Noon Update: The warm air has been successful in holding its power over the state, so we have accordingly adjusted our high temperature forecast to correspond with these trends: the range should be mid-40s NW to mid-50s along the Shoreline with Low-50s in greater Hartford. Beyond that, rain will increase its coverage over the state, with steady rain likely at around dinner time. There still looks to be enough instability in the forecast to also support a few lightning strikes. As colder air works into the state, the much discussed "flash freeze" will likely start right after midnight, moving east fairly swiftly in changing rain to snow and freezing up wet surfaces. The change-over should be in the Hartford around the 2 AM timeframe and in southeastern Connecticut by 3 or 4 AM. So, it still appears that the Thursday morning commute will be difficult.
Good Wednesday morning!
The weather is going to be quite changeable over the next 36 hours as a storm moves through the region…mild and showery today, wet this evening, them much colder and icy by tomorrow morning…
Today will be mild and occasionally rainy as the storm system continues to develop to our west. Much of the day will be cloudy and rain-free, with just occasional showers; however, by mid- or late-afternoon, more moisture will be available to make numerous showers and eventually a steady rain by evening. This rain will be part of a feed of moisture that will create severe thunderstorms south of New York City. Although we will not get severe weather, we may receive some of the leftovers of those storms, with quick periods of heavy rain and a few lightning strikes. The best opportunity for the heavier rain is from dinner time and during the rest of the evening.
The weather will turn quickly colder around midnight or shortly after. A cold front associated with the storm will charge through the state and, as a result, temperatures will sink through the 30s and into the 20s within the span of an hour or two. With rain changing to snow and rapidly cooling temperatures, black ice is very likely to develop quickly in the wee hours of the morning. By Thursday morning's commute, travel may be quite difficult, thanks to slippery roads covered in ice and snow. Snow accumulations will not be to the level northern New England will experience: parts of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine will see 12-24" with locally higher amounts in the orographically-favored areas of the Green and White Mountains. We here in Connecticut will likely have a coating to 2", with 2"-3" totals possible in some of the higher elevations in the Litchfield Hills. It will feel brutally cold, too, with wind chills near zero, thanks to a strengthening northwesterly wind that could gust over 40 MPH.
The sky will begin to clear Thursday afternoon. High temperatures will only be in the 20s, but, with the 40+ MPH gusts, wind chill readings will be stuck in the single digits above and below zero! The record low maximum (coldest high temperature) at Windsor Locks for March 13th is 24 degrees set in 1984. However, since temperatures won't really nose dive until after midnight Wednesday night, that record should remain intact.
Record cold is possible Thursday night and Friday morning. High pressure will approach New England from the west Thursday night and the wind will diminish. Temperatures will drop into the single digits and teens by Friday morning. The record low for March 14th for the Greater Hartford Area is 7 degrees, set in 1948. The record low in Bridgeport is 16 degrees, set in 1993 and previous years. Once, again it'll be a close call with a pretty good chance for a new record especially in Bridgeport.
Friday will be a much calmer day with high pressure drifting across New England. We'll enjoy plenty of sunshine and temperatures will rebound nicely, reaching 35-40 degrees during the afternoon.
The weekend is looking fairly uneventful. There could be a couple of snow or rain showers Saturday, but no significant precipitation is expected. Plus, temperatures will get back to normal with highs in the 40s both days. The mercury could even nudge the 50 degree mark in some parts of the state Saturday afternoon.
For Monday, St. Patrick's Day, winter will make another strong comeback as yet another batch of very cold air plunges southward throughout New England. Temperatures may stay below freezing Monday despite plenty of sunshine and a gusty northerly wind will make it feel even colder. By late Monday night, the mercury will dip into the single digits and teens once again. However, another rebound can be expected by Tuesday afternoon.
Have wonderful Wednesday!
Meteorologist Mike Cameron and Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest