Over the past 24-48 hours we have seen the weather models jump around, some going south, some moving north, and then we’ve seen a convergence of some even further north. The NAM weather model, previously one of the coldest, is now one of the warmest. At the center of all the craziness appears to be the ECMWF weather model, historically one of the most accurate and seemingly the one here to be the most steady. The updated forecast published below will be weighting that weather model the most, with some others based on timing. Again, this forecast is not set in stone, but models are beginning to converge on a realistic solution that although was not expected at first glance with this storm is looking more and more likely to happen.
As of right now it looks like light rain will break out during the day on Wednesday. It should generally just be drizzle or light showers during the day on Wednesday. Inland some sleet/graupel could mix in at the onset but no accumulations are expected during the day on Wednesday. The rain then gets heavier as temperatures get into the mid to upper 40s Wednesday evening. A rumble of thunder could even be possible. Then we see temperatures rapidly plummet between 9 PM and 3 AM as the low pressure center moves over the region and cold air is yanked in across the area. The NAM weather model showed the potential that temperatures could drop 20 degrees in 3 hours! While this is likely overdone, a flash freeze is looking quite likely with the upcoming storm, meaning all standing water from rain Wednesday evening will freeze overnight and result in very icy conditions for Thursday morning. Between 2-3AM and 7-8 AM there also could be some light, fluffy snow from banding on the backside of the storm system. As of right now I don’t see any more than 2 inches of snow falling into Thursday morning, and I’m skeptical that any snow at all will fall, but it will be worth tracking just to see if roads are briefly made slippery for the Thursday morning commute.
Winds then really begin to pick up during the day on Thursday as frigid air moves across the area. Temperatures likely won’t get out of the low to mid 20s during the day, and icy conditions will continue even under clear skies. It will feel like a true winter day with wind chills generally in the single digits or teens across Southwestern Connecticut. Winds then die down Thursday evening. Maximum gusts could approach 40 mph at the coast, so Wind Advisories may be necessary, but I am not expecting any widespread impacts from winds besides the extremely unseasonable wind chills.
However, a combination of the flash freeze and maybe light snow has me watching the potential for school delays on Thursday. At this time I see no scenario in which schools have to close any day this week, but some districts may need to delay due to icy roads in order to treat and clear them all. This is more likely inland, where temperatures drop below freezing first and there is a better chance of heavier rain, but all of Southwestern Connecticut should stay tuned to see if delays could be in the cards for Thursday. That’s really the only school impact I could see from this storm.
After this, I am watching another disturbance that could impact the area next Monday, but there are not many details on this yet. It shows up on a few weather models, but most shunt it out to sea and I am not overly concerned, nor does the upper level pattern appear too favorable. I will continue watching it, though, as worse setups have resulted in decent snowfall, even in March. Of course the first priority will be the storm Wednesday into Thursday which I will be sure to keep you ahead of over the next few days. This will be a very busy week so I cannot guarantee as many updates as usual before large-scale storms but I will do my best to provide as much coverage as I can, and I hope to get close to continuous coverage Wednesday evening into Thursday morning when the main impacts may be felt across Southwestern Connecticut. Stay tuned for the latest!