8:30 UPDATE: Casual Clipper Coming: 40% Snow Day

More snow is on its way to Southwestern Connecticut, and the timing again appears just right to potentially close schools.  At this 8:30 PM update, there are no changes to the Snow Day percentage that has held for the last hour and a half.  I think there is potential due to the timing of the storm that schools will close tomorrow, but I do not yet see tomorrow as a day where the majority of schools in the district close as I still am not buying there being that much snow.  Latest short range HD models show a rather weak system, as they do not have it rapidly strengthen at the coast like the other medium range models had just a day or two ago.  A couple of days ago this looked like it could very easy be a 3-6 inch storm for the region, making the call much easier regarding a snow day, but now we are looking at a marginal 2-4 inch storm.  The timing remains the same as I have outlined on Twitter and the Winter Storm Update: snow will break out between 7 AM and 8 AM generally staying light.  Latest modeling now puts the heaviest snow between 9 AM and 12 PM which generally seems to fit with the speed of the low pressure as well.  Then snow will end between 1 and 2 PM.  I expect around an inch by 9 AM, with around 3 inches by noon.

What does this all mean?  Well, the snow won’t start as heavy as was initially expected, meaning roads are going to go downhill tomorrow morning gradually rather than quickly with an original burst of snow.  This means that through 8 AM I do not see roads being more treacherous than is bearable for most schools, so there is a good chance that some districts tough it out and open tomorrow, especially when the moderate, accumulating snow is virtually guaranteed to be over by the time schools let out.  Along with this is the fact that many districts feel they didn’t need to close last Tuesday and did for a storm of similar magnitude and timing, so this time they may make a different decision.  As of right now I am not distinguishing between inland and the coast, but I may in my next update just because roads inland are hillier and temperatures will be even colder so there will be an additional black ice issue.  Plus, inland districts just have a track record of closing more often.  But as of right now, I don’t see inland areas getting any more snow than the coast, in fact there is an outside chance that coastal areas get more snow than inland areas because more precipitation will hug towards the center of the low.

There aren’t going to be any really in-depth looks at this storm because besides the timing the storm is not a big deal.  It is a casual 2-4 inch Alberta Clipper that is dumping snow worthy of a Winter Weather Advisory just because it will strengthen upon hitting the coast, thus enhancing precipitation.  Most impacts should be gone by Tuesday evening, it is mainly between the hours of 8 AM and 12 PM that travel could get hazardous because of the cold with the snow.  However, because many districts could have buses on the roads at that 8 AM hour where roads will become hazardous there is a very real chance that they close.  The next update will come around 10 PM and by then the short-range high-resolution models will be in much better range and additional modeling data will be out for me to break down with a more in depth look at exactly how it could impact school.  Then I expect a final update around 11 PM with the final forecast.  While I am not yet ready to forecast a snow day, there is a very real chance still that I will by the end of the night, so as always be sure to keep it here for the latest.

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