Connecticut braces for extreme cold, up to 7 inches of snow this weekend

Photo of Peter Yankowski
Minimum windchill values for the region

Minimum windchill values for the region

Contributed / NOAA

Connecticut is in store for an extremely cold start to the weekend with wind chills dipping to as low as negative-15 degrees before a winter storm could bring several inches of snow on Sunday night, the National Weather Service said.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for all of Connecticut overnight and into Saturday morning.

After the cold start to the weekend, the region is expected to see a mix of snow and sleet Sunday night that could bring as much as 7 inches of snow, at times falling up to an inch an hour, and up to a tenth of an inch of ice.

The weather service warns that the roads will be covered in snow and ice, making it difficult to travel.

The precipitation will then turn into rain or a wintry mix by Monday morning and taper off by midday, the weather service said.

The extreme temperatures will be driven by frigid air passing through the region from the Arctic Ocean and northern Canada, as well as gusting north winds on Friday night.

Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday he was activating the state’s extreme cold weather protocol, which provides coordination between state agencies to house and transport homeless and other vulnerable people in need of shelter.

“It’s looking like we are going to see another blast of arctic temperatures moving into the state, followed by the potential for a winter storm,” Lamont said in a statement. “These conditions can be extremely dangerous if someone is outdoors for extended periods of time, which is why we are urging anyone in need to seek shelter.”

The governor said anyone in need of shelter, or those who know someone in need of shelter, should call 211.

Eversource, the state’s largest electrical utility company, said it has positioned crews around the state ahead of high winds expected Friday evening and Monday’s winter weather, as well as calling in additional crews from out of state.

“We’ve been carefully monitoring these weather systems for the last few days and we’ll have workers and materials in position across the state ready to respond and will adjust our plans if the forecast changes,” Eversource’s President of Electric Operations in Connecticut, Steve Sullivan said in statement. “With wet snow in some parts of the state and wind gusts over 50 miles per hour possible, there is the potential for trees and tree limbs to come down onto power lines and electric equipment. We’re fully stocked with extra utility poles, wire, transformers and other equipment and ready to repair any damage this storm may cause.”

New London Mayor Michael Passero said the city’s library will be used as a warming center during the day Saturday and Sunday. People who need access to a shelter after business hours will be directed to Homeless Hospitality Center on Huntington Street, he said.

On Saturday, skies will be clear with temperatures only rising into the teens and wind chills making it feel like negative 10 degrees, the weather service said.

The temperatures will rise on Sunday into the upper 20s to low 30s, the weather service said.

The storm is expected to move into Connecticut Sunday night with 4 to 7 inches of snow possible, according to the weather service.

The snow is expected to turn to a wintry mix of snow and sleet, before becoming all rain on Monday when high temperatures are expected to reach the low 40s. The precipitation is anticipated to taper off by midday Monday.

Some northwestern parts of the state, where temperatures are expected to stay colder, could see snow without a mix of rain and sleet, according to the weather service.