It has been a very long winter for snow lover thus far. Well, that is about to change in a big way! I cannot believe that while doing my storm broadcast for yesterday’s storm on Friday, that all models showed the clipper missing well to the south. I always say, “Check back regularly” when producing my forecasts and here is a great example why. Just two days ago, this storm was a complete miss. Now, it is shaping up to be a historic blizzard! I will give a quick breakdown on every aspect of the storm below.
Setup: A rather weak low pressure system known as a clipper will be diving down from the plains then rapidly intensifying off the coast as blocking sets up and throws the storm right along the coast. With plenty of cold air in places, this will be without a doubt a full-fledged historic snowstorm.
Blizzard: There are certain things that have to make a snowstorm classified as a “blizzard.” It is all about the wind. The definition of a blizzard is a snowstorm where winds are gusting to around 35mph with ¼ of a mile or less of visibility due to blowing, falling and drifting snow for several hours. While not rare, to have a storm classified as a blizzard around here just goes to show that a massive storm is bearing down on the area. For example, yesterday’s storm was not a blizzard but rather just an average snowstorm. The Blizzard of 2013 is a great example of what blizzards can be like in New England. To be honest, this storm reminds me a lot of what happed during that storm. The jackpot locations will likely be fairly close to where they were just shy of 2 years ago. A Blizzard Warning was just issues for all of Connecticut from tomorrow afternoon through Tuesday night. The warning highlights between 20-30 inches of snow with locally higher amounts!
Timing: Light snow will break out as early as the late morning hours tomorrow and overspread the state through the afternoon. I do not expect much accumulation until after dark tomorrow though. Once the evening hits, all bets are off. The snow will become very heavy, possibly ate rates over 4 inches per hour! Will also have to watch out for extreme banding setting up somewhere in central/western Connecticut which could produce thunder snow as well. The storm lasts right through Tuesday night before clearing out around midnight.
Winds: Winds can be an issue with this storm. Winds 25-35mph with gusts that could surpass 50mph causing scattered power outages and tree limbs to come down.
Coastal Flooding: There is a low threat for some minor flooding furring high tides cycles. The usual areas along the shoreline may see some issues but overall, I do not see a major flooding threat.
Snowfall: Oh Boy… Some of the latest guidance has shown a widespread 15-25 inches! Wait, it gets even better… Most models show this with a general 10:1 snowfall ratio. Due to a colder than average thermal temperature aloft, the snowfall ratios will likely be 15:1 or even 20:1. This means that the “potential” is there for around/over 3 FEET! If and where this occurs will all depend of where the best dynamic and banding sets up. Like in the Blizzard of 2013, a “mega band” set up over New Haven County where many saw around 3 feet of snow! This is very possible once again.
Impacts: I believe that due to a slightly faster start time, many schools, especially in Southern Connecticut will dismiss early tomorrow. Schools, business and even the state will likely be closed Tuesday! Schools and many business remain closed for Wednesday due to the massive amounts of snow to clean up. The days after that are up for grabs. There is a chance that some may not go back to school at all this week, especially “if” more snow comes late week which some models indicate! Again, this storm screams the Blizzard of 2013 all over it to me! Remember the aftermath? Expect that again! There is no hype here, I am saying it like I see it and I see a historic blizzard from NYC to Boston!
Follow me on twitter @zduhaimedmj for the latest updates, midnight or midday! I am also planning on having a video forecast out by this time tomorrow if I am able to get to the studio safely. Get the milk and bread today, this is a storm will you will need to do so! Many may not be leaving their houses for DAYS!