Afternoon Update: Mixed Precipitation

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By Quincy Vagell on February 23, 2013, 4:40pm Last modified: February 23, 2013, 9:08pm

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Areas of light rain and drizzle are reported across the state, but many areas have also been seeing some sleet and wet snow.

The map above shows critical thicknesses. Generally you'd expect to see snow north of these lines, but notice the pink line with a "0" in northwestern Massachusetts. That indicates that temperatures above above freezing (near the ground) in Connecticut, even though temperatures a couple of thousand feet above the ground are below freezing. That means that although snow flakes may be forming aloft, they are melting before reaching the ground.

Based on observations, wet snow has mixed in with the rain as far south as New Haven and Middlesex Counties. This is because heavier bursts of precipitation allowed snowflakes to reach the surface. Also, a few reports of sleet line up with the fact that 925mb temperatures are below freezing. In a few cases, snowflakes are melting on their way down and then re-freezing into ice pellets.

Temperatures are in the mid to upper 30's. Even the coolest outlying areas in the hills of NW and NE Connecticut are around 34-35 degrees. Even with snow falling in those spots, no accumulation is expected through the early evening hours.

As low pressure develops south of Long Island tonight, precipitation continues. The northern hills may see a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain, but the valleys and southern Connecticut should see mostly rain. The interesting thing is that although surface temperatures will fall, temperatures above the ground should hold steady or even rise slightly through the evening and overnight hours. Towards daybreak, as colder air moves in at all levels, precipitation should begin to taper off.
Overnight, some hill towns may pick up a slushy inch or so of new snowfall. 

For tomorrow, an inverted trough feature will cause an area of snow showers or light snow to form. This band of snow may give northern and eastern Connecticut a period of snow during the day on Sunday. Again, with marginal temperatures, only slushy accumulations are expected. Some areas may pick up 1 to possibly 3" of new snow on Sunday.

Stay tuned to for the latest weather updates and discussions.

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Quincy Vagell

Town: Marlborough, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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