Saturday Morning Update

A historic and record shattering October snowstorm is on track this morning. Here’s what to expect:

  • Rain or a rain/snow overspreads the state 10 A.M. to Noon
  • Mix quickly changes to all snow above 700 feet
  • Gradual change to snow in the valleys. Expect snow in metro Hartford by 5 p.m. and snow in metro New Haven by 8 p.m.
  • Heavy snow and near blizzard conditions 8 p.m. through midnight
  • Snow tapers off 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.

This storm has the potential to produce widespread power outages in some towns. If the higher numbers on this snowfall map verify AND the snow is of the heavy, wet variety we are going to be looking at substantial and very serious tree and power line damage.

Freak October Snowstorm Will Almost Certainly Shatter Records

Note: For a complete climatology of October snows in Connecticut you can check out this link.

I’m quite confident that this storm will be a record shattering storm across the state with the potential for significant tree and power line damage.

Our call from earlier today still seems valid. It’s possible someone in the hilltowns gets more than a foot but it’s too early to get specific on that. The shoreline forecast is challenging as it’s possible that the cold air will race south fast enough to deliver a substantial snowstorm to metro New Haven.

Virtually every computer model has locked into a track south of Connecticut in a “perfect” snow setup. Temperatures in the atmosphere continue to look extraordinarily cold for October. A mix of rain and snow in the midday and early afternoon will change to snow quickly in the hills and a little more slowly in the valleys. When the flip does take place it will be dramatic and snow will pile up quickly. Thundersnow is possible in the heaviest bands.

One of the reasons I’m unusually concerned about this storm is that the amount of leaves on the trees make them particularly vulnerable to damage. If the snow is of the heavy and wet variety we could have major and widespread power outages. We’re in uncharted territory here in terms of this type of storm this early in the season.

Use whatever adjective (or swear) you’d like to describe this storm. It’s shaping up to be historic, extraordinary, and unprecedented for this early in the season. Be prepared to lose power but just remember that in October and early November the snow will melt relatively quickly!

Freak October Storm Eyes State

A major snowstorm is on the way and will likely be a historic and unprecedented early season snowstorm. All the parameters and models are showing significant snow totals across the state.

Obviously the time of year gives me pause. The biggest October storm in the greater Hartford area was only 1.7″ back in 1979. The biggest storm in the entire state was 9.5″ in the town of Norfolk¬†on October 4,¬†1987. Still, records are made to be broken and I am quite confident that in many areas this will be the biggest October snowstorm in recorded history.

It’s possible, but at this point not likely, that the storm will trend west and bring more rain as opposed to snow. It’s something to watch. The big concern for this storm may be damage to trees and powerlines given the amount of trees that are still fully foliated!

Freak October Snowstorm Becoming More Likely

Hello, Snow!

This evening’s snow is a rare enough event. It looks as if the greater Hartford area has picked up measurable snow in October for the first time since 1979 and for only the 4th time in the last 100 years. We will need to wait to hear from the weather observer at Bradley Airport to get the official word.

This may be just a prelude for a significant and high impact winter storm that appears to be brewing for the weekend. All day I’ve spoken to meteorologist friends who have all said the same thing, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Obviously things can change and a variation in the track could mean only a little bit of snow. As of right now, however, the model consensus is a major winter storm that has the potential to bring down trees, tree limbs, and power lines given the amount of foliage still on the trees.

As we’ve seen tonight even though it’s October the sun angle is quite low and given a heavy enough snow rate snow can accumulate on the grass and on the roads. The GFS and the NAM computer models along with the Euro show substantial snow totals (most certainly “plowable”) even down to the shoreline.

For entertainment purposes here’s a look at the >12″ snow probability from our SREF guidance suite. The blue shading is 25 percent chance. Obviously this isn’t what I’m forecasting but this shows just how incredibly bizarre, rare, and unusual this storm could be.

By midday Friday we should have a better handle on this storm. At this point it looks like this storm has the potential to be unlike anything we’ve seen in recent memory.