Winter storm expected to hit CT Sunday; here’s what you need to know
The first winter storm of the season is expected to drop anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of snow across much of the state Sunday and Monday with a smaller impact expected along the coast.
The National Weather Service projects that inland cities like Danbury will be hit the hardest, with a winter storm watch in effect for interior Connecticut.
Coastal areas like Bridgeport and New Haven, however, are forecast to receive less than 5 inches of a mix of snow, sleet and rain, according to a map and briefing released by the NWS Saturday morning.
A weather alert sent by the National Weather Service late Saturday afternoon said a winter weather advisory is in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday because mixed precipitation is expected.
Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze are expected.
Coastal snow totals could be higher if the precipitation changes to snow early on Monday and heavier snow banding continues Monday into Monday night.
The winter storm watch remains for interior Connecticut Sunday morning into Tuesday morning.
“Accumulations of freezing rain will be possible in the early to late afternoon hours prior to a change over to all rain,” the alert said. “Plan on slippery road conditions. Slow down and use caution while traveling.”
The snow is expected to start falling in southwestern interior Connecticut Sunday morning or early Sunday afternoon, dropping 2 to 5 inches before changing over to a wintry mix late Sunday afternoon or early Sunday evening.
Forecasters call for a possibility of sleet and freezing rain Sunday night into Monday morning. About one-tenth of an inch to one-quarter of an inch of ice accumulation is possible.
Things will change back to snow Monday morning, before stopping late Monday night. Throughout Monday, an estimated 4 to 8 inches of snow is predicted.
Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon into evening, forecasts indicate about 1 to 2 inches of snow will fall every hour.
Total snowfall accumulation will be anywhere from 6 to 12 inches.
Heavy wet snow — and wind gusts of 20 to 30 mph — could bring down tree branches and power lines, causing scattered power outages.
Travel conditions will be difficult Sunday afternoon through early Tuesday morning, the weather service said.
Danbury could receive 5 inches of snow by midnight Sunday and another 5 inches Monday, an online weather radar indicates.
Coastal Connecticut is more likely to see snow Sunday morning but rain throughout the afternoon, and then snow again by Monday afternoon, according to the NWS. A mix of snow, rain and sleet is also possible Monday.
The NWS warned of potential icy roads throughout the state.
Connecticut State Police advised residents in a Tweet to avoid travel during the storm.
Expecting to fly?
Bradley International Airport said several of its airline partners have issued trael advisories and waivers because of the incoming storm.
“If you are scheduled to travel tomorrow or early next week, please contact your airline to confirm your flight itinerary,” the airport urged those planning to fly.
Plan around the storm
The forecast has already caused several event cancellations.
Santa Sunday at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, Joy to the World concert at the Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. James in New Haven, Trees in the Rigging at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex and Connecticut State Police corvette toy drive kick off from the Danbury Fair mall to the Wyndham Hotel in Southbury have all been canceled.
In Orange, the tractor parade and tree lighting ceremony planned to take place Sunday have been canceled. But the tree will still be lit at 5:45 p.m. regardless of the weather and all indoor activities will still continue.
The state Department of Transportation has an alert on its traffic site urging drivers to “plan ahead, monitor weather forecasts and travel early due to the predicted winter storm.”
Many municipalities also prohibit street parking during storms, so that snow plows to do their jobs. Monroe First Selectman Ken Kellogg sent residents an email Saturday reminding them of the rule.
“Parked vehicles hinder emergency response, create a hazard for the public, and interfere with the safe removal of snow or ice,” he said.
Many towns distribute information about storm preparedness. In New Haven, for example, you can sign up for text alerts on the city’s website.
Danbury offers a similar service.
Bridgeport has information about parking during snow emergencies online.
Anyone who is in need of shelter during the storm can call 211 at any time to find a place to bunker down during the inclement weather.
Ansonia is preparing to possibly have sledding available Sunday through Tuesday at Winter Playground Linett Park.
The park has an expansive hillside, which was cleared of overgrowth two years ago, offering the perfect sledding opportunity. The park is on Crowley Street, off of North State Street.
There are on-site restroom facilities, bleacher seating and parking available. The park is open to sledding daily from dusk to dawn, weather permitting.
Quinnipiac University in Hamden reopened a day early to allow students to safely get back to school ahead of the storm. Residence halls opened Saturday because of the anticipated storm. But dining services will not open until Sunday.
Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven said it is monitoring the storm closely and will reopen Sunday at 8:30 a.m. to allow students to return.