Final update of the night here and I am going to just briefly recap what I think trends will do here. First, I bumped up the inland snow day because I only see 2-3 inland districts realistically opening tomorrow. Wilton is closed to students for professional development, Ridgefield, Danbury, New Milford have all closed. Realistically, I can only really see Trumbull, Shelton, and Newtown opening tomorrow on modified delayed openings of 2+ hours. Other than that I am expecting widespread closures from districts that have not yet closed. Even the listed districts still stand a good chance of closing, but with the HRRR short range weather model now matching up very well with radar and also matching my ideas of generally 4 or 5 inches across inland areas I think there is at least a chance that those three districts open, hence the 30% delay forecast inland. There’s a very small chance that Easton/Redding open tomorrow, along with a small chance that Bethel opens tomorrow, but generally the additional snow inland tonight that totals right around 3-5 inches in those areas (maybe a little less further west by Shelton) I think will prove to be too much and the towns will have to close. If not, expect modified openings and new schedules as these districts scramble to get a day of school in.
Coastal districts are a much harder call. The only reason I am not forecasting closures at the coast is because of Fairfield and Westport. I think it is likely that Stamford closes due to their large salt/sand shortage. Greenwich is on break, and Norwalk is closed for break, as is Milford. I believe Bridgeport is as well. Darien is another very close call, and I am putting them in with Fairfield and Westport. I generally see an additional 3 inches of snow along the coast, and I think with 2 hour delays there is a realistic chance roads can be just clear enough that cautious drivers can get to school. As I do not know exact road conditions, I cannot at this time say what the “right” and “wrong” call would be as a lot depends on exactly how much snow falls and exactly how quickly roads can be cleared and treated. Either way, it is a very close call, and I will be up at 5 AM to report on live conditions and see what these districts decide. Obviously, they will have to at least delay, but the question of a snow day is very tricky, and knowing the track records of some of these districts I think they may try and tough it out and delay, maybe even on modified schedules similar to some of their inland counterparts. Again, my specialty is forecasting weather, and I am fairly confident in the forecast of around 3 inches of snow across the region (higher amounts west vs. east) falling between 1 AM and 5/6 AM, but what the specific impacts will come down to a district on district basis, and I can guarantee these districts are doing everything they can to open tomorrow.
That’s where this forecast stands. There is a chance that all districts have to close tomorrow, but seeing trends towards slightly less snow tonight (which I expected, as many models tend to overplay convective banding on the back end) has led me to not see snow day forecasts necessary at the coast. Yes, it will be extremely icy tomorrow, and any driving, especially in the morning, should be done with extreme caution. But this really is a district-by-district decision, which is why I will be breaking down conditions and reports tomorrow morning at 5 AM as reports come in across the region.
Throughout the rest of the night I will continue to cover the storm on Twitter. The storm overall has behaved generally as expected this evening with a few blips, and if anything else big comes up I will continue to cover it on Twitter. It is just these last minute trends against the bigger snow totals that leave me weary of forecasting guaranteed closures, especially when districts are doing so much to open tomorrow. We’ll see tomorrow, and then attention turns to snow threats this Saturday and then again on Tuesday (but don’t worry, neither should be nearly as large for Southwestern Connecticut). Thank you for following our live storm coverage and make sure to stay tuned for impact reports and additional forecasts as they come out tomorrow.