Nor'easter: What to Expect?

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By Quincy Vagell on November 5, 2012, 4:20pm Last modified: November 6, 2012, 4:39pm

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12z NAM forecast for 1 a.m. Thursday.

With all of the nor'easter talk, many want to know the specifics: What to expect?

Although there are still details to sort out, the forecast is coming into better alignment. There is a relatively high possibility that a strong coastal storm will develop into a nor'easter and impact much of the East Coast later this week.

Connecticut impacts...

Wind: Wind is one of the aspects of this storm that is most concerning. Winds could gust over 60 mph along the shoreline. The strongest winds would appear to be along the I-95 corridor, where sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected. Further inland winds may be lighter, but it all depends on the exact track of the storm.
Power outages could be a concern, especially across coastal southeastern Connecticut, closest to the center of the storm.
***NEW: The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Watch for Wednesday across the southern half of CT as damaging winds are possible.***

Coastal flooding: With a strong storm moving into the area, coastal flooding becomes another issue.
Moderate coastal flooding is expected with two high tide cycles, first Wednesday evening and then again early Thursday morning. Water levels may rise to between 3 and 6 feet above average levels, causing a storm surge effect.
The storm surge will NOT be as severe as Sandy. One of the things working in our favor is that winds will be out of the north, meaning that last water gets funneled into Long Island Sound. (with Sandy, an easterly wind forced a ton of water into the Sound)

Precipitation: With cold air in place, there is the POTENTIAL for snow across inland areas. This is perhaps the trickiest aspect of the forecast. Some data indicates that most of the state could see some snow, while other forecasts only give the higher terrain of Litchfield County any snow.
Bottom line, do not go out and buy a generator or snow-blower. The setup is going to be very complex, so everything has to go JUST RIGHT for there to be heavy snow.
Even a worst case scenario only brings light to moderate amounts of snow, meaning this storm will be nothing like the October nor'easter from last year. 

Snow: The best guess at this point is that inland areas may see some wet snow. Areas along and north of I-84 (as an estimate) could see a light slushy accumulation.

Stay tuned to as we review data and bring you updated information.

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Quincy Vagell

Town: Marlborough, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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