Dick Aarons, Ridgefield’s deputy emergency manager, passes on this storm update:
The latest computer models are showing a slightly stronger storm with a track slightly closer to the coast with colder air. These changes favor more wet snow and sleet for Connecticut, strong winds and moderate to pockets of major coastal flooding. However there is still some disagreement between the forecast models and forecast confidence is only fair to good at this time.
The National Weather Service has issued High Wind Warnings and Coastal Flood Warnings for Southern CT. A Wind Advisory is in effect for the rest of the state except Litchfield County and Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for Hartford, Tolland and Windham Counties.
At 8:00 AM temperatures across the state ranged from the Low 30’s in Northern CT to the upper 30’s along the coast. Winds were from the Northeast at 15 – 20 MPH, gusting to 25 MPH at times. At 8:00 AM radar showed a large area of rain mixed with snow south of Long Island. This area is moving to the Northwest, rotating around a low pressure center currently located east of the Del Mar Va Peninsula. This low is forecast to move very slowly to the North today to a position south of the Twin Forks of Long Island by this evening.
Towns can expect snow mixed with rain along the coast to develop by 9:00 AM and spread inland slowly reaching the Hartford area by 11:00 AM. The timing of the start of the snow will depend on how quickly the very dry air becomes saturated over Connecticut. This process could take 1 – 3 hours. A rain / snow line is expected to develop along the coast by noontime. The precipitation is expected to become moderate by noon and continue through the afternoon as the rain / snow line slowly moves north during the afternoon and into the Middletown area by 6:00 PM. Snow may begin sticking to un-treated roads by mid afternoon especially in the higher elevations.
North Northeast winds are forecast to begin increasing this morning and are forecast to reach 20 – 35 MPH with gusts to 40 – 60 MPH at times late this Afternoon along the coast and gusting to 45 MPH at times inland. At this time the peak of strongest winds (with peak gusts to near 60 MPH) is forecast to occur from Noon until midnight tonight. High tides in Western Long Island Sound are forecast to occur at 4:15 PM this Afternoon and 4:45 AM Thursday morning. High tides in Eastern Long Island Sound are forecast to occur earlier at 2:00 PM this Afternoon and again at 2:30 AM Thursday morning. These North Northeast winds are forecast to result in moderate coastal flooding with a few pockets of major coastal flooding in Western Long Island Sound with an average surge of 3 – 5 feet during both high tides. Moderate flooding is now expected in Eastern Long Island Sound with surges around 2 – 4 feet. Note: Sandy changed the shape of the coastline in many areas. Any flooding on Wednesday may behave differently than homeowners or first responders may be accustomed to.
Additional power outages are likely along the coast and some outages may also occur inland as a result of this storm. The most likely areas for additional power outages are in Southeastern CT near the coast and in the Northwest and Northeast Hills.
Total snowfall is forecast to range from 2 – 4” in Central CT up to 7” in the higher elevations of the Northwest Hills and only a slushy inch at the coast. Colder temperatures with highs only in the 30’s may allow the snow to stick to some untreated roads in Central and Northern CT which is likely to cause slick driving conditions during the afternoon and evening rush hour.
The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection will continue to monitor the latest conditions and will issue another update at 11:00 AM this morning.