March 6-8, 2013 Technical Forecast

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By Stephen Gode on March 6, 2013, 5:03pm Last modified: March 7, 2013, 9:47am

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Photo shows the 18z (1 pm EST) surface analysis on March 6, 2013.

The low pressure area to our south and high pressure to our north will impact Connecticut with unsettled conditions. Gusty winds, wintry precipitation, and coastal flooding will be the main impacts. The low pressure area meanders slowly eastward.

Prolong northeasterly winds, especially through tomorrow for Connecticut, will cause some power outages and minor to possibly moderate coastal flooding around the high tides. Power outages could be a bit more widespread where the stronger winds and heavier snow accumulations occur. Coastal flooding and beach erosion could be a bit more widespread in western Connecticut, especially low lying areas and inlet areas. Be aware of areas prone to coastal flooding. As the storm pulls more offshore on Thursday night into Friday, the coastal flood threat will have substantially diminished for Connecticut. This is because of backing (turn to more northerly or northwesterly) and decreasing winds.

Winds will be sustained generally 20-30 mph with gusts 35-50+ mph over the next few days, but gradually diminish overall, especially into Friday.

This afternoon/early evening and Thursday morning’s high tides are most vulnerable to coastal flooding.

High temperatures for the next few days will be around 40. Today, many areas were in the low to mid 40’s. On Thursday, temperatures could generally be in the 30’s.  Overnight lows for the next couple of nights will be near or above freezing.

This will not be an all snow event for Connecticut. The issue is due to the mild temperatures. Surface temperatures are mild for a winter storm and warmer air will try to work in aloft throughout the duration of the storm. Now that it is meteorological spring, there is an increase of the amount of daylight and sun angle each day. In addition, if any easterly wind brings some marine influence, then mild air works into the area for any snow having more difficulty to stick on all surfaces. Mainly spots of light rain/drizzle with some mixing of snow possibly in the interior areas will continue through the afternoon and early evening hours. Periods of snow mixing with rain will occur tonight and possibly linger into Friday with the influence of an inverted trough as upper level energy from over the Great Lakes region dives towards the departing upper level low going into Friday.

The best chance for accumulating snow would be during the nighttime hours the next couple of nights. Throughout, the event the snow can compact and melt from based on the amount that accumulates. I am expecting a trace to four inches statewide. The coastal areas can mix with rain more and more marginal temperatures could result at amounts near the lower end. The coastal areas and eastern Connecticut will have potentially higher total liquid equivalent precipitation that could be up towards about a half inch to an inch. There could be possibly higher snowfall amounts in northwest and northeast hills where temperatures will be colder in spots. Elsewhere, snowfall totals could be near the higher end where temperatures are colder and where precipitation (snow) is the steadiest.  Snow could have a hard time sticking, especially the roadways, but drive cautiously and take your time for some slick and icy conditions, especially when the temperatures are near freezing.

The forecast is complicated, because this is a marginal situation in regards to snow, cut-off low pressure areas are difficult to forecast, and Connecticut is somewhat more on the northern fringe of the surface low pressure area. The precipitation field is expanding and the storm will overall stay the same intensity. In the near-term, the surface low pressure center is having pressure decreasing a bit that indicates some intensification, but then the system expands as a sense of weakening or generally maintaining its strength over the coming days.

Stay safe and have a great rest of the week!

Check back to WXedge for the latest updates.

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Stephen Gode

Town: North Haven, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since September 2012.

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