A dry, cool Saturday before possible snow Sunday

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Hi everyone! For the official forecast discussion please scroll down. I just wanted to give you a few updates tonight as we're seeing a couple red flags.

UPDATE 11:45 P.M: Two of several of our overnight computer model runs came through completely dry.  That's right. Not a single flake. Ouch. We don't make forecast adjustments based on one computer model run because the biggest thing we are looking at at this point is the overall set-up. However, there is a chance that the storm stays too far east and takes too long to strengthen for us to see much snow. If this trend continues on Saturday than we'll have to make some major adjustments.

UPDATE: 11:54 P.M. The GFS Computer model (one of our major American computer models) just came in with no snow for the Hartford area northwest. It did show flurries or light snow in southern/eastern Connecticut with little or no accumulation.

I'm still waiting for the Canadian (GEM) and the European (ECMWF) computer models. They're two of our best. The Canadian starts to come in at 12:05 AM and the European starts coming in at 1:45 AM. Thanks for staying with me!

UPDATE: 12:44 A.M. The plot thickens! The Canadian says, game on. It still shows accumulating snow on par with our preliminary forecast map in t he discussion below. It shows two disturbances "phasing" allowing the storm to intensify closer to the east coast. 

~Rachel

ORIGINAL DISCUSSION:

It'll be cold at night, with temperatures dipping below 30 for many.

Saturday will be dry, but cool compared to the past few weeks, with temperatures only reaching into the mid-40s for most of the state. We'll see some sun in the afternoon, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Then, get ready for it to not only feel like winter, but also look like it!

We haven’t dodged the threat of snow, but it looks like we will avoid getting a monster nor’easter Sunday afternoon into early Monday morning.

While we were sleeping Thursday night the computer models made a huge shift east. Sunday’s coastal storm will develop and strengthen too far offshore to bring a blockbuster spring storm.

Timing:

All day Saturday and Sunday morning look dry.  Snow will develop in the afternoon, starting off light and then picking up in intensity later in the day and Sunday night. The roads will probably remain wet for a majority of the day.  Spring storms are tricky like that because of the higher sun angle and warm ground. It takes heavy snow to stick to the roads at this time of year.

Heavier snow is possible at night, continuing into the early morning Monday. As of right now I think snow will be over before 8 a.m., maybe even earlier than that. Snow should be able to quickly melt away for the reasons I mentioned above.

March 20 storm

Our official forecast is the first solution with a stronger storm. But there's a chance the storm moves farther offshore.

How Much:

There is still a big spread in the computer models, but all outcomes point to more snow in the eastern part of the state. One scenario points to a light to moderate snowfall. The other has the storm strengthening even later and farther offshore resulting much less statewide, including little to no snow in western Connecticut. I’m leaning towards the first scenario but either are possible at this point.

Why the differences? There are several moving parts that the models are trying to “figure out.” Each model has a different idea of what those parts will do over time, resulting in different outcomes.

Precipitation Type:

There’s a slight chance some sleet could mix in for areas southeast of Hartford. But I think that would be an exception. I’m expecting wet snow with this storm, not the fluffy stuff.

Impact:

While winds will pick up during the storm, I do not expect damaging winds. While there could be a few pockets of power outages due to the wet nature of the snow, I also do not see this as being a major concern right now.  Obviously, roads could get slippery though, especially Sunday night into early Monday morning.

Bottom Line:

This is NOT a biggie! But remember, just last week many of us thought winter was over for good with record warmth several days in a row. This is a stark reminder that it can and will snow at times through early spring!

Please check back in for updates over the weekend as we continue to put together pieces of the forecasting puzzle.