Winter officially began Sunday, and Connecticut received the second of two storms that first hit on Friday. It began snowing at daybreak and slowly moved westward to cover the state.
The forecast for the next few days:
Sunday: Snow changing to rain south and east of Hartford. A brief period of sleet is possible before the snow transitions to rain. All precipitation tapers off by nightfall. Total accumulation 5"-8" in the hills, 3"-5" along and northwest of I-84, and 1"-3" south of Hartford. Highs in the 30s. Turning very cold and windy at night.
Monday: Very windy and bitterly cold. Partly cloudy with high temperature 20-25.
Tuesday: Partly sunny and cold. High 30-35.
Wednesday: Cloudy with rain developing. High near 40.
Christmas Day: Partly cloudy and pleasant. High near 40.
There were not many people out on the roads early Sunday morning in the northwest hills of the state.
In Torrington, snow plow operators spotted before 9 a.m. were generally the only ones on the streets. Two storms in three days made for tired plow drivers.
"It's been relatively non-stop. We just keep on going, go home and get a little bit of rest, and come back out again," said Peter Hock a plow driver for Outdoor Artistry in Torrington. He started his rounds at four in the morning.
Hock has lived in Torrington his entire life. He had some advice for travelers.
"I know everybody has to get out for Christmas shopping and stuff, but I guess it's probably safer to stay home than to get a few gifts," Hock said.
The shopping malls were expected to be busy on Sunday in spite of the nasty weather. Because the forecast did not call for a lot of accumulation below the I-84 corridor, traffic around the shopping complexes was expected to be congested.
The storm may have been a nuisance for shoppers and church goers Sunday, but kids seemed to be enjoying it.
Youngsters Jennifer and Jimmy Frisca had a typical reaction, "It's awesome. It's like, so big!"