<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Connecticut Weather News and Coverage]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/weather/stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usTue, 26 Sep 2017 10:46:15 -0400Tue, 26 Sep 2017 10:46:15 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Today's Forecast]]> http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/first+alert_weather+1200.jpg


Today: Morning clouds and fog otherwise mostly sunny. High 80-85.

Tonight: Fog, mist and low clouds. Lows in the 60s. 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance for a shower. High 80-85.

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 75-80.

Friday: Mostly sunny. High near 70.

Saturday: Partly sunny with showers. Cooler. High in the mid 60s.

Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 65-70.

Monday: Mostly sunny. High near 70.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High near 70.

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Mostly clear, with a low around 59. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
Thursday Night
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2am. Patchy fog after 5am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 68. South wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 7am. Patchy fog before 7am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. Light south wind increasing to 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Friday Night
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Patchy fog before 1am, then patchy fog after 4am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Southwest wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Patchy fog before 7am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 82. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Saturday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 62.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 82.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 60.
A chance of showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 76. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Monday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 79.M

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Get Closing Alerts]]> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:23:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/closing+central+first+alert.jpg
View Full Story

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Another Scorcher but Where's the Rain?]]> Mon, 25 Sep 2017 21:02:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DKnBVyTXUAEiVk4.jpg

92 degrees on Sunday and 91 degrees on Monday. This is hot stuff. Getting above 90 degrees this time of year is a challenge given the low sun angle and shorter days but we managed to do it 2 days in a row. The only other time that has happened was exactly a decade ago - September 25th and 26th, 2007. 

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After this stretch of record warmth we will see a gradual temperature drop. By the weekend high temperatures will struggle out of the 60s with a chance for some rain - especially Saturday morning. 

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The weather pattern looks pretty quiet going forward but we do need some rain. Here in West Hartford we've only picked up 1.61" of rain for the month of September. In Windsor Locks 2.19" has been recorded. The 6-10 day forecast has a high probability of below normal precipitation. 

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<![CDATA[Record-Breaking Heat to Welcome Autumn]]> Sun, 24 Sep 2017 17:58:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+iCAST+Temp+CT.png

Sunday's heat was record-breaking in the Hartford area, reaching 92 degrees at Bradley International Airport, breaking the previous record for the day of 89 degrees, recorded in 1959.

The record high for the shoreline is currently 87 degrees which was also set in 1959. Records for the shoreline are officially kept in Bridgeport. 

The unseasonably warm temperatures will continue into Monday with high temperatures once again in the middle to upper 80s.

We anticipate more fall-like weather to return by next weekend. 

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<![CDATA[Watching Maria]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 21:56:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gefs_AL15_2017092218.png

Finally, Jose is drifting away and falling apart in the Atlantic Ocean. Good riddance. Our attention now is on Hurricane Maria which is north of the Turks and Caicos and heading north. 

[[446928573, C]]

There is some risk to North Carolina from Maria. Another blocking ridge of high pressure in the Atlantic will, at least initially, prevent the hurricane from rocketing into the North Atlantic. The Euro and GFS ensembles show some risk for the Mid Atlantic and especially the Outer Banks as Maria interacts with an upper level low over the southeastern U.S. which essentially tugs it west a bit.

[[446977303, C]]

Locally, we have two possible impacts from Maria we'll be watching. One, is that the storm could meander near the Outer Banks before racing out to sea and some moisture gets transported north resulting in a period of rain Wednesday and Thursday. That's a distinct possibility and currently reflected in our forecast. 

A second, and much less likely scenario, is that Maria moves much farther west over North Carolina than currently suggested and the storm races northeast and impacts us with some wind and rain (as a much weakened storm). 

[[446977573, C]]

There is virtually no chance of a direct or serious tropical storm impact here for a couple reasons. One, is a weakness in the blocking ridge east of us due to Jose and the second is a digging trough coming in from the west that will kick Maria out to sea.

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<![CDATA[How to Track Hurricanes on NBC Connecticut's App]]> Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:34:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tropical+Tracks+51.PNG

Follow the hurricane by turning on our tropical storm tracking layer in the app. You can turn on the layer via our interactive radar. Here’s how to do it.

1. Select the weather forecast section under our app’s weather section or tap the forecast icon at the top right corner of the home page.

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2. Tap the circle with arrows on the map and then tap the layers icon on the top right side of your screen.

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3. Select "Tropical Tracks" under the radar setting for "overlays." Then tap "done." 

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4. Zoom out to see radar activity from off the coast. 

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To go straight to our interactive radar, click here.

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<![CDATA[Science Behind Busy 2017 Hurricane Season]]> Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:40:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Maria1.png

Not since 2005 has the United States been affected by so many hurricanes and tropical storms. As of Sept. 2, we are at the peak or mid-way point of Atlantic hurricane season and there have been 13 named storms.

Only 4 other seasons in the past 22 years have produced that many named storms by mid-September.

[[446151373, C]] 

For this 2017 to make the top 15 list of busiest Atlantic hurricane years we would need two more named storms by the end of the season on Nov. 30 and it is very likely we will surpass that mark.

There have been busier Atlantic hurricane seasons since 2005, but not for the United States.

[[446168113, C]]

Below is a list of the top 15 busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons (1851-present). Ten of the busiest seasons have been in the past 17 years.

1) 2005 - 28 storms

2) 1933 – 20 storms

3) 2012 – 19 storms

4) 2011 – 19 storms

5) 2010 – 19 storms

6) 1995 – 19 storms

7) 1987 – 19 storms

8) 1969 – 18 storms

9) 2008 – 16 storms

10) 2003 -16 storms,

11) 1936 – 16 storms

12) 2007 – 15 storms

13) 2004 – 15 storms

14) 2001 – 15 storms

15) 2000 – 15 storms

So, what is causing this busy season?

[[446152473, C]]

1. Warm Water in the Atlantic and Less Wind Sheer

The main reason for so much activity this year can in part be attributed to the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO). The warm phase of the AMO leads to a lack of vertical wind shear in the atmosphere combined with very warm sea surface temperatures and a more active West African monsoon season, all resulting in frequent storm development and rapid intensification over the Atlantic basin.

We have been in the warm phase since 1995. A prolonged cold phase with lower activity was in place between 1971-1994.

[[446152653, C]] 

2. Possible La Nina

Increased activity this season may be also be due to the recent cooling in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean waters indicating a possible La Nina weather pattern is building for the winter ahead.

La Nina years favor more hurricanes and tropical storms in the tropical Atlantic basin with less activity in the tropical Pacific basin. La Nina is the positive phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

During this phase the equatorial waters in the central and eastern tropical pacific are much cooler than average, leading to more stable atmospheric conditions and less tropical activity over the Pacific basin and less stable conditions over the Atlantic basin with higher tropical activity.

The opposite is true in El Nino years with warmer water piling up along the central and eastern side of the Pacific basin leading to unstable conditions over the Pacific with higher tropical activity and more stable conditions over the Atlantic basin.

3. Steering Winds

Finally, the atmospheric steering mechanisms have also played a part in storm tracks. There is an area of dominant sub-tropical high pressure known as the “Bermuda High” located over the Atlantic Ocean. Winds turn clockwise around this high and steer the tropical systems west toward the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the east coast of the United States.

In the case of Irma the western edge of this high pressure was closer to the U.S. east coast forcing a northern turn over Florida.

In Maria’s case the sub-tropical high is father east over the Atlantic and Maria’s northward turn should be farther east than Irma’s was.

Hurricane Harvey was blocked from moving with no dominant steering mechanism for more than a week. The result was constant rain that resulted in historic flooding.

Jose has twice been stuck circling in place with no strong steering mechanism. However, in Jose’s case the constant heavy rain has remained offshore and not over the east coast.

What’s Unusual About 2017?

[[446161093, C]]

Double Landfall on Northern Leeward Islands

Another distinction this year revolves around the northern Leeward Islands, which received a catastrophic hit from two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria. These islands had not experienced two major hurricanes in the same season since 1899 (118 years ago).

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Rare April Hurricane

Also unusual was the first storm of 2017. Arlene was a rare off-season tropical storm in mid-April.

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Record-Breaking Hurricane Irma

This season has also produced the strongest hurricane on record for the Atlantic Basin, Irma (Excluding the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico) and two of the top 20 most intense storms in recorded history, Irma and Maria.

Intensity is correlated with the lowest central pressure of a hurricane. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm with higher wind speeds and 9 of the most intense storms have been in the past 20 years.

 [[446161513, C]]

Most intense Atlantic Hurricanes on record

1) Wilma (2005) 882mb – 185 mph

2) Gilbert (1988) 888mb – 185 mph

3) Labor Day (1935) 892mb – 185 mph

4) Rita (2005) 895mb – 180 mph

5) Allen (1980) 899mb – 190 mph

6) Camille (1969) 900mb – 175 mph

7) Katrina (2005) 902mb – 175 mph

8) Mitch (1998) 905mb – 180 mph

9) Dean (2007) 905mb – 175 mph

10) Maria (2017) 906mb – 175 mph *

11) Hurricane #10 (1924) 910mb – 165 mph

12) Ivan (2004) 910mb – 165 mph

13) Irma (2017) 914mb – 185 mph *

14) Janet (1955) 914mb – 175 mph

15) Isabel (2003) 915mb – 165 mph

16) Cuba (1932) 915mb – 175 mph

17) Opal (1995) 916mb – 150 mph

18) Hugo (1989) 918mb – 160 mph

19) Gloria (1985) 919mb – 145 mph

20) Hattie (1961) 920mb - 160 mph

Photo Credit: NOAA
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<![CDATA[Cloudy, Gusty Day as Jose's Fringe Effects Reach Connecticut]]> Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:48:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tropical+Storm+Jose+cone+Wednesday+11am.png

UPDATE: 11 a.m. Wednesday: Connecticut is back in the possible path of Tropical Storm Jose, but the only expected impact here is breezy, sunny and warm weather by the weekend.

5 a.m. Wednesday Update:

While Tropical Storm Jose isn’t expected to cause major issues in Connecticut, the storm will pass off the coast of New England and the effects will be felt in Connecticut and our neighbors in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Connecticut will only experience some fringe effects, especially for the southeast corner. A tropical storm watch was issued over the weekend for southern Connecticut, but it was canceled at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

As of 5 a.m. Wednesday Jose was a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds around 65 mph. The storm is expected to pass around 150 miles southeast of Nantucket, sparing Connecticut the worst of its power. Nantucket will see the strongest effects in the area, with rain and the possibility of wind gusts around 50 mph.

The southeastern portion of our state will see some strong wind. Winds were gusting over 30 mph in southern New London County Tuesday night and wind gusts are expected to reach up to 45 mph along the southeastern Connecticut shoreline. The rest of the state will see more moderate winds and some showers Wednesday.

[[273570711, C]]

Just over the Connecticut border in Rhode Island Jose is causing stormy seas. Waves are currently 6 to 8 feet, wave heights will increase with potential for waves of 10 to 14 feet. While the weekend forecast calls for sun and warm temperatures, with Jose mingling off the coast there is the threat of dangerous rip currents.

Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center
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<![CDATA[Watching Jose and Maria]]> Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:00:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DKIKN4FXcAE6wH7.jpg

Hurricane Jose strengthened a bit today as it passes over the Gulf Stream. The storm, tracking about 75 miles east of where we thought it may this weekend, will result in only very limited impacts here in Connecticut. A bit of wind and rain will be about the extent of the impacts here. 

[[445860233, C]]

The showers should diminish later tonight and I'm expecting a mainly dry day tomorrow as the outer bands of Jose fizzle. The inner core of Jose should remain quite in fact as it wobbles southeast of Nantucket. Wind gusts of over 60 mph are still possible there. We've very lucky Jose jogged east some as the Cape and Islands would have had a really nasty storm.

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While the rain ends for tomorrow the wind will actually pick up some with 30-40 mph gusts possible in some towns. Nothing too bad. 

Beyond Jose we've got a few items of note in the extended forecast. The first will be a giant ridge of high pressure that will build in from the west and allow unusually warm temperatures to develop. In the map below you can see very large temperature anomalies (>10C) as the jet stream retreats north. It's not out of the question that temperatures could approach the 90 degree mark Sunday or Monday with how warm this air mass will be. 

[[445883323, C]]

If we were to get to 90 it would only happen with Jose remaining far enough offshore to keep clouds away and if the wind direction cooperated (westerly winds a must). 

One wild card for next week is what will happen with Jose off of Nantucket and how Jose will interact with Hurricane Maria. For one, the giant ridge of high pressure that builds in and warms us up, will effectively block Jose from harding east into the North Atlantic. Until we figure out what Jose will do as it meanders off New England it's hard to know where Maria will track. This spaghetti plot from the European model is a pretty accurate depiction of possibilities - ranging from an east coast US threat to safely out to sea.

[[445883123, C]]

Maria will have to be watched and after what it's about to do to St. Croix and Puerto Rico they will certainly need a lot of our help. 

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<![CDATA[Gusty Winds, Rain in Connecticut as Jose Approaches]]> Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:13:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/NHC-NOAA.jpg

Hurricane Jose is roughly 280 miles to the south of Southern New England. Winds are currently sustained at 75 mph. 

Jose is still expected to track approximately 125 miles to the southeast of Nantucket. 

Connecticut will only experience some fringe effects, especially for the southeast corner. A tropical storm watch was issued over the weekend for southern Connecticut, but it was canceled at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. 

Winds are currently gusting over 30 mph in southern New London County. Wind gusts will gradually pick up throughout the night with gusts up to 45 mph along the southeastern Connecticut shoreline. 

Waves are becoming quite large just over the Connecticut border in Rhode Island. Waves are currently 6 to 8 feet, waves heights will increase by tomorrow morning with waves of 10 to 14 feet expected. 

Photo Credit: NHC NOAA]]>
<![CDATA[Tropical Storm Watch Canceled; Minor Impacts Still Expected]]> Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:18:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/jose091817.gif

4PM Update: Hurricane Jose is roughly 280 miles to the south of Southern New England. Winds are currently sustained at 75 mph. 

Jose is still expected to track approximately 125 miles to the southeast of Nantucket. 

Connecticut will only experience some fringe effects especially for the southeast corner. 

Winds are currently gusting over 30 mph in southern New London county. Wind gusts will gradually pick up throughout the night with gusts up to 45 mph along the southeastern Connecticut shoreline. 

Waves are becoming quite large just over the Connecticut border in Rhode Island. Waves are currently 6 to 8 feet, waves heights will increase by tomorrow morning with waves of 10 to 14 feet expected. 


Hurricane Jose is limping north, battling dry air and strong wind shear.

The National Hurricane Center dropped all Tropical Storm Watches as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Hurricane Hunters flying through the storm haven't even been able to find hurricane force winds in the system. As the storm moves north, we will see some impact here locally but I'm not expecting much.

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The storm will pass a bit east of where I expected it would on Sunday night. That will result in less wind and less rain than previously expected. We anticipated a minor to moderate impact locally and now we are confident in just a "minor" impact. This is why we show the "cone of uncertainty" as Jose will track on the east side of last night's cone, which was always a distinct possibility.

Rain will fall off and on Tuesday as the outer bands of Jose rotate in. Occasional squalls of wind and rain will be common throughout the day and evening. Up to 1 inch of rain is possible in most towns with a bit more in southeastern Connecticut. Winds may gust as high as 30 or 35 mph Tuesday afternoon and night. 

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As the storm pulls away Wednesday rainfall will diminish but the winds will pick up. I expect the strongest winds will occur on Wednesday morning and midday as the storm pushes east. Gusts as high as 45 mph are possible in southeastern Connecticut with scattered tree and power line issues possible.

Another piece of good news is that the coastal flood threat remains quite low as winds will be mainly offshore.

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While winds remain gusty on Wednesday afternoon, clouds will gradually break and much better weather will move in for the end of the week.

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<![CDATA[Tropical Storm Watches Posted Ahead of Jose]]> Sun, 17 Sep 2017 20:44:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rh091717_1200x675_1048599619905.jpg

Our computer models have wobbled west and wobbled east over the last couple days. This is to be expected. What's remained relatively consistent is our forecast of a "glancing blow" from Jose with a minor to moderate local impact. The National Hurricane Center forecast looks good to me with the storm passing about 100 miles south of Nantucket on Wednesday. 

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We're right on the western fringe of this one and only a small deviation in track will make a big difference in impact. Here's what I'm thinking right now:

  • Rain begins Tuesday morning with occasional squalls Tuesday, Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
  • Winds will increase Tuesday and peak Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning. Peak gusts in excess of 40 mph are possible from New Haven on east along the shoreline. Gusts should remain below 40 mph inland.
  • Rainfall totals of over 1 inch are possible in southeastern Connecticut. Rainfall amounts will diminish the farther north and west one goes.
  • Storm surge flooding does not look to be a big deal. A northerly wind is mainly offshore on the Connecticut coast. Minor issues at worst.
  • Isolated or sporadic tree and power issues are possible in some towns - particularly along the shoreline. 
There is still time for things to change. A track on the western side of the NHC cone would result in more significant impacts - more wind and more rain. A track on the eastern side of the NHC cone would result in less impact - with less wind and less rain. If there was a side I am currently favoring it would be the eastern or less impact side. We'll have to watch trends over the next 24 hours.

[[445183583, C, 445, 654]]

The European model (pictured above) is on the left side of the NHC forecast while the GFS is on the right side. Again, the extent of impacts is still not quite clear though at least some minor to moderate wind and rain event seems like a good bet. 

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Believe it or not it's possible Jose may do a loop-de-loop southeast of New England over the next 7 days. While this is unusual it's not unprecedented. In fact, the weather pattern right now is very similar to 1961 when hurricane Esther did a loop off the Cape. Unlike Esther, Jose is a much weaker storm and impacts will be much more limited.

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<![CDATA[Tropical Storm Watch for Parts of CT]]> Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:39:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/211*120/Tropical+Storm+Connecticut.JPG

NBC Connecticut Meteorologists are continuing to monitor the very latest on the track of Hurricane Jose.

A tropical storm watch was issued on Sunday for coastal Connecticut as Jose moves closer. 

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Jose is currently a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph located to the southeast of North Carolina.

The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center shows little change in the track of Jose. Our forecast remains unchanged with a period of rain and wind locally with minor to moderate impacts.

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We are expecting rain to overspread the state on Tuesday with increasing wind. Winds may gust over 50 mph in southeastern Connecticut Tuesday night which will result in scattered tree and power line damage.

Rainfall totals in excess of 1 inch are possible in many towns and if Jose tracks a bit closer even higher totals are possible. 

The storm will pull away later Wednesday with gradual clearing. 

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Another impact we're starting to see occur is high surf for areas of Rhode Island and New York. High surf advisories are in effect for coastal Rhode Island and Long Island.

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This will also lead to dangerous rip currents at Rhode Island beaches.

It's important to stay tuned to the forecast because the forecast track will continue to wobble. 

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<![CDATA[Hurricane Jose Trending Further East]]> Sun, 17 Sep 2017 06:35:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Sat+Eve+Track.png

NBC Connecticut Meteorologists are continuing to monitor the very latest on the track of Hurricane Jose.

Jose is currently a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 80 mph and is located around 450 miles to the southeast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.

The latest track keeps Hurricane Jose further to the southeast of Connecticut. A track further away from Connecticut is good news it would mean less of an impact here in Connecticut. 

We're still forecasting some rain and wind with the highest wind gusts occuring in eastern Connecticut. 

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We're still closely monitoring the latest model guidance and trends. Some of our computer models bring Jose closer to Connecticut than the current National Hurricane Center track while other models bring it further out to sea.

Right now the biggest impact looks to be high surf for areas of Rhode Island and New York. High surf advisories are in effect for coastal Rhode Island and Long Island.

[[444956533, C]]

This will also lead to dangerous rip currents at Rhode Island beaches. 

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<![CDATA[Hurricane Jose Path Jogs Further East]]> Sat, 16 Sep 2017 17:03:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Saturday+5+pm+national+hurricane+center+saturday.JPG

5 p.m. Saturday update: A new advisory from the National Hurricane Center moves Hurricane Jose a little further away from Connecticut.

11 a.m. Saturday Update: A new advisory from the National Hurricane Center is similar to the one at 5 a.m.

5 AM Saturday Update: A new advisory from the National Hurricane Center this morning shows little change from last night. The track of Jose keeps Connecticut in the "cone of uncertainty." The odds of Connecticut experiencing tropical storm force winds (winds sustained over 39 mph) have increased throughout the state. 

The greatest chance for tropical storm conditions is in southeastern Connecticut especially right along the shoreline from Groton to Stonington. We're continuing to look over new data and will have several updates throughout the day.


It appears we have a good 'ol fashioned American vs European model fight brewing with Hurricane Jose. The two spaghetti plots of the GFS and European ensembles are very different - the former being closer to the coast and the latter being further out to sea.

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The differences in track make a huge difference in terms of what kind of impact Jose would have here in Connecticut. More often than not a blend of the two disparate model camps yields the best forecast - though it's important to not the Euro is typically the better model. With that in mind here is what I'm thinking in terms of local impact probability for Tuesday and Wednesday when Jose makes its closest pass.

[[444742143, C]]

A scenario painted by the GFS ensembles is possible and it would be a significant wind, rain, and coastal flooding storm. At least for now this seems like the least likely scenario. One thing that makes me think it's unlikely is the fact the jet stream pattern is generally not the pattern that fits most New England tropical storm and hurricane strikes. Generally, you want a deep trough of low pressure to capture the hurricane and slingshot it north.

[[444775963, C]]

A more likely scenario is more of a glancing blow with some rain and some wind but nothing that would result in more than a handful of power outages.

Still, it's important to watch the path of this storm. Sometimes the least likely scenario is the one that verifies and that scenario is still in the cone of uncertainty. What I am confident in is that even with a "direct hit" the storm will not be of hurricane strength. Cold water temperatures and slow forward motion of the storm should manage to weaken Jose relatively quickly. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Jose Now a Hurricane; Connecticut Remains in Possible Path]]> Fri, 15 Sep 2017 16:53:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/josefriday5p.jpg

UPDATE: Jose strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on Friday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Connecticut in the possible path of Hurricane Jose. The NBC Connecticut meteorologists have issued a First Alert for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. 

Jose became a whole lot more interesting Thursday as our suite of computer models brought the storm much closer to Connecticut by Tuesday of next week.

[[444542903, C]]

The storm is moving west and by the weekend will begin a turn north along the east coast of the United States. What's unclear is how far west Jose will get and how strong Jose will be. The current forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Jose in a somewhat precarious position east of Norfolk, Virginia by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

[[444512653, C]]

Jose is essentially blocked from curving out into the Atlantic Ocean by a strong ridge of high pressure that stretches from Bermuda through the Canadian Maritimes. A blocking high to the east of New England is the single most important piece of the puzzle historically for landfalling northeast hurricanes.

The second piece of the puzzle is a trough of low pressure over the Great Lakes and Ohio River River Valley to "capture" the hurricane and pull it west while accelerating the storm north. We are missing this ingredient.

[[444556273, C]]

Only having one of the two ingredients likely rules out a landfalling hurricane in New England. The odds of this happening are extremely low. However, with the blocking ridge to the east Jose may be able to meander off the coast of the Mid Atlantic and bring us a period of wind and rain. 

How close to Connecticut depends on how strong the west Atlantic ridge is (stronger would push Jose farther west) and how sharp the Great Lakes ridge is (oriented southwest to northeast would prevent Jose from getting too far north). With ridges all around Jose will be trapped for a period of time with nowhere to go and may slow to a crawl. 

Where this crawl happens is uncertain. The GFS and Euro ensembles show significant spread but show about 25 percent of solutions close enough to southern New England for concern. 

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This setup reminds me a bit of Hurricane Edouard in 1996 that menaced New England Labor Day weekend. The storm slowly drifted north (blocked by a strong downstream ridge) and then scooted east at the last minute.

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Without the capture and acceleration north (ingredient number 2 mentioned above) - Jose is likely to weaken gradually. A direct hurricane hit remains extremely unlikely and a moderate or strong tropical storm is a reasonable worst case scenario. Some wind and some rain.

[[444512593, C]]

How significant the storm is locally remains quite unclear but it's certainly worth watching. 

Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center
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<![CDATA[Tracking Jose for Impacts Here in Connecticut]]> Thu, 14 Sep 2017 19:19:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cover+Photo+Tropical+Spaghetti.png

We continue to keep a close eye on Tropical Storm Jose for possible impacts here in Connecticut.

Jose was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm earlier today as it travels over cooler water.

Jose is expected to strengthen once again into a category 1 hurricane by Friday evening. 

The latest track from the National Hurricane Center has the cone including parts of the Eastern Seaboard.

The trend over the past couple of days has brought Jose further west. A track further west means a higher chance of impacts here in Connecticut. The majority of our computer models still have the storm offshore but only by a few hundred miles. 

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A new update from the National Hurricane Center will be in at 5 p.m. which could have Connecticut in part of the forecast cone. 

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<![CDATA[No Way Jose]]> Wed, 13 Sep 2017 21:21:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/jose0914.gif

Right off the bat I should say that the odds of Hurricane Jose impacting New England (besides big waves) are quite low. That said, our computer models today started to show a slightly more interesting evolution of the storm which will need to be watched.

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The reason we're interested in Jose is what's happening across the North Atlantic. A huge, blocking ridge of high pressure will situate itself from Hudson Bay through the Davis Strait. This may be enough to prevent Jose from curving out to sea.

In fact, today's European Ensemble forecast shows 20% of modeled scenarios hooking Jose back toward the close with a slow stall or wobble off the Mid Atlantic. Note that this also means 80% still go out to sea. The GFS ensembles have 4 of 21 doing something interesting with a path into the Mid Atlantic. Again, about 20 percent.

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While this is interesting that's about all we can say now. This type of path is very unusual. A few storms have stalled or drifted near the coast between North Carolina and Cape Cod - Felix in 1995 and Esther in 1961 come to mind along with, to a less extent, Edouard in 1996. Additionally, even if this were to happen the storm likely wouldn't be particularly strong and would likely be no worse than a strong fall nor'easter. 

Anytime something's lurking off North Carolina we'll have to watch it. The window for a possible impact appears to be Tuesday-Thursday of next week. 

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<![CDATA[Keeping a Close Eye on Hurricane Jose]]> Mon, 11 Sep 2017 17:38:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cover+Photo+Jose.png

We're paying close attention to Hurricane Jose which is currently to the northeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

Jose is currently a Category 2 Hurricane with sustained winds of 100 mph. 

The latest track from the National Hurricane Center has Jose circling in a complete 360 and eventually tracking toward the Bahamas and East Coast.

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Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan says anytime you have a hurricane tracking to the northeast of the Bahamas it's important to keep an eye on.

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With that being said there is still a lot of spread between our computer models on where Jose will be located by the end of this coming weekend.

A few of our computer models have it making landfall in New Jersey, others have it scraping the New England coast, and many models take the storm completely out to sea.

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It's something we're going to pay extra attention to throughout the week. Make sure to check back for updates on Hurricane Jose throughout the week.

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<![CDATA[Irma Jogs West]]> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 23:43:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/rb_lalo-animated090817.gif

Hurricane Irma's forecast track is shifting west. This has significant consequences for both the east and west coasts of Florida. 

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As of Friday evening the National Hurricane Center says Miami only has a 38% chance of seeing hurricane force winds. This means there's less than a 50/50 chance that Miami gets hurricane force winds. This is a drop from earlier. What is now better news for Miami is worse news for the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida. 

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For the last 36 hours - with few exceptions - our computer models are turning Irma to the north later and later. This results in a direct impact west of Miami-Dade County close to Naples and Fort Myers, FL. 

While the wind and storm surge will be ferocious around Miami the impact appears much less than what we were thinking 24 hours ago. The impact in western Florida, however, looks much more significant. A catastrophic surge and wind event is possible near the point of landfall in southwestern Florida and on the Florida Keys. 

There are still some questions. One is how much Irma's interaction with Cuba will weaken the storm. Also what's unclear is what happens to Irma's intensity post-Cuba. Exceptionally warm water in the Florida Straits is fuel for a hurricane and there is room for additional intensification. The last question is just how far west Irma gets. It's making landfall at a somewhat oblique angle so a jog another 20 miles west will bring landfall much farther up the coast potentially putting Tampa at greater risk.

Stay safe Florida! 

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<![CDATA[Irma Looks Really Bad]]> Thu, 07 Sep 2017 21:10:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/rb_lalo-animated_090717.gif

Last year I grimaced every time I heard someone talk about how devastating Hurricane Matthew would be for Florida. It didn't look great but it wasn't anywhere near a worst case scenario. Hurricane Irma, however, truly scares me. 

Irma's track is becoming a bit more clear. The storm will take a hard right turn into Florida. Yesterday there was a cluster of computer models that brought Irma east of Florida - which would have greatly reduced the impact in Miami. That eastern cluster is now gone. You can see on the European and GFS ensembles below which both agree on tracks very close to - or over - the Florida peninsula. Each line indicates a different model and the colors represent how clustered the models are (the brighter the colors the more models bring Irma over that location).

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This represents a pretty close to worst case scenario for South Florida. A powerful category 4 hurricane emerging from the Florida Straits and putting Miami-Dade and Broward Counties on the most dangerous right hand side of the storm is currently forecast. The left side, not quite as strong, would still produce widespread and serious coastal flooding on the Gulf Coast. 

What Could Change?

While it looks like Irma will be devastating there are things that could make it better. A track east or west of Florida could spare the state a direct landfall. While this seems unlikely the "cone of uncertainty" still remains very large at this juncture.

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The storm's intensity is also a bit uncertain. While the most likely scenario (as currently forecast) is a category 4 hurricane there is certainly an opportunity for the storm to weaken a bit more OR strengthen more than forecast. Hurricane intensity is notoriously challenging to forecast. 

It's not a certainty this will be catastrophic but it sure doesn't look good now. 

Will it Be Worse Than Andrew?

Maybe. Maybe Not. Until we know exactly the path and intensity of Irma it's too early to draw comparisons. One thing that is clear is that Irma will be much larger in size than compact Andrew was. This could make storm surge worse and spread damaging winds across a larger area. 

Should I Be Worried About Friends and Family?

If they live in a mandatory evacuation zone they need to leave. Storm surge and flooding is what kills people during a hurricane. Outside of storm surge zones hurricanes are quite survivable - event category 5 storms.

That said, anyone in South Florida should prepare for days and days without power and be able to shelter in place for an extended period of time veen if not in an evacuation zone.

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<![CDATA[Destructive Morning Storms]]> Wed, 06 Sep 2017 20:07:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/090617storm+%281%29.gif

Getting morning severe thunderstorms in southeastern Connecticut is not terribly unusual. There have been other example of storms racing north from Long Island and causing mischief in New London County and South County, Rhode Island. Today's storms were no exception. 

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The storm was not preceded by an official warning for some reason but we knew these storms looked like trouble. Prior to the storm's arrival we began streaming coverage and sending out social media messages for people to watch out.

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What was so concerning to us was the extreme velocities being picked up by doppler radar. A "bowing segment" was accompanied by winds over 80 mph at the bow's apex several thousand feet above the ground. In essence, the strong winds in the storm were forcing the storm to bow out or race forward.

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In fact, as this storm moved over Groton it produced a 95 mph wind gust on the north crane at Electric Boat. Just nearby, you can see the incredible display on a street corner as the winds picked up, transformers blew, and trees snapped below.

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The storm was a classic morning severe weather event along the shoreline. Very moist and humid air with a somewhat unstable atmosphere (CAPE values of about 1,000 j/kg indicate some instability). Above the ground very strong winds produced strong shear values which allowed storms to organize and mix some of this high momentum air to the ground. This was maximized near the bow segment's apex which tracked from Waterford into New London, Groton, and Ledyard. 

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The weather balloon launch (pictured above) from Long Island shows the instability and strong winds throughout the atmosphere. The lack of a stable layer (inversion) at the surface allowed winds to mix readily to the surface.

Sadly, 1 man was killed when a tree fell on his car. This narrow band of destructive winds moved through a populated part of the state knocking down trees and wires in too many neighborhoods to count. 

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<![CDATA[Irma a Massive Category 5 Hurricane as It Moves Toward U.S.]]> Tue, 05 Sep 2017 13:27:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Hurricane+Irma+Cover+Photo.png Hurricane Irma has strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 180 mph. Hurricane warnings have been posted from the Leeward Islands to the Dominican Republic.]]> <![CDATA[Storm Brings Down Trees, Killing 1, Causing Damage ]]> Wed, 06 Sep 2017 18:27:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/waterford+trees+down.jpg

One man is dead, Amtrak train service was suspended, several trees were brought down and power was out for thousands due to storms that moved through Connecticut Wednesday morning and afternoon.

New London officials said a driver is dead after a tree fell onto a car on Pequot Avenue Wednesday morning. A passenger who was also in the car was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and has been released.

Mitchell College, which is also on Pequot Avenue, closed for the day because of the storms, according to its social media accounts. 

Amtrak service has been disrupted because of trees on the train tracks between New London and Mystic and the Amtrak Acela Express Train 2165, from Boston to Washington, D.C. is canceled. Amtrak said it will accommodate these passengers on other trains.

Storms also brought down trees in a parking lot of Electric Boat.

Groton Emergency Management officials confirmed a 95 mph wind gust at Electric Boat.

Waterford police said several trees were brought down onto wires, especially in the southern part of town, and they are asked residents to stay home or at work if possible until the storm passed.

Several streets in the southern part of Waterford are closed because of damage. Shore Road is closed from New Shore to #60. Great Neck Road is closed from Shore Road to West Neck Road, Great Neck Road is closed at Ridgewood Avenue, Prindiville Road is closed and Dimmock Road is closed at Mayfair.

Eversource reported more than 4,000 power outages during the height of the storm. As of 2:55 p.m., Eversource is reporting around 1,734 power outages. 

Thunderstorms could form again on Wednesday night, according to NBC Connecticut's team of meteorologists.  Storms that do form will be strong to even severe with frequent lightning, heavy rain, strong winds, and small hail.

Take a look at the interactive radar:


Photo Credit: Mike Martell
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<![CDATA[Tracking Hurricane Irma and the Potential U.S. Impacts]]> Mon, 04 Sep 2017 16:31:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ezgif.com-video-to-gif22.gif Hurricane Irma is a major hurricane currently at a category 3. Irma will strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane by Tuesday with estimated sustained winds of 140 mph. We're taking a look at the potential impacts here in the United States.]]> <![CDATA[Hurricane Irma - 9/1 Update]]> Fri, 01 Sep 2017 21:42:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tropical+Track+2090117.png

Irma remains a powerful hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean this evening and there is no real change to the forecast thinking tonight.

As I talked about last night hurricanes located where Irma is now frequently curve out to sea harmlessly. About 90 percent of them do. It does look like Irma will be different. The only thing we can say right now is that Irma has an unusually high risk of impacting the United States compared to typical storms in the same spot.

The reason is a big, sprawling blocking high to the north of Irma from Bermuda stretching all the way east toward Europe. This high will effectively prevent Irma from turning north. Both the GFS and European computer models have this feature and agree a curve out to sea is unlikely in the next week.

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Beyond that the forecast is very uncertain as any hurricane forecast is in the 7-10 day range. In fact a typhoon off the coast of Japan is one of the key ingredients in figuring out where the heck Irma is going.

Typhoon Sanvu is racing northeast in the open Pacific Ocean and like so many recurving typhoons it will have big impact on the downstream weather pattern. Sanvu will dramatically alter the jet stream flow over the North Pacific in the next 5 days and this will force the jet stream to buckle over North America. Everything is connected! 

Where, when, and how Typhoon Sanvu shakes up the jet stream pattern will dictate how close Irma gets to the United States and which parts of the east coast are most at risk.

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The evolution of the jet stream pattern is key to figuring out whether Irma is able to scoot out to sea or if Irma is able to continue her course toward the United States. The GFS Ensembles are in remarkably good agreement for 8 or 9 days out with an east coast threat which makes sense given the setup. The European ensembles (not pictured) are more dispersed and do show a cluster of solutions that are harmlessly out to sea - let's hope this cluster is the one to verify!

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Enjoy your Labor Day weekend. By Monday we'll know if this is something we should worry about or not.

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<![CDATA[Remnants of Harvey Make for Rainy Sunday Forecast]]> Sat, 02 Sep 2017 20:12:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rain+Cover+Photo.png

The Labor Day Weekend weather forecast will start out and end on a good note, but there are some weather issues moving into Sunday.

Many woke up to temperatures in the low to middle 40s for Saturday morning.

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Remnants of Hurricane Harvey will move in late Saturday night and will hit the state by Sunday morning. 

If you have plans on Sunday make sure to have an umbrella handy. Throughout the day you can expect mostly cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms. 

The good news is that all of the rain will be out of the state just in time for Labor Day. Monday looks to be the pick of the weekend with mostly sunny skies and high temperatures near 80 degrees.

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The next chance for storms won't be until the middle of next week. 

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<![CDATA[Hurricane Irma]]> Thu, 31 Aug 2017 21:50:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/avn_lalo-animated083117.gif

Hurricane Irma is something you're going to hear about a lot over the coming days. The category 3 hurricane near the Cabo Verde Islands is forecast to strengthen over the next 5 days. The question is where does it go after that?

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This visualization from Ryan Maue shows the possible tracks of Irma quite well. One thing you'll note is that very few of the European model members take Irma out to sea. The range of possibilities stretches from Cuba all the way north to the Canadian Maritimes. Given it's current location in the Atlantic it's unusual to see a storm that's not trying to find any possible way to escape into the open ocean well east of us. 

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More than 90% of hurricanes near where Irma is now do not make landfall in the United States. Generally, they have to be farther south and west. This graphic from Connecticut native, and hurricane expert, Bob Hart shows the probability of a tropical cyclone passing over the United States based on their location. This doesn't include the current weather pattern or steering currents and is only based on climatology or past storms. Irma's location is not one that's particularly favorable for a United States landfall based on past storms so why the heck are we talking about it? 

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Check the forecast from the National Hurricane Center. Notice over the Labor Day weekend Irma takes an unusual path - bending to the south as it approaches the Lesser Antilles. Some storms do this but most don't. The farther south Irma gets it winds up in a more favorable position for a United States Impact. 

An additional note is how strong the hurricane is forecast to get. Right now the National Hurricane Center is forecasting a category 4 hurricane near the Lesser Antilles. This isn't a weak tropical storm we're talking about here!

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Essentially a large ridge of high pressure (see the orange colors over the North Atlantic) will close the escape hatch and prevent this hurricane from doing what 9 out of 10 do - scoot harmlessly out to sea (though sometimes Bermuda gets unlucky with those "out to sea" storms). 

At least right now the weather pattern is a bit ominous for the East Coast of the United States and potentially the Gulf of Mexico as well. Nothing we can do now other than watch it. In a few days we'll know if this is something that's worth getting worried over - but for now keep calm and carry on. 

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<![CDATA[Hurricane Carol ]]> Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:14:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/200*120/DIkBBHUXcAALLNZ.jpg

Hurricane Carol was one heck of a storm. The category 3 hurricane made landfall near Groton and brought devastating flooding and wind damage to parts of southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island (from South County to Providence). Carol is a bit forgotten – the impact was less than 1938 and it was overshadowed in the state by the remnants of Connie and Diane in 1955 that paralyzed the state with a biblical flood.

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The reanalysis by Chris Landsea and the work by Jarvinen shows a landfall of Carol near Groton. This is about 20 miles east of the “Best Track” landfall location in Old Saybrook. The reanalyzed landfall location makes sense given the damage documented in Connecticut.

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Carol made landfall on the morning of August 31, 1954. The storm brought category 2 force winds (sustained near/over 100 mph) in Groton and Stonington and a vicious storm surge. In New London the storm tide reached 9.6 ft MLLW, only exceeded by the 1938 storm which was 10.6 ft MLLW. The surge in New London at the tide gauge was 6.5 feet though a study by the Army Corps of high water marks after Carol revealed surges of 8-10 feet were common throughout southeastern Connecticut. In Stamford – many miles from the landfall location – the storm tide reached 10.3 ft NGVD which was only exceeded by Sandy and the 1938 hurricane.

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Hurricane Carol is widely viewed to be the “most tropical” of hurricanes to hit Connecticut. What’s meant by that is that while the storm was likely going extratropical transition – Carol was the most purely tropical of the storms to strike Connecticut. Here’s one example of that – take a look at this picture taken from the old Griswold Hotel in Groton near the mouth of the Thames River.

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The storm had a classic “eye” and the precipitation distribution from the storm – both east and west of the storm track – was relatively symmetrical. That’s very unusual for a landfalling New England hurricane!

In Bridgeport the monthly climate report indicates 1.62″ of rain fell on the day with a peak sustained wind out of the NNE at 40 mph with a gust to 60 mph. The report read as follows “Hurricane Carol did extensive damage to the shorelines of Connecticut. Storm center passed 50 miles east of station. Lowest pressure noted at 0920 EST, with NNE winds of 40 MPH and gusts to 60 MPH noted at 0928 EST. Airport was inundated with a maximum of 2 feet of water.” The lowest pressure reading in Bridgeport was 28.87″.

In Hartford at Brainard 2.36″ of rain fell. No wind data was recorded. In New Haven at Tweed 2.63″ of rain fell with a sustained wind of 38 mph out of the northeast. The report read “Heavy storm on the 31st. Gusts to 65 MPH 9-10 A.M. Caused heavy water manage along shore. Lowest pressure 28.77″ 9:10 A.M.”

At Windsor Locks 1.95″ of rain fell with a suatained wind of 56 mph out of the northwest! A 64 mph wind gust was recorded in the monthly report.

Cooperative observer reports for August 1954 include some interesting highlights.

  • Baltic, CT recorded 4.10″ of rain “HURRICANE” was listed in the important wx conditions space.
  • Brooklyn, CT recorded 4.00″ of rain
  • The observer in Colchester wrote a great blurb about Carol – though I can only decipher about half of it! 
[[442382793, C, 195, 632]]
  • The Danbury coop observer reported wind gusts near 60 mph
  • In Derby the coop observer reported the following “High winds on Aug. 31. Hurricane “Carol” considerable damage to trees. An additional amount of rain – 1.05″ fell from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Aug 31″ That 1.05″ is in addition to the 1.56″ reported at 8:30 a.m. in Derby.
  • Even in Falls Village the observer mentioned the wind on the 31st “wind on the 31st caused considerable damage to untilities.”
  • In Groton the observer wrote “Aug 31. Winds of hurricane force from 9:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. did much damage to buildings, trees, and boats in this area. Power and telephone lines severely damaged causing loss of service for several hours.”
  • In Mansfield at the dam the coop observer from the Army Corps mentioned on the 31st “Note: temperature readings may be inaccurate because the box blew over during height of storm”
  • Here’s what the Middletown observer wrote:
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  • Here’s the observer’s remarks in New London at Fort Trumbull.
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  • In Norfolk, observer Norman Smith summarized Carol this way, “The feature of the month that was most notable was the passage on the 31st of an Atlantic hurricane. The storm here brought 2.59″ of beneficial rain with shifting gale winds from the E NE and NW. There was some damage to power and telephone lines and roads were blocked by uprooted trees and branches.”
  • In Putnam 4.25″ of rain fell and the observer noted the hurricane passed east of Putnam with considerable damage to crops and trees with some property damage.
  • In Storrs 3.35″ of rain fell. The observer wrote, “On the 31st of August Hurricane “Carol” hit eastern Connecticut hard with 60 mile wind – higher gusts – and nearly 2″ of rain between 8 and 11 a.m.
  • 4.36″ of rain fell in Westbrook – here’s the observation remarks.
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The observations show a core of very heavy rain – 4″-6″ of rain near the center of the storm with less rain on the western periphery. Again this symmetry is unusual and shows that the eyewall was likely quite in tact and the storm was still quite “tropical” at the time of landfall.

Carol produced $50,000,000 in damage in 1954 dollars in Connecticut and killed 65 across New England. The storm is the only category 2 to strike Connecticut in modern times (1938 was a category 3 in Connecticut) and remains the strongest storm to strike the state in the last 59 years.

Photo Credit: Charles Orloff
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<![CDATA[Tropical Trouble]]> Wed, 30 Aug 2017 21:40:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/irm0830.gif

The remnants of Harvey and newly formed Tropical Storm Irma have our attention. The peak of hurricane season is in a little less than two weeks and not surprisingly the tropics remains quite active. 

Remnants of Harvey

Harvey will likely go down as our nation's costliest natural disaster. Thankfully the rain is coming to an end in Texas and the remnants of the storm are lifting north. That will impact our holiday weekend in some way. 

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A plume of tropical moisture will approach from the south and give us a rising chance for showers. Right now it appears Saturday evening, Saturday night, and Sunday will be unsettled. At this point I have scattered showers in the forecast for that window. I expect better weather to move in for Labor Day.

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As Harvey's remnants move through no severe weather or flooding rain is expected.

Tropical Storm Irma

A new tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean is on a somewhat concerning path west. Most storms at this longitude manage to find a weakness and curve out to sea but Irma may have other ideas.

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Check out this "spaghetti plot" of the European computer model showing possible paths for Irma. A few things to note is that one, Irma is expected to become quite intense. And two, a number of European ensemble members bring Irma near the United States. 

Any impact is more than a week away so there's nothing to worry about now. That said, we're going to be watching it closely for you every step of the way.

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<![CDATA[A Closer Look at Hurricane Harvey]]> Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:51:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Harvey_Death_Toll_Rises_as_Shelters_Fill_Up_in_Houston.jpg

Hurricane Harvey will go down as one of the costliest natural disasters in United States history. With destructive winds and a destructive floods this hurricane has been horrific.

How Rare is Harvey?

A category 4 hurricane landfall in the United States is unusual but certainly not unprecedented. The last was Charley in 2004. What makes Harvey so unique is the exceptional fresh water flooding in the Houston area. It appears that a large chunk of metropolitan Houston is dealing with a 1-in-1000 year flood - in other words a flood that has a 0.1% chance of occuring in any given year. 

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Harvey will come close to breaking the tropical cyclone rain record for Texas of 48" set back in Amelia in 1978. What makes this so much worse is the fact this extreme rainfall is falling in one of the most densely populated areas of the country. 

How Was The Forecast?

The rainfall forecast for Harvey was phenomenal. For days prior to the flood in Houston forecasters were talking about record breaking rainfall. For several days our computer models all agreed on a huge flood threat and it most certainly verified.

The intensity forecast for wind was more problematic. The National Hurricane Center's forecast 48 hours prior to landfall was for a strong tropical storm or minimal hurricane. The storm's actual intensity at landfall was a category 4 hurricane. If the hurricane made landfall in Houston, New Orleans, Tampa, Miami, or any other large city the initial busted intensity forecast could have been disastrous. A late and panicked evacuation likely would have been deadly.

Harvey shows us how far along computer modeling and forecasting has come - with a nearly perfect rain and flood forecast several days out. Harvey also reminds us of the shortcomings in hurricane forecasting. Periods of "rapid intensification" are notoriously challenging to predict. We have much work to do!

Did Climate Change Make Harvey Worse?

Maybe. Earlier today I posted something on Facebook and Twitter about how we really don't know right now how big (or little) of an impact climate change had on Harvey. The post managed to annoy liberals and conservatives on Twitter almost immediately.

The relationship between tropical cyclones and climate change is complex and poorly understood. For one, a warmer atmosphere is able to effectively "hold" more water vapor and therefore one could argue hurricanes would be able to produce increased precipitation rates as they make landfall. Increased rainfall from tropical cyclones in a warmer world is something many climate scientists agree on. 

Professor Kerry Emanuel, a climate scientist at MIT, wrote about Harvey's exceptional rainfall today. He notes the frequently of tropical cyclone landfalls in southeast Texas, "shows no discernible trend in either the historical data or in the downscaled event. So the higher rainfall cannot be attributed to more frequent tropical cyclones."

While the frequency of tropical storms hasn't changed - temperature and steering currents have changed. Emanuel said the change in temperature (and therefore water vapor) isn't enough to explain the amount of rainfall.

As for the slow motion of the hurricane Emanuel did note a drop in the speed of modeled hurricanes over the last 7 years. Harvey's exceptionally slow movement is responsible for its extreme rainfall but Emanuel notes there is no long term signal for a drop in translational speed outside of the last few years which would indicate that climate change due to humans is not responsible.

Over the coming months and years research will be done as to what about Harvey can and can't be attributed to climate change. We know a lot about climate change but how a warming world will impact tropical cyclones in specific areas is much more uncertain.

What We Know Made Harvey Worse

Houston is the 4th largest city in the United States and has been growing at an incredible pace. The city has an elaborate system of bayous and reservoirs and it struggles to drain during most rain storms. This great piece by The Texas Tribune and ProPublica goes through some of the problems in Houston related to land use, urban srpawl, and poor urban planning. 

Could Houston Have Been Evacuated?

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Probably not. And certainly not safely. The vast majority of flood deaths occur in automobiles. The last time a large scale evacuation in Houston was ordered was ahead of Hurricane Rita in 2005 and it resulted in days of gridlock. Unfortunately, the sheer number of people and the sheer size of this flood event made it impossible to mass evacuate the city. 

How To Help

NBC Connecticut is partnering with the Hartford Yard Goats to hold a Hurricane Harvey Relief Drive. Click here to learn more. 

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<![CDATA[Harvey Making Landfall]]> Fri, 25 Aug 2017 20:24:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DIHGwZEWsAA3GGh.jpg

Harvey has been a humbling storm for tropical forecasters. Just 48 hours ago the forecast from the National Hurricane Center was for a strong tropical storm or minimal hurricane to make landfall just east of Corpus Christi. Tonight it appears clear Harvey will make landfall as a category 4 hurricane. We're not that good forecasting rapid intensification of hurricanes and Harvey is another example of that.

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The story tonight will be the wind and the storm surge. A deadly combination. This hurricane will likely be the first category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Charley in 2004 and in Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961.

If there's any positive news on a day where Harvey strengthened quickly it's that the worst of the storm will be in a fairly rural area. Not Houston, not Galveston, and not Corpus Christi. Matagorda Bay (no stranger to hurricanes - do a Google search on Indianola, Texas) will bear the brunt of the storm initally. 

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Beyond tonight the story with Harvey will likely be the rain. In fact it's possible the inland rain and flooding may be more destructive and costly than the initial wind and storm surge. While the storm's intensity was not well forecast what hasn't changed over the past few days is the forecast for exceptional rainfall in Texas. Harvey is already slowing down and expected to stall near the coast. Days of rain will inundate Texas as the storm crawls along the coast.

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So what are the state and national tropical cyclone rain records? 48.00" in Texas from Amelia in 1978. In Connecticut the record is 16.86" from Tropical Storm Diane (which cause the historic 1955 flood). 

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<![CDATA[Tuesday's Storms - A Close Call]]> Thu, 24 Aug 2017 20:09:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/68fd8b6052e9492e91bddeaf210f21fc.jpg

We got lucky late Tuesday night. Kaitlyn and Josh were holding down the fort in the weather office until well after midnight with a very concerning weather setup. A bit of instability and a whole lot of wind shear left the atmosphere primed for an isolated tornado.

Looking back at the radar data it appears we really had some luck on our side. The setup was fairly common. A cold front sweeping in from the west, a surge of extremely humid/moist air coming in off the warm ocean waters, and a bit of instability during the overnight. What was a bit unusual was the amount of low level wind shear that was present. 

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This environment reminded me a bit of the August 22 overnight tornado in Concord, MA that was exceptionally well warned by Hayden Frank at the National Weather Service in Taunton, MA. 

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This sounding off the RAP models shows very modest instability but very powerful winds just off the surface. It wouldn't have taken much for some 60 mph winds to reach the surface. 

There were two radar signatures that were quite concerning. Given the low CAPE/high shear environment I wasn't surprised to see two rotating storms develop. One was in Goshen/Torrington shortly after 11 p.m. and another in Wolcott after midnight. Thankfully, no tornado touched down.

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Both the Torrington and Wolcott storms had just shy of 50 knots of what we call delta-V. Basically the strongest outbound and strongest inbound velocity are added together to characterize the strength of a storm's rotation. The median value for northeastern U.S. tornadoes in a delta-V of 60 knots - with a delta-V of 50 knots immediately prior to touchdown. 

In an environment like we had Tuesday night we got lucky. One or both of those storms were candidates for brief and weak overnight tornadoes. A small increase in strength in either storm likely would have been enough to drop a tornado. 

Photo Credit: Kally Johnson
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<![CDATA[Solar Eclipse 2017 - What an Incredible Experience!]]> Wed, 23 Aug 2017 22:23:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/IMG_1053.gif

At 2:46 p.m. on Monday, August 21 I saw the most incredible thing I've ever seen in my life. 

I woke up Monday morning in Mount Pleasant, SC to a thunderstorm and overcast skies. Not a great sign. All morning I obsessively checked radar, satellite, and computer model data looking for any sliver of hope that clouds would clear for the eclipse. There wasn't much to be found. 

Shortly before noon we made it to the beach in Sullivans Island, SC and skies were still overcast though beginning to brighten a bit. If we had any hope it would be right on the beach as the sea breeze moved inland and pushed showers and storms away from the coast.

By 1:30 p.m., as the eclipse began, the clouds continued to break and finally I saw some signs of improvement on the satellite loop as clouds began to break just offshore. Could we get lucky?

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It's wasn't until around 2:15 p.m. the clouds thinned enough that the ongoing eclipse was even visible with our eclipse glasses. By the time of totality the clouds were so thin we got the full show. 

It's really hard to explain how incredible the experience of totality is.  In the few minutes before totality the temperature dropped rapidly. You could feel a chill with the wind accelerating down the beach. Even the darkness is odd. The light was unusually flat and on the horizon you could see brightness south, east, and north. It felt like a sunset in every direction. It is bizarre.

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Pelicans and other shore birds weren't enjoying the strange midday darkness. You could hear them moving around and flying up and down the beach as totality set in. The sounds, the feeling, and the sight was an absolute shock to the senses.

After the last sliver of the sun disappeared the eclipse glasses came off and everyone stared upward. For a second I thought, "that's it?" and then it happened. A brilliant bright ring appeared surrounded by incredible darkness. The sun's corona danced and shimmered in the most breathtaking spectacle I've ever seen. It literally took my breath away. I wasn't the only person in my group on the beach to get choked up at the immense beauty and sensory overload. 

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As totality ended the "diamond ring" effect caused a brilliant flash of light as the moon moved past the sun. It was beyond exhilirating. 

As a weather geek it actually could not have been any better. Throw out all the astronomical stuff for just a second! While totality occured the western horizon was covered up by a thunderstorm with a number of gorgeous cloud-to-ground flashes and rumbles of thunder. How many people have been able to see totality while a thunderstorm roared a few miles away? Not many. It was freaking awesome.

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To be honest, leading up to the eclipse I thought some of the ways people describe totality were a bit over the top. Life changing? Spiritual? Emotional? After 2 1/2 minutes of totality I can say that those vivid descriptions aren't off the mark. It was one of the most magical things I've ever seen. It exceeded every expectation I had.

I'm already counting down the days to 2024.

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<![CDATA[Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for Litchfield County]]> Tue, 22 Aug 2017 23:16:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/HRRR+COVER+PHOTO.png

Our team of meteorologists have issued a First Alert for strong to severe thunderstorms tonight.

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for Litchfield, Fairfield, Hartford, and Tolland counties until midnight. 

Just after 11 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Litchfield County until midnight. 

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The line of thunderstorms will move east into central portions of the state by 11 p.m. 

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Any thunderstorm that does move into the state could become strong to even severe. Severe storms are expected to bring damaging winds, frequent lightning and heavy rain. There is also a slight chance of a small tornado especially for areas of western Connecticut. 

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<![CDATA[The Great Flood of 1955]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:15:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*131/55flood17.gif

Besides the 1938 hurricane, the 1955 flood was arguably the greatest natural disaster in Connecticut since colonial times.

The amount of rain that fell in August 1955 is so off the charts no event has come anywhere close to it in the last 100 years. That year's monthly record of 21.87″ at Bradley Airport stands alone as the wettest month on record – the second highest 16.32″ from October 2005 lags far behind.

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Hurricane Connie made landfall over the Outer Banks as a minimal hurricane on August 12, 1955. The storm moved slowly up the Chesapeake Bay and dumped 5″-10″ of rain in portions of northwest Connecticut. Connie barely produced any wind in Connecticut as she passed to the west but dropped enough rain to saturate the soil and raise river levels above flood stage.

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Five days after Connie, Hurricane Diane made landfall in North Carolina very close to where Connie struck. The storm moved inland and then was picked up by a strong trough diving into Michigan's Great Lakes. An exceptional band of rain setup over northwest Connecticut and western Massachusetts as the storm passed over Long Island. Having 10″-20″ of rain was common in many areas. When preceded by Connie’s 5″-10″ of rain Diane’s record 24-hour rainfall was enough to push rivers to levels that hadn’t been seen in hundreds of years.

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The all-time 24-hour rain record in Connecticut occurred on August 19 in Burlington with 12.77″ falling. In Westfield, Massachusetts, an incredible 1-day total of 19.75″ fell. A close look at the 8-day rain totals from August 12, 1955 to August 20, 1955 reveal just how exceptional this flood event was.

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A streamline analysis of Hurricane Diane in the August 1955 Monthly Weather Review shows a stalled out front across Connecticut between 0730 EST August 18, 1955 and 0730 EST August 19, 1955, out ahead of Diane’s circulation. For nearly 24 hours, strong convergence setup across Connecticut with deep tropical moisture advecting northward from Diane.

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A preliminary report by the U.S. Weather Bureau from August 25, 1955 includes hourly rainfall totals for Bradley Field which are incredible. Here’s an excerpt from that report:

The rains in southern New England were prolonged as the storm center which was moving eastward directly along the 40º parallel for about 12 hours from 5 p.m. of the 18th to about 5 a.m. of the 19th, recurved to an east-northeast direction paralleling the southern New England coast. The hourly precipitation rates recorded at the Weather Bureay office at Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Conn., are shown on the map. Until about 9 p.m. on the 18th, the intensities fluctuated considerably, but from then to 10 a.m. on the 19th the rate was quite constant, averaging nearly .6 inch per hour for 15 hours. The greatest amount from this record in a 24-hour period, 12.05 inches, is from 10 a.m. August 18 to 9 a.m. August 19. This compared with the previous maximum 24-hour rainfall of record at Hartford, Conn., of 6.82 inches occurring on July 13, 1897.

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The 1955 floods destroyed entire neighborhoods, entire downtowns, and entire families. Waterbury, Winsted, Naugatuck, Derby, Ansonia, Farmington, New Hartford and Putnam are just some of the towns and cities that were changed forever.

With the amount of rain that fell it’s not surprising the 1955 floods set records on the Quinebaug, Farmington and Naugatuck Rivers. The Army Corps of Engineers built a monstrous system of levees and dams on those rivers to prevent a flood like the ’55 one from happening again. Barring an unforeseen catastrophic failure of the dam and levee system a flood to the level of 1955 will never happen again on those rivers.

1955 Rain Totals (From Coop Stations)

Barkhamsted – 25.06″

  • Connie – 9.11″
  • Diane – 15.95″

Burlington – 24.65″

  • Connie – 8.73″
  • Diane – 15.92″

Norfolk – 21.81″

  • Connie – 8.93″
  • Diane – 12.88″

Warren – 18.60″

  • Connie – 7.74″
  • Diane – 10.86″

Windsor Locks – 18.42″

  • Connie – 4.02″
  • Diane – 14.40″

Falls Village – 16.83″

  • Connie – 6.75″
  • Diane – 10.08″

Danbury – 14.83″

  • Connie – 8.74″
  • Diane – 6.09″

Hartford – 11.75″

  • Connie – 3.90″
  • Diane – 7.85″

Prospect – 10.96″

  • Connie – 3.41″
  • Diane – 7.55″

Middletown – 10.90″

  • Connie – 4.53″
  • Diane – 6.37″

Bridgeport – 8.34″

  • Connie – 5.32″
  • Diane – 3.02″

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<![CDATA[Friday Storms]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:57:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+no+banner.png

A complex storm will approach Connecticut Friday and there is a low risk for a severe thunderstorm tomorrow. A warm front will slowly ooze across Connecticut during the day with a risk for occasional showers and thunderstorms.

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  • Any thunderstorms will be isolated - not every town gets one!
  • Several rounds of showers and storms are possible during the morning, midday, and afternoon. 
  • The atmosphere will feature low instability and high wind shear. There is a conditional threat for a rotating storm that could produce a tornado or damaging winds. 

We call these setups low CAPE/high shear. Basically there isn't a whole lot of energy for storms to form but any storms that do will have enough wind shear to work with that they can rotate. Not all rotating storms produce tornadoes - far from it in fact. But as a storm begins to rotate the odds of it producing severe weather increase.

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At this point we're giving this a general "low" impact for storms as anything we get would be isolated. We'll be watching it all day for you! 

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<![CDATA[Severe Thunderstorm Watch in Effect]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:27:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cover+photo1.png

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for Fairfield and Litchfield counties ahead if this afternoon and evenings severe weather threat. 

Our team of meteorologists has issued a First Alert for strong to potentially severe thunderstorms today.

A few showers and downpours will continue through the early afternoon hours. 

The thunderstorm threat increases by the late afternoon and early evening hours. A few thunderstorms that do develop have could be strong to even severe with gusty winds, heavy rain, small hail, and frequent lightning. 


You can see on First Alert Future Radar that a line of storms is expected to move through the state after 3 to 4 p.m. and continue into the evening hours.

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<![CDATA[Solar Eclipse Forecast]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:26:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/170816_CTSolarEclipse_1200x675_1026149443805.jpg

We know at 2:45 p.m. on Monday, August 21 about 2/3 of the sun will be obscured by the moon. That's a forecast we can be 100% confident in! The question is, however, will we be able to see the eclipse? Will skies be clear or cloudy?

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Here in Connecticut it looks like we're in good shape. The afternoon GFS computer model shows clear skies overhead on Monday afternoon. With high pressure overhead this seems like a reasonable solution. The European Ensemble (the European model run 50 different times with small tweaks and perturbations) shows extremely low chances for overcast skies in Connecticut.

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Farther south in the path of totality the forecast is even more important. I'll be in Charleston, SC for the total eclipse and cloudy skies would really be a bummer. The current GFS forecast is just about perfect for South Carolina in August.

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While this is probably too optimistic solar eclipses can help change the weather. As the amount of sunlight decreases the temperature starts to drop. As temperatures drop daytime cumulus clouds and showers that form in the heating of the day begin to dissipate. I'm crossing my fingers we wind up with a sunny afternoon but we'll see!

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<![CDATA[Hurricane Gert Will Lead to Dangerous Rip Currents at RI Beaches]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:42:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/LMX___R_VO_BIG_WAVES_KNSD_130606_16F76071_1200x675_991621187914.jpg

Hurricane Gert is leading to high surf advisories and strong rip currents for coastal areas of Rhode Island, Long Island, and Cape Cod. 

Buoys off the coast of Block Island measured powerful swells of 8.5 feet this morning. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">7 foot swells with a 12 second period at the Block Island buoy now. Those are very powerful waves thanks to Gert. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nbcct?src=hash">#nbcct</a> <a href="https://t.co/xZrCeW68KQ">pic.twitter.com/xZrCeW68KQ</a></p>&mdash; Ryan Hanrahan (@ryanhanrahan) <a href="https://twitter.com/ryanhanrahan/status/897783817951432704">August 16, 2017</a></blockquotethis morning - and still rising. These large waves and strong rip currents can be seen as close by as Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly, Rhode Island.

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At Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown, Rhode Island lifeguards closed the beach to swimming around 10 a.m. as swells began to build. 

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Rip currents are currents of water that flow from the beach to the surf zone and can rapidly pull a swimmer out to sea. 

If you are ever stuck in a rip current make sure to swim parrellel to the beach until you're eventually out of the current. 

A High Surf Advisory is in effect for parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts until 8 p.m. Wednesday. 

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<![CDATA[Lightning Is Killing Fewer Americans Than Ever: Analysis]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:32:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/lightning29.jpg

Lightning is killing fewer Americans than ever, according to analysis from the Associated Press and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. In 2017, only 13 people have died after being struck by lightning.

<![CDATA[Hurricane Gert - Where's it Going?]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:42:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/avn_lalo-animated081417.gif

Gert became the second hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic tropical season shortly before 11 p.m. on Monday. It is expected to pass well south and east of New England later this week.

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While there won't be any direct impact from Gert there is the potential for powerful swells and rip currents at the ocean beaches as close as Watch Hill. 

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The long period swells from Gert will move north from the storm and impact Rhode Island beaches as early as Tuesday night. Peak swell of nearly 6 feet will arrive on Wednesday. While waves of this height aren't unusual when a hurricane passes offshore Wednesday is likely to be a very busy beach day and dangerous rip currents will be widespread. This is great news for surfers but swimmers will have to be very careful on Wednesday.

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Beyond Gert the tropics look like they will remain very active. A combination of factors will favor development of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean through the next 10 days. This plot from Mike Ventrice of The Weather Company shows the likely track of the next disturbance churning off the coast of Africa. This storm would have the potential to impact the Caribbean and maybe eventually the United States. It's name will likely be Henry. 

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<![CDATA[Solar Eclipse 2017 and What to Expect in Connecticut]]> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:27:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/eclipse+lunar.jpg

On Monday, August 21 a rare total solar eclipse will be visible from coast to coast in the United States for the first time in 99 years. In fact, the total solar eclipse will be the first in the continental United States since 1979!

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Here in Connecticut we will not be in the path of totality (you'll have to wait until 2079 for that) but there is still plenty to see!

What to Expect

The solar eclipse in Connecticut will start around 1:25 p.m. when a small sliver of the sun will be masked by the moon. By 2:45 p.m. about 2/3 of the sun will be obscured by the moon making which is the most we'll see. By 4:00 p.m. the solar eclipse will end. This is known as a partial solar eclipse and has occured in Connecticut most recently on December 25, 2000 and May 10, 1994.

The total solar eclipse will occur only in a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina including Charleston, SC where I'll be for the event!

How to View

The only way to safely view a solar eclipse is through special glasses that block damaging radiation from your eyes. You can purchase these glasses at many stores including CVS, Best Buy, and Lowes. Be sure to only purchase glasses with an ISO label ensuring they're safe for using.

A pinhole or projection method can be used and is a nice idea for a project to do with kids. I remember making one of these in school to observe the 1994 eclipse in Guilford. 

Another option is shade 14 welding glasses - though these are likely to be sold out at many hardware stores.

Looking at the solar eclipse with sunglasses or the naked eye can lead to permanent eye damage or even blindness. While it is safe to take your glasses off during totality Connecticut is outside the path of totality.

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What is an Eclipse Anyway?

Solar eclipses occur during a new moon when the moon's shadow is cast on earth. During a new moon the sun, moon, and earth are in line with each other. The reason there isn't a solar eclipse every new moon is because the moon's orbit around earth and the earth's orbit around the sun are not in the same plane. Only once in a while do these planes intersect and a solar eclipse occurs.

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The moon's shadow is made up of a penumbra and a umbra. Only under the umbra is the moon's shadow complete resulting in a total eclipse (occasionally even with the umbra the moon is too far from earth resulting in an annular solar eclipse where a ring of the sun is still visible around the moon). In totality, a dramatic temperature drop (as much as 10 degrees) will accompany full darkness. From daylight to midnight in moments - a truly remarkable sight. Legendary WRC-TV meteorologist Bob Ryan described his first (Nantucket in 1970), and subsequent, solar eclipses in this wonderful Washington Post piece.

In the penumbra (where we'll be) part of the sun will be obscured by the moon and less solar radiation will make it to us than we typically see in the afternoon. A temperature drop (likely several degrees) will accompany this as we enter in a portion of the moon's shadow. 

How Common Are They?

Partial solar eclipses happen with a fair amount of regularity (2000 and 1994 being our most recent) while total solar eclipses are rare. The last total solar eclipse in Connecticut was in 1925 and the next isn't until 2079! 

If you're thinking there's no way you won't be around for the next total solar eclipse in Connecticut (check this calculator to see how old you'll be!) a total eclipse on April 8, 2024 will just miss us and plunge portions of Vermont and upstate New York into total darkness. We'll only be a tank of gas away from totality!

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<![CDATA[Storms Leave Hundreds in New Orleans With Flooded Homes, Businesses]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:13:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2017-08-11+at+11.24.48+AM.png

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in New Orleans Thursday after heavy storms flooded homes and businesses across the city. Officials say the rate of rainfall in many neighborhoods was one of the highest recorded in recent history. Rain remains in the forecast for the region through the weekend.

<![CDATA[Another Round of Showers]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 07:47:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/NAMNE_prec_prec_045.png

The forecast challenge today is once again about weekend rain. At this point it appears the best chance for rain is Saturday morning - and there are some indications a period of locally heavy rain is possible. 

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How much rain is a big question. Take the Short Range Ensemble Forecast model, or SREF, for instance. It shows a range from nearly 0" of rain to 3" of rain on Saturday - the bulk of which falls in the morning. The biggest clustering of ensemble members is <0.5" of rain - so it's fair to say that while heavy rain is possible it's not the most likely outcome. A lighter rain event remains the most plausible scenario.

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By Saturday midday and afternoon even though the clouds stick around we should get a period of drier weather. A renewed chance for showers develops by Saturday evening as a trough of low pressure advances in from the west.

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Beyond Saturday much nicer weather moves in for Sunday and Monday. There is a low risk for showers on Tuesday with a weak wave of low pressure to our south but at this point things are looking pretty good for next week. 

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<![CDATA[Weather Alerts FAQ]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:49:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/app-alerts.jpg

If you upgraded to the 5.5 version of our Android, iPhone and iPad news apps, you will notice we updated and streamlined the weather alerts. You can choose to receive alerts from our station’s meteorologists, get severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and sign up for lightning and precipitation alerts for up to 25 locations.

Adding Weather Locations Alerts

If you’ve been using our app and then downloaded the 5.5 version, the weather location alerts you had picked did not transfer to the new app version. We know this might be inconvenient but choosing locations alerts is easy to do. 

To set up the alerts, just tap on the app logo in the top left corner then tap on Weather Forecast. Tap the plus sign next to the location under the radar. This will allow you to add or delete locations (you cannot delete the Default location or the Current Location).

To control the alert settings for the cities, click the three dots next to the city. You can set it as your location and enable or disable alerts for it. You can also remove the city from your list. Under the city name it’ll tell you if the alerts are on or off.

Next, tap on "Alert Settings,” which is the second tab at the top. This is where you can control the alerts you get:

  • Station Alerts — Important updates from our station’s meteorologists, including the daily forecast information.
  • NWS Severe Weather Alerts — Notifications from the National Weather Service about watches and warnings for severe weather like thunderstorms, tornadoes, snow and more.
  • Lighting Alerts — Alerts that are triggered when lightning has been detected in your area.
  • Precipitation Alerts — Alerts about rain, snow and hail approaching your location. 

After you change the settings, it’s best to close your app and then reopen it to ensure the app saved your settings.

Setting Weather as Start Screen

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You can customize the start screen of our app to highlight news or weather when you open it.

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If weather information is crucial for you and your family, we want you to see it immediately on the app to make your life easier. If you’re more interested in local and national news, you can continue to see that first when the app opens if you want.

To make a change, tap the app logo in the top left corner, and tap "Set Your Start Screen." You will see a preview of how the app will look with Top Stories or Weather as the start screen. You can also change the start screen by tapping the gear icon in the upper right corner and choosing between Top Stories and Weather.

<![CDATA[Video Shows Lightning Strike a San Antonio Home]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:20:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/lightningstike.jpg

A strong storm passing through the San Antonio area has caused flash floods and lightning storms. This cellphone footage captures an incredible lightning strike in the Heritage neighborhood.

<![CDATA[Moderate Rain into the Evening]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:20:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Monday+Cover+Photo.png

NBC Connecticut Meteorologists are forecasting moderate rain for the afternoon and evening commute. 

In addition to the moderate rain there is also a slight chance of a brief thunderstorm.

You can expect scattered showers during the early afternoon to become more widespread by the late afternoon and early evening. 

Rain will be falling statewide by 3 to 4 p.m. with the heaviest rain coming down after 5 p.m.

Take a look at First Alert Future Radar at 5:30 in the evening which shows moderate falling for the ride home from work.

Weather model guidance has had a difficult time determining where the center of low pressure will track. The track of the low is extremely important in determining how much rain will fall in the state. A track closer to the state will bring in the heaviest rain. 

We're forecasting anything from a half an inch to 2 inches of rain with the heaviest rain falling in southern New London county.

Areas that receive the heaviest rain have a slight risk of isolated flash flooding.

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<![CDATA[Storms Moving Out of the State]]> Sat, 05 Aug 2017 15:43:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cover+Photo+Saturday+Storms.png

Our team of meteorologists have issued a First Alert for today's thunderstorm threat.

The first batch of showers and storms moved through the state in the early morning hours bringing in over an inch of rain to many inland cities and towns.

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The severe weather threat is the result of a cold front that is moving through the state. The front is bringing in rain and thunderstorms to the state. 

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The main threat with these storms will be heavy rain, frequent lightning, small hail, and damaging winds within the strongest storms. There is also a very slight chance of a small tornado somewhere in the state. 

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Storms will become very scattered in nature by the early afternoon hours. 

In addition to the thunderstorms the cold front will also be responsible bringing in much cooler and drier air. Humidity levels will go from oppressive humidity to comfortable by Sunday afternoon. High temperatures will also be in the upper 70s and low 80s through next Wednesday.

Check the First Alert 10-day forecast to see how next week is looking. 

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<![CDATA[Weekend Storms Bring Cooler Weather]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 16:43:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/ECMWF_6hr1.png

Meteorologist Josh Cingranelli here guest writing for Ryan Hanrahan while he's enjoying his vacation in Italy. 

The warm air and high humidity will come to an end this weekend as a strong cold front moves through the region.

The European forecast model has the front moving through the state around 18 UTC which is equivalent to 2 p.m. 

The front will bring in showers and thunderstorms Saturday afternoon. I've been monitoring the severe weather potential over the past couple of days.

Take a look at the forecasted weather sounding for 12 UTC on Saturday for the Hartford area. 

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A couple things we look at for severe weather is, CAPE (convective available potential energy) and shear. Shear is how much the wind speed and direction changes as the height from the ground into the atmosphere increases.

This sounding is displaying decent shear values but lacks CAPE. While we're still forecasting thunderstorms we don't anticipate a widespread severe weather outbreak. 

The front will bring in much drier air which will rapidly decrease humidity values. Check out the dew point values prior to the front moving in and the dew point values after the front passes. 


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In addition to the drier air, an anomalous shot of cooler air will settle in for early next week. High temperatures are forecasted to be 10 to as much as 20 degrees below normal through the middle of the week.

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We expect temperatures will climb back into the low 80s by the end of next week. 

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