Forecast for coming days: Cold, snowy and windy

As 2013 winds down and 2014 begins, expect the weather to get much colder, snowier and windier over the next few days.

New Year’s Eve could look like Christmas Eve did in some areas of southwestern Connecticut, with snow squalls and treacherous driving conditions tonight before a potentially big, 36-hour long snow and ice storm hits Connecticut later this week.

Scattered snow showers are expected with a cold front passing over southwestern Connecticut late Tuesday afternoon, New Year’s Eve, into the early evening.

'White-out conditions' possible

“A few of these could be in the form of snow squalls, producing brief white-out conditions in heavy snow and strong winds,” the National Weather Service (NWS) said in a hazardous weather statement issued Tuesday morning, Dec. 31.

“Any area experiencing a snow squall will have potential for flash-freeze conditions,” the NWS said. “Temperatures will likely start out around or just above freezing — then drop as a slushy coating of snow falls — dropping further into the 20s in the wake of the squall.”

Six inches or more expected

Then on New Year’s Day night, “a prolonged period of snow is expected (from) late Wednesday night into Friday morning,” according to the NWS. “At least six inches of snow is possible — with blowing and drifting of snow due to strong winds” across southwestern Connecticut.

Along with the expected snowstorm will come the coldest conditions the area has seen in a while.

“Bitterly cold conditions are then expected in the wake of the storm Friday into Friday night,” the weather service said. “Wind chills of 5 to 15 degrees below zero are possible early Friday morning and then once again Friday night.

On New Year’s Eve, the high is expected to be 32 with a low into the teens — along with winds of 15 to 20 mph and gusts up to 30 mph in the evening.

Below freezing stretch

Wednesday’s high is expected to be about 28 with a low of 22 and snow developing around 1 a.m. Thursday’s high is expected to be in the mid-20s — with winds of 14 to 18 mph — as snow picks up in the area. More snow is expected Thursday night as the temperature drops to low teens and more snow falls. The wind chill temperature could be below zero.

On Friday, more snow is expected in the morning and the high isn’t supposed to reach 20 degrees. The wind is expected to remain fierce as wind chills could make it feel like it is below zero. Once the sun goes down on Friday, forecasts call for a low of -1 degrees.

Saturday is supposed to be mostly sunny with a high of 22 and low of 15. Then on Sunday it could feel like a heat wave when the temperatures return above freezing — reaching nearly 40 degrees in the area before falling to 31 at night when some more snow might fall that night into Monday morning before turning to rain.