<![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-usWed, 18 Jan 2017 01:01:31 -0500Wed, 18 Jan 2017 01:01:31 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Today's Forecast]]> http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/first+alert_weather+1200.jpg

Tonight: Rain for most of the state with freezing rain in areas north of the I-84 corridor. Temperatures fall below freezing for northern Litchfield and Hartford counties. Northern Litchfield county could see up to a quarter inch of ice accretion. Lows 30-34 in the northwest hills, 32-36 elsewhere. 

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Showers possible in the morning. Highs in the upper 30s inland, near 40 at the shore.

Thursday: Partly sunny. Highs in the low to middle 40s.

Friday: Partly sunny. Highs in the low to middle 40s.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of a rain or snow shower. Highs in the upper 30s in the hills and low 40s for the rest of the state.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the upper 30s in the hills and low 40s for the rest of the state.

Monday: Mostly cloudy with rain developing. Some areas could start as a wintry mix. Highs ranging from the upper 30s inland to near 50 at the shore. 

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Rain heavy at times and quite windy. Highs in the low to middle 50s. 

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


Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Get Closing Alerts]]> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 15:23:20 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/closing+central+first+alert.jpg
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Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Continues in the Hills]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:22:13 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/hrrr_ref_boston_2.png

As expected a nasty evening of weather has developed in the hilltowns of northwest and northeast of Hartford. Temperatures have dropped below 32F in many elevated spots thanks to a steady supply of colder and dry air beings drawn south by a developing low just south of Connecticut.

This northerly drain of cold will continue through the evening and the freezing rain will continue. Thankfully, ice accretion should be less than 1/4 inch which is generally the threshold at which trees and power lines can begin to see damage. 

For areas with temperatures above freezing it's a cold rain with occasional sleet pellets. I do think there will be some slick spots lingering in the hills tomorrow morning - don't be surprised if we see some school delays. 

<![CDATA[Icy Tuesday Evening in the Hills]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:48:35 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*128/hires_t2m_boston_40.png

A prolonged period of icing across parts of interior Connecticut is becoming more likely on Tuesday evening and Tuesday night. This has been in our forecast for a few days now and it appears as if parts of Litchfield County could see 1/4" of ice accretion.

The setup is not a classic ice storm look - with a relatively weak high pressure over Quebec retreating east into the Maritimes. But, it is a setup where stale cold air becomes easily trapped up against the east slopes of the Litchfield Hills. This happens quite often every winter. The reason why temperatures will stay cold enough for ice in the hills is that a weak area of low pressure will form south of us keeping winds light and out of the north. If that low to the south didn't form the wind would be out of the south resulting in a large jump in temperatures as milder air would flow north with no obstruction.

The reason we're expecting freezing rain is that temperatures in the clouds about 5,000 feet above our heads will be well above freezing - near 40 degrees! This will melt all the snowflakes falling toward the ground. However, a shallow layer of cold air near the surface will keep surface temperatures below 32 degrees resulting in the rain freezing on contact. This sounding from Norfolk, CT off the NAM shows the sub-freezing layer in the lowest levels of the atmosphere quite well.

While there may be some brief icing in the valley locations around Hartford requiring at least some treatment it appears areas above 400 feet are most at risk for a solid glaze of ice. Up to 1/4 inch of glaze appears likely with great agreement on all of our computer models. Generally this much ice is not enough to cause more than an isolated power outage but will make any untreated surface very slippery. It looks like the freezing rain and icing will begin in western Connectciut after 4 p.m. - with most areas not seeing it until after 6 p.m. 

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<![CDATA[Wintry Mix Could Cause Delays for Wednesday Morning]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 23:44:31 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM12+Precip+Cloud+Floater011717.png

Temperatures were below freezing for areas of northern Litchfield and Hartford counties Tuesday night.

[[410958225, C]]

Freezing rain will continue through the early morning hours for Wednesday. We're forecasting up to a quarter inch of ice accretion.

[[410958995, C]]

Winter weather advisories were in effect for Litchfield, Hartford, Tolland, and Windham counties Tuesday until Wednesday at 7:00 AM.

While northern Connecticut is experiencing a wintry mix the southern portion of the state will be dealing with rain. Rain will be heavy at times. 

[[410958765, C]]

The wintry mix comes to an end in the early morning hours with some lingering drizzle for the morning commute. 

Temperatures once again become unseasonably mild tomorrow. We're forecasting highs in the low- to middle-40s Wednesday through the start of next week.

Snow lovers, unfortunately we don't have any snow in the forecast for the next 10 days. The good news is it looks like the weather changes to more of a wintry pattern by the end of the month and especially into February.

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<![CDATA[Big Temperature Drop for Friday]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:28:19 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Temp+NE+Custom1.png

The springlike temperatures of Thursday come to an end during the overnight as a cold front moves through Connecticut. 

Temperatures for the weekend will be more winterlike with highs in the low- to middle-30s on Saturday and upper-30s on Sunday. 

The weekend looks to remain dry with partly sunny skies.

A few areas of the state could experience some flurries Sunday night.

The cooler air won't stick around for long as warm air races toward the state next week. 

The middle of the week looks damp. We have rain showers in the forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. 

There are no big storms in the forecast and as of right now we're not forecasting any snow in the next 10 days. 

<![CDATA[Prolonged January Thaw]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 11:29:37 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gefs_t850a_5d_noram_53.png

If you love winter weather - draw the shades and go into a 10+ day hibernation. The pattern looks pretty hideous for people who like cold and snow for the 10-14 days.

This morning temperatures have climbed into the 50s in many areas with our few inches of snow vaporized overnight. A combination of high dew points and gusty winds resulted in a dramatic loss in snowpack across the region. Here's my sad dead Christmas tree on a dirty snow pile in my front yard. 

Looking forward besides a dip in temperatures over the weekend the weather pattern is going to turn quite warm. In fact, if you were to look at the forecast weather maps for next week without a date and timestamp you'd think it was a map for early spring!

So what's the cause? A large dip in the jet stream over Alaska and northern Pacific Ocean will allow warm pacific air across the northern hemisphere. The jet stream retreats far to the north resulting in very large positive temperature anomalies across central and eastern Canada and the U.S. Locally, you can see that with this GFS ensemble temperature trend over the next 16 days with virtually all the ensemble members above climatology. 

In the winter you can never rule out a wintry storm to sneak up on southern New England even in an otherwise warm pattern but it's not looking good - especially outside of the hills or inland areas with no source of cold air to the north. 

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<![CDATA[Spring-Like Pattern Continues With Rain Tonight]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 10:55:01 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2828%29.png

After nearly a quarter inch of rain Wednesday morning, another round of rain is expected tonight.

High temperatures will be in the lower 50s on Wednesday, which is more than 15 degrees above average.

The rain will mostly be centered on the night, not during the day.

Thursday and Friday will be mostly cloudy, and each day features at least a small chance for a rain shower.

Yet another storm approaches Saturday night. High pressure will be in prime position for that system to be snow, but it shouldn't be a "blockbuster" storm.

So, when does winter return, consistently?

Even next week, models are showing a very unfavorable pattern for big snowstorms in Connecticut.

Rain showers are possible Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Highs will be in the lower 40s.

<![CDATA[Gusty Winds Whip the State Wednesday Morning]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 06:53:12 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GUSTY-WINDS.jpg

Wednesday morning will be warmer than earlier in the week but also brings potential for gusty winds.

Rain moved through early in the morning leaving roads wet. That paired with increasing temperatures will melt some of the snow covering the state.

The NBC Connecticut meteorologists said strong winds - around 25 miles per hour with the potential for stronger gusts - could cause issues in the morning.

Several downs did report trees down, causing road closures and delays just in time for the morning commute. Crews in Franklin responded for a tree down on Route 87 by Rindy Road.

The Tolland Fire Department was called for a tree that came down on wires near 96 Metcalf Road, and Andover fire was busy with a tree down on wires in the area of 91 Hickory Drive.

The winds are expected to die down as the day continues.

By 9 a.m. sunshine will warm the state with temperatures approaching the 50s.

Get the full forecast anytime by clicking here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Any Wintry Precipitation Changes to Rain Overnight]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:43:34 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+HRRR+Precip+Cloud+CT+%281%29.png

Light precipitation this evening could create slick roads in a few northern Connecticut towns.

Warmer air will be moving in aloft, but since it's been so cold recently, it will take a while for the ground to respond.

As a result, liquid rain that falls before 9 p.m. this evening could create a glaze of ice on frozen, untreated surfaces.

Eventually, late this evening, any freezing rain will turn into a steady rain overnight.

Wednesday morning's commute will be wet, even though the rain will move out before the sun comes up.

High temperatures will be in the upper 40s on Wednesday, which is more than 10 degrees above average.

Thursday and Friday will be mostly cloudy, and each day features at least a small chance for a rain shower.

Yet another storm approaches Saturday night. High pressure will be in prime position for that system to be snow, but it shouldn't be a "blockbuster" storm.

So, when does winter return, consistently?

Even next week, models are showing a very unfavorable pattern for big snowstorms in Connecticut.

<![CDATA[Very Light Icing Possible Tonight]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 09:11:38 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/hrrr_ref_neng_13.png

A surge of warmer air is going to drive a warm front through New England aloft this evening - but temperatures near the ground will still be close to 32F. As the warm air surges in we'll see a period of very light precipitation develop around sunset which could lead to some icing on any untreated surfaces. In the hills it should be cold enoughf or a period of very light snow. 

After a cold snap, especially with snow on the ground, temperatures on paved surfaces can remain subfreezing even as air temperatures warm. Any surface that's salted will be fine but anything that is not could become slick. We're looking at the 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. window this evening. This sounding from Hartford off the NAM model shows low level temperatures near 32F with some moisture moving in. 

[[410253405, C]]

All in all this doesn't look like a major issue but anything that appears wet around nightfall could be slippery. Temperatures will warm well above freezing after midnight with a period of heavier rain moving in. 

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<![CDATA[Active Weather Pattern to Yield Little Snow Over Next Week]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:30:12 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2826%29.png

Multiple weather systems will make a run at Connecticut over the next week, but very little snow is expected.

The coldest air since last winter has been in place the past two days, but that's no sign of what's to come.

While a few snow flakes and sleet pellets are possible Tuesday afternoon, warm air surges north fairly easily.

So, the bulk of the next weather system will be rain. Wednesday morning's commute will be wet, as the rain will be getting ready to move out.

High temperatures will be in the upper 40s on Wednesday, which is more than 10 degrees above average.

Thursday and Friday will be mostly cloudy, and each day features at least a small chance for a rain shower.

The good news for the weekend is that no winter weather is anticipated Saturday.

However, yet another storm approaches Saturday night. High pressure will be in prime position for that system to start as some sort of a wintry mix.

There is a great deal of uncertainty as to when it actually arrives, but plan on at least some wintry precipitation on Sunday, lasting into Monday. Eventually, any snow or sleet will go over to rain.

So, when does winter return?

Even next week, models are showing a very unfavorable pattern for big snowstorms in Connecticut.

<![CDATA[Snowstorm Totals]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:08:02 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/15871928_1414514568582169_7707860335976884737_n.jpg

The forecast for yesterday worked out pretty well! There was a sharp gradient in the state with relatively little snow falling in northwestern Connecticut and nearly a foot in some towns in the Quiet Corner. Here's a look at some snow totals across the state. 

  • Brooklyn - 11.3”
  • Moosup - 10.8"
  • Norwich - 9.5”
  • Dayville - 9.1”
  • Uncasville - 9.0”
  • Stonington - 8.7”
  • Stonington - 8.1”
  • Madison - 7.2”
  • Waterford - 7.2”
  • Griswold - 7.0”
  • Norwich (official) - 7.0”
  • Waterford - 6.7”
  • New London - 6.5”
  • Staffordville - 6.0”
  • Newtown - 6.0”
  • Westbrook - 6.0”
  • Glastonbury - 6.0”
  • Storrs -5.8”
  • Bridgeport (official) - 5.7”
  • Prospect - 5.6”
  • Prospect - 5.5”
  • Mystic - 5.5”
  • Hebron - 5.5”
  • North Grosvenordale - 5.5”
  • South Windham - 5.5”
  • New Canaan - 5.4”
  • Somers - 5.1”
  • Monroe - 5.0”
  • Shelton - 5.0”
  • Darien - 5.0”
  • Portland - 5.0”
  • Bethel - 4.9”
  • Milford - 4.8”
  • Bethel - 4.5”
  • West Hartford (NBC Connecticut) - 4.5”
  • East Hartford - 4.5”
  • Farmington - 4.5”
  • Norwalk - 4.3”
  • Stamford - 4.3”
  • Glastonbury Center - 3.7”
  • Bristol - 3.5”
  • New Hartford - 3.3”
  • Norfolk - 3.3”
  • Windsor Locks (official) - 3.3”
  • Collinsville - 3.2”
  • North Granby - 3.2”
  • Enfield - 3.1”
  • North Canton - 3.0”
  • Colebrook - 2.9”
  • Newtown - 2.7”
  • Watertown - 2.0”
Snow totals are from NBC Connecticut weather watchers, National Weather Service official cooperative observers, and CoCoRaHS observers. Joining CoCoRaHS is a great way to provide valuable rain and snow observations to meteorologists across the country! 
Note: Some towns may have more than one total if multiple measurements were taken at different locations within town.

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<![CDATA[Connecticut Digging Out After Saturday Storm]]> Sun, 08 Jan 2017 09:57:10 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/snowyscene_010717.jpg

Connecticut is digging out after a daylong storm that brought several inches of snow to parts of the state.

Snow began across most of the state around 10 a.m. Saturday, and quickly caused conditions on Connecticut's highways to deteriorate.

A 21-vehicle pileup closed I-91 North in Middletown for roughly six hours. Three tractor-trailers and two tanker trucks were involved in the crash. There were no serious injuries.

State police troopers responded to about 115 crashes and 94 motorist assist calls as of 4 p.m., according to TFC Kelly Grant. Sunday morning, state police reminded drivers to clear snow and ice off their vehicles before hitting the roads.

As of 10 p.m., AAA Hartford reported it had responded to 850 calls for help, many in the eastern part of Connecticut

Several cities and towns, including Hartford and New Haven, implemented parking bans to allow crews to clear streets.

Photo Credit: Submitted Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Your Photos: Saturday Snowstorm]]> Sun, 08 Jan 2017 10:30:47 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/55f363fd17c2470ba61b26539d61c142.jpeg.jpg A look at snow falling across Connecticut on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.

Photo Credit: Kornegay, Shawn]]>
<![CDATA[Snowstorm on Track Today]]> Sat, 07 Jan 2017 20:48:08 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C1lTsz0XcAAAwAd.jpg

Evening Update: Everything worked out pretty well! I'm a little disappointed with my 4.5" of snow in West Hartford but the forecast worked out well. Heavy snow southeast of here did pile up with a band in excess of 10" - in areas from East Haddam to Moosup. This was a band I was highlighting since about noon on the air so that worked out well. As expected, areas in far northwest Connecticut did poorly with only about 1.5" in Falls Village.

This storm is a good reminder of the difficulty the Connecticut River Valley north of Middletown has on the fringes of storms with a dry northerly wind. That northerly drain is a killer to snow as snow rates diminish as drier air moves in. 

Midday Update: Based on radar trends, short term modeling (like the HRRR), and continued signs of really great snow growth (high snow:liquid ratios) I've upped the snow accumulation forecast for many areas. I have Hartford and New Haven in the 5"-10" category now - with the best chance of 10" east of those cities. 

Morning Update: A subtle tick offshore/east on our overnight computer model runs means our going forecast is good to go. No need to make any changes here. Yesterday evening I thought I may need to bump totals up some - or at least move the bands to the west - but I no longer think that's necessary. 

The big reason we're forecasting decent snow is because the snow will be very light and fluffy. Just like yesterday morning's snow we're talking about snow:liquid ratios on the order of 15:1 or 20:1 which is 150% or 200% of normal. The reason why is that we will see most of our snow flakes form around -15C which is the favored temperature for dendrites - the beautifully ornate branched snowflakes. This sounding off the GFS shows a deep layer (over 10,000 feet) with temperatures between -12C and -18C that's also saturated - a good sign for fluff!

As I discussed yesterday the extra boost this storm is going to have is a nice area of low level convergence over Connecticut that will add to the "lift" and create a band of extra vertical motion over our state. Air will be forced to pile up as it exits a jet streak about 5,000 feet above our heads. This feature is still visible on all our morning model runs.

We'll keep you posted all day! 

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<![CDATA[January 6 Snow Totals]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 12:22:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hamden+snow+Jan+6+2017.jpg

This is the most recent data on snow totals from today's storm. Some of the totals might be low because of the time the measurements were recorded.

  • Barkhamsted: 1 inch
  • Berlin: 1.1 inches
  • Cheshire: 1.8 inches
  • Colebrook: .4 inch
  • Coventry: 2.3 inches
  • Darien: .5 inch
  • East Hartford: 1 inch
  • Enfield: .9 inch
  • Farmington: 1.3 inched
  • Glastonbury: 2.1 inches
  • Hadlyme: 4 inches
  • Hebron: 2.5 inches
  • Killingly: .6 inch
  • Ledyard: 3 inches
  • Madison: 2 inches
  • Manchester: 1.8 inches
  • Mansfield: 2.6 inches
  • Middletown: 2.5 inches
  • Moosup: 3 inches
  • Newtown: 2.1 inches
  • New Canaan: 1 inch
  • New Hartford: .8 inch
  • New London: 2.6 inches
  • North Canton: .3 inch
  • North Granby: .3 inch
  • Norwalk: .7 inch
  • Norwich: 3.2 inches
  • Pomfret: 2.2 inches
  • Portland: 2.5 inches
  • Prospect: 2 inches
  • Ridgefield: .8 inch
  • Southington: 2 inches
  • Staffordville: 1 inch
  • Stamford: .5 inch
  • Stonington: 2.5 inches
  • Stratford: .5 inch
  • Tolland: 2 inches
  • Waterbury: 2 inches
  • Waterford: 2 inches
  • Watertown: 2.5 inches
  • West Hartford: 1.5 inches
  • Westbrook: 1.5 inches
  • Winsted: 1 inch
  • Woodstock: 1.6 inches

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Saturday Snowstorm on the Way]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 19:43:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C1g18zFW8AAuawP.jpg

Evening Update: Tomorrow's storm is looking more and more impressive. For the last 2 days almost every computer model run has brought this storm closer to Connecticut. There is no question our forecast has changed since yesterday but that's what happens in the weather business! I think this storm is going to produce even more snow than the computer models currently show based on several factors. 

The first thing we can look at is how much liquid precipitation our models are dropping over New England. The GFS, the most paltry, has about 0.3" of liquid in Hartford/New Haven and close to 0.5" in New London. Other models are a smidge higher than this - including the Euro, Canadian, and NAM.

I expect the models to continue to trend higher with more liquid precipitation for several reasons. One of the reasons is that we have a pretty sizable amount of lift - centered in the mid levels of the atmosphere about 20,000 feet above our heads during the afternoon. Strong differential cyclonic vorticity advection (DCVA) over New England will promote rising motion and that leads to clouds and snow.

If that was the only feature we'd be talking about a couple inches and we'd move on. But what is quite intriguing is a burst of low level convergence that is consistently showing up on our models. Let's look at winds about 5,000 feet up. Winds will be quite strong out of the east out toward Providence and southeastern Massachusetts for a period of time. Here in Connecticut the winds will be much lighter. This produces convergence as air is effectively forced to pile up and the only place it has to go is up.

That signal should lead to additional snow and maybe even a heavy burst of snow farther west than we'd typically see it for an offshore storm. This signal is strongest right along the I-91 corridor. The fact this mini low level jet is so far removed from the low center, and shows up on all our computer models, means that this storm will behave differently than most storms that track well southeast of Nantucket. 

The other positive for heavy snow is the fact that all of this lift (both the mid level and low level stuff) will occur with cloud temperatures between -12c and -18c. For a snow geek these temperatures are pretty exciting :) At those temperatures ornate snow crystals known as dendrites will be the favored crystal type. These crystals grow the most efficiently and when they land on the ground they can accumulate very quickly! This will lead to snow:liquid ratios greater than the typical 10:1 around here. For the duration of the storm we will likely be closer to 15:1 or even 20:1. Almost 14,000 feet of the atmosphere will be between -12c and -18c and that is a VERY large dendritic growth zone and can promote a lot of efficiently growing, big, fat and fluffy flakes. Fluff factor!

I took pictures of dendrites this morning in West Hartford on the roof of my car that managed to accumulate at a 20:1 ratio. This morning's snow was also super fluffy.

Putting it all together I feel confident that this storm is going to perform better than most raw model guidance shows. I'm predicting 4"-8" of snow for Hartford and New Haven but I could easily see those numbers going up where some bands of heavier snow form. That will most likely be in eastern Connecticut but I can't rule out a jackpot farther west - including the Hartford/New Haven corridor. While the Route 8 corridor (Waterbury/Bridgeport/Torrington) is currently in the 2"-4" zone if the evening computer models show the current trends continuing these numbers will have to be increased. For what it's worth, I think the National Weather Service forecast is too conservative which is odd because frequently they are the most bullish and out there with snowfall predictions. 

Afternoon Update: Quick update to the forecast. I've really bumped up our accumulation forecast as far west as I-91. We're expecting fluffy snow to accumulate readily tomorrow - just like it did this morning. That, coupled with a western shift in the storm track, leads to even more snow. I can't rule out an isolated 10" amount near the Rhode Island border if the western jog continues. More to come shortly...

Morning Update: A morning fluff bomb managed to drop up to 3 inches of snow in southeastern Connecticut thanks to unusually high snow:liquid ratios. For example, Stonington picked up 2.5" of snow as of 7 a.m. with only 0.10" of liquid. A more typical snow:liquid ratio in New London County is 10:1!

Now our attention turns to tomorrow. The European model jogged west my a good amount overnight bringing more significant snow in eastern Connecticut while our other models remain a bit more tempered.

This is a tough forecast! 3-6" of snow seems possible now along the I-395 corridor with 1-3" on the I-91 corridor. I expect that this could change quite a bit in either direction given the difficulty our computer models have had with this storm. 

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<![CDATA[Storm Dumping Snow Statewide]]> Sat, 07 Jan 2017 19:02:43 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/snow+east+berlin_1200.jpg

The NBC Connecticut meteorologists have issued a First Alert for Saturday as a coastal storm moves into Connecticut, bringing significant snow to parts of the state.

Snow began across most of the state around 10 a.m. Saturday, and quickly caused conditions on Connecticut's highways to deteriorate.

A 20-car pileup closed I-91 North in Middletown for roughly six hours. Three tractor-trailers and two tanker trucks were also involved in the crash.  There were no serious injuries.

State police troopers responded to about 115 crashes and 94 motorist assist calls as of 4 p.m., according to TFC Kelly Grant.

As of 5 p.m there were 821 state Department of Transportation plows out on the roads and Gov. Dannel Malloy's office was advising residents to stay off the roads if possible.

"If travel is necessary, motorists are urged to exercise caution, to build in extra travel time, and to practice safe winter driving skills-such as slowing down, increasing following distance, driving in already traveled lanes, keeping headlights on, and avoiding distractions in your vehicle," Malloy said in a statement.

Bradley International Airport reported four canceled departures and seven delayed departures, as well as seven canceled arrivals and seven delayed arrivals due to the weather as of 5:30 p.m.

NBC Connecticut meteorologists said the heaviest part of the storm will be in the mid-late afternoon on Saturday, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., before tapering to flurries early to mid-evening.

The shoreline and eastern parts of the state should expect between 5 to 10 inches of snow. Moving up into Litchfield county and the hills there will be less accumulation, between 3 to 5 inches. The Northwestern Hills will see the least snow, between 1 to 3 inches.

As a result, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for New London, New Haven, Middlesex, Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties. Winter weather advisories are in effect for Fairfield and Litchfield counties.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Morning Fluffy Snow ]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 20:07:14 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C1VyrQEXEAAd5u6.jpg

Get excited for it - a coating to 2 inches of snow is on the way! It's about as unimpressive of a storm as you can get. A more apt way to describe it is an atmospheric burp. But that burp is going to manage to squeeze out a period of light snow tomorrow morning during the commute.

One of the reasons I'm expecting some accumulation is the fact there will be a very deep layer of moisture in the atmosphere where the cloud temperatures are around -15C. This is an exciting temperature for winter lovers. Between -12C and -18C snow flakes grow with great efficiency and the favored type of crystal are ornate dendrites. This forecast sounding off the GFS for Hartford shows a deep layer of cloud around -15C (it's shaded in yellow) with some lift. That should lead to a period of fluffy snow flakes that could accumulate to an inch or two in some towns even if we only pick up less than a tenth of an inch of liquid precipitation. 

Beyond tomorrow morning's little snow we're watching an offshore storm for Saturday afternoon. While there has been a shift of this storm closer to the coast I'm not sure if it will track any farther west. I do expect a period of snow for parts of Connecticut - especially eastern Connecticut - but significant snow is unlikely. The 51-member European Ensemble has only a 10-20 percent chance of more than 3" of snow in far southeastern Connecticut - but a 50% chance of >1" of snow. 

We'll be watching Saturday's system closely but it appears to be a much bigger system for the Cape than it will be here in Connecticut. 

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<![CDATA[After the Rain Comes the Rainbow: Jan. 4, 2017]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 17:04:50 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/RAINBOW-Nicole-Gavagni.jpg Many of you captured shots of a rainbow over the state on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Nicole Gavagni]]>
<![CDATA[Snow for Friday]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 18:59:15 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C1VyrQEXEAAd5u6.jpg

Gusty winds will usher in colder temperatures tonight and by Friday we'll have some snow flakes in the air. There is not much of a storm on our way - it's more of a ripple in the atmosphere that results in enough "lift" to squeeze out a period of snow. 

The 51 european ensembles show the best odds of more than 1" of snow in southeastern Connecticut with lower odds to the northwest of there. This seems pretty reasonable.

[[409688215, C]]

We're not going to pick up much from this storm but there will be a bit of a fluff factor. What do I mean by that? Essentially most of the lift in the atmosphere will occur in the clouds where the temperature is near -15C which is the temperature at which dendrites - those beautiful ornate snow flakes that can pile up quickly - are able to form. Additionally, this is the temperature at which snow flakes form most efficiently. This model sounding off the NAM in Groton shows modest lift centered right near this magic temperature Friday morningh. 

[[409688045, C]]

Getting lift in the "dendritic growth zone" as we like to call it can result in snow:liquid ratios that exceed the typical 10:1. For example, normally around here we get about 10" of snow for every 1" of liquid. When dendrites are the preferred ice crystal they grow quite rapidly and efficiently and also pile up quickly when they land on the ground. It's not unusual to squeeze out 20 or 30 inches of snow per 1 inch of water if you're looking at all or mainly dendrites. So while we'll struggle to get a tenth of an inch of liquid - getting 1-2" of snow would be a possibility in some areas. 

[[409688135, C]]

So expect a few fluffy flakes Friday morning during the commute with a bit of accumulation. A coating to a half inch or so around Hartford seems reasonable with a few pockets of up to 2 inches near the shoreline. 

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<![CDATA[Several Schools Delayed as Snow Fell Across State]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 12:31:48 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/snow+in+hartford+Jan+6+2017+1+main.jpg

Students in several cities and towns started school late on Friday morning after snow fell across the state and there were some issues on the roads. Two of the most serious were school bus crashes in Avon and Manchester, but no injuries were reported

Snow fell steadily in Groton and crews spent the morning trying to keep sidewalks and other walkways clear. 

"Underneath the snow it's still very icy, so I slipped a couple of times, which is why I am walking in the street," said Frank Accomando, of Groton, who took the bus instead of driving.

In Hamden, light snow created a pretty backdrop for people who were out in the morning, including Robert Nelson, who was walking his dog, Polo.

"I love it," he said. "I love this and even this little guy loves this so that's the reason we're out here this morning, trying to get it in before it disappears on us." 

The rest of Friday, starting in the afternoon, will be dry and temperatures will remain below freezing, but another storm is approaching on Saturday.

Another warm-up is in the cards by the middle part of next week, when highs could touch 40 degrees.

Along with the renewed warmth comes the chance for rain on Wednesday and Thursday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Dropping Temperatures - Any Snow? ]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 19:31:18 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C1Rb3vGUsAEEKqL.jpg

A blast of cold weather is on the way to southern New England by Thursday but will we have any snow to go along with it? Don't get too excited just yet. 

There are two systems we'll be watching - one on Friday and another later Saturday. Most of our computer models show misses. As the cold builds in the jet stream is going to sink south and effectively keep the storm track well south and east of us. While we could see a few flurries or a period of light snow on Friday the storm to watch is over the weekend.

The European model is the most amplified with the Saturday system. Taken at face value the European model would deliver up to 6" of snow to Cape Cod and a bit of accumulation to southeastern Connecticut. This solution is an outlier, however. The European ensembles show a range of solutions including a total miss to some minor accumulation. If we look at all 51 computer model solutions off the European Ensembles about 1 in 4 of them produce over 1" of snow - not exactly big odds but enough to watch it. The odds of over 3" of snow are closer to 1 in 10. 

While snow is less than certain we are certain of a big temperature drop. Nothing record breaking or unusual for January but it will turn pretty chilly. Both the European and GFS models show a stretch below freezing for a good 72 or 96 hours. 

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<![CDATA[Snow, Rain Move in to Greet the New Year]]> Sat, 31 Dec 2016 20:51:20 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Snow-map-12312016.jpg

The state will see rain showers and snow showers just in time to ring in the new year and NBC Connecticut meteorologists have issued a First Alert.

Through 4 a.m., snow and rain showers will be scattered about across the state.

The snow shouldn’t be enough to thwart New Year’s Eve plans, but it could make for slippery travel late.

Northern hill towns may see the snow accumulate to an inch or so. The southern part of the state will be slightly warmer and should expect only rain showers.

The snow moves out around 4 a.m. but roads could be slippery in the early morning, especially in northern Connecticut.

New Year’s Day looks sunny with highs in the 40s. Monday temperatures drop back into the 30s and bring a chance of some freezing drizzle.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Rain and Snow Showers New Year's Eve]]> Fri, 30 Dec 2016 17:06:09 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT13.png

A fast-moving system passing to the north of Connecticut will bring some snow showers late on New Year's Eve.

Some towns could pick up a coating of snow.

No reason to cancel plans, just be aware that there could be some slick spots when traveling for New Year's Eve plans.

Sunday will be milder with lots of sunshine.

Come Monday, freezing drizzle is possible. Stay tuned.

Rain is expected Tuesday, because temperatures will be well above freezing.

Late next week, there's a chance for a snowstorm.

<![CDATA[Blazing Comet to Brighten New Year's Eve Sky]]> Sat, 31 Dec 2016 07:25:01 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Comet45P.JPG

Fireworks won’t be the only thing lighting up the night sky on New Year’s Eve – according to NASA, a comet may be visible as we ring in the new year.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages many of NASA's robotic missions exploring the universe, tweeted that Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova will cut through the New Year’s Eve sky. The post included an image of the comet from Oct. 2011, when it was last visible from Earth.

If conditions are clear, Comet 45P will be visible through binoculars or a telescope to the west, blazing with a blue-green head and a thin fan-shaped tail. The comet will appear to meet the crescent moon high in the sky on New Year’s Eve, NASA said.

According to NASA, the comet will be visible through binoculars around 6:30 p.m.

The comet returns to our solar system every five or so years, according to NASA.

Another fun sight for those with a telescope – on New Year’s Eve Mars and Neptune will appear close together, contrasting rusty red with blue-green.

For more information, visit NASA's website.

Photo Credit: NASA
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<![CDATA[Rain Ending as Snow]]> Thu, 29 Dec 2016 17:13:50 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/websnow5.jpg

Rain is ending as snow across the state.

Some towns in higher elevations are picking up a small accumulation of snow as the precipitation ends.

[[408609895, C]]

Watch for black ice tonight as temperatures fall below freezing.

[[408603785, C]]

Northern New England, especially New Hampshire and Maine, will be crushed with one to two feet of snow. Fantastic for the ski areas!

Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy and windy with flurries. Wind gusts will be up to 35 mph. Temperatures will rise to close to 40 degrees.

A few flurries are possible late on New Year's Eve, but Sunday will be dry with lots of sunshine.

Sunday will be cooler, when highs will only be in the middle 30s.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[A Rainy and Slushy Thursday]]> Thu, 29 Dec 2016 14:25:38 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*143/snowacc_mean_f036_NE.png

Afternoon Update: The forecast appears to be on track across the state. I've made a couple tweaks to the snow map to show a sharper gradient from the valley to the hill towns. We're expecting a change back to snow in many of the hilltowns as the storm winds up and pulls away from Connecticut. The Rapid Refresh model shows this pretty well with a few snow flakes as far south as Colchester with cold air filtering in. 

[[408620885, C]]

[[408620855, C]]

Previous Discussion: 

A powerful storm is going to develop near Connecticut today but it will be a bit too late for a significant impact here. Still, some slushy snow accumulation is likely in the hills and up to an inch of rain for the rest of the state. The NCAR ensemble mean snowfall shown above shows snow totals >2" restricted to the hills of northwestern Connecticut. The NCAR ensemble is one of my favorite pieces of model data to use in the short term!

[[408590545, C]]

Almost all of our computer models now agree with little if any accumulation in Hartford with the potential for a couple inches of slush in the hills. The one thing that we'll have to watch is a band of heavy precipitation that will develop on the northwest side of the strengthening low. If this develops far enough south it could clip some of the hill towns. The latest Canadian Regional model (RGEM) shows this happening with a few inches of snow accumulating in some of the northeast hill towns. While we're not forecasting that now it is something we'll have to watch today as the rain attempts to transition back to snow.

[[408590625, C]]

The forecast seems good right now - snow and rain overspreading the state through 11 a.m. and quickly changing to all rain in most areas. Expect marginally cold temperatures to linger in the hills keeping the precipitation a rain/snow mix up that way. 

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<![CDATA[Why Thursday's Storm Won't Be a Big One]]> Wed, 28 Dec 2016 14:49:56 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/hires_ptype_neng_43.png

Afternoon Update: Our midday suite of computer guidance has come in and looks even less impressive for tomorrow. The storm develops a bit later - which keeps the strongest lift up to the north and subsequently keeps the lower levels of the atmosphere a bit milder. The GFS solution for tomorrow shows only a slushy 1"-3" in the hills with little if any accumulation in the valley. While we're not going to go this low yet that appears to be the direction things are going. The good news is that most of us will pick up a beneficial inch of rain or so.

[[408539115, C]]

Previous discussion below...

[[408526655, C]]

When a nor'easter is going to crush Connecticut with heavy snow you generally need a couple ingredients in place. The storm should track near Cape Cod (there is some wiggle room here) and you want a cold and dry high pressure system to the north over Quebec. Thursday's storm doesn't check those boxes.

[[408496545, C]]

The first issue for many of us snow lovers will be the track of the storm. Most of our computer models tuck the storm in close to the coast - closer to say Block Island than Chatham, MA. This tends to allow warm air to surge inland a bit as the storm organizes. 

The second issue this storm has is that that the antecedent airmass over New England is pretty ugly. There's no cold/dry high pressure to the north and we've only got some lingering stale cold air to play with. While this would be enough for the hill towns it likely will not be for the valley. 

You can see how this looks at the height of the storm on the NAM computer model for Bradley Airport and Norfolk, CT. The low level warmth on the NAM is quite impressive in the valley and would result in a mainly rain storm around Hartford while it's just cold enough in the hills for snow. 

[[408496415, C]]

[[408496445, C]]

So the bottom line is while this storm may still be impressive for the hill towns it's going to struggle for most of the state with a fair amount of rain. Temperatures will just be too warm for a substantial storm. 


  • Snow begins Thursday morning and transitions to rain in most areas besides the hills.
  • 6" of snow is still possible in the highest hilltowns of northwest and northeast Connecticut.
  • As the storm pulls away the rain should change back to snow during the evening commute around Hartford. There could be a bit of accumulation here but probably not more than a 1"-3" kind of deal. Still, a period of slippery travel is possible.
  • The brunt of this storm will miss us to the north - it should be great for ski country in northern New England.
  • Mainly or all rain is expected for the southerly third of the state.
So not a big storm for us - just doesn't check enough of the boxes - but many towns will pick up at least some snow on Thursday. 

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<![CDATA[Late Blooming Nor'Easter on Thursday]]> Tue, 27 Dec 2016 15:33:33 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*123/ecmwf_apcp_f60_ne.png

Things are going to get pretty interesting around here Thursday afternoon and evening! A pretty classic late developing nor’easter will approach southern New England on Thursday. Significant snow is possible for parts of Connecticut - especially the northwest and northeast hills.

What this storm is missing, however, is a cold high pressure to the north. If we had one we’d be expecting substantial snow down to the shoreline. This storm will be working with marginal and stale cold air - there’s not much room for error! 

[[408427105, C]]

All of our models agree in a late-blooming nor’easter as a powerful piece of upper level energy swings toward the coast. The question is really how quickly the storm develops with a range of scenarios on the table. The GFS, for instance, is the weakest and the last to develop the storm while the European model is substantially stronger and develops the low very quickly. The latter would allow for heavier snow here in Connecticut while to former would result in very little accumulation outside of thr hills. The Euro is probably a bit overdone with how quickly it's developing this storm while the GFS is probably underdone. Regardless, I feel fairly confident that the real "jackpot" from this nor'easter will be north of us in portions of New Hampshire and Maine.

So - what’s most likely here? At this point it seems as if more than 6” of snow is a good bet in the higher elevations of Northwestern Connecticut and also some of the high towns in northeastern Connecticut. A bit of elevation will go a long way in a borderline temperature scenario. The European ensembles show a 50% probability of 6"+ of snow for only the Litchfield Hills - the probabilities drop off quickly southeast of there. 

[[408427855, C]]

In the Hartford area things are really tough to pin down but at least a portion of the storm (if not a large portion) will be rain or a mix of rain and snow. This is the GFS solution (below) which shows temperatures >32F for the lowest 3 or 4,000 feet of the atmosphere at Bradley Airport as the storm gets going. Not a great look for snow-lovers. While the GFS is the weakest (and therefore the warmest solution) it does show the challenge here with such a borderline airmass. The Hartford area will be the battleground with the rain/snow line!

[[408427115, C]]

At this point I'd say a couple inches of snow is the most likely scenario around Hartford but it really will depend on how quickly the storm develops. A slower and weaker solution (like the GFS) would result in little accumulation while something closer to the Euro would mean a few inches - both are reasonable solutions and I'd probably go with a 75% Euro/25% GFS blend.

[[408427905, C]]

Along the shoreline I wouldn’t expect much at this point but I will say there is one concern. If the storm really “bombs out” quickly and one of the stronger model solutions were to verify (like the Euro or NAM shows) there is the possibility of a flip from rain to snow with a substantial accumulation in a relatively brief period of time. This is going to be very, very tough to forecast much more than 24 hours ahead of time so we’ll see.

The bottom line is that significant snow is a decent bet in the hills but in the valley and along the shoreline significant snow is much less certain - in fact along the shoreline it's quite unlikely. We'll be able to pin things down with much more certainty by tomorrow morning.

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<![CDATA[Winter Weather Advisory in Effect for Litchfield County]]> Thu, 29 Dec 2016 09:52:42 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Forecast+Snow+Total2.png

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Litchfield County ahead of a storm that could dump up to 6 inches of snow in some of hills and bring light snow and rain to the rest of the state Thursday. 

Temperatures will be in the 20s overnight and most will wake up to cloudy skies. Midmorning and a band of snow will move, after the commute.

For most areas the snow will quickly turn to rain ,except in the Northwest Hills which could see several inches of accumulation, especially at higher elevations.

By late afternoon most of the snow will have turned to rain but some hill towns may see another changeover from that rain back into snow as the evening goes on.

In numbers, the shoreline and I-95 corridor should expect rain, I-84 and the valley will see a wintry mix with possibly accumulations around 1 inch, northwest of I-84 could see between 1 to 3 inches, and and northwestern hills could mainly get snow, 3 to 6 inches for some, and possibly over 6 inches for higher elevations. 

<![CDATA[Nor'easter Potential Increasing for Thursday]]> Mon, 26 Dec 2016 21:46:55 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Custom+Map+222.png

The season's first major Nor'easter is possible Thursday.

As of Monday afternoon, the biggest question is when and just how quickly the storm strengthens.

The European model has been steadfast in showing a potent storm curving north near the New England coast.

Other models, such as the American and Canadian, have wintry precipitation on Thursday but have a slower-developing storm.

Either way, some snow is likely on Thursday.

The closer and stronger the storm, the better the chance for mixing in southeastern Connecticut.

[[408340745, C]]

The European ensemble system, which is run 51 different times, prints out an average snowfall of six inches on the Litchfield County border with Massachusetts.

Notice, however, the greatest chance for "jackpot" snowfall totals is well to the north of Connecticut, over Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The most likely scenario at this point is a combination of mix (southeast) and all snow (northwest), with shovels and plows necessary for a good part of the state.

This storm's ceiling in terms of snow potential is high – so pay close attention to upcoming forecasts.

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<![CDATA[Freezing Rain Advisory Issued for Parts of Connecticut]]> Mon, 26 Dec 2016 17:30:04 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+HRRR+Precip+Cloud+Temp+CT.png

A warm front will trigger light precipitation across Connecticut this evening.

While most spots will be above freezing, some valleys in Hartford and Litchfield Counties could be below freezing as the spotty rain arrives.

The National Weather Service has issued a freezing rain advisory for parts of northern Connecticut on Monday.

Drivers should use extreme caution and be aware of the temperature and weather conditions this afternoon and evening.

It only takes a couple of minutes of freezing rain to create dangerous patches of ice on untreated surfaces.

Freezing rain is simply liquid rain that freezes on contact with a frozen surface.

Temperatures will rise throughout the night, ending the threat of freezing rain.

Spotty showers continue Tuesday morning with temperatures in the 40s and even reaching into the 50s. The rain will begin to clear out Tuesday afternoon.

The next threat for wintry weather will be on Thursday.

<![CDATA[Merry Christmas - A Little Snow on the Way?]]> Sun, 25 Dec 2016 09:20:18 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/eps_snow24_1_neng_21.png

Good morning and Merry Christmas! There was some hellacious black ice out there last night and this morning across the state but things are looking up for the rest of today. 

A couple things to watch going forward. One issue is the potential for some really light freezing rain tomorrow in a couple of northwest hilltowns. The odds of this happening are fairly low, however.

There's a better chance for some snow on Thursday, however. The details aren't particularly clear but the European Ensemble is showing decent odds of >1" of snow across inland Connecticut (see graphic above). Temperatures will likely be borderline so this will likely favor the hills over the valleys and shoreline. This doesn't look like a big storm but rather a nuisance.  

Otherwise it's looking fairly quiet this week - hope you enjoy a great holiday!

<![CDATA[Snow, Freezing Rain in Parts of CT for Christmas Eve Morning]]> Sat, 24 Dec 2016 08:32:52 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2825%29.png

It's a wet and cold start to Christmas Eve.

Parts of Hartford, Litchfield and Tolland counties may see snow and freezing rain on Saturday morning. These areas could see up to one inch after the snow starts around 8 a.m.

Any snow will quickly transition to rain in the morning hours, and roads should stay wet, not icy.

When the rain departs early in the afternoon, temperatures will rise to about 40 degrees.

Most of Connecticut will not have a white Christmas, but at least it will be dry. Temperatures will climb into the lower 40s with a blend of sunshine and clouds.

After the weekend, the next round of precipitation waits until Tuesday – when, again, it will be rain.

There are signs of winter, though, as a wintry mix is possible Thursday.

<![CDATA[Mostly Rain on Christmas Eve]]> Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:17:44 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM12+Precip+Cloud+CT+%281%29.png

A few flurries moved through earlier today, but the next chance for precipitation looks like rain.

It will be dry on Friday, with abundant sunshine. Friday evening will be better for last-minute shopping than Saturday, simply because precipitation moves in on Christmas Eve.

While some snow flakes are possible in the hills Saturday morning, most of the state will see rain with temperatures rising to near 40 degrees.

Christmas Day looks dry with sunshine. Temperatures will be in the 40s.

So what about a white Christmas? The only way that happens, is if the current snow pack lasts until Sunday. There's a decent chance that happens where the snow depth is currently a few inches.

It turns colder for a brief period Monday, when temperatures will be reluctant to rise and highs should only be in the 30s.

A more organized round of precipitation early next week will come from a cold front, on Tuesday, but it will be warm. With temperatures in the 50s, rain showers are expected.

<![CDATA[Thursday Snow Showers]]> Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:17:10 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C0OAmcmWQAAFbdq.jpg

A bit of a tough forecast for Thursday across the state. Spread between our computer models has opened up for tomorrow. A weak upper level system is going to swing through New England and produce a period of "lift" in the atmosphere. That would argue for a period of precipitation but it's never that simple.

The question is will there be enough moisture for a period of moderate rain and snow across the state during the morning or will there be too much dry air? Our models offer up two different depictions. 

Here's the NAM's depiction of how the atmosphere will look at 7 a.m. Thursday. Notice where the green line juts to the left several thousand feet above our heads? This is very dry air and would lead to a quick and painless death for snowflakes falling from the clouds. The RGEM, on the other hand, moistens that layer up quickly and brings in a burst of precipitation between 7 a.m. and noon - nearly 0.2" of liquid. 

So which is right? While the RGEM and our in-house RPM models would argue for some minor accumulation in the hills (around an inch) this is likely overdone. The GFS and the European models both agree on a drier scenario along with all but 1 of the 20 member Short Range Ensemble. Given marginal temperatures and marginal precipitation rates we're going with little or no accumulation tomorrow. Speaking of which... here's the forecast:

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<![CDATA[Rain and Snow Showers Thursday]]> Wed, 21 Dec 2016 17:10:15 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Cloud+CT+%2822%29.png

A few rain and snow showers will move through Thursday morning, perhaps adding a fresh coating of snow in some towns.

Temperatures will be above freezing during the day, in the 40s, so roads will remain wet.

[[407772395, C]]

Dry weather returns Friday, with a blend of sunshine and clouds.

More rain and snow showers are likely Saturday, and some hill towns could pick up a fresh coating of snow on the existing snow pack. Temperatures will be near 40 Saturday, so roads should remain wet.

Christmas Day looks dry with sunshine. Temperatures will be in the 40s.

So what about a white Christmas? The only way that happens, is if the current snow pack lasts until Sunday.

It turns colder for a brief period Monday, when temperatures will be reluctant to rise and highs should only be in the 30s.

A more organized round of precipitation early next week will come from a cold front, on Tuesday, but it will be warm. With temperatures in the 50s, rain showers are expected.

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<![CDATA[Cool Christmas Expected]]> Tue, 20 Dec 2016 21:29:03 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gfs_t2max_neng_22.png

This year it doesn't look like Santa Claus will be confused. Last year Christmas Day was exceptionally warm with highs in the 60s - 64F in New Haven and 62F in Hartford. Christmas Eve? An incredible torch! The temperature reached 69F in Windsor Locks and 70F in Willimantic!

Christmas 2016 looks decidedly more normal. The GFS pictured above has a strong high pressure moving across southern Quebec with a nice surge of low level cold nosing south. This would mean temperatures in the 30s to near 40 degrees across the state. Christmas-like!

Unfortunately, for most of Connecticut there will not be a white Christmas. In the hills there is a few inches of snow on the ground and that may be able to last for the next couple days. Elsewhere it's not looking good.

[[407684245, C]]

There is one possible Christmas miracle scenario. The European model has a period of light/moderate snow on Christmas Eve with up to 2" in Litchfield County. Could this include other parts of the state? Maybe but not likely. In fact the European Ensembles show only a less than 10 percent chance of getting an inch of snow in the hills so the Euro's snowy solution is definitely an outlier. 

At least Santa won't be wearing shorts this year!

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<![CDATA[Winter Takes a Break Leading up to Christmas]]> Tue, 20 Dec 2016 17:19:04 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Custom+Map+2+%284%29.png

After a very cold start this morning, a warming trend is expected heading into Christmas.

Starting Wednesday and continuing through the start of Hanukkah and Christmas Day, high temperatures will be in the lower and middle 40s.

The winter solstice occurs Wednesday morning at 5:44 a.m. Thursday, the amount of daylight will begin increasing.

A few rain and snow showers are possible Thursday, but there are no "big ticket" items until just after Christmas. Most of Thursday's snow will be in northern New England and Canada.

Late Sunday or on Monday, a storm will likely bring a wintry mix or rain. So, still, not very winter-like.

The average high temperature this time of year is 38 degrees, while the average low is 22 degrees.

<![CDATA[Winter Takes a Break Leading up to Christmas]]> Mon, 19 Dec 2016 17:04:58 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/C0EMLR8XcAAcGm3.jpg

Although the winter solstice is Wednesday at 5:44 a.m., high temperatures will be in the 40s for several days leading up to Christmas.

Some hill towns will plunge into the single digits tonight under clear skies.

Tuesday will be warmer, with highs in the middle 30s.

Starting Wednesday and continuing through the start of Hanukkah and Christmas Day, high temperatures will be in the lower and middle 40s.

A few rain and snow showers are possible Thursday, but there are no "big ticket" items until just after Christmas.

Late Sunday or on Monday, a storm will likely bring a wintry mix or rain. So, still, not very winter-like.

<![CDATA[A Break From Winter]]> Mon, 19 Dec 2016 09:10:09 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/gefs_t850a_noram_27.png

As we approach the winter solstice the weather pattern is becoming decidedly less wintry. For many of us it will be a green Christmas with no sign of significant snow over the next several days and a general warming trend.

Check out the forecast temperature departures at 850mb by Christmas - you can see a real surge of warmth across the eastern half of the country with a pronounced ridge of high pressure over the southeastern United States.

Beyond Christmas there's really no sign of a good push of Arctic air either. The jet stream will take a dip over the northwestern U.S. and the infamous Polar Vortex is going to gain strength over the North Pole which generally keeps the cold bottled up north of the Arctic Circle.

[[407436945, C]]

Still, there could be a few opportunities for snow and/or ice beyond 12/25. It's not a great pattern for snow lovers but it's not a hideous pattern either.

Unfortunately, it appears that a white Christmas is out of the cards for Hartford and New Haven. The Litchfield Hills, on the other hand, may maintain just enough snow cover to last for Christmas. Here's a look at some of the snow depth reports this morning in the towns that still have a few inches left...


  • New Hartford - 6.0"
  • Collinsville - 5.0"
  • North Canton - 5.0"
  • Enfield - 4.0"
  • North Granby - 3.8"

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<![CDATA[Rain, Fog Before Flash Freeze]]> Sun, 18 Dec 2016 08:51:01 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+HRRR+Precip+Cloud+CT1.png

Dense fog and heavy rain will make for an unpleasant day across Connecticut.

A cold front will move through early this afternoon, then temperatures will plunge.

Until the front passes, rain will continue. It will be heaviest late morning and early afternoon.

Wind gusts to 40 mph are possible along the shoreline and in the higher terrain. Elsewhere, wind gusts to 30 mph are in the cards.

Given the saturated snow pack across much of the state, a flash freeze is expected.

The water will continue to drain from the snow pack for several hours after the temperature drops below freezing.

It will be a cold night, with temperatures falling into the teens.

The entire state will likely remain below freezing tomorrow!

<![CDATA[Snow Moves Out, Cold Moves in Monday]]> Sat, 17 Dec 2016 16:00:19 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cold-returns.jpg

The cold and snow gives way to warm temperatures Sunday before dipping back below freezing Monday.

Warmer air continues to move in Saturday night, generating a thick fog, with temperatures rising through the 40s.

Plain rain is expected Sunday, with temperatures in the 50s. Plenty of melting will occur, especially outside of the hills.

The warmth won't last long, though, as temperatures won't get above freezing Monday – with highs expected to hover around 29.

Temperatures warm up Sunday but another batch of cold will move in Monday.

The next chance for substantial precipitation doesn't come until late next week.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Saturday Snow]]> Sat, 17 Dec 2016 15:35:49 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/d93834170a1f4ce194b01ae244648377.PNG.jpg

<![CDATA[Thump of Snow Followed by Ice]]> Sat, 17 Dec 2016 13:52:54 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/Cz4_Vc1UQAEiz8Fa.jpg

Afternoon Update: The storm is now over. The impressive thump of snow behaved pretty much as expected with moderate to heavy snow across the state. The colder solutions on our models verified - and then some - effectively delaying the changeover to ice until the storm was over. In West Hartford I had 6.7" of snow/sleet but I would say maybe only 0.1" of that was sleet and there was no glaze of freezing rain. 

The colder trend allowed the shoreline to cash in (around 5" on the shoreline near New Haven) and allowed the Hartford area to perform a bit better than expected. 

The jackpot amounts were up in the Litchfield Hills where a small area of 7"-8" occured in places like Burlington, Harwinton, Riverton, New Hartford and Hartland. 

A bit of freezing drizzle will make things slick tonight so take it easy on the roads. 

Morning Update #2: Snow is quickly changing over to mix and ice on the shoreline. As expected we got a nasty thump right around 8:00 a.m. on the nose of that stronger low level jet. 

One thing to watch is freezing rain over the next few hours as warm air moves in aloft and begins to melting the snowflakes totally above our heads. The cold near the ground is impressive and is not going to be dislodged any time soon. Icy!!!!

Morning Update #1: No big changes to the forecast this morning other than to upgrade the snow forecast along the shoreline by a category. Cold air will hold on for the New Haven area a bit long as I thought was possible yesterday. 4" or 5" for metro New Haven now seems like a pretty good bet.

More to come...

There has undoubtedly been a trend today for a colder storm on Saturday. The result? More snow in many areas and an icy Saturday afternoon as temperatures struggle to reach 32 degrees.

The biggest part of the storm is going to be a thump of snow between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. across the state. We will be on the nose of a strong low level jet streak (about 5,000 feet above our heads) which will result in strong lift and a burst of heavy snow of 1 inch per hour. 

This storm won't last long but I do expect it to be pretty impactful in the morning with a good burst! This sounding for Hartford illustrates what I'm talking about - a deep layer of moisture with good lift in the snow growth zone (around -15C). 

The biggest change to the forecast has been to hang on to cold temperature longer in the day on Saturday. Along the Massachusetts border I think we'll go straight from snow to freezing drizzle and pick up about 6" of accumulation. Elsewhere a period of heavier freezing rain is possible. The reason? A cold tuck as I like to call it behind a weak little mesolow that develops off Long Island. This results in a northerly wind and prevents warm from the south from moving in. 

The RGEM pictured above shows the 32F line (in red) straddling the shoreline as late as 1 p.m. on Saturday. A period of freezing drizzle will keep untreated surfaces slick through the afternoon and maybe into a portion of the evening. The heavy stuff will be done by 1 p.m. or so but light freezing drizzle will continue. You can also see that potential on this sounding in the Hartford area off the NAM. Warmer temperatures aloft but a subfreezing layer right near the ground. 

Our snowfall map is in pretty good shape this evening. This SREF plume for Bradley shows good clusting around 4"-6" of snow. I have two areas that have the potential to "bust" a bit. One is in the Litchfield Hills where a colder solution will keep things just about all snow. I can't rule out a 7" total up here. The New Haven are up through Middletown and Colchester is also a tough one. With a lot of the precipitation coming in a short period of time it would only take another slightly colder tick to result in the 4"-6" band needing to come south into these areas. We'll reevaluate in the morning. 

Sunday still looks rainy and torchy. Check out the SREF temperature forecast - almost all of the members bring temperatures into the 50s. A lot of melting after a chilly day on Saturday.

Enjoy the snow!

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