday: Partly cloudy skies . High temperatures in the low 70s.

Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds, a few showers possible at night. High temperatures in the middle 70s.

Monday: A mix of sun and clouds. Showers possible early. High temperatures in the middle 70s.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Showers likely. High tempreatures in the middle 70s.

Wednesday: Showers likely. High temperatures in the middle 70s.

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

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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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<![CDATA[An Unsettled Week]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 13:28:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_z500_norm_conus_7.png

The weather pattern isn't great and it's a bear to forecast. The biggest item of interest on the weather map is an exceptionally deep and strong upper level low hanging out over the Deep South. This low is going to strengthen even more over the next 24 hours and will directly influence our weather.

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For starters, let's talk about how unusually strong this low is for the time of year. The midday GFS computer model (above) shows 500mb heights of -5.7 standard deviations from normal over Mississippi tomorrow afternoon. Think of about as far to the left on the bell curve as you can get. You can think of how high a certain pressure level is above our heads as a proxy for how strong the low is.

Today's high clouds are a sign something is up in the atmosphere. Moisture is streaming in way above our heads associated with the big low to our south. Lots of cirrus clouds all around!

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With this low to our southwest we are watching a little wave of energy that will eject northeast toward New England later tonight and tomorrow morning. Yesterday, virtually all of our computer models (with the exception of the RPM) didn't do much with this wave. Today, all of our models are trending much more impressive with the wave producing a period of clouds and rain late tonight and tomorrow morning. Figuring out the strength, timing, and track of these ejecting waves is never easy. The SREF precipitation forecast shows virtually all of the ensemble members (21 out of 21) producing rain Wednesday morning prior to noon. The midday GFS model has also jumped above the rain train and this morning we updated our forecast to include more widespread morning rain. Given ample moisture and a stronger piece of energy moving in tomorrow morning rain is a prudent forecast.

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Beyond tomorrow's wet morning we'll have more rain to contend with Thursday and Friday as the entire low wobbles northeast. Rain and thunder appears likely for the end of the workweek. Hey, at least the drought is over. 


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<![CDATA[Record Warmth and Some Storms]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 14:13:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/18556894_1985536368399353_2752888253459198901_o.jpg

It's not the earliest heat wave on record but it was pretty darn impressive. 94, 96, and 91 (at least) over the last 3 days makes this the first heat wave of 2017. The earliest heat wave on record occured back in 2002 when the mercury exceeded 90F for three consecutive days April 16-18.

With record warmth we managed a few loud storms last night. While the storms remained sub-severe with limited, if any, damage reports in the state they did wake many people up!

Many storms around here tend to weaken after the sun goes down. As the sun sets the atmosphere cools and instability wanes. Thunderstorms need an unstable atmosphere to form! Last night was different in that several clusters of storms actually strengthened around midnight. We actually expected this to happen as there were a few ingredients in place that were a bit unusual. The biggest was the unususally steep mid level lapse rates.

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Lapse rates are easy to understand. It's simply the temperature difference between two levels of the atmosphere. We express lapse rates in degrees per kilometer - so the larger the value (or steeper the lapse rate) - the faster temperature decreases with height. This helps promote instability in the atmosphere. Last night the lapse rates were steep (in excess of 7C/km) and there was a surge in moisture a few thousand feet up after dark. The combination of increasing moisture underneath the steep mid level lapse rates helped fueld storms that lasted well into the night. 


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<![CDATA[First Heat Wave of the Year]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 17:21:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Heat-Generic-Photo.jpg

Today marks the third day of temperatures in the 90s for the Hartford area. This classifies as the first heat wave of 2017. The earliest heat wave ever recorded was from April 16th to 17th in 2002.

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How are you enjoying this blast of summer? Send us your photos and or video at ShareIt@NBCConnecticut.com or you can upload your content by clicking here.

Temperatures cool off tonight just in time for the weekend. Low temperatures will be in the upper 40s tonight. The weather will be phenomenal this weekend, high temperatures will be in the low to middle 70s with an abundant amount of sunshine. 


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<![CDATA[Tracking Scattered Thunderstorms]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 00:53:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Updated+Article+Image.png

12:50 AM UPDATE

All Severe Thunderstorm Warnings have expired across Connecticut. The National Weather Service reports several trees down in Kent but no other damage reports have been received. There are a handful of power outages across the state but it's unclear if they're weather related.

12:10 AM UPDATE

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for Litchfield county. Wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and small hail are possible with this storm.

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There is also a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for a storm in Windham county. Most of these cells do not meet severe criteria. 

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11:46 PM UPDATE

Storms are weakening as they move across the state. Here's a look at a couple of thunderstorms. 

This storm in Torrington is tracking to the east at 45 mph and is headed directly towards the Hartford area. The storm is not severe however it is providing a prolific lightning storm. 

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11:14 PM UPDATE

We're also monitoring a storm moving through Salisbury. This storm is headed due east at 45 mph. Here's a time-line of when you can expect it near your hometown. 

It will be in the Hartford area by 11:52. These storms have a history of frequent lightning and heavy downpours. 

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11:06 PM UPDATE

We continue to track scattered thunderstorms moving through the state. The storms have a history of frequent lightning, heavy downpours, and gusty winds.

Here's a time-line of when the storms will be near your town.

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10:05 PM UPDATE

We continue to monitor a line of storms that are moving towards Connecticut. We're expecting the thunderstorms to move into Litchfield county first. 

Here's a timeline of when we're expecting the storms to be in your hometown. 

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The storms are expected to bring frequent lightning and gusty winds. It looks like the majority of the storms that move through the state will stay below the severe criteria. The strongest storms are just to our north, impacting parts of western and central Massachusetts. 

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8:48 PM UPDATE

We continue to track a line of thunderstorms that are moving towards Connecticut. Take a look at First Alert Doppler Radar. This radar image is from 8:46. You can see that there are Severe Thunderstorm Warnings just miles to our north in parts of New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. 

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The strongest storm in the northeast is about 30 miles away. The good news is that this specific cell will likely stay north of Connecticut.

One of the products we use to look for damaging winds is called velocity. The bright red is representing winds of 65 knots (75 mph) just 500 ft above the ground. This is likely causing wind damage in throughout parts of eastern New York. This cell is headed towards western Massachusetts. 

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Here's a look at Interactive Radar:

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Thunderstorms will likely bring gusty winds, downpours, and frequent lightning. Most of the severe thunderstorms will stay to the north of Connecticut.

Make sure to download the NBC Connecticut App for the latest forecast and to track the storm with Interactive Radar. 


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<![CDATA[Record-Breaking Heat Followed by a Chance for Thunderstorms]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 13:32:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/HIGH+TEMPS+TODAY.png

Today's high temperature record for the Hartford area was broken. Temperatures exceeded 90 degrees at 11 a.m. this morning. The previous record was 90 degrees which was set in 1936.

The high temperature record for southern Connecticut is 84 degrees which was set back in 1998. Official records for southern Connecticut are recorded at Sikorsky Airport in Bridgeport.

Temperatures will continue to climb into the middle 90s for much of inland Connecticut. Temperatures along the water will be a bit cooler with a wind off of the water but still very pleasant.

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In addition to the heat we're also monitoring the threat for strong to even severe thunderstorms later this evening. We're forecasting scattered thunderstorms to move into the northwest corner between 9 and 11 p.m.

Expect the thunderstorms to bring with them frequent lightning, strong winds, and the possibility of some small hail.

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The warm weather will linger into Friday with more seasonable weather by the weekend. Temperatures tomorrow will climb into the middle 80s with temperatures back into the low to middle 70s by this weekend.

Here's a look at the temperature trend over the next several days.

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<![CDATA[Record Breaking Heat Today]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 11:52:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/HIGHS+TOMORROW1.png

Today's high temperature record for the Hartford area was broken. Temperatures exceeded 90 degrees at 11 a.m. this morning. The previous record was 90 degrees which was set in 1936.

The high temperature record for southern Connecticut is 84 degrees which was set back in 1998. Official record for southern Connecticut are recorded at Sikorsky Airport in Bridgeport. 

Temperatures will continue to climb into the middle 90s for much of inland Connecticut. Temperatures along the water will be a bit cooler with a wind off of the water.

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In addition to the heat we're also monitoring the threat for strong to even severe thunderstorms later this evening. We're forecasting scattered thunderstorms to move into the northwest corner between 9 and 11 p.m. 

Expect the thunderstorms to bring with them frequent lightning, strong winds, and the possibility of some hail. 

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The warm weather will linger into Friday with more seasonable weather by the weekend. Temperatures tomorrow will climb into the middle 80s with temperatures back into the low to middle 70s by this weekend.

Here's a look at the temperature trend over the next several days.

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<![CDATA[Warm Today, Record-Breaking Temperatures by Thursday]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 12:55:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Launch+10+Day+11.png

The warm weather today will be replaced with hot weather by tomorrow and Thursday. 

High temperatures today are expected to reach the upper 70s with some locations nearing 80 degrees.

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The weather will turn from warm to hot by tomorrow. We're forecasting high temperatures in the upper 80s with a few locations closing in on 90 degrees. Take a look at forecasted high temperatures for tomorrow. 

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Record breaking warmth moves in by Thursday with temperatures surging into the 90s. The current record for the Hartford area is 90 which was set back in 1936.

Many locations are expected to reach the 90s with some locations surging climbing to the middle 90s. Temperatures along the shoreline will be a bit cooler. The water temperature in Long Island Sound is still in the middle 50s. The southerly wind off of the water will keep temperatures near 80. 

Here's a look at forecasted high temperatures for Thursday. 

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The warm weather will linger into Friday with high temperatures in the upper 80s. Temperatures will turn more seasonable by the weekend with high temperatures in the low 70s.


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<![CDATA[Scattered Showers Throughout the Day]]> Sun, 14 May 2017 08:51:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+HRRR+Precip+Cloud+CT.jpg

Good news if you have outdoor Mother's Day plans. The heaviest of the rain is wrapping up and will exit the state through the morning hours. Here's a look at 'First Alert Future Radar' at 9 a.m. Sunday.

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There will likely be a few peeks of sunshine as we head into the late morning and early afternoon hours of Sunday.

Scattered showers and even an isolated thunderstorm are possible by Sunday afternoon and even into the early evening hours. 

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Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[After 11 Months the Drought Has Officially Ended]]> Thu, 11 May 2017 13:32:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bristol+Drought1.jpg

NBC Connecticut meteorologists are pleased to report that the drought has officially ended.

The National Weather Service announced this morning that the entire state is drought free. There is still a small portion of central and northwest Connecticut that is experiencing "abnormally dry" conditions.

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The drought started in June of last year. 

At the height of the drought some parts of the state were experiencing a rainfall deficit of nearly 20 inches.

By November of last year nearly have of the state was placed in "extreme drought" conditions which is only one category below the worst "exceptional drought".

The drought was so extreme that is lead Gov. Dannel Malloy to issue the first ever drought watch for six counties of the state.

The winter and early spring season have brought a healthy supply of precipitation to the state.

From December 1st to date, Hartford has seen 18.22 inches of precipitation. This is slightly above average with the average being 18 inches.

So what does this mean? Many of the reservoirs are back within normal operating levels. Homeowner can also breathe a sigh of relief as this should alleviate any issues with home wells. 


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<![CDATA[Weekend Nor'Easter Update]]> Thu, 11 May 2017 09:25:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_pr6_slp_t850_ma_13.png

The Mother's Day nor'easter is on track and we're getting more confident in some of the specifics. Yesterday on this blog I posed a couple of questions of things we still didn't know the answers to and now we can start answering them with some confidence. 

The first issue was how early will the rain begin on Saturday? We're thinking 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a start time across the state - and many areas on the I-91 corridor and points east will be dry until at least noon or 1 p.m. If you have stuff you need to do outside there should be a window Saturday morning where things are dry. If we're lucky we may be able to push the start off by a couple hours still! 

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As for rainfall totals our 1"-2" forecast still looks good - but I do think some areas could pick up 3"+ of rain. Localized bands of heavier precipitation are a good bet. One thing that jumps out at me is the "M-Climate" or "model climate" off the GFS being maxed out. Basically, the GFS model is re-run for the last 30 years and compared to the current forecast to computer M-Climate. The amount of rain being produced in a 12-hour period Saturday night on the most recent GFS run is greater than any of those 30-years of reforecasts for this time of year! That's a good signal for locally heavy rain and possibly flooding.

As for Sunday - the forecast is still a tough one. The heavy rain will end around daybreak and we should see some light rain lingering during the morning. I do think there will be a bit of a break late morning/midday - the sun may even come out! That said, showers will likely redevelop during the afternoon as a powerful upper level disturbance swings through southern New England. 


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<![CDATA[Weekend Soaker]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 21:42:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_tprecip_neng_18.png

There's a few questions we're still trying to answer regarding this weekend's nor'easter. We're quite confident in 1"-2" of rain across the state with the heaviest falling Saturday evening and night. There are a few other details we need to work on. 

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1) Will we wind up seeing more than 2" of rain? Some of our computer models (namely the GFS) have been showing extremely heavy rainfall totals - some runs have had in excess of 4"! The GFS ensemble mean is between 1.5" and 2.0" and the Euro Ensemble mean is between 1.0" and 1.5" across the state. With very strong convergence, a powerful upper level jet streak and closing off low, along with an anomalous surge of moisture the ingredients are there for localized totals over 2". 

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2) When does the rain begin on Saturday? Will the storm slow down just a bit on Saturday and give us a dry morning and midday? That's a possibility and could salvage people's early Saturday plans. 

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3) After the rain winds down Sunday morning (it may end as early as 8 or 9 a.m.) will we see a second round of rain in the afternoon? The GFS keeps us dry while the Euro brings in a second and powerful upper level disturbance in the afternoon. If the latter solution verified a period of heavy rain and even some thunder could redevelop Sunday afternoon. I really don't have a good sense of what is going to happen here later Sunday so stay tuned for more on that. 


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<![CDATA[May Snow]]> Mon, 08 May 2017 21:56:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/18359039_1556683611031930_52906596634272983_o.jpg

People in Litchfield County woke up to a bit of a surprise this morning - snow was falling at a steady clip! The official observer in Norfolk, Russell Russ, told me the snow was mixed with rain this morning from 8:00-9:00 and then at 9 a good burst of heavy snow occured. No accumulation occurred. 

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This snow was nothing like what occured 40 years ago in Connecticut. The infamous May 1977 snowstorm dropped an incredible 20" of snow in Norfolk and 1.3" at Bradley International Airport. Still, in Norfolk a trace of snow has been recorded 85 times since 1943 and there have been 16 instances of measureable snow. 

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The storm was a ferocious nor'easter that was almost as unsual as the October 3, 1987 storm or October 30, 2011 storm with widespread tree and power line damage due to the large number of leaves on the trees. 


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<![CDATA[Another Chilly Night Ahead]]> Mon, 08 May 2017 16:57:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Sky+Tonight+Lows+Map.png

NBC Connecticut Meteorologists are forecasting another night with temperatures in the 30s.

Some residents in the northwest corner woke up to snow falling in their town. Check out this video from Norfolk which shows snow falling at a decent clip.

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While we're not forecasting any snow tonight we are forecasting chilly temperatures.

Temperatures throughout the state are expected to fall into the 30s for much of the state.

Here's a look at the low temperatures forecast for tonight. The hilly locations of the state could experience some frost by morning. 

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<![CDATA[Unusual Wind Storm Clobbers Vermont, New York]]> Sat, 06 May 2017 08:45:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/18199542_1667501939934485_8450409264263574595_n.jpg

An unusual "gravity wave" induced wind storm produced wind gusts of hurricane force in parts of western Vermont and eastern New York Friday afternoon. The unusual wind storm occurred suddenly in the late afternoon and appears to be driven by what is known as a gravity wave.

A gravity wave is a wave (think just like the ocean) that occurs in a stable atmosphere. This vertical wave pushes the air up and down just like a ripple in a pond after you toss a rock into it. We can see this perturbation in the atmosphere by looking at the surface pressure on a barometer. These two pressure traces from Williamstown, MA and Stockbridge, MA in the Berkshires show a sharp drop and rise in the atmospheric pressure just after 4:00 p.m. This happened as the gravity wave moved over Massachusetts - the ripple overhead in the atmosphere produced a quick drop and rise in the pressure. 

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North of the Berkshires - on the west side of the Green Mountains - the gravity wave was more than just a curiosity. A ferocious period of winds developed as the gravity wave moved overhead with gusts up to 74 mph in the town of Wells, VT and substantial tree damage in the cities of Rutland and Bennington, VT. 

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East of Albany in the town of Brunswick, NY you can see a big pressure drop (~7mb in an hour) along with a sudden surge of winds up to 65 mph. 

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The gravity wave appears to have been of a substantial enough amplitude to bring down very strong winds from aloft. The winds from 5,000 feet in the atmosphere were about 75 mph and appear to have mixed right down to the ground as this vertical wave resulted in one hell of an atmospheric ripple. The terrain absolutely played a part in this - as all of the powerful winds occurred just west of the Green Mountains (Killington, near Rutland, is ~4200 feet) and another band of strong winds occured just west of the Taconic Mountains in eastern New York. 

What triggered the gravity wave isn't clear either. Gravity waves are not uncommon - we see small ones all the time during storms but hravity waves that produce a 9mb pressure drop in an hour are very unusual and can produce really nasty winds. 


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<![CDATA[Heavy Rain Leads to Minor Flooding]]> Fri, 05 May 2017 17:14:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/flooding+new+london_1200.jpg

The heavy rain and thunderstorms are moving out of the state. 

Parts of the state experienced minor flooding as 1 to 3 inches of rain fell. One of the areas that saw the worst flooding was Pequot Avenue in New London. Over a foot of water covered the road. 

Here's exclusive video of the flooding that occured just after 4 p.m. 

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Here's a look at 'Interactive Radar' which shows the rain moving out of the state.

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While the heavy rain is moving out we're still anticipating scattered showers this evening. This is what 'First Alert Future Radar' looks like at 8 p.m. 

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Heavy rain and thunderstorms will become widespread late tonight and early Saturday morning. 

Rainfall totals will range from 1 to 2 inches; a few towns could experience slightly higher totals. 

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Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Friday Soaker]]> Wed, 03 May 2017 20:26:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_pwat_conus2_9.png

A surge of tropical moisture and a deep low pressure to our west is going to bring a soaking rain into Connecticut on Friday. While the rain is expected to be heavy for a period of time we may be looking at a smidge less than we were thinking a day or two ago. 

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Most of our computer models show a general 1"-2" rainfall across the state - including our high resolution models like the NAM. 

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One strong signal for heavy rain is mean values of ~2" in southern Connecticut showing up on the Euro Ensembles. More than 50% of Euro Ensemble members drop over 2" of rain in the New Haven area - that's a big signal! 

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At this point it appears there's a minor threat for flooding Friday afternoon. Strong lift, a good moisture plume, and even a bit of elevated instability should be enough for embedded thunderstorms and locally heavy rain. The storm is moving fast enough - and our models have cut back on precipitation totals over the last 24 hours - that we're not expecting widespread or significant flooding.

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This is just another storm putting a dent in the multi-year drought we've been dealing with. It appears our fortunes have turned and we're seeing big improvement in virtually every drought indicator. 


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<![CDATA[A Prolonged Period of Unsettled Weather Starts Friday]]> Tue, 02 May 2017 15:43:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM12+Precip+Cloud+Floater+%283%29.png

NBC Connecticut Meteorologists have issued a 'First Alert' for heavy rain and thunderstorms expected Friday. 

The next couple of days will be primarily dry. Wednesday will be cool and breezy with partly cloudy skies. High temperatures will reach 60 degrees. 

Temperatures will be bit milder on Thursday with increasing clouds throughout the day. High temperatures will rise into the middle to upper 60s. 

The weather turns quite unsettled on Friday as a low pressure system moves to our north. We're forecasting heavy rain and thunderstorms throughout the day. We're keeping an eye on the threat for flooding throughout parts of the state. Some of our computer models are indicating up to 2 inches of rain is possible. 

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Unfortunately the system stalls out for several days to our north. This is called a 'Cut-Off Low". The system is basically stuck and can't move due to blocking to the north. 

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A prolonged period of showers and thunderstorms are likely through the weekend and right into the workweek. 


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<![CDATA[Cut-Off Low Woes]]> Mon, 01 May 2017 20:25:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/eps_z500a_noram_29.png

A dreaded cut-off low is going to pay Connecticut a visit this weekend and early next week. The result will be days and days of gloom. Cut-off lows get their name because they effectively become "cut-off" from the jet stream and they can stall out and linger for days on end. 

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The pattern is a classic one for something like this to form. A dramatic block over Greenland will help force a large dip in the jet stream over New England. What doe it mean for us? An extended period of clouds, chilly temperatures, rain, and possibly even thundersytorms and small hail. 

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It's tough to time out which days will be coldest or wettest or stomiest but things are not looking great for those who want sunshine. In June or July these cut-off lows are notorious for producing localized areas of excessive rainfall and even severe weather but in early May the impacts should be a bit more muted - though some heavy rain and strong thunderstorms are certainly a possibility.

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Unfortunately, even after the cut-off low weakens its grip on us the day 11-day 15 period isn't looking so hot (literally) either with a cooler than normal regime over the northeastern U.S. 



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<![CDATA[Tracking Showers and Thunderstorms Tonight]]> Mon, 01 May 2017 16:55:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tonights+T-Storms.png

Severe thunderstorms continue to move through Pennsylvania and upstate New York. The thunderstorms will continue to move east towards Connecticut.

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Most of the thunderstorm activity will weaken by the time the storms reach Connecticut. The area that has the highest chance for thunderstorms tonight is Litchfield county. 

Here's a look at 'Future Radar' which shows scattered showers and thunderstorms later tonight.

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Scattered showers will continue through the late night hours and into first the early morning hours tomorrow. 

The showers and thunderstorms are all part of a cold front that continues to move through the northeast. 

Winds will really ramp up tomorrow morning/afternoon following the passage of the cold front. We're forecasting sustained winds of 15 to 30 mph.

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<![CDATA[Strong Thunderstorms Possible Tomorrow Morning]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:40:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Future+Radar1.png

Temperatures were quite warm today. Inland areas climbed into the low to middle 80s, the warm weather was even experienced along the shoreline where temperatures reached the middle 70s.

Stepping out this evening? The weather will be quite pleasant with partly cloudy skies and temperatures falling into the upper 50s and low 60s.

We're monitoring the threat for strong thunderstorms early tomorrow morning. Here's a look at 'First Alert Future Radar' which shows a line of storms moving through the state.

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Some areas could see lightning, gusty winds, and even small hail.

We're forecasting the storms to move into the state between 4 and 6 a.m. The storms will move through the state rather quick and should exit by 9 a.m. 

The weather will turn gorgeous by tomorrow afternoon. A wind out of the west will allow temperatures even along the beaches to reach the upper 70s.

Here's a look at our forecasted high temperatures for tomorrow.

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<![CDATA[Morning Thunderstorm Threat]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:58:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+Temp+CT_042817.png

With warmer air making it feel a bit like summer - we may have to deal with a few thunderstorms Saturday morning across the state. A nose of unstable air will push north in southern New England around daybreak and this may be enough to fire a cluster of strong thunderstorms in the morning.

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Many of our high resolution models show a round of thunderstorms tomorrow morning and that's not surprising given the brief instability spike. The NCAR ensemble has strong odds of CAPE exceeding 1000 j/kg across Connecticut tomorrow morning which should be enough for storms.

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One thing to watch is there is a fair amount of effective shear for these elevated storms tomorrow morning. While strong winds are quite likely (a shallow layer of cooler and stable air near the ground should preclude damaging wind) the combination of CAPE and shear may allow some vigorous updrafts to develop resulting in heavy rain, lightning, and even small hail.These daybreak storms aren't uncommon in these setups. Once in a while they can produce severe weather but this doesn't seem like one of those times.

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As the storms move east a westerly wind develops which should allow very warm temperatures even to the beaches. Enjoy it! 


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<![CDATA[Warmer Weather Brings Showers & Thunderstorms]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:02:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Friday+High+Temperatures1.png

Warmer air is working into the state and some areas could hit 80 degrees Friday and Saturday.

High temperatures Friday are expected to reach the upper 70s to near 80 degrees. Here's a look at Friday's town by town high temperatures 

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The warmer weather also brings with it the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms. Showers rolled through Friday morning and we could see thunderstorms on Saturday.

Here's a look at 'Future Radar' Saturday morning which shows a line of thunderstorms moving through the state. Sunshine and warm air will return by the afternoon hours. 

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Unfortunately for the warm weather fans the temperatures become much more seasonable by Sunday. High temperatures on Sunday are expected to reach the middle to upper 60s. The average high temperature for this time of year is 65 degrees. 


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<![CDATA[Weekend Forecast Becomes More Clear]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:05:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_t2maf_slp_ma_13.png

Warmer temperatures and some sunshine by Friday and Saturday - I can't wait! The forecast is becoming more clear as we get a nice consensus on our computer models.

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There is one interesting piece of the forecast Saturday afternoon and evening showing up on some of our computer models. Both the GFS and NAM show a surge in instability late in the day Saturday which would introduce a risk for thunderstorms - and maybe even a severe thunderstorm. One thing we look at is mid level lapse rates - basically how quickly temperatures decrease with height about 15,000 feet up. The faster temperatures drop the more unstable the atmosphere is. These steep lapse rates are a hallmark of many of our high end severe weather events.

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That said, there are lots of questions here including how much moisture we'll have in the low levels of the atmosphere and whether we'll have enough forcing to generate storms in the first place. These are open questions but given the instability surge modeled on some of our models this is worth watching.

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As for temperatures - upper 70s and low 80s seem to be a good bet Friday and Saturday. The Short Range Ensemble Forecast (SREF) above shows good agreement for both days with a gradual warming trend. There still some uncertainty, however, as to what will happen on Sunday. Winds will become onshore which should result in a drop in temperatures. How cool and how much cloud cover we see is still a bit up in the air - stay tuned.


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<![CDATA[Rain Continues This Evening]]> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 20:24:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/CODNEXLAB-2km-VA_WV-ir-ani24-201704252307-100-100-raw.gif

A sprawling cut-off low off the Carolinas is drifting north and will produce locally heavy rain in Connecticut later tonight. These cut-off lows can produce all sorts of problems (like the flash flooding in North and South Carolina over the past few days) but this one is weakening rapidly. 

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If nothing else tonight's rain will be a welcome drought-denter. We're not talking about enough rain to cause flooding (a big puddle under a railroad bridge doesn't count) but we are talking about enough to fill up streams, rivers, and even reservoirs some. Another drop in a bucket that needed a whole lot of filling after 2 years of below normal rain. 

So far rainfall amounts have been below 1/2 inch but there are some signals that things will pick up. For one, colder cloud tops (indicative of higher clouds and even some thunderstorms) are developing off the coast of Delaware and streaming north. 

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Our computer models show a surge in instability (CAPE) tonight which is a good sign for heavy rain. Convective Available Potential Energy is an acronym you'll hear a lot in the warm season and it tells us how unstable the atmosphere is. Our models show modest instability developing across southern New England after 10 p.m. this evening which should favor some more vigorous updrats leading to some thunderstorms and downpours. 

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Where thunderstorms develop (especially if they linger over the same towns) we have the potential to see 1"-2" of rain in a relatively short period of time tonight. Right around midnight some towns will see one heck of a downpour. I don't think an additional 1.5" or 2.0" will be widespread but some areas will get a very good drink of water tonight. The NAM model shows localized pockets of 2" of rain which is reasonable tonight in a few towns given the large amount of moisture and the instability that develops. 

Beyond tonight things gradually improve over the next 36 hours. By Friday temperatures near 80 degrees will be common inland!


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<![CDATA[Showers and Downpours Through the Night]]> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:21:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/FutureRadarTues1.png

NBC Connecticut Meteorologists have issued a 'First Alert' for minor flooding possible tonight into the early morning hours tomorrow.

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Scattered showers and occasional downpours will contiue through the nightime hours.

The heaviest rain will move in after midnight tonight. This is when we believe minor flooding could occur. Here's a look at future radar which shows heavy rain falling throughout the state late tonight.

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Scattered rain showers will linger into the first part of the day tomorrow. Partial clearing will take place by tomorrow afternoon with a few peeks of sunshine.

Here's a look at one of our computer models which shows rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches by tomorrow afternoon.

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Warmer air moves into the state for the end of the workweek and weekend. High temperatures are forecasted to reach the low 70s Thursday, upper 70s Friday, and low 80s by Saturday.

Make sure to download the NBC Connecticut App for the latest forecast and intercative radar.


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<![CDATA[From Rain to Warmth]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:11:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_tprecip_ma_11.png

Another drought-denting rain is on the way Tuesday and Wednesday. Another inch of rain will put another small dent in the drought that was about 2 years in the making. 

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Rain will begin Tuesday morning and continue off and on through Wednesday. The setup is fairly common this kind of year with a big cut-off low off the southeastern U.S. drifting up the coast. This is the kind of setup that can deliver flooding rains to Connecticut in April BUT this system is weakening dramatically. Still, a period of locally heavy rain is a possibility in some towns later Tuesday and Tuesday night.

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Even though the low weakens as it moves up the coast there's quite a bit of moisture that will move in. The graphic above is what's called "precipitable water" (PWAT) and it's a good way of looking at how much moisture exists throughout the atmosphere. What we've done here is compare the PWAT values for Tuesday night to what's typical for late April - values are ~200% of normal so that indicates there's a lot more moisture in the air than there typically is this time of year. This shouldn't come as much surprise, though, when you see where the air is coming from. A long fetch of southerly winds is transporting moisture from the Caribbean and southern Atlantic Ocean right into New England. 

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It appears as though the peak of the rain will be Tuesday night. The low level jet stream (about 5,000 feet above our heads) will peak Tuesday evening and night and that is when there's a maximum in low level convergence and moisture transport. That's when we'll get the wettest.

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How much rain are we looking at? Most of our computer models have between 0.5" and 1.5" across that state and that looks reasonable. This will not be enough for flooding. With a low that's weakening (and, as a result, modest amounts of lift in the atmophere) it will be tough to see truly excessive precipitation even with an unusually high amount of moisture. I should note, however, that some of our short range ensemble members (see graph above) do show over 2" of rain. While unlikely, this would be a possibility especially if thunderstorms develop.

We're still on track for an extended period of warm weather later this week through early next week. At least one or two days near 80F seems likely. 


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<![CDATA[A Warm Start to Summer?]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:42:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/215*120/off01_temp042017.gif

Today the National Weather Service released their 3-month forecast for May, June, and July. It's a scorcher for the east coast. The June-July-August forecast is just as warm for New England.

The NWS is predicting a better than 50% chance of warmer than normal conditions for all of New England south through Florida. Most of the United States with the exception of the northern Rockies and northern Plains is also expected to experience a hot summer. 

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Here in Connecticut a greater than 50% chance of a hot summer means there's less than a 50% chance of either "normal" or "below normal temperatures this summer. "Warmer than normal" is defined as the 10 warmest in the last 30 years while "colder than normal" would be 10 coldest in the last 30 years, etc.  

This forecast isn't a huge surprise given how warm our recent summers have been and continued warming due to climate change. 

Of course things can change. While these kinds of outlooks show skill (compared to say rolling a die or shaking a magic 8 ball) they're not always correct. Even saying there's <50% chance of a normal or below normal summer doesn't preclude that from happening. We shall see! 

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<![CDATA[Subtropical Depression 1]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:43:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/avn_lalo-animated041917.gif

Unless you're a weather geek you probably haven't heard about the subtropical depression that formed in the Atlantic Ocean today. It didn't make it in any of my weather segments today as it sure didn't pass the, "who the heck cares" test. 

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A subtropical depression is like a hybrid tropical-non tropical storm. Our nor'easters in the winter are non-tropical low pressures. Hurricanes like Gloria, Carol, 1938, and Bob are tropical lows. But like so much in meteorology it's really not cut and dry and there's a continuum or spectrum of lows - fully tropical, fully non-tropical, and somewhere inbetween. This is a somewhere inbetween storm. The biggest difference between tropical and non-tropical storms is where they derive their energy with the former gaining energy from warm ocean waters and the latter from processes including fronts, jet stream disturbances, and other such things.

Here's an official definitition of a subtropical system from the National Hurricane Center:

Subtropical Cyclone:

A non-frontal low-pressure system that has characteristics of both tropical and extratropical cyclones. Like tropical cyclones, they are non-frontal, synoptic-scale cyclones that originate over tropical or subtropical waters, and have a closed surface wind circulation about a well-defined center. In addition, they have organized moderate to deep convection, but lack a central dense overcast. Unlike tropical cyclones, subtropical cyclones derive a significant proportion of their energy from baroclinic sources, and are generally cold-core in the upper troposphere, often being associated with an upper-level low or trough. In comparison to tropical cyclones, these systems generally have a radius of maximum winds occurring relatively far from the center (usually greater than 60 n mi), and generally have a less symmetric wind field and distribution of convection.

If Subtropical Depression #1 manages to strengthen a bit more it will even get a name - Arlene! It's a nice looking swirl 830 miles west of the Azores that's no threat to land and expected to dissipate shortly. Besides the fish this thing is impacting no one. 

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As usual, there was a bit of complaining this morning on weather twitter about whether this system should have been declared, whether it would have been declared one in the past, and whether this whole thing is a waste of time. I fall on the side of sure - let's call it what it is a "subtropical depression" and even name it if it strengthens. But that doesn't mean it's worth spending time talking about - it's nothing more than a swirl of clouds in the middle of nowhere that manages to get a fancy web page and graphics built for it because the National Hurricane Center called it something. 

So now you know what a subtropical depression is whether you've been curious or not. 


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<![CDATA[From Sunshine to April Showers]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:35:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Thursday+and+Friday.png

After a beautiful start to the week the weather will change to a more unsettled note.

Clouds will thicken up Wednesday ahead of rain showers that will move into the state on Thursday.

Thursday looks quite unsettled with scattered showers throughout much of the day. 

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A steady rain will move in by Friday morning. The rain will last into the afternoon hours.

Many welcome the rain as the fire danger is 'High' statewide. The fire danger level is adjusted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Click here to check on the latest 'Fire Danger' level.

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It looks like most of the rain is out of here just in time for the weekend. 

Saturday will feature mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 60s, while Sunday will bring in a little more sunshine and higher temperatures. 


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<![CDATA[Turning Cooler]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:01:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/ireland12456.jpg

After an amazing week vacationing in Ireland where it was between 50 and 60 dregees I sort of chuckled when the pilot informed the cabin it was 81F at JFK on Sunday. Bradley Airport managed a wild 88 degree temperature on Easter Sunday! But for those who like the warmth we've got a change on the way for the next week or so.

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The weather pattern has changed. A big ridge of high pressure that pumped warmth up from the south and kept a westerly wind in New England is being replaced by a somewhat persistent  trough and periods of onshore wind. This time of year wind direction is critical for our temperatures with exceptionally cold water in the Atlantic Ocean. 

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There are signs, however, that by the end of April a return to unseasonable warmth may occur. For example, both the Euro and GFS models rebuild a southeast ridge of high pressure and move a milder airmass in here in the Day 11-Day 15 time frame. 

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While we'll have to deal with a few cloudy, showery, and cool periods over the next week or so if you like warmth there are some positive signs ahead.


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<![CDATA[Thunderstorms Roll in Sunday Night, Rain Clears for Monday]]> Sun, 16 Apr 2017 19:18:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/RADAR54.JPG

Scattered showers and thunderstorms will roll through Sunday evening following a day of summer-like warmth in parts of the state.

Easter Sunday saw temperatures into the 80s for inland areas of the state and into the 70s for coastal areas.

Gusty showers and storms will ramp up after dark, with wind gusts reaching around 30 miles per hour. There will be pockets of thunder and lightning popping up across the state, with the storms coming from the northwest and moving southeast.

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The rains will clear up overnight, and Monday will be partly cloudy and windy. Temperatures are expected in the middle 60s. Tuesday will see mostly sunny skies but with high temperatures only expected to reach the middle to upper 50s.

Get the most up to date forecast anytime by clicking here. 



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[A Taste of Summer for Easter]]> Sun, 16 Apr 2017 09:04:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+ECMWF+13km+Temp+CT+%281%291.png

We're forecasting another big warm-up and this time it arrives just in time for the Easter holiday.

This will leave us with very pleasant weather for Easter Sunday. No weather issues were for sunrise services. Sunrise was at 6:10 a.m. on Sunday.

Here's a look at the planner for Easter Sunday.

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Temperatures Sunday afternoon will warm into the 80s for inland areas of the state. Coastal areas can expect temperatures in the low 70s.

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<![CDATA[Seasonable Air Moves into Connecticut]]> Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:04:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Thursday+High+Temps1.png

After experiencing temperatures in the 70s and 80s to start the week temperatures will be much more seasonable to close out the week. 

Average high temperatuers this time of year should be around 60 degrees and that's exactly what we're forecasting.

High temperatures Thursday will range from the upper 50s along the shoreline to the low 60s for inland areas of the state.

The 60 degree temperatures will stick around through Friday and Saturday.

Then a brief warm-up arrives by Sunday. A warm front will push through the region Sunday morning. Behind the warm front are some abnormally warm temperatures. We're forecasting high temperatures near 80 degrees for inland areas of the state. Coastal areas of the state can expect high temperatures near 70. 

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<![CDATA[A High Risk for Forest Fires]]> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 17:45:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fire+Danger3.png

Meteorologist Josh Cingranelli here. I'm guest writing 'On Ryan's Radar' while he's taking some much deserved R&R in Ireland. 

Abnormally high temperatures coupled with gusty winds are leading to an increased risk of brush and forest fires.

Conditions are dry with relative humidity values between 20 to 30 percent. 

One of the reasons conditions become so dry this time of year is because of the lack of leaves on the trees. 

The leaves help to provide moisture into the atmosphere in a process called transpiration. 

The dry conditions have caused a high fire danger level.

When the fire danger is high, very high, or extreme open burn permits become invalid. Click here to check out the latest fire danger level.

The dry conditions will continue through the end of the week. Relative humidity values will range from 20 to 30 percent with breezy conditions. 

Fire officials across the state urge everyone to be vigilant when discarding any ashes. 


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<![CDATA[Connecticut Enjoys Record-Breaking Temps Tuesday]]> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:18:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rocky+neck+april+11.jpg

Record breaking warmth is moving into the state today.

The temperature reached 80 degrees at Bradley International Airport just before 1 p.m.  

Here's a look at our high temperature forecast.

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The previous record was 79 degrees which was set back in 1955. We're forecasting a high temperatures of 83 degrees for the Hartford area.

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Thousands enjoyed the warmer weather by taking a trip to the beach, including many who flocked to Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic.

Please share with us how you're enjoying the warm weather. Send us a photo to ShareIt@nbcconnecticut.com



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[When Temperatures Could Approach 80 Degrees]]> Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:11:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/HIGH+TEMPS+1.png

The weekend will start out on a cool note. We're forecasting high temperatures Saturday to be around 50 degrees with partly sunny skies.

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The weather will improve by Sunday. Skies will be mostly sunny with temperatures rising into the middle 60s inland and upper 50s along the shoreline.

The warmest weather doesn't arrive until Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures Monday will rise into the 70s and will be near record breaking by Tuesday.

Here's a look at high temperatures for Tuesday. The current high temperature record in the Hartford area is 79 degrees.

[[418676093, C]]


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<![CDATA[Heavy Rain, Flooding, and Storms]]> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 20:59:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CODNEXLAB-GOES16-Infrared-14-42Z-20170406_871-877-10-10011.gif

9:00 P.M. Update: As we expected strong thunderstorms rolled through between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. While there was a report of nickel size hail in Higganum the storms mainly behaved otherwise with occasional pea size hail, lightning and heavy rain.

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There were several reports of wind damage in Smithtown, Long Island and also a 58 mph wind gust at Mount Sinai Harbor to our south. Minor flooding is still expected on some rivers in the state as today's rain runs off. 

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Rainfall totals in many areas did underperform as the storms were exceptionally fast moving (90 mph!) and there was a fairly large dry slot over Connecticut during the afternoon.

11:00 A.M. Update:  Rain has tapered off for the time being but heavier rain will move back in this afternoon through early evening. Thunderstorms across the Mid Atlantic - from Washington, D.C. to North Carolina will approach later today.

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9:00 A.M. Update: The rain has arrived and there is the potential for some flooding this afternoon and early evening. There are a few things to note about today's flooding potential:

  • Flooding should be isolated and relatively minor. Rainfall amounts will likely fall short of what's needed for more widespread or significant issues.
  • Rainfall amounts of 1"-2" likely across the state - most areas will be closer to the 1" amounts, however.
  • Small rivers and streams may approach bankful and some urban areas may see poor drainage flooding.
  • Larger rivers (Farmington, Yantic, Quinnipiac, etc) should remain in their banks - flooding is not expected on these rivers.
  • The Connecticut and Housatonic Rivers should experience minor (typical in spring) flooding Friday and Saturday as swollen tributaries feed the two biggest rivers in the state.

One thing we will be monitoring closely this afternoon is the potential for strong thunderstorms between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. While severe weather is not likely - I can't rule out a stronger storm. We have a very stable layer of air near the surface but there will be a significantly unstable layer just off the ground - we call this elevated instability. 

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With this in mind I expect we'll see some elevated thunderstorms that could result in small hail, very heavy rain, and lightning. While unlikely, occasionally these thunderstorm can produce strong winds at the surface. Winds only 2,000 feet above the ground are near hurricane force so if those storms can punch through the stable layer near the ground we could see strong winds. Again this is unlikely but something we'll be watching closely. 


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<![CDATA[Thursday Soaker]]> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:30:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+NAM+Accum+Precip+CT2+%281%29.png

Another round of rain on top of saturated ground could result in minor flooding in parts of Connecticut Thursday. Our computer models show somewhere between 1.00" and 2.00" of rain across the state with the potential for locally higher amounts in a few towns. 

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Even with this additional heavy rain most of the rivers in Connecticut can handle it. The Farmington River (hydrograph pictured below) is expected to remain below flood stage as is the Yantic River and Quinnipiac River. Smaller rivers and streams, however, may see quick rises tomorrow afternoon as the rain runs off quickly. Urban areas with poor drainage may also be succeptible to flooding. Don't be the person we get video of with a stalled out car under a Metro North underpass! 

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One other item of interest tomorrow afternoon is the potential for a strong thunderstorm in southeastern Connecticut. Some of our computer models develop quite a bit of elevated instability (nearly 1,000 j/kg of CAPE) just above the ground. Additionally, very strong wind fields will be present with winds near hurricane force about 2,000 feet above our heads. While there is a very strong stable layer forecast to be present near the ground thunderstorms can do funny things and occasionally mix down stronger winds from aloft even in the presence of steep inversions/stable layers. At the very least, lightning, thunder, downpours and small hail are possible.

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Most of the rain will taper off after 6 or 7 p.m. as dry air moves in from the south. 


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<![CDATA[Lightning Strikes TV Station in Georgia]]> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 20:55:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/photoforgeorgia.jpg

See incredible footage of a lightning storm hitting the NBC affiliate in Columbus, Georgia, on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The lightning knocked the network off the air for a few minutes, but no one was hurt.

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<![CDATA[Heavy Rain and Thunderstorms Moving into the State]]> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 20:58:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Future+Radar+.png

A band of heavy rain, lightning, and small hail moved through the state earlier resulting in isolated flooding and hail up to the size of nickels in Higganum.

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While the rain is over for tonight flooding is still expected on some rivers over the next couple days. We're forecasting the Housatonic and Connecticut Rivers to be near or even exceed flood stage by the end of the week and into this weekend. 

A flood warning is in effect for the Connecticut River until further notice. The Connecticut River is expected to crest by Sunday morning. The forecasted crest level is 18.1 feet which will lead to minor flooding issues along the low lying river areas. 

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Parts of southeastern Connecticut are already experiencing some minor river flooding. A flood warning is in effect for the Pawcatuck River at Westerly until further notice. Some minor lowland flooding is occurring in parts of Stonington and North Stonington. 

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Looking further down the road we're expecting some warm weather to enter the state early next week. Inland high temperatures are forecasted to reach 70 degrees on Monday and into the middle to upper 70s by Tuesday.

Temperatures along the shoreline will run around 10 degrees cooler as a result of the cold Long Island Sound water temperature.


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<![CDATA[Big Warmth Expected Next Week]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 11:21:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_t2max_boston_32.png

Signals are growing for an impressive surge of warmth next week. It won't be record breaking but it certainly will be a welcome change after an unusually cold March across Connecticut.

The key this time of year is the wind direction. A wind out of the south, east, north - or any combination of the 3 isn't going to get warmth into southern New England. Water temperatures in the 40s off of Cape Cod and Long Island make it almost impossible to warm when the air is blowing off the Atlantic. The key is to get a westerly wind off the land and that is what we're expecting early next week.

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Right now, we have 70F forecast for Tuesday but that number may need to be increased. In fact some of the raw model numbers we're looking at have temperatures approaching 80 degrees by Tuesday! 

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Looking back a bit, this morning's rain was pretty impressive as we expected. Most areas picked up about an inch of rain in a short period of time while some spots in southwestern Connecticut managed over 2" of rain resulting in some minor flooding. 


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<![CDATA[A Wet Week of Weather]]> Mon, 03 Apr 2017 22:29:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C8h4mmQW0AA5ICY.jpg

Two storms each dropping 1"-2" of rain - finally! Combined with snow melt to our north this rain may even be enough to result in minor flooding on some of the larger rivers in the state. 

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The heaviest rain tomorrow will fall during the morning commute with occasional rain during the midday and afternoon hours. A few thunderstorms are possible tomorrow along with any heavier downpours that develop.

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One of the things we'll have to watch tomorrow is a localized are of heavy rain in southern Connecticut with strong onshore flow. Some of the NCAR ensemble members show a localized band of 3" of rain near the Merritt Parkway. This is a phenomenon that has been documented before (Colle and Yuter, 2007) as southerly flow over the ocean is slowed by friction over Long Island and Connecticut resulting in convergence - in addition to increase lift forced as air is forced up and over the small hills on Long Island and Connecticut. A local minima in precipitation is observed over Long Island Sound.

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Another storm approaches on Thursday and that may result in even more rain. The GFS model shows very good odds of over 2" of rain in Hartford by the time the Thursday storm is over (each line represents a different computer model precipitation forecast) and other models have even more rain.

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If the rain gets you down - don't worry. There is a strong signal for above normal temperatures next week as a southwesterly wind flow develops and warm air moves toward New England. 

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Right now we're forecasting 70F on Tuesday. Who's excited?


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<![CDATA[Heavy Rain Leads to Flooding]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 16:20:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Stratford+flooding+photos+1200.jpg

NBC Connecticut meteorologists have issued a First Alert for heavy rain today and another for Thursday. 

A flood watch has been issued for Litchfield County.

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Rain moved into the state early this morning and has caused some issues on the roads, including in Stratford, where firefighters had to rescue two people from flooded roads.

Expect scattered rain, with heavier downpours in some areas that could lead to ponding on the roadways. 

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The rain will continue throughout much of the day with scattered thunderstorms possible. Temperatures today are only expected to reach the middle 40s. 

We're forecasting average rainfall amounts between an inch and and inch and a half by this evening. 

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Wednesday will dry out with a mix of sun and clouds but another storm will move in by Thursday morning. 

This storm could bring even higher rainfall totals which could lead to some minor flooding issues. We're expecting another 1 to 2 inches of rain with this system.

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We could also see more scattered thunderstorms throughout the day on Thursday. 

Stay with the NBC Connecticut First Alert Weather Team for the very latest and download the NBC Connecticut App to track the rain and thunderstorms.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[What Drought?]]> Sun, 02 Apr 2017 21:02:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_tprecip_neng_29.png

About 50 percent of the state is still under a "severe drought" but it sure seems like our fortunes are changing. Windsor Locks managed an "above normal" March with 3.93" of precipitation while I managed 4.95" in West Hartford! This week, like the last several, also looks awfully stormy.

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The European model shows good odds (>50 percent) of more than 2" of rain for southern and western Connecticut over the next 7 days. With snow melt up north along with locally heavy rain we may see a period of minor flooding on the Connecticut River. You can see impressive rises possible based on rainfall and snow melt from the GFS ensembles.

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While it will take time to completely eliminate the drought we're moving in the right direction. If we can string together 2 more months of above normal precipitation we may finally be able to put this drought in the rear view mirror. 


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<![CDATA[Icy and Rainy Night]]> Fri, 31 Mar 2017 18:53:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/NAMNE_850_temp_018.png

Today's storm is beginning to pick up in intensity as colder air filters in from the north this evening. Already freezing rain has developed in many locations in Litchfield County and also the northeast hills as rain falls into subfreezing temperatures near the ground. The biggest concern for tonight is the potential for tree damage and power outages as freezing rain glazes up power lines and trees across the hill towns.

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The NCAR ensemble from this morning is extremely bullish on the freezing rain potential with up to 1" of icing tonight! While the NCAR ensemble frequently overdoes freezing rain we need to monitor this closely.

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You can see the issue on this sounding off the NAM which shows a warm layer that's sufficient to melt snowflakes. How warm that warm layer is will determine how much precipitation falls as freezing rain and how much as sleet. 

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This is the area we're highlighting for freezing rain issues this evening - particularly above 600 or 700 feet. 

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By morning there is the possibility of a flip back to snow or sleet along the I-84 corridor and possible as far south as Norwich and Middletown. Cold air will sink south as a band of heavy precipitation develops across Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. This is a tough, tough forecast. Don't be surprised to see a burst of mix developing around daybreak in many areas that just get rain tonight. 


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<![CDATA[Ice and Rain to End March]]> Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:20:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+Web.png

This is probably a fitting way to end March 2017. The month has been nearly 5 degrees below average compared to January 2017 which was 6.6 degrees above average! As I wrote about yesterday late March/early April is full of weird storms (2016 April freezing rain and 2014 morning commute surprise snow) that have given forecasters fits and ticked off the vast majority of Connecticut residents ready for spring. 

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A storm is going to dive south of southern New England and produce a period of rain, sleet, freezing rain, and even a bit of snow. If you're excited for a big snowstorm - temper your enthusiasm immediately! This storm is looking more and more like a slushy/icy mix for areas north of I-84 and a mainly rain event south of there. Even in the Hartford area a lot of what will fall will likely be in the form of rain.

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The "snow/sleet" forecast is actually fairly straightforward. Plenty of mid level warmth will limit the amount of snow we can get. In fact most areas see very little. The bigger question is what form the ice takes Friday evening and Friday night. Is it ice pellets or freezing rain. Ice pellets (or sleet) is the bouncy stuff that is a nightmare to shovel and not great to drive on but it sure beats freezing rain which clings to powerlines and trees and can result in all sorts of problems.

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The key to figuring our what we'll see is how thick and how warm the warm layer is aloft AND how cold temperatures are right at ground level. First we'll start at the ground. This product from the NCAR ensemble shows the probability of temperatures below 32F at the surface at 8 p.m. Friday. There are good odds for <32F temperatures for the hilltowns later Friday. 

Upstairs the forecast is a bit more convoluted. I can look at the 850mb pressure level (about 5,000 feet up) and see what the temperatures are doing there and you can see a significant spread between the NAM and the GFS. The NAM is warmer with a low farther north and the GFS is colder thanks to a low farther south.

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So which one's right? The truth likely lies in the middle and that's where the European model has been. The Euro shows a warm layer Friday night and Saturday morning which is enough to preclude snow and likely deliver a period of sleet and freezing rain in the hills north of I-84 and rain farther south.

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Here's the bottom line on the Friday/Saturday storm...

  • Mainly light mix of snow, sleet, and rain on Friday with little if any road issues given strong March sun angle, temperatures generally above 32F, and light rates of precipitation. There is still a small chance for a bit of snow accumulation around daybreak if we get an unexpected heavier birst around the morning commute.
  • Heavier rain, sleet, freezing rain mixture Friday evening and Friday night.
  • 1"-2" of liquid precipitation expected with a few slushy inches of accumulation possible in the hills.
  • A prolonged period of icing (freezing rain) remains possible in the hills though I think prolonged sleet is more likely. If we get a lot of freezing rain it could lead to tree and power line issues. This would also result in minimal accumulation (i.e. the 2"-4" won't happen). In this event the valley locations around Hartford will just see rain as surface temperatures will be above freezing.
  • An icy mix lingers into Saturday morning and tapers off by mid morning. A flip back to snow from the wintry mix is possible even in the valley/Hartford area - this is one thing we'll watch closely.


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<![CDATA[Friday Mix]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:58:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C8HIHzCXUAAGfPw.jpg

Over the last couple years we've had a few unusual late season snow and ice events. Last April we managed an extremely rare springtime freezing rain event that produced 0.20" of ice accretion in New Haven during the day on the second coldest April day on record! 3 years ago I had a spectacular forecast bust with a burst of heavy snow that suddenly occured during the morning commute dropping 5" of snow in only about 2 hours on parts of the I-91 corridor on March 31, 2014.

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With those two storms in mind - what kind of surprise does Friday's storm have in store for us? We know we're going to see a good burst of precipitation - particularly Friday evening and Friday night - with over 1" of liquid falling. Good for the drought! The temperature profile is what makes this storm so tricky. As I wrote about yesterday there's not a good cold high pressure anchored to the north so getting excessive snowfall is going to be tough. Take a look at this time-height cross section of temperature for Bradley Airport off the European model. You can see a pocket of warmer air a few thousand feet above the ground with colder air below it. This would favor sleet and freezing rain. 

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The GFS model is colder than the Euro and a blend of the two would yield a period of snow, sleet, and even some freezing rain across areas north of I-84. We will have to monitor this closely as a degree in either direction would mean a drastic change in the forecast. Here's what I'm thinking right now:

  • Light mixture of snow, sleet, and rain during the day Friday. While a few slick spots are possible Friday morning if snow develops around daybreak most of the day should be problem-free on the roads. Light snow and sleet rates and the strong sun angle should do the job to keep roads wet.
  • Heavier precipitation will develop Friday evening and Friday night. 
  • Mainly rain is expected along the shoreline Friday evening/night with occasional sleet pellets.
  • Inland areas will see a mixture of sleet and rain along I-84 in the higher elevations and in the hills sleet and freezing rain may be the dominant precipitation type. Some snow is possible as well near the Massachusetts border with several inches of accumulation possible.
  • The storm will peak during the overnight hours with everyhing winding down shortly after daybreak Saturday.
  • While there is likely to be an icy mix and slushy accumulation north and west of I-84 (especially in the hills) there are two less likely things we'll have to watch foe. One is the potential for a colder solution which would mean more snow - including in the valley north of Hartford. The second thing to watch for is the potential for an extended period of freezing rain in the hill towns which would weigh on trees and powerlines.
Let's hope April winds up better than March. I'm ready for spring!


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<![CDATA[Freezing Rain Causes Slippery Conditions]]> Sat, 01 Apr 2017 17:50:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Norfolk-Sleet-Street.jpg

NBC Connecticut Meteorologists have issued a First Alert for a wintry mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and plain rain impacting the state.

The roads turned slick Friday and the weather continued into Saturday morning, creating slippery roads and causing some organizations to delay or cancel events. 

Freezing rain developed in many locations in Litchfield County and also the northeast hills as rain falls hit subfreezing temperatures near the ground on Friday night.

State police and fire officials reported multiple spin-outs on Interstate 84 Friday night and into Saturday morning.

Winter weather advisories have been posted the northern Connecticut counties. 

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The sleet and freezing rain ramped up early Saturday morning. 

The biggest concern for Friday and Saturday morning is the potential for tree damage and power outages as freezing rain glazes up power lines and trees across the hill towns.

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We're forecasting as much as one to three inches of snow and sleet in the northern hills and less than an inch of slush for interior areas of the state. Here's a look at our snowfall accumulation map.

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We continue to look over new information and will have updates throughout the day.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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