Storm Slides South: 30% Delay (coast) 25% Delay (inland)

The going forecast has been updated to 1-3 inches, all snow should be over by 8 AM, and all schools in Fairfield County will be opening tomorrow.  Of course it worked out that the one storm I am busiest during is the one with the most rapidly changing, dynamic forecast that results in huge shifts in accumulation amounts.  Old forecasts of 4-8 inches and then the previous forecast of 2-4/3-6 inches are clearly outdated with no model support and were incorrect.  At the time, the majority of weather models supported them, and in fact many were above the totals given.  Instead, we have seen a failure of weather model guidance (which certainly happens from time to time), and Southwestern Connecticut will be seeing some of the largest forecast changes accordingly.  In fact, there’s a chance some regions won’t even see an inch, but with high ratio snow like this I expect there will at least be an inch in most areas, and if we get a little burst of moisture up to 3 inches remains a possibility in isolated areas in extreme southwestern Connecticut.

The main precipitation shield with the storm forms tonight and will move to our south.  Depending on how far it forms northward, we could be looking at anywhere from 2-3 to 6-7 hours of steady, light, powdery snow.  Coastal areas will likely see the higher accumulations, with areas north of Interstate 84 not even likely seeing an inch.  Thus, I can only really see any school impacts in coastal areas that get 2 inches of snow that doesn’t end until 3-5 AM, which is possible but in itself not that likely.  All this storm has done is trend south recently, and I am not optimistic that many areas will see more than maybe 1.5 inches.  A slight jog north of even 10 miles or so would result in enough snow to delay most coastal districts, but a north trend is not expected.  The delayed opening percentage is basically the chance that we end up in the higher range of my forecast across Southwestern Connecticut, as a few inches of snow ending early in the morning may require delays in districts without salt to clean up.  No district should have any trouble opening on time tomorrow, though.

That’s really what there is to the storm.  This went from a potentially long-duration, major event, to a more major, short-range event to a moderate short-range event and now to an almost complete non-event for Southwestern Connecticut.  Such is the nature of weather forecasting and the weather modeling that we have at our disposal; even when you think you are close to having everything figured out in the winter, a storm like this comes up that defies almost all weather models and forecasts.  But we live and learn, and I will continue watching this storm very closely to see if there are any last minute surprises that could spare SWCT all snow entirely or result in totals in the higher range of the forecast that could potentially delay schools.  I’ll be updating here as necessary so make sure to stay tuned.

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