Mixed Bag System

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By Stephen Gode on February 22, 2013, 11:59pm Last modified: February 23, 2013, 9:07pm

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0z Surface Analysis (7 pm EST for Friday February 22, 2013)

A relatively weaker shortwave than I expected is digging around the trough and upper level low in the Great Lakes region. Downstream and ahead of this shortwave, there will be a developing surface low pressure center near the Carolinas tonight, which will track to the south of Connecticut and near the 40/70 benchmark. Although, the track is more ideal for a snow event, there should be enough mild air for more rain and mixing for a large area of Connecticut. Also, this area of low pressure is fairly weak compared to significant snowfall events in the past, but certainly, sometimes weak low pressure systems do give significant amounts of precipitation. There might not be significant amounts of precipitation, too.

There is a chance for light precipitation during Saturday morning, and the afternoon and evening hours of Sunday, but the bulk of the precipitation should fall from Saturday early afternoon to Sunday early morning. This system is fairly progressive, but some indications reveal that it may be fairly cloudy most of the way to the next system on Tuesday into Wednesday (seems to be more marginal at this point and more of a chance for mainly rain and some mix).

Some cold air will be out ahead of the approaching system for a start of mainly snow for northern Connecticut and mixing with rain in Southern Connecticut. Temperatures will be mild at the coast (highs upper 30s to lower 40s) for no snow accumulation at the start, especially on the roads. Basically, coatings could be possible inland at the start, and then rain may changeover most of Connecticut towards the evening. There can be some minor additional snow accumulations before the storm ends as colder air may work into the state, especially in parts of northern Connecticut. In parts of the Hills where cold air may be locked (better chance for prolong surface temperatures to be near freezing) in for at least the majority of the event, there can be the potential for light to moderate (2-5 inches) amounts of snow and mixing.

To reiterate, there can potentially be 2-5 inches of snow accumulations in the higher elevations of northwestern and northeastern Connecticut, and less than 2 inches elsewhere. Towards the coast, there can be no snow accumulation, especially on the roads, but still monitor the temperature for areas of possible icing (mainly a glazing or less, which is more likely in the higher elevations of northern Connecticut) and black ice. There can be periods of sleet and freezing rain near the rain/snow line that will meander through Connecticut. So, northern Connecticut will more likely see a mixed bag (rain/snow, chance of periods of sleet and freezing rain) of everything and southern Connecticut will see mainly rain. I think total liquid equivalent precipitation amounts will be about a half inch or less. Although, this may seem conservative, there could be even less, because the computer model trends have been indicating less precipitation, a weaker system, and the system tracking more to the south of Connecticut even on the latest runs overall.   

Stay tuned to the latest forecasts and discussions on WXedge.

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Stephen Gode

Town: North Haven, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since September 2012.

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